Last week I discussed trusting the name on the front label of a wine bottle and this week I’d like to talk a little bit about trusting the name on the back. Wine, like all other yummy luxury goods, is brought into our fine country by importers. There are certain of these importers that have particularly good taste. They seek out interesting, small-production, estate made wines to ship back to the States for our drinking pleasure. In my experience, if the name Louis/Dressner is on the back of the bottle, it’s always worth buying.

I used to sell a lot of Louis / Dressner wines when I was a buyer in New York. It was just difficult not to be in love with their portfolio. They specialize in European wines, with an impressive collection of French and Italian gems. They also carry some of the best ports ever (Quinta do Infantado) and a few great Spanish bottles as well. They have a special lust for great, unknown wineries and a wine geekiness that someone like myself, who drinks quite a lot, can really appreciate. Their wine tastings were also some of the best. I remember a particularly awesome one with a flight of vintage muscadets and a guy in the back shucking oysters. That’s right, raw oysters and wine… for free.

Chateau d’Oupia is located in Languedoc, a region of France known for its cheap bulk wines, not for its unique, quality bottles. This shouldn’t be the case, since there are a few AOC’s in the area that make particularly great wines. D’Oupia is located in Minervois, an area known for its big red blends. The 2007 Les Heretiques is a blend of old vine Carignan and Syrah. It is a beautiful example of a Minervois, with a floral nose chock full of rich, gamey fruit. The palate is medium to full bodied with deep red berry notes and hints of black pepper and coffee. The wine is named after the massacre of Minereve, in which the Roman Catholic Church slaughtered the peaceful Cathars, whom they called heretics. A dark blood red wine named after a massacre… Happy Halloween!