Appellation Fitou Protégée, France
40% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah; 13% ABV
$6 on 4 July
The Wikipedia entry on Fitou wine says that any Fitou AOC wine is required to be at least 40% Carignan. This wine is clearly not AOC and has no Carignan, so it seems likely of a lesser designation. Still, I hoped it would be a satisfying wine given how rarely southern French appellations show up at the GO. I found it lighter-bodied, but pretty tasty.
As per my usual, I thought it needed about 1.5 – 2 hours in a decanter to open up, and it kept improving from there. It showed the ripe, tangy, earthy / funky style I adore, pleasantly complex if hardly overpowering: black and red raspberry, purple grape, blackberry, funky black earth, slight roses close to the acid, in the finish some woody / earthy complexity / richness. The GO “Elsewhere” price for this wine is $20, but I cannot believe this wine ever sold for $20. It’s just not that substantial. Online prices I found were $8. It’s still a pretty tasty wine for $6, but it would be a better bargain for $5.
The next day, the second half, stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air, was more soft and rich, slightly redder and more acid, less overtly complex. It was still yummy but, especially toward the end, seemed to be falling apart. Overall, it’s probably better on the first day.
As a word of warning, JoelA wrote about this wine:
Had somewhat high (well, medium-high) hopes for this wine, a GSM (40/30/30) blend from one of the older appellations in the Languedoc (southern France) area.
Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. On opening, a dark purple color, very fruity entry with significant tannin (it’s young, after all). But the wine quickly faded, to the point that the same evening it could easily be drunk with some broiled trout, and the next day was pretty flaccid.
This was a bit different from my experience, so there may be some bottle variation.