Sunday, June 21, 2009

Domaine du Poujol

Even though the temperatures warmed up again yesterday the humidity and summer smog stayed away and that made for a beautiful evening.

Dinner was simple. There was a small, crusty loaf of fresh bread, a dish of coleslaw with a tart dressing and oysters from the grill. The oysters were laid out on the grill over the coals and removed just as they popped open. There was freshly ground lemon pepper scattered over a few of them and the rest were topped with a compound butter consisting of butter, lemon juice and chopped fresh dill. The oysters were clean, briny, and wonderfully fresh. As the meal went on the escaped juices were soaked up by the crusty bread and the coleslaw served as a luxurious counterpoint with it's crisp acids.

The wine was a 2007 Domaine du Poujols Rose, a wine from the Coteaux du Languedoc region of southern France. Lately the roses in the local wine market seem to be vivid pink and red, but this wine was definitely copper colored with just a hint of pink. We put a slight chill on it, but not enough to deaden the taste.

This wine was about cherry juice, bright, red cherry juice. There may have been a hint or two of strawberry, but it was definitely a night for the cherries to sing out. There was great acidity and just a tiny bit of tannin and the wine was totally dry. With the oysters it provided a touch of fruit and highlights of metal. Not a classic match but one that went down very easy. At 12.5% alcohol and only $9 it was the perfect wine for a warm night.

The vineyard has an unusual legend around it. In 1787 Thomas Jefferson visited the area around Montpellier and proclaimed the wine of Poujols as among the best he tasted in France. No claim is made that this is the same wine, but it's certainly a good story as we approach the U.S. Independence Day. On the back label of the bottle they quote Jefferson, "Good wine is a necessity of life for me."

I concur.

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