This is one of the reasons I like my job so much. I get first shot at some incredible wine buys…wines that no one knows about, that are insanely good price/quality values. Today it is the 2011 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes, from Southern France’s Languedoc region. Made up of Syrah and Grenache, these are perhaps 2 of the most successful grape varieties in this part of France. Syrah offers the intensely dark color, black-pepper spice, and a note of game, while the Grenache gives this wine the earth and hints of garrigue amongst the ripe dark berry flavors. (Note: garrigue is the smell of the dried herbs and grasses found in Southern France on a hot windy day.) This is a full-throttle, mouth-filling, intensely flavored red blend that is delicious now (given some breathing), and will age beautifully for the next 5 years.
2011 was a more challenging vintage in Southern France vs. 2010, but there are certain pockets of amazing winemaking talent. It’s fun to find those.
Food-wise, this wine can stand up to most anything you have your heart set on. Of course, anything too delicate will be clobbered by this bad-boy. As the style of this wine is full, rich and intensely flavored, your food should be the same. Grilled red meats would be a home-run. Sausages, lamb or beef stews would also work. Now, here’s something different that sounds against the rules. How about a beautiful slab of fresh swordfish,marinated in olive oil, salt, and pepper. After a couple hours, slam it down on a VERY HOT grill. Once done, let it rest for 5 minutes. The sundried tomato pesto, that you made in advance, is dalloped on top of the swordfish, and there you have it.
This wine is regularly priced at $24.99, but can be found in the mid-high teens. I haven’t seen it at the $10-$12 price that Robert Parker notes below.Act quickly, as it is a wine that will disappear quickly from retail shelves.
If, like me, you are a fan of wine critic Robert Parker and his Wine Advocate publication, here is his 93 point review on this wine.
There are 3,000 cases of the naked, virginal, unoaked 2011 Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes made from 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache aged in concrete. The difficult economic situation in the Languedoc-Roussillon corridor is being exploited to the maximum by importer Eric Solomon. The fact that wines such as this can be purchased is unbelievable. Largely an artisanal wine, it is brilliantly pure with a stunning nose of spring flowers, blackberries, cassis and earth. It is almost incomprehensible that something of this quality, complexity and richness can be purchased for $25 to $50, much less $10 to $12. The 3,000 cases should be gobbled up as quickly as they hit retailers’ shelves. I am honored to share my excitement about this amazing wine with readers.
The Wine Advocate #201, June 2012