Railsback suggestion of Sitka and Spruce was inspired genius, as I have been there before, love the place and given its proximity to Terra Platta aka My Pamplemousse Grille in Seattle, It was a very good choice.
The 1998 Leon Barral Valiniere Faugeres I opened at Sitka and Spruce sure did the trick. Given its age and its large Mourvèdre component one would have though the wine when initially opened was flawed. But years of drinking Mourvèdre in France and countless visits to Bandol, the Rhone and of course the Languedoc has taught me one thing. Never judge a Mourvèdre based wine by its first whiff. This wine started off with the wet nose, barnyard and dirty sweat socks aroma that one gets when you have an older Mourvèdre. And given how Barral grows bio-dynamic and organic plus he tends to pick, crush and barrel with almost no intervention, what the vineyard gives, the bootle gets.
Fast forward about an hour later and no one could get enough of this sumptuous and meaty red. Black raspberry, blueberry from the Syrah, wild mushrooms, black plums, Languedoc Garrigue herbs with hints of black and white pepper.
At 16 this wine is one more reason why Kermit Lynch remains the best at finding rustic and old school producers and bringing in wines that stand the test of time. After enjoying this wine, I'm even more proud to be the Chevalier from Faugeres, the first ever from California and maybe the only and original Wine Knight.
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