I've been drinking the wines of Domaine d'Aupilihac since the 1991 vintage first showed up in the USA and that was the bottle that made me a fan of the Languedoc. Sure, prior to that there were a few, but it was the 91 Aupilhac Montpeyroux that converted me and set me on a quest that now 21 vintages later in bottle, has made me more than just a fan. This year Sylvain Fadat celebrates his 25th year as a winemaker, and he'll be at ViniSud in February in Lattes, just outside Montpellier. Given how well the 1998's are tasting, I can't wait to try other library wines this year here from my cellar, as well as his.
Last night I popped two of Sylvain' Fadat's signature wines, a 1998 Carignan from his vineyard on Mont Baudile that was was fabulous, and which has lost its initial oddness as Sylvain Fadat said it would. Boy was he right. Old Carignan vines. Old bottle. It was a stunning example of the Languedoc with brambly fruit and rich, deep tastes of black raspberries, blueberries, wild cherries and dried plums. This wine is clear proof that Sylvain is really the master of Carignan.
The 1998 Aupilhac Montpeyroux was stunning. The Montpeyroux is the wine of the region. To me it defines Languedoc with the garrigue herb aromas, the stony fruit, the lush cherries and berries and the stunning backbone that delivers a lingering finish. The blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault, is just perfect. To me, no wine from Montpeyroux rivals Sylvain wine of the town as he makes it to be in the traditional way, and for the locals, not a wine for the world. But, to his credit, it really is.