| Parenting Children and Vines
We have been touting the work of tour-de-force Nimes winemaker Diane Puymorin lately, and now we want to raise the flag for our other force-to-be-reckoned-with woman winemaker in Nimes (not to mention fellow champion of our beloved Mourvedre), Nathalie Blanc-Mares. You may already know her bold Grenache/Syrah and Cabernet/Syrah cuvees. However, her 50/50 blend of Mourvedre and Syrah named Les Enfants Terribles always stands out for its deep, meaty richness (if any two varieties resemble blood in a bottle, they are Mourvedre and Syrah, and what a treat to get these two alone together … why am I suddenly hungry for the thick-cut lamb chops in my fridge?!)
So, what’s with the name? The story goes that Nathalie, her husband Cyril (who coincidentally heads up neighboring estate Mas des Bressades) and importer Bobby Kacher were shooting the bull one day about their rambunctious kids whilst tasting some tanks and barrels to make final blending decisions. The conversation also raised the topic of the many and various difficulties of growing these wild grape varieties (therein lies the pun). Taken by a particular lot of Mourvedre that seemed like it would harmonize perfectly with a crack batch of Syrah, they couldn’t resist creating a new cuvee. So, we must credit Blanche, Eugene, Olympe, Achille and Alexander for their antics that inspired their parents to fashion this beauty.
Dark and brooding in character, with lots of underlying energy, this showcases the pure blue fruit aromas that seem to be part and parcel of both good quality Mourvedre (Boysenberry, black raspberry) and Syrah (freshly plucked blueberries, currants) in counterpoint with smoked meat, beef blood and wild herbs, tamed by a hint of oak-infused cocoa and vanilla. (If this wine at all resembles Nathalie, Cyril and Bobby’s children, they are an intense, serious, impactful lot!)
I haven’t said anything about price yet. The vagaries of growing top-quality Syrah and Mourvedre are costly and labor intensive and most often drive up the cost of the wine. But I’m not playing my cards close to my vest, hesitating to drop the bomb about some boutique-priced Languedoc wine. In fact, not only is it a privilege to experience Mourvedre and Syrah in equal parts together, I am happy to announce that this wine only costs you $13.99 per bottle or $11.89 with case discount. Hats off to Nathalie, not to mention her human and vinous Enfants Terribles!– Patrick Mitten