A friend dropped off this red from Languedoc-Roussillon for me recently. What a pleasant surprise! Another friend had mentioned the wine, but I didn't know much about it. Turns out it's 100 percent Grenache, from 80- to 100-year-old vines with yields of about a quarter-ton per acre, according to the importer, David Shiverick. "Except for the random almond tree, nothing else grows in this godforsaken place of beauty but vines," Shiverick said. "And they do struggle."
The Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes appellation is in the southernmost part of France, but owes much to the influence of its bordering neighbor, Spain. The back label indicates that Domaine de la Pertuisane's proprietor is Richard Case.
The wine is rich and fleshy, with vivid blackberry, wild berry, pepper and spice; it's strikingly deep and concentrated, with a long, persistent finish. After an hour it was smoother, with added touches of mineral and graphite. I gave it 93 points, non-blind. About 400 cases were produced, and it retails for $35.