This bottle may be the most interesting one I plucked from the recent clearance at Andersons. It hails from a previously unknown to me wine district, Fitou, which is located in the huge Languedoc region in southern France.
Fitou is located next to the better known Corbieres. It focuses strictly on red wine. That’s just fine with me.
Cuvée des Ardoises is the deuxième vin (or second wine) of Château des Erles. It is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre. The vineyard is on steep, hilly, irregular terrain with soil of slate and schist. Ardoises is French for schist, a type of metamorphic rock. (That’s your geology lesson for today!)
This is a deep, opaque wine. It is aged in Bordeaux casks, so it has very firm tannins. It takes a while to unwind, but when it does, it’s very enjoyable.
In the Mediterranean area, the use the term “garrigue” to describe an herby, grassy quality in the wine. The Cuvée des Ardoises has garrigue in addition to a rich, robust flavor of dark fruits and spice.
As an under $20 purchase, this is a great buy. It’s more hearty than many Grenache/Syrah blends – and a bit mysterious too. I like it, and I’m sure you will like it Fitou.
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Value: 3 of 5