Smooth New Biodynamic Grenache-Syrah Blend

A natural red from the rugged Languedoc

A wine made up of 50/50 Grenache/Syrah can take on many shapes. Grown on a flat plain in irrigated soil by a large-volume winery, the blend will be a cheap, unremarkable Côtes du Rhône. Grown just miles away in the legendary soils of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the wine can be an ageworthy gem.

Today’s wine is the same blend, but follows neither of these paths. The Mas Foulaquier’s “Orphée” cuvée is made from grapes grown in the untamed soils of the northern Languedoc. The winemakers practice biodynamics in the vineyards and the cellar, and the result is an entirely different take on the blend.

The grape makeup of this wine is important, but only as a vehicle to communicate the vignerons’ philosophy, and their rugged terroir.

Foulaquier is an excellent source in Pic-St-Loup, at the northern end of the sprawling Languedoc. Their wines are natural, wild, sometimes funky, and always delicious. They also exhibit a completeness often absent in low-intervention styles — where some offer a single, interesting, unusual note, Foulaquier’s wines are a harmonious symphony of nature — perhaps Philip Glass more than Beethoven, but charming nonetheless.

Foualquier’s 2018 Orphée is terrific. The nose is dark and woodsy, combining wild berries, lavender, and sous-bois. The mouth shows black fruits and black licorice, with a juicy texture and serious finish. This vintage is slightly bolder and more substantial than usual — we always enjoy this cuvée young, and you will too, but we’re excited to see this one age too.

Pour this at your first backyard barbecue of the year.


Foulaquier Orphée 2018
bottle price: $28

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