Felicette is a wine that should be available at specialty shops near you. A French import, it’s from the lesser known pays d’oc that’s a small section of the Langudoc…..yeah, yeah I know, that’s a lesser known region itself. This is the region where the French experiment though, with 300 days of sun of year and the Mediterranean there as well, it’s probably a fun visit too. Here’s my Felicette wine review:
Hi all, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. I’ll hold this up so you can see it. Yeah, that’s astronauts, or people in space, or people walking on the moon. And if you look a little closer, that’s a cat.
So, this is the Felicette, it’s a rouge wine. A quick primer on what a rouge wine is, it’s just any red wine. And this actually comes from Southern France. This is the pays d’oc which is small fraction of the Languedoc. And so we had a few things to unpack here.
So first, this is a blend and depending on the vintage you get different percentages here of course, but this is Grenache, Sirah & Malbec. And that’s if you’re thinking that’s kind of a weird set up for a French wine, you’re a 100% correct. And that’s the first thing I wanted to talk about.
So the pays d’oc is kind of an interesting thing to know about. So this is extreme southern France, actually borders the Mediterranean on one side and the Pyrenees Mountains on another. Really what happens here is this is the warmest growing region in France and so it’s not only the warmest, but it also is the only one without any long term rules and regulations about what you’re allowed to plant.
So this is the one spot where you see people actually trying new things. And in this case you get these kind of malbec and sirah are not traditionally blended together in France. You get sirah kind of in one side in the Roan Valley and malbec on the other side in Bordeaux. And very rarely do you see Roan’s and Bordeaux’s blended together even in the United States or even in South America you know so this is kind of an interesting thing.
So that’s the other thing so the pays d’oc is a good place to look so it’s a smaller region within the Languedoc so we sometimes talk about southern France and think about the kind of sea of wine that’s gone on there and think of it as the cheap exports for their international marketing. But you also get these kind of bottles for $20 or under. That end up being great, great values. And it’s really in some ways the only place you can look and get a good value wine anymore.
So the story on the bottle, it’s named after the first French citizen to go into space and there is a wine connection here, I promise. So they put a cat up. This is like the early 60s or whatever. Evidently the cat that was training went missing or something so Felicette is the second cat and that cat went up.
So there is this kind of ongoing humor within the small ea community that there are actually more people that have gone into outer space than there are masters of wine. And that’s actually true. There’s about 550 people or so give or take, depending on how we’re counting that have gone into orbit and there’s under 400 people that have been masters of wine since it existed.
So to kind of sum all up, as we look for a good value bottles from international destinations, some of the old world can be difficult to find that kind of stuff. Generation after generation after generation kind of pass these vineyards down in France and if you want to find new winemakers, younger winemakers, newer wine making families that are trying to do new things and for lack of a better term, really move the industry forward, the Languedoc and especially the pays d’oc is one place that you can do that.
So this is a really, really well put together bottle of wine. It is just a traditional rouge. This is meant to be a house red. And it’s smooth, it’s drinkable and if [inaudible] with steak you’re not going to be upset about it. So once again Mark Aselstine for Uncorked Ventures and I hope you enjoyed maybe learning a bit about cats in outer space and a lesser known French wine region producing some pretty darn good stuff. Thanks.