I had a quick lunch at Cyrus in Healdsburg the other day, en route to an event, and the staff there was kind enough to whip together a sampler of what, in retrospect, was a rather amazing array of entrées: sweet corn and black truffle risotto with taleggio; hoisin-glazed short ribs with tatsoi (a thick salad green similar to bok choy or mustard greens) and ginger bone-marrow flan; seared hamachi with battera konbu (pickled kelp), radish and candied kumquats.
That’s a rather complicated assortment of ingredients, and it’s hard to imagine what a sommelier might suggest, so I let owner Nick Peyton make the selection. He poured a 2005 Domaine De La Grange Des Pères Vin de Pays de l'Hérault, an unusual blend of Cabernet, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Vin de Pays de l'Hérault wines come from the eastern end of France’s Languedoc region; the Vin de Pays designation allows for the inclusion of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is not permitted in wines labeled with the Languedoc-Roussillon appellation. These kinds of blends don't always make for easy drinking, but what worked with the entrées was the gamy, tarry berry earthiness that came, I think, from the Mourvèdre. The wine was tasty, but took a back seat to the cuisine. I rated it 88 points, non-blind. The Domaine De La Grange Des Pères was priced at $140 on the Cyrus wine list; it sells for around $80 at retail.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated reds from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region.