2001 L’esprit du Silene

27 Dec

This is a wine that is very near and dear to my heart.  This is one of the first bottles of wine that I drank and actually paid attention to.

Alex and I split the cost of the bottle, which in retrospect seems ridiculous as it retails for $10.99.  No matter: at that time we were of the impression that $5 was too much for a bottle, much less $11!

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This wine is from Domaine du Silène des Peyrals in the Languedoc region of France, specifically the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation.  The Languedoc might be new to people (especially relative to its more famous cousins, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne) but it accounts for more than a third of France’s total wine production. 

The terroir consists of Mediterranean scrubland (garrigue).  The soil is gravelly and full of sandstone.  There’s full, bright sun and fresh breezes from nearby Thau Lake.

This is a beautiful, seductive wine.  There are loads of flavor, predominantly those of earth.  There’s leather, pepper, tobacco.  There’s plum on the nose–the nose will blow you away.

The most unique thing about this wine is the mouthfeel, the texture.  It helps if you have ever had a persimmon and had that slight cottony, rough feeling in your mouth: drinking this wine leaves you with that same sensation.  It’s full, with mid- to high levels of tannin.

Alex came up with the description that this wine is like a “thornbush”: rough, wild, with deep persistent roots and brambles spreading everywhere.  It’s an amazing, amazing wine.

So much so, in fact, that the last few times I went to Vino! they were all out.  Not just at the store, mind you: every single bottle of this wine from the 2001 vintage was sold out.

Wait for the next vintage to pop up, and buy a few bottles.  At the price, you can’t afford not to.

COMPOSITION: Syrah, grenache, cinsault.

FOOD SUGGESTIONS: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a food with this.  It’s good for an autumn night, with good conversation.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: This is kind of a funky wine.  It’s not very fruit forward, which made me a bit hesitant to serve it to my friends.  However, they, too, loved it.  It’s sort of like the wine equivalent of, say… Elliot Smith: dark, beautiful, but also accessible.  It’s not a Coldplay wine, nor is it a Björk wine!

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7 Responses to “2001 L’esprit du Silene”

  1. Kris December 27, 2007 at 9:30 pm #

    A request for you, if you don’t mind – would you be so kind as to edumacate your readers on the differences between types of champagne? For instance, brut, extra-dry, demi-sec, brut rose, brut de blanc, etc. New Years is coming up, and this is an important issue!

  2. vinicultured December 27, 2007 at 10:26 pm #

    Kris, I’m not too experienced with champagnes or sparkling wines but I will devote an entry to the matter–give me till lunch tomorrow!

  3. jeroen September 2, 2008 at 2:45 am #

    Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!;

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What Kind of Wine Would YOU Be? « Vinicultured: A Wine Blog - March 4, 2008

    […] S. P. | A wine from the Languedoc–possibly l’Esprit du Silene: beautiful, seductive, loads of flavor. This is not a simple wine; nor was it a simple woman. One […]

  2. Finally: A Worthy Successor (or, Look Out for Specials from Trader Joe’s) « Vinicultured: A Wine Blog - November 5, 2008

    […] about wine was an evening we shared–with a few of our RA friends–over a bottle of L’esprit du Silene.  He pointed out that the Silene was like “a thornbush,” which made perfect […]

  3. Keeping Your Babies Safe: A Note on “Cellaring” Wine « Vinicultured: A Wine Blog - September 8, 2009

    […] bad experiences with wine that was improperly stored.  For instance, my last sentimental bottle of L’Esprit du Silene gave up its spirit after being stored (by my parents) on top of the refrigerator.  More recently, […]

  4. Keeping Your Babies Safe: A Note on “Cellaring” Wine « Vinicultured: A Wine Blog - September 8, 2009

    […] experiences with wine that was improperly stored.  For instance, my last sentimental bottle of L’Esprit du Silene gave up its spirit after being stored (by my parents) on top of the refrigerator.  More recently, […]

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