I apologize for the long silence. I was caught down in the rabbit hole of research only to end up with a cold.
The Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques has graced our tables as a house wine many times in the past. The 2014 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques, VdP d’Herault is the latest vintage which continues to be released at a very low price. I found it a little soft for my preference but have no fear for only $12 you may purchase the rather good 2013 Chateau d’Oupia, Minervois. This wine blends vibrant acidity with black fruit, minerals, and even racy hints. It will drink well for the next couple of years so you can stock up. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2014 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques, VdP d’Herault – $10
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is made from 100% Carignan sourced from 40+ year old vines. Half the fruit was fermented in barrel and the other half by carbonic maceration. Alcohol 13%. There was a soft entry with tart fruit before a lower-acidity profile of mulberry and red fruit became noticeable on the tongue. It did have a bit of a dry-cola grip and some liveliness. This might last a bit but really is a daily wine for now. ** Now.
2013 Chateau d’Oupia, Minervois – $12
Imported by Louis/Dressner. This wine is a blend of 50% Carignan, 40% Syrah, and 10% Grenache sourced from 50+ year old vines. Alcohol 13.5%. This wine started with a bit of vibrant acidity driving the increasingly black and mineral flavors. There was some midpalate relaxation as the wine took on weight. With air it showed good focus and even became a touch racy. *** Now – 2017.
I could not resist posting one more Phylloxera map, this time from the Caucasus. I have no idea what anything means but I suspect the green areas are those of cultivation and the three types of red dots represent the state of the Phylloxera infection. Perhaps because of mountainous terrain some areas are not infected. If you click on the map you will be taken to Flickr where you may zoom in.
 Caucasus Vineyard Map with the Points of Phylloxera Disease. Image from the National Archives of Georgia hosted on Flickr.
The 2012 Domaine de Font-Sane, Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas is my kind of wine from Gigondas. It is substantive and structured without smacking of new oak, it reveals complexity with air, and is priced within budget. Buy many bottles because it is enjoyable in youth and will age for more than a decade. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2012 Domaine de Font-Sane, Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas – $22
Imported by Simon N’ Cellars. This wine is a blend of 72% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre, and 2% Cinsault that was aged for 8 months in oak casks. Alcohol 15%. There are black and red fruit aromas on the nose with deep hints of complexity. In the mouth the savory fruit mixes with licorice and dry tannins but still has a coating of some fat. With air the flavors become herbaceous and floral with good bright and ripe structure, and some ripe leather. This traditional Gigondas is lovely to drink, sports good weight, and develops well with air. Right-on. ***(*) Now – 2030.
The final Phylloxera map for today stems from an United States Department of Agriculture Bulletin focused on the Phylloxera in California published in 1921. This map indicate the spread of Phylloxera in a Zinfandel vineyard by indicating the state of each individual vine. Thus dead vines are represented by solid circles whereas the varying states of the other vines is indicated by a letter. After looking at the legend, I find it is easy to understand the map. I hope you enjoyed these four different Phylloxera maps.
 Bulletin of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. … no. 901-925 (1920-1921). URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101050725728
The previously published map of the progress of Phylloxera in Northern Portugal during 1880 uses solid color to indicate the intensity of the devastation from Phylloxera at a given time. The map featured in this post illustrates the spread of Phylloxera in the Gironde over time using color coded stars. At first glance, I even thought the stars were those tiny foil stickers so often used in elementary school. This map reflects a more complicated objective and I honestly have a difficult time understanding the chronology without constantly referring to the legend.Here is a close up of the legend. I do not yet understand how the color scheme was devised. And here is a close up of the map.
 Trimoulet, A. H. Carte de la marche de la Maladie dite du phylloxera dans le département de la Gironde. 1878. Gallica Bibliotheque Numerique. URL: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb40742516r
It is Phylloxera map day! I like this particular map of the progress of Phylloxera in Northern Portugal during 1880 because of the color coding. It looks like a bullseye.
 Reports from Her Majesty’s Consuls on the Manufactures, Commerce, &c. of Their Consular Districts, Volume 27. 1880. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=LcjNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA757#v=onepage&q&f=false
 Girard, Maurice. Le Phylloxéra de la Vigne, 4e édition, Hachette, 1883. URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carte_du_Phyllox%C3%A9ra_en_1882.jpg