Little James! (Basket Press Wine)

The Wine:  Recently, I happened upon a new wine shop and needless to say: there is an inverse relationship between the dolla’s in my bank account and finding new, fun wines to try.  I have several wines to review, but the first one that comes to mind was a delicious 100% Grenache bottle called, “The Little James Press Basket.”  If you don’t think I bought it simply based on its label, you are mistaken.  However, my choice was validated as I was checking out!  The wine seller (puns do not work well in text)– explained that this vintner is trying to increase their appeal to the cheap-wine-buyer market (nope, I was not offended).   He explained that while the 450 year old Chateau de Saint-Cosme Rhone producer offers several $100, high-scoring wines, they are achieving the lower price and improving their overall wine process! (win win)  The secret? The Vintner is mixing his vintages!  In each bottle you get a taste of the last 20-30 years of wine, right in your bottle!  10% of every vintage is barreled and then placed into the wine the next year.

The Place: This is made in the Languedoc region in Southern France, which is easily the largest region in terms of vineyards, and the region in which a majority of France’s cheap bulk wines are being made. A lot of the wine in Languedoc is considered (and labeled) “Vin de Pays d’Oc” (aka: Table Wine). However, because they are not bound to as many rules as the rest of France i.e. Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire–  they can be much more innovative.

The Name: The Little James’ Basket Press is a 100% basket-pressed wine. The basket press was the first type of mechanized wine press to be developed, and its basic design has not changed over the last 1000 years.  Not sure what that is exactly? For your reference– a modern wine barrel press: 

The taste: Delicious! It’s not heavy and yet not jammy or fruit forward either.  Grenache is a sturdy Rhone grape, with a little terroir (ok, dirt) taste through the sip-start to finish.  The whole taste of this one is what I like to say is “purple”– you can taste and smell dark fruit- like blackberry and cherry with a little bit of smoke and dirt.

All in all, it’s an impressive wine that would pair with a variety of foods– from some cheese and baguette to roasted vegetables.  I could probably manage to drink it on its own, too 🙂

JuliaUncorked says: 8/10!  For only $14? Very hard to beat!  I hesitate to write that because I’ve read it’s hard to find :-/

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