This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the January #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links
As I was writing this post, I came across a note that Languedoc-Roussillon is a former region of France and that, since January 2016, it is part of the new region Occitanie. Well, color me confused because I still see it referred to as 'Languedoc', so, I'm going with 'Languedoc' and hoping to learn more about this name change through the other writers taking part.
In any case, Jill of L'Occasion is hosting this month's French Winophiles event. Read her invitation here. We are heading, virtually, back to Languedoc for a deeper dive into their wines. Jill also arranged for participating bloggers to receive wine samples for pairing. The Benson Marketing Group sent a curated shipment of Languedoc reds. I received the 2014 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Le Chateau d'Albas" Minervois and the 2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières.
The appellations of Minervois and Corbières are two of the major players in the region. Though whites and reds both come from there, Minervois and Corbières are most renowned for their red wines. Languedoc reds are typically blends of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignan; however those from Minervois tend to lean more on Syrah while those from Corbières tend to highlight Carignan grapes.
The Winophiles' Languedoc Offerings
The Winophiles' Languedoc Offerings
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm: A Classic Pairing;Revisiting Languedoc
- Lauren from The Swirling Dervish: Warming Up with the Wines of Corbieres and Minervois
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Conquering Cassoulet Alongside the 2014 Minervois le Chateau d’Albas
- Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog: What GrowsTogether, Goes Together – Slow Cooker Cassoulet Paired With Affordable Occitanie Wines
- Michelle from Rockin Red Blog: Spending January in Languedoc Drinking Wine and Eating Cassoulet
- Jeff from FoodWineClick: Let’s Make Occitanie and Cassoulet Household Words
- Nicole from Somm’s Table: Kicking Off 2018 with Corbieres and Minervois
- Jane from Always Ravenous: Hearty Red Wines of Corbières and Minervois Paired with Cassoulet
- Lynn from Savor the Harvest: Corbières and Minervois – Where Syrah and Carignan Shine
- David from Cooking Chat: Chicken Cassoulet Paired with Languedoc Wine
- Rupal from Journeys of a Syrah Queen: Staying Warm the French Way – Cassoulet and Wine
- Liz from What’s in that Bottle: Let’s Learn About Wines from Languedoc #Winophiles
- Amber from Napa Food and Vine: A Tale of TwoWines
- Jill from L’Occasion: Eat, Drink, Travel the South of France: Minervois and Corbières
Baby Steps + Les Terrassettes Corbières
Before I jumped all in to make a cassoulet with a whole duck, I tried a version that used duck legs and pre-cooked beans. That evening I paired my test-run cassoulet with the 2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières.
The wine was deep, dark, and expressive with heavy fruit notes. I read that vigneron Sophie Guiraudon's vineyards are in one of the higher altitude areas of Corbières in a silty clay soil. From what I can tell, she's s one-woman show, farming, performing all of the organic treatments to the vines, hand-harvesting, and making the wines all by herself. "Les Terrassettes" is a blend of 65% Carignan, 25% Syrah, 6% Grenache, and 4% Mourvèdre.
All In with the 2014 Minervois le Chateau d’Albas
After dipping my toe in the cassoulet pool, I decided to go all in. For that dinner, I opened up the 2014 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Le Chateau d'Albas" Minervois. This wine was simultaneously restrained and robust. Leather, flowers, and red fruit mingle with fragrant notes of garrigue to create an explosion on the tongue that fades to an elegant mouthfeel.
You can read the recipe I made: here. As I mentioned, I dove headfirst into making an authentic cassoulet that starts with a whole duck. I still can't believe how time-consuming it was to soak the beans, break down the duck, confit the legs and breast, make a homemade duck stock, braise the lamb, and on and on.
I was so intimidated by all the steps. Really.
But, it was so worth the effort!
This was a pot of pure, hearty deliciousness!
*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.