Before I discovered Domaine d'Aupilhac and forged a life changing friendship with Sylvain Fadat I was first aware of the winery village of Montpeyroux due to the wines of Domaine L'Aigueliere and the winery sits just at the entry to the town. It was the epic 1991s and 1992 Syrah based wines under the names of La Cote Doree and La Cote Rousse that were legendary and some of the first wines from the Coteaux du Languedoc to find their way to California. It was those wines and the wines from Mas de Daumas Gassac that opened my mind to the region that has given me so much enjoyment of so many years.
Last night I pulled two older Languedoc reds from Domaine L'Aigueliere. To drink wines from 1998, right out of my cellar is part of the charm of having a neighborhood local. First was the 1998 Grenat, a 100 percent Grenache red that is a stunning rival to just about anything you would find from the Rhone Valley. Even though it was 16 years old, the wine was totally fresh, youthful and delightful. Next was "The Tradition", the wine blend of Montpeyroux and it's hillside grapes. The Tradition is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault which offers an amazing level of complexity, depth and terroir, showing absolutely no real aging other than the tannins being fully integrated. The Carignan and Mourvedre are very much alive and evident, while the Cinsault provides a nice counterpoint. Lots of berries and cherries and almost no oak.
A visit to my cellar always yields gems, and the gems of Montpeyroux are always like coming home.