Monday, November 16, 2009

Catching Up on Languedoc Wines

My notes on the wines we’ve tasted recently.

Blanc des Conquêtes 2007, Vin de Pays de l’Herault, 14 % ABV, Domaine des Conquêtes, Aniane
A blend of Vermentino (35%), Chenin (25%), Grenache Blanc (25%) and Chardonnay (15%)
Also known as Rolle, Vermentino is an Italian varietal grown increasingly in Languedoc. Pale straw with lemon and floral aromas, there’s a bit of toastiness there as well. It’s full-bodied with creaminess on the finish. Well-balanced with enough acidity to complement the fruit. It worked well as an aperitif, but would also be great with grilled sardines.

L’Étang de Sel 2008, AOC Coteaux de Languedoc – Picpoul de Pinet
Made from 100% Picpoule Blanc
Grown close by the Mediterranean shore and the oyster farms of Bouzigues. Colour of pale straw with green tones, it’s medium-bodied with fresh citrus and floral aromas that are balanced with refreshing acidity. A perfect aperitif at the end of a sunny day! And it would be brilliant with those oysters.

Le Mas 2007, AOC Coteaux de Languedoc – Grès de Montpellier, Domaine Clavel, Assas
A blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah
Just outside the city, Grès de Montpellier is also very close to the Mediterranean shore and this is what I imagine all that sunshine tastes like! Aromas of red cherry, dried herbs, and liquorice. Easy on the tannins, and with good acidity, it has a smooth mouthfeel.

Seigneurie d’Arse 2007, AOC Fitou, 13.5% ABV, Le Maitres Vignerons de Cascastel
A blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah
With a name like this, not a wine that I expect to see in the LCBO any time soon.
Fitou is in the west end of Languedoc, right on the border of Roussillon. Co-operative wines are very big here, and this is one. Aromas and moderately intense flavours of mostly red and some black fruit, dried herbs, and some savoury spices. Big yet soft tannins from the Carignan to balance the fruit, it was great with grilled lamb with some herbs.

Devois des Agneaux D’Aumelas 2007, AOC Coteaux de Languedoc, 13% ABV, Elizabeth & Brigitte Jeanjean, Aumelas
A blend of Syrah (75%), Grenache (15%) and Mourvèdre (10%)
“Devois” is an Occitan word meaning, “pasture”.
Jeanjean is a big producer that you can readily find in many Montpellier stores. Deep purple. Moderate aromas of red fruits, dried herbs, cinnamon, pepper, and notes of vanilla. Medium-bodied with soft tannins and fresh acidity. Well-balanced.

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