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For lunch he stopped along a river where he set up a fabulous lunch for the 3 of us. If I were wanting to do some weight lifting, I would rather go to the gym! There is a high mortality rate amongst Syrah. A light bright colour. 5. 2019 Bastide des Songes, Gewurztraminer, Pays d’Oc - 8.00€. Still very youthful. If the temperature drops too low, it makes for bitter flavours. 2019 Vitrail sur l’Abbaye Blanc, Pays d’Oc- 7.50€. Golden colour, with ripe, peachy fruit on the nose. You can apparently get compensated for loss of fruit, but it is a bureaucratic hoop, and not worth the trouble. A pale pink orange colour. All Bruno’s vineyards are farmed organically, and he is working on biodynamics. It was drinking very nicely. By. Es liegt in dem Gebiet der Gemeinde Saint Quentin-de- Baron im Entre-Deux-Mers Gebiet. Ideal weather! Two new plots of vines pick up the names of the new generation, L’Enclos de Ninon, after Ninon, Roland’s daughter, and Le Petit Moine for Oliver, his nephew, whose father is English and very aptly with the surname of Monk. Things have moved on; his sister-in-law Sylvie, with whom he ran Domaine Magellan, has sadly died and now he has a lot less vineyards. He is always nosing out new wines, so I asked if I could come for a tasting of some of his new discoveries. He had a. for the place; it is a lost corner, on the way to nowhere, and there are vineyards on schist, not to mention vines for sale at an affordable price. If the temperature drops too low, it makes for bitter flavours. He does not want things to become repetitive, and is clearly enjoying himself. Jalka are the Bolivian women who weave the local materials, which are illustrated on their labels. Virtually all the vineyards are machine-harvested, as machines are so much more efficient these days. Roger Jeanjean – and No, he is not related to. ‘The climate was with us’. Roland uses neutral barrels, and is also trying a terracotta amphora from Spain. Good colour. Michel uses for it for fermentations, and finds it gives more volume than a fermentation in a stainless-steel vat. Roland enthused about Mourvèdre. In 1907, thousands of winemakers poured into the streets of the region’s major cities to complain at cheap wine imports, mainly from from North Africa, that they deemed illegal – in part because of the added sugar in the wines. It has been twenty years since my last cellar visit to the wonderful abbey of Valmagne, when I met Diane d’Allaines, and her son Philippe, while researching The Wines of the South of France. You don’t need the support of wood; it is the micro-oxygenation that is beneficial and gives stability to the wine. Light colour. On 19th September, they still had about 10% left to pick, namely Carignan and Mourvèdre. Medium colour. From a long established Fitou estate in the village of Tuchan. Bruno explained that the label Maison Lafon began in 2016, but it only really got going in 2019. Michel didn’t know the village of Berlou but found himself having lunch at Le Faitout, the village restaurant, which is well worth the journey. Light colour. Their 2019 Côtes de Thongue, Ïnti, a pure Viognier, was all sold out and the 2020 will be kept in a for the next six months. Narbonne, Languedoc The Languedoc region has so many different appellations and terroirs that it's not fair when we just refer to one of its wines by the generic term Languedoc. However, I was slightly put off by the heavy bottle. Twenty years ago, Cinsault had a bad reputation and Bruno replanted five hectares of Cinsault, for which he had paid just the price of the land, without the vines. Wines of Languedoc from South of France. It turned out that Michel had just completed his second harvest. However, there has been a lowering of demand over the past year.A diverse array of wines are made by this producer including th ... Stores and prices for 'Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Languedoc Gre ... ' … Indeed, many is the times that I have lamented a delicious wine made by somebody who clearly has no idea how to sell it. He bottles with the waning moon, when the wine is less disturbed. Good young colour. After the egg, the wine goes into vat and is then bottled in April. He does not want to bother with the appellation, which would be St. Chinian - Berlou. Quite full-bodied with some weight, and ageing potential. And on the palate, rounded, ripe and mouth filling, with some acidity and a hint of tannin. They now have eight hectares of vines. They buy organically grown Chardonnay from a nearby wine grower. Quite simply, it is without doubt the most exciting and innovative wine region of France. He is working with natural yeast