La Pèira En Damaisela is in the heart of the Terrasses du Larzac and interesting to me because it seems to have a strong reputation outside France and yet locally is well below the radar. I've never noticed any of their wines at a cavist or restaurant wine list, although La Terrasse du Mimosa in Montpeyroux lists Les Obriers. I've also never come across any at the many excellent festive events in the area.
Back in London I came across the 2008 Les Obriers when investigating the new branch of The Sampler in South Kensington. This is essentially a wine store with some intriguing technology offering self-service tasting samples for 80 different wines. While there were several bottles from two well known regions beginning with B plus a Rhone, no other French reds were on tasting. Still, the Languedoc selection on the shelves was fine and I was keen to savour a whole bottle anyway.
Les Obriers is a blend of two thirds Cinsault and one third Carignan. While most growers would make Rosé with the Cinsault or use just a dollop in a blend, a big chapeau for making a red. With the Carignan giving the Languedoc x-factor this is very much a local style rather than, say, a Syrah Grenache Rhone look alike or worse.
I found fresh mulberry with a hint of rose water and a raspberry palate with some plum and a black olive finish. A couple of days later and the wine had changed surprisingly little. Nevertheless, for me it was holding something back. It's bit like looking at a coral reef through glass at an aquarium. While this is the experience most prefer and enjoy, I fancy the snorkel and flippers approach for a different more edgy perspective. Either way, it has the balance to last for many years and will be well worth revisiting when it has more bottle age. I'll also keep an eye out for older vintages.
Château St. Preignan – or finding a bargain.
4 days ago