Producer Profile: “Just blown away, top to bottom.” This was the resounding response we offered when asked to give our honest takes on the latest vertical we’d tasted through with Bon Raisin, the importer of Philippe Formentin’s addictively delicious Opi d’Aqui wines. We’ve carried these on our shelves before though not in our share, until now. What a privilege! The sense of locality and immediacy (and of frighteningly easy smashability) in these wines was first theorized through the domaine’s name. Philippe founded Opi d’Aqui in 2011 and in so doing pulled from the ancient Occitan language typical of the region; Opi d’Aqui translates to “Opium from here.” There it is: something addictive & something precisely located, as in: here. In fact, the name of the region “Languedoc” is itself a modern transliteration of Occitan. Originally written “Langue d’Oc” the name of this place translates to “Language of Yes.” A fitting place to cultivate wines that speak in this tongue of affirmation. Bottles the body eagerly accepts: yes. Prior to Opi d’Aqui, Philippe first worked for about a decade at Domaine Chabanon in Lagamas not far from one of the gems of a cote d’azur, Montpellier. After such industrious work in the vines and cellar, he traveled the world as a “flying winemaker” consulting on vineyards both near and far. Eventually in 2011 he settled here with a handful of hectares planted in the garrigue-riddled clay & limestone foothills of the Larzac plateau outside Clermont l’Hérault properly nestled within the heart of the Languedoc. Each year since Opi d’Aqui’s inception the wines have simply continued to impress us with this latest batch offering some of the most delicious, precise, and generous yet. This particular cuvée is a slightly tongue-in-cheek nod to the old click press he uses.
Vinification: Grenache from vines grown on clay and limestone soils. Grapes harvested by hand, followed by a 3 week carbonic maceration in stainless steel. Rested for 4 months in neutral oak, then racked back into steel for 2 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered with no SO2.
Tasting: A perfect light red. Tart cherries, ripe strawberries and raspberries, and just a hint of tannin. Reminiscent of a poulsard from the Jura but with ever-so-slightly broader structure. Finishes with the brightest blast of acid that just keeps on singing. Serve with a slight chill.