and in the vineyard on biodynamics and massal selection. No oak. A blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache Noir. He has also six sheep in the vineyards during the winter to keep the grass and weeds at bay. They had finished picking, and the wines had mostly finished fermenting, but were still sur marc, on the skins, for a three-week maceration. Domaine St Hilaire, Pays d’Oc, Late Harvest Viognier - 14.00€ for a 50 cl. More expensive than Château Montana, and you could see why, with more depth and nuances on the palate. Aged in Burgundian. Quite a firm structured palate, with some firm acidity and even a touch of tannin. Bitterness can be good in French tasting notes, but I think not in English. The Mourvèdre will have spent six months in an amphora. We had dinner in August at the wonderful pop up restaurant in the crater at Domaine du Météore and by chance found ourselves in conversation with a fellow guest, Michel Bouisseren, who happened to mention that he made wine in Berlou, and so we arranged a cellar visit. 2018 - I really enjoyed the more youthful 2018, with round floral fruit, with texture and mouthful and a youthful finish. I would love to see Roger’s vineyards and meet Victor and have a conversation about his wine-making, and the use of the Flextanks, just as soon as it is possible to return to the Languedoc and cellar visits are feasible once again. This is the one of the most popular wines from Languedoc. The year was characterised by its very wet spring, followed by a dry summer. The Chardonnay tones down the perfumed fruit of the Viognier, and there is some acidity on the finish. 60% Carignan, with some Grenache and Lledoner Pelut, all aged in vat. Here we have strayed into Roussillon to the village of Banyuls-les-Aspres. We went to three wineries-all very different. Everything is possible; the appellations may lay down ground rules, but the parallel vins de pays allow for unlimited experimentation, creating a host of new and exciting wines. On the palate, some vanilla, as well as fruit. 6. Discover the history and passion behind every bottle with the best wine tours in Languedoc-Roussillon. I am not very experienced at tasting very young wine from vat, but this struck me as nicely textured with some refreshing acidity. Roland enthused about Mourvèdre. A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. A nicely harmonious palate, elegant and rounded with some sweet fruit and a fresh finish, characteristic of the Terrasses du Larzac, balanced by a streak of tannin, 2018 Tramontane, Terrasses du Larzac – 11.00€, A blend of 45% Syrah, 30% Grenache Noir, 25% Carignan. He works by gravity and talked about filling the vats a bucket at a time, going up and down a ladder, but he plans to be better organised next year. He returned to Valmagne with projects, notably to convert the vineyards, which have been organic since 1999, to biodynamic viticulture. The quality is very promising, with very healthy grapes, benefitting from cool nights, making for refined tannins and flavours. Vinified by carbonic maceration, taking the CO2 from a fermenting vat to put it in an empty vat, and then adding whole bunches for a maceration that lasts about three weeks. 2015 - Rounded and concentrated, rich and rounded, with some balancing acidity. Very complete and harmonious. They had finished picking, and the wines had mostly finished fermenting, but were still. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Weinregion Languedoc: Das Weinbaugebiet Languedoc ist das größte Anbaugebiet Frankreichs und sogar das größte zusammenhängende der Welt. He is a qualified oenologist and was director of the cooperative in the Hérault village of Gabian for a number of years and then set up his own négociant business, Millésime Sud. Wine Tasting. In 2019 Michel made four wines, all Vin de France. Santé ! A more northern style of Syrah with some restraint. Wines can be priced too low. Six hectares is small enough for him to do it all himself and to really know what is happening in his vineyards. Ripe cassis fruit on the nose and palate, with a tannic streak on the finish. As for the weather, there were good reserves of water from last autumn and winter – their village of Caux was actually cut off for two days last October due to flooding. 