What to drink with bone marrow

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The wines of the Cote de Rousillon, a region north and west of Perpignan, are often characterised by adjectives such as rusticity, earthy, vin ordinaire and basic. The sub-appellation of CdR Villages centred on the Agly river, however, are a step up and the descriptions change to characterful and finesse. The name of this wine ‘Les Calcinaires’ suggests a limestone soil (which raises the acidity in the grapes) and an exclusiveness thereby lifting it out of the ordinary. The Domaine Gauby’s Les Calcinaires 2006 was a deep red in colour, neither purple or brown rimmed, and showed a level of viscosity. It also had a very fine sediment. The nose certainly suggested power and a deep, rather than obvious, damson fruitiness. There was no hint of spice on the nose. The damson-like qualities came through on the palate which was dry, “not too acidic” but well-structured due to the light tannins. It was certainly not rustic but smooth (possibly the effect of eight years of ageing) and I would describe this as a well-balanced wine that would match a rich food. We had it with bone marrow on toast – which was an ideal match – so the whole experience was rather caveman-like (does any woman like bone marrow?). Would I rush to buy this wine? Probably not, but it was an enjoyable drop that possibly lacked a bit of character. (Blend was 50% Carignan, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre)

[Richard: from the WS, £15. Part of a mixed Midi case purchased a few years ago. Unlike Geoff I certainly would buy again. Very balanced, good freshness, very easy to drink and, at 13.5% welcome change from the 15% headbangers now being offered by the south of France/Rhone valley winemakers]

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