Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot, L’O de la Vie, 2018 - Members Only
Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot
L’O de la Vie
Producer: Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot
Region: Minervois, France
Minervois, sitting just south of the Rhone Valley, is quickly becoming a region where you can find French wines that have a slightly more ‘New World’ feel. Historically, wines from this region have been associated with quantity rather than quality but this has since changed and Minervois is beginning to find its way forward. The rocky soils, hilly terrain, and warm, dry climate are favourable to viticulture with the main grapes found here being Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.
Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a dark-skinned grape variety that is traditionally found throughout the Rhone Valley in France. However, it can also be found in the Minervois region which has been increasingly recognized as a source for fine red wines. The high temperatures and slopes of Minervois result in richly flavoured, deep-red wines with recognizable notes of dark fruits and spice.
The partnership of Burgundian winemakers Anne Gros and Jean- Paul Tollot sets a new standard for quality and character in the Minervois region. The two of them each came from their own respected estates but when the pair decided to make wine together, they settled on the high-altitude hills of Minervois. The 35 acre vineyard was established in 2006 and together they produce potent, crazy good reds made from Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, and sometimes Cinsault.
Starting out at Cellar Temperature (roughly 55* F) and let it slowly come up to room temperature. The wine will start climbing out of the glass to greet you with even more power as it warms up. If you have a decanter, decant this one aggressively.
Notes of Brambleberry, hearty herbs and an almost meaty leather abound in this stellar example of Syrah and Grenache.
The mouth explodes with berries and herbs. Big Tannins round out the full flavour with a soft and light acidity.
Restaurant: In the restaurants I’d be looking for a full bore hearty dish. Vennie’s Aftermath Smoked Beef Sandwich would be a great pairing.
Home: Think steak, basted with garlic, thyme and butter, alongside some roasted potatoes tossed in olive oil and herbs.
Other Rhone Valley styled wines, think Chateau-neuf-du-Pape and other GSM dominant wines, and of course the New World Syrahs and Syrah Blends.
Big, brash and brooding, a fun take on a classic Rhone Blend, but from a lesser known region. Always a great target for me. Give me all of the things others haven’t heard of.