2019 Rosé Ostrea, Languedoc St Saturnin - 8.00€. Indulge your taste buds in southern France on this 3.5-hour small-group Languedoc wine and olive tour from Montpellier. This also happens to be the style of a group of lesser-known wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, an area that spans from Nîmes to Spain, just west of the French Riviera. It was quite delicious. Michel explained that he is doing this for his quality of life; a change of career at the age of 57. Deep colour. Blended in December and bottled in February. A touch rustic on the finish, but I like my Carignan with a touch of rusticity. Sandstone makes for lighter tannins, whereas clay gives more power. Originally it was 57 hectares, but he has pulled up the less than satisfactory varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. A certain density on the palate, but not heavy   A fresh finish with some acidity and tannin. I liked the way that their labels say jeunes vignerons. A blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache Noir. The oak will tone down with some bottle development. The wine is a blend of  2/3 Grenache Blanc to 1/3 Roussanne. But he now thinks that Cinsault is a grape for the future, like Piquepoul. The quantity is correct and the quality very good. Bruno thinks the area around Magellas is getting drier; it can rain heavily in Montpeyroux when there is hardly a drop here. Deep colour. Languedoc, in the south of France, is the type of wine country that’s an obvious sell, the perfect backdrop to play with your senses. As for 2020, Michel may try a different cuvée or two. You must keep your connection with your vines; he knows all his vines; you simply have to spend time in the vineyards. Appellation status is also about taste and about wine made from a narrow selection of mostly Mediterranean grape varieties. However, Bruno would like to find some Cinsault vines to buy. The wine was fresh and youthful with a little body. All fermented and kept in stainless steel vats. Based in Limoux, at the very heart of the Languedoc Roussillon wine region, we are a specialist French wine retailer offering an exceptional choice of IGP, AOC and AOP Languedoc wines to buy online. Two more are on order - a 5hls amphora costs 2300€, but they are very easy to clean. Bruno enthused about 2016; it has the richness of 2017, but the balance of 2014. Promises well. Official figures say a large harvest in Languedoc Roussillon - 13 million hectolitres and 7% up on last year. With more than 30 years of experience in the world of wine there are few people better equipped to lead private and group visits to vineyards and wineries in the Languedoc. They are not sure that they have got it right yet; they are wondering about giving up on oak, and maybe trying a terracotta amphora. They now have eight hectares of vines. The nose is quite rounded with some lightly peachy notes from the Viognier and the palate has some weight. Caryl Panman at Château Rives Blanques in Limoux said that it is difficult to give an overview. The wine names all convey a sense of the family history. A blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. Each child has a plot of massal selection vines from which Roland has yet to make wine. Attractive herbal notes on the nose and a firm palate with fresh acidity, and what the French would call a joli amertume. With some of the most beautiful vineyard landscapes, wine tastings and tours are a fantastic experience for all. Find out more about this Mediterranean paradise of sunshine friendly wines. The last vintage from this particular vineyard, that faces NW, with a terroir of villefranchien clay and limestone. So nobody knows why the quantity is low. The grapes were picked on 29th September, and the wine racked off the skins on 10th December, in other words, a maceration of 103 days, hence the name of the wine, ensuring that the cap of grape skins rests emerged for the whole time. Andrew Jefford, award-winning wine journalist for Decanter Magazine and author of twelve books on wine including The New France has compiled information and written the vintage charts starting with the 2013 vintage. late harvest Viognier, picked in the middle of October. My visit to the Pic St. Loup focused on the cooperative at St. Mathieu de Tréviers, and on that cooperative alone. Roger Jeanjean – and No, he is not related to the Jeanjean family who are one of the largest producers of the Languedoc – has had a varied wine trade career. He is not into eggs or amphora, Terracotta is too porous; though he might consider a ceramic amphora. For the wine making, he thought, less extractions. Cinsault is my current enthusiasm. 