2015 François Lurton “MJ Mas Janeil – Le Petit Pas” Côtes du Roussillon AOC, France (Alcohol 14%) LCBO Vintages $17.95 (750ml)
Around a week or so ago I took a trip up to the top of a hill overlooking the Vallée de l’Agly, Roussillon in order to look out over the region’s vineyards from the very best of vantage points. Unfortunately I chose to ride in the back of an older 4X4 thats suspension had certainly seen better days, and this was much to my chagrin, as my the time we had traversed the rocky slopes my back, something that is a little dodgy at the best of times, was completely and utterly destroyed. Holding back the tears of this exquisite skeletal torment, I exited the vehicle in a decidedly wobbly fashion and surveyed the rugged Catalan landscape in awe (and in a hell of a lot of pain). And then there was the journey back down… Ouch.
All of that aside, I’d like to draw your attention to this great value blend of 55% Grenache Noir, 22% Syrah, 18% Carignan, and 5% Mourvèdre from Côtes du Roussillon that’s extremely easy on the wallet. Although you may have a self-made mandate to avoid any wine labels with animals upon them, I’d strongly suggest that you make an exception for this lovely little number from fifth generation Winegrower François Lurton.
The wine pours a seductively dark purple in the glass, and commences with a nose of ripe black and red berries accompanied by anise, dried herbs (rosemary and thyme), and a tiny whiff of smokiness. The palate is generous and almost meaty, with super-ripe, pleasurable tannins alongside a core of heart-of-darkness dark fruit. The wine is pretty sizeable in the mouth, but not at all clumsy, as there’s a decent backbone in there, and loads of that vital freshness that so many wines from this part of the world can often lack. The finish is also surprisingly sustained for a wine at this price.
I think that this wine requires food to show at its best, particularly with all that super ripe dark fruit. Grilled duck breasts with a berry compôte come to mind right now.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he’s already getting flashbacks to his time in Roussillon the other week, and his back is still throbbing.