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2017 Sous la Montagne Fitou (Elsewhere $17)

SKU #1486430 89-91 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark A terrific looking barrel sample, the 2017 Fitou (50% Carignan, 27% Syrah, and 23% Grenache) offers lots of dark black and blue fruits, white pepper, and exotic flowers in its ripe, sexy, sweetly fruited style. It's a big fruit bomb to drink over the coming 4-5 years. Inner quote mark (6/2018)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Half Carignan, with the rest almost equally split between Syrah (27%) and Grenache (23%), the 2017 Fitou does have some slightly funky Carignan notes on the nose—something like red raspberries puréed with peppermint and green peppercorns. It's full-bodied but avoids any sense of heaviness, being bolstered by fine-grained tannins that give an almost stony edge to the palate yet without making the wine hard or tough. There's enough structure to hold up to several years in the cellar or to pair well with red meats. (JC) Inner quote mark (6/2020)

K&L Notes

Sous la Montagne ("Below the Mountain") is a new project from winemaker Jeff Carrel and his associate Sebastien Calduch. This range of estate-bottled and négociant wines is sourced from top sites in the Roussillon and western Languedoc, showcasing the pure, unadorned fruit from old vines planted in brilliant granite and schist-based terroirs. The Fitou is a blend of primarily Carignan with Syrah and Grenache rounding out the mix.

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Price: $13.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kate Soto | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/14/2020 | Send Email
This is a fun, easy drinking wine! Its flavor profile is in the juicy black raspberry vein, with hints of garrigue and oak spice. It's pretty, but has enough texture and structure to stand up to anything you might want to throw on the grill--lamb kebabs came to mind as I tasted this. A blend of Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache from a small appellation between Roussillon and Corbieres, it's got an old-school southern French flair. And for $13.99, you can't go wrong!

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2020 | Send Email
Winemaker Jeff Carrel has provided us some of our best values from Southern France these past several years. His "Les Darons" is one of our best selling wines from the Languedoc year-after-year. This new project "Sous la Montagne" which translates to "beneath the mountain" takes a more focused look at some of the lesser known terroirs in the south, especially those in and around the Roussillon. Fitou is an underrepresented appellation that sits between Corbieres to the north and the Roussillon to the south. Influenced by many of the same soils as Roussillon, the ground here is primarily schist. The grape range is very similar as well with Carignan (the most traditional grape in the region) making up the bulk and Grenache and Syrah rounding out the balance. This Fitou is joyously aromatic with an explosion of white pepper, black fruit and pretty violets. The palate is lifted with a medium-full bodied texture giving you the sense of a classic country red with flavors of currants, smoked meats and savory herbs. And that's what it would be perfect with - some herb crusted pork chops and roasted vegetables. A wonderful glass of wine to drink whether it is below the mountain or maybe just a tree in your backyard.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2020 | Send Email
This Carignan dominant blend from the southwest of France really hits the spot for me when I'm looking for an intense, palate coating, best buy red blend. The appellation of Fitou sits contiguously south of Corbieres and offers a landscape of rocky mountains and arid valleys. Not surprisingly, this region has transitioned from a sleepy back water to prime vineyard land. Rounding out the blend with equal parts Syrah and Grenache you get a brilliant robust red that has plenty of mouthwatering fruit with just a touch of the rusticity reminiscent of the rugged terrain. At $14 I'd say this one of our best buys in red wine. It's delicious.

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