Monday, September 1, 2014

2004 Chateau Simone - A Rare Bird

Whether one goes by acres or hectares Palette is the second smallest recognized wine region in France, larger only than Chateau Grillet.  It is near Aix-en-Provence.  I had never seen a bottle in the U.S. until a friend who was working for a time in Marseilles brought one home as a gift in 2007.  Though not a wine drinker he ventured into a wine store in Marseilles and this was the wine the proprietor recommended to him.  I still have never seen one in the U.S. though I'm sure an internet search would turn one up.  I was just happy to put this bottle away for seven years.

The wine is mostly Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault though there is also some Syrah, Carignan, Castet, Mansoquin, Muscat Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Th√©oulier, Tibouren, Picpoul Noir and Muscat de Hambourg.  It's a veritable witch's brew of grapes.  The witches must be related to Dorothy's and Toto's friend the Good Witch of the North because the wine is delicious.  Perhaps it's the good witch of the south of France.

The medium garnet color was mostly the result of the wine throwing some heavy sediment over the years.  From the color alone I would have guessed it as an older burgundy.  Aromas of clean earth and pine forest were prominent though there was a good fruit base underneath.   The first glass was somewhat reserved and not offering much in the way of flavor but by the second glass the strawberry taste of Grenache was peaking through as well as some raspberry fruit.  I wouldn't use the word elegant to describe this wine but there was some grace mixed in with its rustic elements.  Great acid and a good dose of tannin showed up in the very long finish.

Lamb chops from the grill were a nice accompaniment to the wine as the gaminess of the lamb was a great match with the unusual flavors in the wine.

Now it's either an internet search or time to send my friend back to Marseilles.

2004 Chateau Simone, Palette.  13% alcohol.  Price unknown.

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