Château d’ Oupia Minervois wine

Chateau d' Oupia Minervois wine 1

We picked up this wine at Wine 101 Hamden and the co-owner Chris told us, you guys have to try this one, “It’s pretty strange!” Always on the hunt for the next wine to challenge us, we gladly accepted! Not really having a cheese in mind to pair it with, we brought it along for another wine picnic and paired it with sushi. Well, pairing it isn’t quite exact, we brought it along as our tasty beverage that we would deeply analyze, and then eat sushi. 😃

Chateau d' Oupia Minervois wine 4

Our wine picnic this time took place at a ballet performance at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA. They have an outdoor dance performance 4 times per week that they call Inside Out and it’s a sampling of their current dance routines for people to come see for free. I mentioned the rain and weather in our last entry but it definitely plays a part in this one as well. Since the performance is outdoors, we had been anxiously watching the weather for a week or two to find the night we’d venture out to Jacob’s Pillow. Running out of time before we left MA, we chose our final night with my mom to head there.

Chateau d' Oupia Minervois wine 2

With our wine in hand, and the sushi we had just picked up, we found a seat on the natural benches. I opened the wine with my trusty new Avina wine opener, http://avinawinetools.com, and we got our sushi all divided and set up to share. The performance was so cool and beautiful with the dancers entering from either side of the stage and crossing each other. Wouldn’t you know it, that darn rain started only 5 minutes in! Luckily we were under a tree so we could happily sit in the woods with our sushi and wine and kind of ignore the rain. Now that the scene is set, onto the wine tasting.

As I swirled the wine in my paper cup (sorry to insult it that way), I picked up quite a few aromas. There was graphite, tart aromas but maybe also sweet aromas and then some strawberries. Neil said he could smell fruit but he wasn’t quite sure which one? Then he identified plum aromas. He liked it and must have been focusing so deeply on his wine that he dropped his chopstick in the dirt. Once I tasted the wine, there was more graphite, a dryness, some spice and maybe some orange citrus. Neil figured out that the wine reminded him of mulling spices. The rain only lasted a few minutes but unfortunately the show was cancelled. We decided to sit and enjoy the peaceful setting with our wine and sushi. I thought the food was making the wine lighter. As I sat and pondered the wine, I determined that it seemed like a Beaujolais. My mom didn’t have any of the wine that night but she did take a sniff and thought it might have smelled like pomegranate.

Chateau d' Oupia Minervois wine 3

We put the cork in our wine and headed back to the house after a bit. Once I tried it a second time that night, it tasted like leather. Wow, this is a strange wine!

We didn’t finish it that night and decided to try it again a few days later. Neil paired it with pecorino cheese. He found the wine to bring out the grassy, funky, intricacies of the cheese. I ate a meat lover’s pizza with it that night. The wine smelled grapey with prunes and licorice. There was some funk in the flavor. The graphite and leather were gone. I’d definitely say this wine went through some changes. Thanks to Chris for recommending it. We would recommend it too and I think anything is possible for tasting notes, depending on what you eat with it!

The wine label didn’t really tell me much about this French wine so I decided to do a little research. The wine appellation, Minervois is located in the Languedoc wine region of France. The grapes and ratios used in this wine are 60% Carignan, 30% Syrah, and 10% Grenache. We’ve only tried a few wines from Langeuedoc so I didn’t really know which grapes were even grown there. The review that I found does identify quite a few of the tasting notes we picked out, so way to go us! Guess this is a region we should keep our eye on and from what I remember, it’s still really affordable too.

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