I’ve been drinking a lot of rosé lately, with some Rieslings and Gewürztraminers thrown in for good measure. It’s hot out, and meals tend to be lighter this time of year. A few days ago, however, I was feeling wistful; it was a vague emotional response to a longing for autumn days and nights, and what came to me at the end of the mood was duck. Specifically, a cassoulet I had deep in the fall a few years ago.
We drank a wine at that meal that I remember well; it was perfect with the cassoulet, and drank like something that cost much more than the 12 euros I paid for it at the wine merchant. It was from Bordeaux, and it was a few years old; it was also 100 percent Merlot.
Back to Houston and heat and humidity, and the day of wistfulness. In response, I decided to open a bottle from Château Mayne-Vieil that has been in my Eurocave for a while, a 2011 (also 100 percent Merlot). The appellation from which it hails is Fronsac (a stone’s throw from Saint-Émilion), an AOC that produces wines with wonderful rusticity. This bottle was no different. I loved the soft tannins, and the wood and tobacco on the nose. It’s dark red in color, slightly cloudy, and has lovely acidity and a touch of spice.
I was drinking this with saucisson (my way of eating something rich that would take me back to that cassoulet in Carcassonne yet still be palatable in summer). It served my purposes, and we finished the bottle with joy. You can get this for $13.99 at Costco, and for that price you’ll be very happy come fall and winter.