Winery: Le Clos du Gravillas
Cuvée: Lo Vièlh Carignan
Appellation: Côtes du Brian IGP
Grape Varieties: 100% Old Vine Carignan
Certification: Organic, Ecocert
Average Retail Price: $28
No, Dorothy, we aren’t in Kansas… or Provence, for that matter. But I did this intentionally. I planned to share a cassoulet on New Year’s Eve with Susan and Towny, and wanted the wine to pair perfectly.
Since I got the basic recipe for the cassoulet from John and Nicole Bojanowski, owners of Le Clos du Gravillas, it made perfect sense that we should use one of their wines and, in fact, the one they recommended. It’s always good to listen to those who know, n’est-ce pas? To see the recipe, head over to Cocoa & Lavender. (And don’t be intimidated to make this!)
We opened the wine early to decant it – about two hours before serving. Naturally, we tasted it immediately and agreed that some time commingling with our fresh Arizona air would be advantageous.
John and Nicole, our hats are off to you! This is a fantastic earthy wine, and you deserve to be proud.
A classic Carignan wine, it medium bodied, has good structure, and is well balanced, with a gorgeous velvety mouthfeel. It is smooth and rich, and forceful enough to pair perfectly with the unctuous meal beside it – a cassoulet filled with pork sausages, pork belly, duck confit, beans and, of course, extra duck fat just to temper everything.
On the palate, we detected notes of dark fruits – blackberries and mulberries – along with brighter red fruits – raspberries and red currants. The finish is long and pleasant.
This is definitely a food wine, and a savory one. We all really loved Lo Vièlh (local dialect referring to the old vines) and, aside from pairing perfectly with the cassoulet, we felt it would pair well with other stews and roasted meats or fowl.
The wine is available in the U.S., but it may take some doing to find it. It is worth the effort!