Marius, a wine as good as the stories about it

Marius 2010 Blanc by Michel Chapoutier, Le Pays d'Oc, France

marius wineFor over 200 years the house of Chapoutier has been producing prestigious wines in the Rhône Valley, wines like Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Chateauneuf du Pape, Saint-Joseph, Crozes Hermitage.

So I never thought much of opening a bottle of white called “Marius” with an odd-looking label depicting a man from the turn of the 20th century, originating in the generic appellation of Pays d’Oc.

The blends stated on the label, Vermentino and Terret, the screw cap, the name Marius evoking the robustly regional naïf novels of Marcel Pagnol, spoke to me of an easy little white wine to quaff one’s thirst on a hot summer day under a canopy of vine leaves, preferably with good company. So I put it off.

But after all it was a Chapoutier product, so on a whim I decided to open the wine which I first used in a hearty tomato and anchovy sauce for a pasta I was going to have to dinner.  Then I cooled the wine and sat down to taste…

Marius 2010 Blanc by Michel Chapoutier, Le Pays d'Oc, France ($13.99). I was amazed. I could hardly believe that a wine with a pale yellow color with green tints and 12% alcohol could yield such enticing aromas of fresh citrus and ripe fruit and present such an elegant and fruity attack on the mouth balanced with a good minerality, a good acidity and complex hints of rich ripe fruit and a long and elegant finish.

The blend Vermentino and Terret is not your everyday occurrence. Chapoutier chose the Terret for its vivacity and the Vermentino for its smoothness and elegant and floral aromas to express all the warmth and richness of the South of France.

Marius advises to serve this wine between 52 and 54°F as an aperitif or with a meal . I had the wine at 60F and it was perfect with just about anything I had, from the pasta with the robust sauce to later a grilled chicken breast.

Go to and enjoy the stories, funny and very well written in the vivid style of the buoyant 19th century. You will know how the Chapoutier Father and Son felt when seeing the Tour Eiffel at the 1900 World Fair in Paris where they were showing their wines, and much more…