04 Chateau Saint Martin de la Garrigue, Coteaux du Languedoc "Bronzinelle"
A slap in the face to anyone who lauds the term "value" over "quality" or "passion," this lowland garrigue-styled wine wins not for its incredible price point, but because it--like nearly all Kermit Lynch selections--is as true an expression of southern France as one could possibly find. Yes, there are wines that taste better, but not ones that taste more. For a region riddled with oft-overrippened and oft-underripened fruit, this shows firsthand why Languedoc needs more attention and needs it today. Whatever the blend--probably some artful melange of grenache, mourvedre, maybe carignan, maybe syrah--it speaks more to the culture and air of the region than to any particular grape. The inviting aromas of lavendar and rosemary are a country grandmother's dinner calling me to the table. Pass the bread and beurre. And, just when I'm expecting lamb, I pick up on the sweetest, most decadent taste of black olive, savory olive oil, plum, raspberry, old black pepper, grape Jolly Ranchers, dusty cherry cola, and--don't pinch me if I'm dreaming--a little bit of spit-roasted pork crackling drizzled in maple, coated with young, dry, port-like tannins. This is the median I spend my days drinking to find. The wine that sums up both magnitude and modesty in every sip. The wine that says, yeah, you know great wine--but isn't it great to know me, too?