Château d'Oupia - Minervois - Languedoc 2019
This blend of Carignan (50%), Syrah (40%) and Grenache comes from the hilly region of Minervois in northwestern Languedoc. As the region has modernized over the last forty years, it has become a consistent source of great value blends.
The d'Oupia is a bit unusual in that it has such a high percentage of Carignan in the blend. Carignan, like Grenache, originally comes from Spain, but is right at home on this side of the Pyrenees. The knock on Carignan is that it is a rather vigorous vine, resulting in wines that are thin and excessively herbal. The Carignan in this blend comes from vines that are nearly 100 years old. As a vine ages its growth is restrained, so these vines produce very concentrated, complex wine.
I found that the palate struck an ideal balance between ripe fruit character and savory herbal tones. Robust enough to match with steak, yet smooth enough to enjoy on its own. The structure suggests an ability to age for a few years that is rare at such a low price.