Clos Marie, Pic Saint-Loup "L'Olivette", 2004

Clos Marie, Pic Saint-Loup "L'Olivette", 2004

Is this the time when we should start the pre-Christmas season of wine with big hefty reds? No, no, no me brotha. This Wine Rambler abides by his statement of principle: Freshness, freshness, freshness. It's a well-documented fact by now that I am no great fan of the South of France, at least not any more. I've developed a kind of allergy to the overripe cherry and generic dried herbs-approach on offer from there. But there is a style, pioneered mostly, with some hits and misses, by the Gauby family, that I think of as Mediterranean avant-garde: Sprightly, slender-bodied, drinkable reds with a lighter, more focused spectrum of fruit.

Another winery that has moved in this direction is Christophe Peyrus' Clos Marie.

The 2004 L'Olivette, his entrance-level cuvée, she of the stylish label, showed a promising cherry red colour, and the nose didn't disappoint me in any way either: Ripe, just ripe, not overripe cherries and plums, Languedoc spiciness, but in a purist way. On the palate, spice, smoothness, finely sand-papered tannin. With lamb-and-spinach meatballs and salad, this classy and approachable red brought on a whole different kind of festive cheer.


Submitted by torsten Sunday, 04/12/2011

I am still down with a very effective cold, so right now neither wine nor lamb meatballs really appeal, but when I am over this I am certain re-reading the review will give me a craving for both. Care to share the meatball recipe? Keywords are fine!

Submitted by Sabine Wednesday, 07/12/2011

In reply to by torsten

Here you go: Mix toast (soaked in some milk & squeezed), onions (chopped and fried) & garlic, minced lamb, spinach (fresh leaves, boiled & squeezed carefully; from the freezer works well, too: defrost, squeeze dry and chop finely) and egg (one egg is for approx. 300g lamb & spinach), season with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Fry slowly in a pan.
Serve warm or cold!

Submitted by torsten Wednesday, 07/12/2011

In reply to by Sabine

Many thanks for sharing that, sounds tempting - I will try it some day. Btw, for our British readers: we Germans believe that there is bread. And that there is what you guys call "sliced bread" - bread that is not really bread but only fit for toasting. Hence we call it toast (bread), even when we don't toast it. I'd assume that the recipe calls for soft wide bread, not toasted bread. Even after over five years in the UK I won't give up the idea that sliced bread just is not proper bread. Full stop. Rant over. Roger.

Submitted by Sabine Wednesday, 07/12/2011

In reply to by torsten idea, Torsten! :)