By: Keith Mabry
K&L Staff Member
Some of our best new relationships often come through referrals from other producers with whom we have already long established relationships. Our sparkling wine producer from Limoux, Françoise Antech, has made many great recommendations over the last few years through her association with the Vinifilles, a group of women wine growers that work together to share information, work events together and co-market their wines. Some of these referrals have included Domaine de la Reserve d’O and Clos de l’Anhel, both of which have been great successes with our staff and customers. When
Francoise said, “you must try my friend Séverine Bourrier’s wines from
Château de L’Ou,” we listened. I first tasted the wines at a Vinifilles event in Montpellier (the same event at which I met Marie Chauffray of Reserve d'O). There was a food and wine pairing of 2011 Secret des Schistes and a partridge galantine wrapped in cabbage. The cabbage made for a tricky pairing but in my notes, I declared it one of the two best pairing of the night. (The other was the Reserve d'O with a boudin noir (blood pudding)). Each element from the wine to the food ingredients elevated the combination to something quite remarkable. Though this event was a couple of years ago, the wines were always in the back of my mind. When you're establishing a new program in a category like our French Regional, you sometimes need to crawl before you run. Tasting the wines a few more times over the years and knowing we needed to establish a place for them, it wasn't until earlier this year when Jeb Dunnuck's insightful reviews of this estate compelled us to take the plunge. And plunge we did, picking up almost every wine they make. When you start tasting through all the different wines like we did you see such a distinct thread of quality and specificity. The basic wines are compelling but of course, it is the single-terroir Syrahs that will capture everyone's fancy. If you love wines from Hermitage or Cote-Rotie, adore the Shiraz of Barrossa or Syrahs of California, we have a new benchmark for you. These are truly wines of place (that place being Roussillon) and the Infiniment is just as good a place to start as it comes from the alluvial marl soils surrounding the estate. Full of lush boisterous fruit, it holds overtness at bay and its rich palate lays a foundation with layer upon layer of black fruit and spice. Severine's style of winemaking susses out the extraction but keeps the balance in check. There will be more to say when we look at the other two sites - the Velour Noir and Secret de Schistes - but right now, picking up some bottles of the Infiniment will give you the best access to this extraordinary and compelling property.