If you go all the way to the most Westerly corner of the Languedoc wine region in Southern France, you will find the centuries-old winery of Chateau Guilhem. Their wines are technically a part of the Malpere wine Appellation, which for many years has been known to produce outstanding, value-driven wine made from Cabernet, Malbec and, as in the case of this month’s wine club selection, Merlot. Bertrand Guilhem is a 5th generation winemaker, continuing a tradition of winemaking that began in 1878 when his family purchased the 16th-century Chateau.
Like many of the wines made at Chateau Guilhem, the “Pot de Vin” is a fresh, aromatic red made with a mix of modern and traditional winemaking practices. This is a light and fruity wine where we find the delicacy of Merlot, instead of the fuller jammier style that it can sometimes have. The nose is full of rose petal and spice, where the palate is akin to a basket of small red fruits mixed with notes of licorice, plum and a hint of blackberry. An excellent cheese pairing would be our Vacherin Fribourgeois, a raw cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland, as the light freshness will pair great with this rich beauty. Also, try pairing this with our recipe for Harissa Roasted Leg of Lamb - an excellent dish for the holidays, the Merlot will help cut through the richness without getting lost along the way.
The inspiration for this simple, natural wine came from a wine label Bertrand found in his grandfather’s old desk. It was called “Pot de Vin” which roughly translates to “The Bribe” in English. Bertrand was inspired by this funny play on words to make a light, natural wine. This wine is biodynamic, minimal intervention, hardly any added sulfur, and is fermented in the concrete tanks made by the same grandfather.
Château Guilhem Pot de Vin 2016 - $12.99/btl