Chateau De Paraza 2019 Minervois "Cuvee Speciale", Languedoc
Minervois, an appellation in France’s somewhat wild Languedoc region, is located just 25 miles away from the Mediterranean Coast and it’s a place that has been cultivating vines for so long that the wines were even mentioned by ancient Rome’s magistrate and author, Pliny the Younger. The region was hit with a “brand damaging” amount of attention in the turn of the 19th, beginning of the 20th centuries, when other regions were caught adding the riper, more sun drenched and extracted wines of Languedoc into more prestigious wines of much nobler standing to make them appear riper, fuller, higher in alcohol and darker. Pair that with the fact that the region was mostly known to produce bulk wines for the masses, the wines of the Languedoc became wines not to be taken seriously, or worse, to be looked down upon as wines with no identity.
And in France that is a stamp that can take a very long time to peel off. So, it’s no wonder most of the world knows very little about the wines of France’s southwest.
Fast forward now, the wines are no longer dismissed, but they are still not wildly known, thus making them prime for wicked smart importers to find some astoundingly well-made wines, especially the rustic and powerful reds, that can be imported here at unbelievably affordable prices. Just like this densely delicious Minervois from Chateau De Paraza.
Made from 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre and aged 10 months in used oak, this supple, darkly colored and juicy red was a no-brainer for Wine of the Month. Loaded with black fruit, baked earth and dried herbs, all with a silken, dense mouthfeel and a finish lifted just enough to keep you reaching for your glass.
As we head into grilling season you are going to want several of these on hand to guzzle with your steaks, burgers, meaty pizzas, hearty veggie stews and to be honest, it’s just so pleasant to sip you don’t even really need food to enjoy it. Not as rustic as some Minervois, and for what we are looking for with our Wine of the Month program, that’s perfect.—Samantha Dugan