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02.05.2005

2002 Chateau de Lascaux, Coteaux Du Languedoc, France

OK. So I bought another wine because of the label. And because I'm into Languedoc wines these days. And because it was imported by Kermit Lynch. But really? I bought it because of the name and the label. You see, I have a thing for Lascaux, the gorgeous cave site that hosts a massive mural of 18,000 year lascaux.jpg old prehistoric art beautifully preserved into modern times. I've never been there, but some of the figures from the wall, including the small horse which adorns the label of this wine are indelibly etched in my mind.

Some day I will make it to the southwestern part of France where Lascaux and countless other caverns of limestone contain treasures from the earliest times. Until then, though, I am content to close my eyes and experience the terroir of the place through wines like this one, produced by Chateau Lascaux which sits (a good deal to the south of its namesake) in the herb studded scrub forests between Montpellier and Nimes in the South of France at the base of the Cevennes mountains.

Chateau Lascaux was founded by Jean-Benoit Cavalier in 1984. Cavalier has planted small vineyard plots in the gravelly soil separated here and there by swaths of bay trees and herb gardens, which he feels add complexity of flavors and scents to his wines. Sheltered by the mountains from most of the cold from the north, but at an elevation where nights and occasionally breezes are cool, Cavalier found what he considers to be an ideal Mediterranean climate.

Chateau Lascaux grows primarily Grenache Noir and Syrah (both of which figure heavily in this wine) along with smaller amounts of Roussanne, Viogner, Rolle, and Marsanne. Most of the wines are made in a traditional style, fermented at relatively cooler temperatures, and for reds like this one, aged in new French oak barrels for time periods up to 12 months before bottling. The Lascaux property bridges two primary appellations Pic Saint-Loup and Coteaux du Languedoc.

This wine is 70% Syrah, 30% Grenache Noir.

Tasting Notes:
Dark ruby colored in the glass this wine has a bouquet of primarily dark aromas of sweet wet earth, mushrooms, and leather. In the mouth it hangs in a nice balance between the dark flavors of cassis fruit and figs and the more tannin wrapped flavors of black tea, and earthy minerality.

Food Pairing:
I always like to pair wines that have a strong earthy element to them against dishes that are slightly sweet or fruity, as I like the contrast and how they play off of each other. I'd be tempted to try this wine with grilled Korean style short ribs.

Overall Score: 8.5

How Much?: $12

You can find an online retailer for this wine here.

Comments (8)

enoch choi wrote:
02.05.05 at 11:03 PM

vin vino in PA did a pic st loup tasting on tuesday, and it was delish. i have a case of 2000 ch la roque 2000 cupa numismae that i was inspired to open afterwards, since the 2000s tasted so good in the shop.

really developed well, and has a few years to go. none of the initial funk and over pronounced earthiness that i tasted on release. now it's all cherrys and bright red fruit.

Alder wrote:
02.06.05 at 7:37 AM

I love Pic Saint-Loup wines, too!

ernie wrote:
02.06.05 at 10:04 AM

Try laying some of this down for a few years. I had forgotten a bottle of '92 in the cellar and opened it in 2000, and it developed a remarkable perfumed delicacy, violets and chapparal herb, along with the tea and cassis.

Noah wrote:
02.07.05 at 7:58 AM

I can attest to some of these having nice short term aging potential. I still have a couple 98 and 99's and both are drinking very well. I also had a 1999 Domaine Saint Martin De La Garrigue last week out of magnum and it was delicious...

Regarding Lascaux the cave, I THINK it is pretty hard to get into. The French equivlant of the Parks and Wildlife service has some kind of a waiting list where only a few hundred people get in every year to help preserve the art. They may have a replica cave set up somewhere nearby...This is what one of my French colleagues told me when I lived in Paris. anyone for sure?

caveman wrote:
02.07.05 at 10:58 AM

For me the reference is The Mas Jullien from Olivier Jullien... perhaps a touch more elegant than the Lascaux and ages superbly, much like Bordeaux. I find that many Languedoc wines tend to get a bit chewey with age, but I'm always on the lookout for good Languedoc keepers.
Bill

Stellah wrote:
02.07.05 at 3:03 PM

Regarding Lascaux.

I traveled through Perigueux and visited the caves a couple of years ago. I remember thinking then that they were the most sacred of cathedrals.

The French government commissioned a complete fascmine in the 70's which is what the general public has access to, in order to visit the original one must make a written request a year in advance. Hope this helps :)

enoch choi wrote:
03.03.05 at 10:15 AM

alder, did you see this?
http://www.wineterroirs.com/2005/02/clos_marie_pic_.html
i've never had clos marie. you?

Alder wrote:
03.03.05 at 11:15 AM

Yeah, I read everything that Bertrand puts up. My way of vicariously living in france. I've had others from Pic but not them. We need to get Bertrand to start surreptitiously importing for us.... ;-)

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