You can be among a select few to taste the first vintage of a new wine, 2007 Domaine Sallies Marselan Vin de Pays d’Oc.
Marselan is a hybrid grape created in 1961 by French agricultural researchers when they crossed Cabernet Sauvignon with Grenache Noir. In 2003, Domaine Sallies planted Marselan vines, and the 2007 is its first 100 percent Marselan wine.
Located in the Languedoc, a huge wine region in southern France, Domaine Sallies has been owned by the Gau family for more than a century and bottles all its wines under the regional appellation Vin de Pays d’Oc.
The 2007 Domaine Sallies Marselan has an eye-catching purplish hue. An enticing mix of red and black fruit aromas attest to the wisdom of crossing Cabernet Sauvignon, with its blackberry profile, and Grenache Noir, with its raspberry-like character.
Behind the fruit aromas is another layer of scents reminiscent of cinnamon and cloves, giving the nose a magnetic pull to the glass. The palate receives its share of pleasure, too, with blackberry and cherry flavors built on Cabernet Sauvignon’s tannin DNA and Grenache Noir’s natural acidity.
I tasted this wine in mid-afternoon and immediately thought of my buffalo steak sitting in the refrigerator. Using a Vacu-Vin pump and cork, I sealed the bottle; four hours later, the 2007 Domaine Sallies Marselan went into my wine glass for a second test.
It passed every hurdle: The fruit was still lively, the tannins softer but supportive, and the finish round and long. It was delightful with a first course of penne pasta coated with a delicious sauce made from tomato, shredded pork shoulder and basil. The buffalo steak with sauteed farmer’s market Swiss chard responded to the wine just as well.
You can pair the 2007 Domaine Sallies Marselan with grilled steaks, pork chops, New Jersey fresh bluefish or a plate of grilled summer eggplant, zucchini, yellow and red peppers, showered with chopped black Nicoise or Italian olives and garden basil, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
The price will let you buy the 2007 Domaine Sallies Marselan by the case. And it’s a good thing, too, because after the end-of-summer parties, there are fall menus waiting for this tasty wine.
The 2007 Domaine Sallies Marselan retails for approximately $14.