Friday, April 16, 2010

2009 Marc Roman Terret Vin de Pays d’Oc Languedoc France

2009 Marc Roman Terret Vin de Pays d’Oc Languedoc France

“Marc Roman wines are grown in the sun-drenched vineyards of the South of France and carefully selected and blended to our specifications by our own winemaker. Both wines, each delicious, a rich, smooth “Malbec” (red) and a refreshing, fruity dry “Terret” (white), will make any meal more enjoyable. We hope you will try and love both!” Frederick Wildman & son

This is pretty much the only quote I found about this wine on the Internet (and on the back label). Even on the importer website, I couldn’t find a thing about this little wine. It must be one this made-up brand, also called private label, from a small producer who devoted his entire production to these wines, or more logically from a “cave cooperative”, which produces it especially for the importer.

After all, it wouldn’t be surprising: colorful label, easy to remember big letters name, and very attractive price. The perfect combination for an uncomplicated, approachable and easy to drink white, but somewhat commercial yet interesting enough to buy more than one bottle.

What really intrigued me in these wines, it is not where they were from or even their price (which is the same for both), it was more the grapes varieties that they have been produced with: Terret (for the white) and Malbec (for the Red).

It is a little strange to find Malbec in the Languedoc, when traditionally talking, the grape has always thrived in regions like Cahors and Bordeaux and a few other parts of the Southwest of France (and Argentina of course, where it is king). But, why not? The resulting wine is quite nice and rounded, fruit forward and easy going.

The bottle specifies “mis en bouteille par CJA a F 11160”, which literally means “bottled by CJA in France 11160”. It tells you that the wine was made in the Languedoc, indicated by the number being the zip code, and more precisely in the Minervois area. In fact it is only when I looked on the box containing the wine that I realized that “CJA” stands for “Cellier Jean d’Alibert”, a cooperative with state-of the-art technology, located in Rieux-Minervois, which is associated with “Chantovent S.A.” (a cooperative regrouping various estates in Minervois).

Now that we know roughly where they were made, what about the white wine made with "Terret"? Terret? Did you ever try a wine made with 100% Terret? Did you even heard the name before? Me neither, I don’t think, until a few weeks ago when this wine found a spot on our shelves.

Terret is not a very common grape variety, which is usually blended. It exists in 3 colors:
  • Terret Noir is a dark-skinned grape grown primarily in the Rhône valley region of France. It is a permitted blending grape for Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Related to “Terret Gris” and “Terret Blanc”, the Terret Noir is a late budding grape that grows vigorously. In general, it produces light color wine that is perfumed and tart.
  • Terret Gris is a white grape planted primarily in the Languedoc, where AOC regulations allow the grape to be used in white wines from the Corbières AOC, Coteaux du Languedoc AOC and Minervois AOCs. The vine has a very long history in the region and is capable of producing medium to full-bodied wines with crisp acidity.
  • Terret Blanc is a white mutation, which derivates from the Terret Noir grape and is less commonly found. The clusters are medium to large and oblong berries are medium size. The cluster is truncated, compact and winged. The vine is moderately vigorous but productive. He gives according to soil type and wines 50 hl / ha in the hills close to 100 to 150 hl / ha in the best land usually in plains. Terret is generally conducted in “gobelet”, mnncncchnush of short size. It is insensitive to “excoriose” and “botrytis”, powdery mildew, but he fears mildew and to the cluster. It produces interesting light wine with a certain fruit weight, good acidity and versatile profile.
The weirdest part of this wine is that it is a 100% Terret white bottled on its own. Fairly rare in my opinion. The wine was vinified and rested before bottling in 100% stainless steel tanks, no oak whatsoever, just the clean, natural taste of the grape.

2009 Marc Roman Terret Vin de Pays d’Oc Languedoc France
Suggested retail price $7-$10
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons in NYC

Nice and simple, this wine is fresh and juicy, fairly dry with smooth and rounded fruit flavors and attractive floral aromas. It is pretty well balance between fruit and acidity. Very approachable and inoffensive, it is the perfect wine to pick for a party with friends and family. Serve as an aperitif with appetizers to open your taste buds and set the mood for a enjoyable moment.


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1 comment:

  1. Just discovered the Terret and agree totally with your comments. Couldn't believe that a white wine at this price point was so pleasant. Am going back for more.