K&L Wine Merchants - Header

In-Stock Alert: WA96 Secret de Schistes “Reminiscent of SQN” - 12/05/2017 - French Regional Wines

When we first offered the 2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" on pre-arrival this past June, it took the world by storm. With 96-points and unalloyed praise from the critics, it quickly became our top selling red wine of 2017. Jeb Dunnuck was so enthralled that he compared it to the the cult bottlings from Sine Qua Non. This is exceptionally high praise when you consider SQN sells in the range of $300 to $1000 plus, while the "Secret de Schistes" can be had for just over $30 (and the best price you’ll find anywhere). The quality and value here is indisputable.

A truly world-class effort, this 2015 highlights all the best aspects of an exceptional vintage. With excellent purity and elegance, it is a truly transcendent red. Chateau de L'Ou is a winery you’ll want to get to know and we can’t think of a better place to start than this sensational effort. Now in-stock, this is the ideal time to load up on a true blockbuster that will delight over the holidays and beyond. This will be our last parcel, so make sure to grab what you can now.

Staff Image

2015 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes (Elsewhere $40) ($31.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "I was blown away by the IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes, and its unquestionably my favorite vintage of this cuvee to date (Ive compared this wine to a Syrah from Manfred Krankls SQN in the past). Notions of crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, roasted herbs and crushed rock nuances give way to a full-bodied, gorgeously textured red that has terrific concentration and a great, great finish. Like all the cuvees here, its 100% Syrah that was fermented and aged all in barrel. Count me as a fan. (JebDunnuck.com)" (08/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Saturated black in color, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes is reminiscent of Manfred Krankls SQN Syrahs with its deep, unctuous, layered profile. Cassis, chocolate, licorice, smoked herbs and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, sexy beauty that just begs to be drunk. Possessing ripe tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish, it will be better in a year or two and keep for a decade. (JD)" (04/2017)

K&L Notes: Séverine Bourrier came to winemaking through her own passion for the subject, not having the family history associated with so many winemakers. She studied oenology in school and worked in Bordeaux for a decade. After meeting her husband, they relocated to a property an hour outside of Perpignan in the Roussillon. They began restoring an old château and did some replanting, rechristening the estate L’Ou, which is Catalan for "egg." The property is in an oval-shaped valley that was used as a rest area by herd animals and likely the Knights Templar on their way to various crusades. The estate consists of three primary terroirs: the alluvial marl soils that make up the valley, and two higher-elevation sites, one made up of black schist and the other brown. Their key grape variety is Syrah but Séverine also grows the classic regional varieties like Grenache and Carignan. For white grapes, they grow Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Muscat and of all things, Chardonnay, which is renowned for being one of the best in the region.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 21, 2017

I recently had the chance to revisit the "Secret de Schistes" and what a rockstar this wine is! I was with friends and we did a mixed grill of ribeyes and pork chops plus some roasted sunchokes and kabocha squash. The wine unfolds immediately, dripping with rich black fruit and copious spices. Throughout the evening, I kept checking in and tasted as the tannins mellowed and the flavors expanded into savory, smoky and layered fruit. By the end, it was a dead ringer for a Cote-Rotie worthy of three times the price. With stellar reviews, this wine overwhelmed our fulfillment center with pre-arrival requests well before it arrived in the US. The wine is here and it has more than delivered on its promise of greatness. All the wines from Chateau de L'Ou are organic, artfully made and delicious. The "Schistes" is the top expression of the property's brown schist vineyard site. Because we are the importer of record, we have and continue to have the best price in the market. After my dinner, it was not a difficult decision to add a half dozen more of these to my wine cellar (I already had a half dozen there). With so much going for it, it will continue to please for years and maybe even decades to come.

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 08, 2017

OK, ready? Strap yourself in, lie back, get comfortable while I adjust the tricky knobs and dials, and take you on a sedimental journey through time, back 1.65 millions years to the Pliocene era and the sweeping view of prehistoric life and surging riverbeds carved by great mountainous glaciers that forever left their mark on the then-unnamed Roussillon plain. Now zoom ahead, to a more sedate landscape covered in vines that plunge their roots into the ancient alluvial soils, lending their complex mineral expression to the fruit. The Secret de Schistes, grown on higher slopes, is a spellbinding Syrah, all barrel-aged, deeply concentrated and elemental, with pure flavors of cassis, black cherry, dark chocolate, garrigue and licorice. A strikingly seductive wine that will likely send you back though time.....

Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 14, 2017

It's no secret that the Secret De Schistes is one killer bottle of Syrah. The structure in this Syrah, which all comes from brown schistes soils on the estate of Chateau De L'Ou is very well balanced, yet it's deeply complex. The finish is packed with dark stone fruit, chocolate, and baked spices. This bottle was always more driven to be terroir focused, and it showcases beautifully in this 2015 vintage.