Our selection comes from Massanois, an incredible importer whose wines we have featured many times because they seem to come up with little known wines with tremendous character. Lulumi, in the Languedoc region of France, is certainly one of them. Lulumi is a coop on land that was first planted to grapes by the Greeks some 2500 years ago. For years, wines from here were used by wineries further north because they always have had good conditions to grow ripe grapes every year, a luxury many other districts did not. The wines had deeper color and higher alcohols to help fortify those of the North.
But, as the planet warmed, the need for wines from the Languedoc lessened. Many even went out of business because they couldn't sell their wines. The only answer was to band together so they could grow grapes and share the production facility. They also had to produce better wines than those used to fortify others. That meant different growing methods, lower yields and more hands-on winemaking. No single entity could afford all that, but as a group, they could and, as a result, it saved the day.
Because of its proximity to the Rhone Valley, the Languedoc produces many of the Rhone's classic grapes like Syrah, which is the only grape in our selection. It excels here almost as well as it does in the Rhone. As an added bonus, the wines are about half the price. Our selection offers a delicate, almost floral component mixed with tropical fruits and a citrus finish. An appetizer plate pasta fagioli would be perfect.