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2015 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes

SKU #1319378 96 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark I was blown away by the IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes, and it’s unquestionably my favorite vintage of this cuvee to date (I’ve compared this wine to a Syrah from Manfred Krankl’s 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, it’s 100% Syrah that was fermented and aged all in barrel. Count me as a fan. (JebDunnuck.com) Inner quote mark (8/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Saturated black in color, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes is reminiscent of Manfred Krankl’s 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) Inner quote mark (4/2017)

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.

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Price: $24.99
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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/21/2017 | Send Email
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.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
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.....

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/14/2017 | Send Email
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.

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