Spring is so close that wishful thinkers are already lightening up their layers and carrying around sunglasses in the most hopeful manner. While we make a conscious effort to soak up any thing the sun sends our way in the Emerald Island, in the Languedoc region, south of France, they’re already enjoying an average of six hours of sunshine a day. The figure will almost double, come July.
If that’s not enough fuel to spark your jealousy, let me tell you about how the water in its beautiful beaches is warm enough to swim from May to September. The generous spotlight given by mother nature to the area is also one of its strengths when it comes to winemaking: The Languedoc’s hot and dry summers promote ripeness and prevent vines from disease and its cold winter allows them to rest after harvest.
Les Beauchamps Syrah is an example of what this benevolent environment can help achieve. The grape, key variety of the northern Rhone Valley, looses its inhibitions and becomes less restrained at the lower latitude and higher temperatures of the Sud de la France, but… don’t we all?
Intense and bold, this rendition of Syrah combines plenty of ripe sour cherries and blackberry jam with a hint of black pepper. Moderate acidity and tannins give the structure to its lean body and with an ABV of 13.5% it’s on the mild side, at least compared to its sun-loving peers.
On the palate, a dainty herbal note complements the scents, more berry bushes than cooking herbs, and confers the bottle with a rustic edge, signature of the Pays d’Oc and tamed by an overall well balanced presence.
It’s a great food wine, inviting and warm, ideal to pair a rich charcuterie board, with mature cheeses or accompany red meat dishes such as Slow-Roast Short Rib Ragu or an earthy beef and beetroot salad.
Les Beauchamps Syrah is available at O’Briens Wine at €14.95, and currently on offer: Buy 1, get the 2dn at half price.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.