I'm enjoying a wine revival at the moment. In any job - even writing about wine - it's possible to become a little jaded, or get in a sort of rut, where disillusionment overcomes hope and passion. It's a pitfall. A trap. But a recent run of authentic, honest, diverse and even thrilling wines have reignited my fire, baby, and reminded me why I thought this rather bizarre practice of writing about a liquid made sense.
Tonight I'm enjoying another wine that would never 'garner' a 95 point rating, but which satisfies on many levels. It's from a young domaine that began as recently as 2001 in up-coming celebrity wine village Calce (home of Gauby et al) in the Roussillon. Domaine Olivier Pithon covers 21 hectares of schistous soils, with some old vines and some newer. It is run on a mixture of biodynamic and organic regimes, and the wine I am trying tonight is 'La Coulee'.
Domaine Olivier Pithon La Coulee 2005 Cotes du Roussillon, France
A blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah from younger vines, given a moderate extraction and brought up in cement tanks. Very bright red/purple colour. Smoky, minerally, savoury, slightly roasted nose. Palate is savoury and dark with grippy tannins and a delicious minerality behind the vivid fruit. Good acidity and a long finish. This is a very appealing, honest wine that hasn't been tarted around with, but just shows youthful, slightly aggressive fruit and tannin. Highly food compatible. Very good/excellent 90/100 (c. £10 from Les Caves de Pyrene and www.hgwines.co.uk)