Never one to mince words, W. Blake Gray visited South Africa this year and in this and a companion piece on his own site, explored the effect of wind on terroir and wondered how much progress has been made in South African wine post-apartheid.
Like all the best fine-wine regions, South Africa can give you some things you can't get anywhere else.
Maybe I’d hate to see that tiny little plot of odd vines uprooted to make room for more really excellent Merlot. The preservation of the good of a few over achieving the best good of the many? Maybe, but Americans long ago decided that diversity is good for everyone.
Editor's Note: Contributor and Editor, Rémy Charest, looked at the challenges of creating brand and identity for Languedoc, traditionally considered "a provider of high-volume plonk." This article explored the reorganization of this major French wine region and some expected outcomes derived from insights on the Millésimes du Languedoc tasting attended this spring. –Ryan Reichert, Managing Editor
In the world of marketing and sales, it is always good when you can keep things simple. Of course, this can be quite a challenge for an industry like the wine industry, where realities of place, grapes, vintages, styles, and terroir add up as so many variables to take into account—enough to confuse everyone but the aficionados.
Set in the south of France, Languedoc does not have the name-recognition of Bordeaux or Burgundy. And what reputation it does have is as a producer of inexpensive, rustic reds. So I went expecting a fairly industrial landscape of mass-produced tannic titans.
So pale as to have almost no pink color visible. A beguiling nose of strawberry, peach, and fresh flowers. Very expressive on the palate, with delicate but assertive fresh fruit coming on and the acid kept in check. Finishes with a small flourish, yielding a really lovely wine that is refreshing yet not insipid. Pair with seafood, especially shellfish. Highly recommended.