2018 Domaine St Hilaire, Pays d’Oc - 18.00€. He finds that amphorae give freshness and what he called droiture to the wines. Grenache makes for quite soft fruit while Carignan provides a firm streak of tannin. Adèle described it as their cuvée référence for schist. But which one prevailed? A pure Carignan, from old vines. A blend of 60% Viognier, 30% Grenache Blanc and 10% Chardonnay, fermented with natural yeast and kept in a stainless steel vat. A different plot of vines. We talked about the mortality rate of Syrah with vines of 20 years old dying before their time. Medium colour. If I were wanting to do some weight lifting, I would rather go to the gym! They are not too far from the sea at Valmagne, so he does get the sea influence in his vineyards, with a temperate climate. A blend of Syrah and Grenache - 50/50 in the vineyard but not necessarily in the wine. Simon stops treating six weeks before the harvest, so mid-July when the weather was heavy and humid and consequently the Grenache suffered. 2015 Cardinal de Bonzi, Grés de Montpellier - 24€. Nicely youthful and it was tasted alongside a more mature 2012, a vintage that Bruno really likes. From the rugged, sunlit slopes of southern France, these Languedoc wines by Laurent Miquel are guaranteed to bring a little sunshine into the chilliest of winter days. Lightly floral with a hint of peach. 553. There is also some Morastel which his father planted 20 years ago, but it is very susceptible to mildew. Since we already had plans to visit many of these areas on our own, we selected to take the La Clape seaside … The most beautiful thing about the abundance is the steadily growing quality of the wines from the Languedoc - from first-class appellations like Fitou or La Clape to the much underestimated Vins de Pays. Elegant finish, what the French call a joli amertume, an attractive bitterness. 2015 Domaine Coste Rousse, Côtes de Thongue - 9.50€. A richer nose. He is also planning a hectare of white wine, concentrating on Chenin Blanc, which he loves, with some Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Roussanne and maybe Macabeo. It was nicely elegant, again with fresh fruit. The vineyards are being converted to organic viticulture and eventually will become biodynamic. or nuggets, just what the Languedoc does best. He is also planning a hectare of white wine, concentrating on Chenin Blanc, which he loves, with some Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Roussanne and maybe Macabeo. A blend of 60% Syrah with 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre. The leading names such as l’Hortus, Mas Bruguière, Mas de Mortiès, Clos Marie, or Domaine de Cazeneuve were as yet quite unknown. Though Adèle said: on cherche. Chapelle Saint Simeon. As Adèle put it, they have put their winter coats on, in other words, an insulating cover. For his white wine, he has Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc and he has planted Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc, using massal selection rather than a clonal selection. Youthful tannin and nicely balanced, and young for its years. 2016 was a very hot year, with some drought and a small yield. Mobile +33 6 50 12 59 98. 2018 Domaine Monthelys, Languedoc - 11.00€ A blend of 50% Grenache Blanc and 50% Marsanne. He does not want things to become repetitive, and is clearly enjoying himself. The maceration can last between five days and two weeks; ça depend! Then it was very dry. They were thirsty and consumed about 70% of one plot of Mourvèdre, and also a large amount of Syrah. And everything had finished fermenting by the end of September except for a couple of vats of Grenache and Syrah. Part of the. A blend of Syrah and Grenache followed, a future AOP Pézenas, with a deep colour and ripe cassis fruit. Kept in vat. All in all it was a wonderful day that we would not have experienced without Matt's help. However, he found the ripening complicated. See an earlier post for Bruno’s view of the harvest. Slightly lighter colour. A blend of 60% Syrah with 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre. He had a coup de foudre for the place; it is a lost corner, on the way to nowhere, and there are vineyards on schist, not to mention vines for sale at an affordable price. The wine will do a malo; as a Burgundian, he likes a malolactic fermentation, and all his white wines have undergone a malo since 2011. The summer temperatures were quite warm but thankfully without the extremes of 2019. Under the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising that the Languedoc, like Provence, has an established tradition of producing rosé wines. Some lovely fruit and an elegant balance. Too small a yield can be problematic economically. For help in house-hunting in the Languedoc, If you are looking for self-catering accommodation, One of the best wine lists devoted to the Languedoc, To help you plan vineyard visits all over France, and much more. And I also reserve the right occasionally to extend this blog beyond the confines of the Languedoc, into Provence and Corsica and maybe even further afield. 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