Les Hérétiques 2013
Wine: Château d'Oupia
Château d'Oupia's Les Hérétiques has been around for well over a decade. It's one of those curious little bargain reds that has managed to remain a bargain despite its popularity vintage after vintage. I remember seeing it stacked in some of my retail accounts in New York, back when I sold wine wholesale. I've bought it and loved it in Alabama, and recently picked up a bottle here in New Orleans. I still love it. It's a comfort wine, a silky kind of red with a warm attitude and chill vibe. It's smart but not too fancy. And for about $10 a bottle, it's pretty much the perfect little wine. In fact, it actually makes you smarter when you drink it.
André Iché, as I understand it, began making wine in the Minervois region of the Languedoc when he inherited a 13th century castle and surrounding estate. He'd sold everything in bulk to local cooperatives until a Burgundian winemaker tasted his wines, praised them and encouraged Iché to bottle his own production. That was about 15 years ago. André passed away in 2007 and his daughter Marie-Pierre now heads the operation.
Les Hérétiques 2013 is made from 100% carginan grapes from 40 plus year old vines, half of which is fermented in barrels, with the other half fermented in tank under carbonic maceration. The combination produces a dark, richly colored wine with structure, stamina and soft, easy tannins. It's both fruity and dry, earthy and mellow, and interesting but not demanding. It's a good house red and, since we're coming up on the holiday, not a bad Thanksgiving budget wine either.