Thursday: it is neither Wednesday nor Friday.
For the employed, work still binds your thoughts. A distant weekend glows but faintly. Internet cat porn provides a fleeting, albeit empty distraction.
Such a lost weekday deserves a decent drink: something real but not demanding.
Enter Château La Roque. Winter still grips us, so my palate races to the Mediterranean: specifically to Pic Saint Loup in the Languedoc:
Vines surround its eponymous mowhawk-mountain, Pic Sanit-Loup. The warm sea and cool plateau inland traps this region in a sort of goldilockian limbo.
Vines here manage a happy balance of growth and restraint. A combo of clay and limestone soils keep just enough water for them. A south southeastern-facing slope keeps just enough sun smiling on them.
But the human element raises this to wine. Since 1259 (yes, 1259) la Roque has made wine. Viticulture is now biodynamic and organic thanks to Jacques Figuette, who realized predecessor Jack Boutin’s dream of perfectly and minimally growing traditional grapes: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Hands do the picking and de-stemming. The juice ferments in gravity-fed, temperature-controlled cement and stainless steel tanks.
So, to cut tonight’s cold and Thursday’s numbness, we open La Roque’s 2010 Rouge.
Appearance: The glass fills with a dark cranberry ruby, short clear rim, with stretching legs.Aromas: Clean, round scents of mocha, cherry, and cranberry syrup push their way through a light, thin frame of herbs de provence, vanilla powder, and musk.Palate: This feels assertive but not too serious. Moderate acids freshen it. Dusty tannins keep gums awake. 13.5% alcohol is just so. The body too, is just there, pleasant. It has balance that few wines have. Flavors: Nice, chewy ripe red and purple fruits lead to a slight dried prune, and roasted herb finish of medium length. La Roque’s 2010 Pic Saint Loup very good (4 of 5), not great but so versatile we don’t care. It will work with most food or without. Age it or don’t. It won’t mind.
Really, it fits like your favorite jacket.
It makes you feel cool. You wear it far too often. Once on, you forget it is there like a second skin. But when it’s gone, you know.Luckily, you can buy another bottle for $15 to $20.