I picked up this bottle at a "Solde du directeur" sale virtually sight unseen. Château Cabrières Coteaux du Languedoc (rouge) 2001 possessed three fairly ordinary qualities that when put together create a truly winning combination:
- Coteaux du Languedoc provenance
- red blend from the 2001 vintage (great for Midi, especially the Languedoc)
- 25% off the regular retail price
Unless the bottle turned out to be corked, you would have to be a fairly perverse individual not to love the wine that features each of the above attributes.
I rushed out to buy replacement bottles of this wine. The sale had ended but I didn't care. Because even at $21 (I had discovered it for only $15) this stuff totally turns my crank. In the best words I can muster, here's how that works:
This wine is nearly the end of its design life, but so much the better. There's an orange rim around a very dark purple robe. Deep notes of leather and animal make me want to inhale the aroma of this wine continously. There's even a hint of bacon. Awesome!
Echoes of spice and garrigue pervade. But after greater analysis, I get rust and raisin and chocolate. Château Cabrières Rouge has a generous body on it and after five years, I suspect it is at its most limber. There is integrated and well-proportioned acid and a beautifully soft tannic presence.
I guess if nothing else I would have to call this wine complex. I end up tasting and pondering the stuff all through dinner, which by the way, was a lamb chop -- the magical 4th item to the list above if ever there was one. But back to the wine's complexity: It's got pomegranate and molasses and burnt sugar. And did I mention fruit? Perfectly savoury and delicious fruit -- what you'd expect from any Midi red -- is well represented in this shimmering and multifaceted gem of a wine.
Château Cabrières doesn't need food but if you are at the dinner table I would definitely recommend that you give it the little lamb that it deserves. With some quick grilling, your meat will complement the wine magnificently.
Cave de Cabrières, Cabrières, France. 14%.