Cotes de Brian is an sub-appellation of the prolific Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France, which abuts the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered by Spain and Provence. The region is named after a rugged river valley near the high Minervois, where the producers of this wine, Francois and Pascal Frissant, own Chateau-Coupe Roses. Champ du Roy ("field of Kings") is the name of a 3.7 acre parcel of Viognier; this blend is composed of the usual southern French suspects: Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier, and a touch of Muscat.
The Company: My dear friend Heather, who has briefly worked with wine, and who makes up for lack of technical experience and certified wine lingo with an astounding ability to verbalize the essence of a wine in somewhat esoteric terms. For example, she once said that a particularly refined Moscato d'Asti was like skinny-dipping, that is, it embodies everything thats great about summer. I love her. I love tasting and drinking wine with her.
The Food: Italian chicken sausage from Greenlife that we crumbled and cooked up with zucchini, garlic, penne, and feta.
Tasting Notes: Immediately mineral. First thing outta Heather's mouth: "Saltine crackers. Like my lunch box." (side note: I've tasted this wine before in a trade show context.) The wine was too cold, off the bat, for the fruit to emerge. But once it did:
An immediate lemon note to accompany the (rightfully dubbed) saltine thing. Mineral. Saline. On the initial palate: Waxy. Very, very waxy, but not in an unpleasant way. As the wine warmed, even more emerged: Boatloads of stone fruit: Peach, nectarine, etc. Slightly floral, but in a gentle white flower kinda way. With a "just acidic enough" mouthfeel, it was beautiful and just slightly exotic.
The evening: Wonderful. It was so nice to be with Heather, after months apart. She's such a great friend. We had to run to Greenlife for emergency Rose. Imagine that.
The best part of the evening:
After the initial “whatcha been doin”s and “ gee, I like this wine” we just settled into our usual M.O. - which is, a very specific yet vague spiritual talk. We were going at this for awhile when I spied a couple of fellas in nice white shirts, ties, and books in hand heading up the sidewalk. “Heather, Mormons...it’s your call,” I said. “Nah, not tonight,” she replied. As we looked out, the two young fellas noticed us and hesitantly headed up the walk that leads to the porch. “Can we talk to you?” they asked. Heather smiled and threw up her hand, palm out, in a benevolent sort of way. “Naw, man, I respect you but this is the wrong tree for you,” the Comparative-Religion-Degree-Holder said.
They must’ve sensed something, perhaps a certain religiosity or the spiritual conversation that hung in the air thicker than our cigarette smoke, because they persevered, and stood on my lawn for a good 30 minutes or so chatting with us (a chat we eagerly drew them into), surprisingly intellectual and awesomely respectfully, about ideas of savior, life, goodness, heaven & hell (not what I thought they'd say), man’s place in all of it, and alot more. I gotta say, those guys were cool, and alot more open to discussion than many of the leftists I know and wholeheartedly love. We had a really beautiful “Agree to disagree” kind of conversation. Right before they were about to leave, I asked them if they had a spare Book of Mormon. Of course they did. And I will actually read it, or at least some of it. Not because I am religious, but because the exchange of ideas is a beautiful thing.
|The Book of Mormon. No, really, the Book of Mormon.|