Domaine du Poujol Proteus 2007

One long sniff and suddenly it’s 1979. I’m at a Thom McAn store, stuck waiting for a salesman to fetch out a series of increasingly dire shoes from the stockroom that I’m told will look great at church.This is a fairly complex nose; it’s not just throwback ’70s shoe leather, but also something slightly sour and candied, something pruny and animal, something very much like red berries and tar paper. On the whole, the effect is something on the order of unspeakably naff English candies that no one’s seen since the introduction of the EU: very old fashioned, somewhat unsettling, and (one hopes) ultimately very delicious once you can wrap your head around it.Somewhat shakily thin and nervous in the mouth, the impression I get here is that of an unusually ripe year that’s produced a slightly top-heavy version of what I imagine is normally a leaner, more mineral wine. There’s a huge amount of extract here, staining the sides of my glass with visibly gritty purple; there’s a slightly silty chunkiness in the mouth as well that is quite frankly awesome. Ultimately, what this wine reminds me of is a New World wine made with Robert Parker fans in mind: it’s quite good, no hidden surprises, rich and smooth and tasty.Thing is, though, if you give it a bit more time in the glass and pay more careful attention, there’s a very correct French wine hiding in here as well. There’s a wonderful slight sourness, an edge of minerality, a long finish that seems perfectly designed to be enjoyed with a sharp cheese. Tannins are in full effect, giving rise to the infamous ‘Who put socks on my teeth’ effect – and yet they’re very fine and graciously textured, something to be more feared than enjoyed.This seems to be a week for gateway wines: if you have a friend who professes to only like rich, full New World reds, try a bottle of this. Spend the evening sharing it with your friend. Serve them excellent cheese. Slowly (read: as you both become drunk) draw their attention to the acidity, the minerals, the tannins, the sourness. If I’m right, they’ll be a fan by the end of the evening, no doubt about it.Domaine de Poujol
Price: $10
Closure: Cork

2 thoughts on “Domaine du Poujol Proteus 2007

  1. Mark! I have no idea where you’d be able to find this here in San Diego. I’d call Kermit Lynch in Berkeley – they imported it and might know if there’s anyone in the Southland who stocks it.

    Mind you, this one might be just a tad too New World for your taste – then again, for ten bucks, I’m not sure anyone has a right to expect a vrai vin de terroir!

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