Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autour de l'Anne: Loire to Languedoc and Back

In Buellton, CA, in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, I thought I'd lug with me a bottle of Anne Paillet's 2012 Autour de l'Anne "CSG" Coteaux du Languedoc to Industrial Eats, a new local eatery that's frequented by local winemakers. The place, owned by New York transplants, specializes in salumi, charcuterie and smoked meats, much of them made in-house. I thought, this is just the perfect spot to drink Anne Paillet's wine, notwithstanding how this place is big on promoting local wines.

Anne Paillet is married to Gregory Leclerc of Chahut et Prodiges, a much praised natural wine producer in the Touraine area of the Loire. Yet, Anne rents a small organically and biodynamically farrmed vineyard in Pic St. Loup in the Languedoc. She vinifies the wine in the Languedoc, then moves them to the Loire to age in a her husband's cave cellar.

The result is that the cuvee CSG--consisting of Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache from 40-60 year-old vines--seems to be more Loire than Languedoc. It's a juicy, refreshing, light-bodied red with noticeable tannins, bright acidity, and just 12.5% alcohol. Four of us drained the bottle in no time over plates of charcuterie, salumi, salad, and smoked pheasant. We could have easily finished another bottle, or maybe two. The wine was delicious and refreshing, I hardly touched the water during the meal.

Vineyard Gate offers two of Anne Paillet's current releases. Both brilliant. The other one is all Syrah that has northern Rhone-like intensity, but with just 12% alcohol

Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge "CSG", Autour de l'Anne 2012 $28.00

Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge "Syrah", Authour de l'Anne 2012 $35.00

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