Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wine Reviews: Languedoc-Roussillon Wines <$20

The Languedoc-Roussillon region is vast, beautiful and covered
in vines. Long a source of bulk wine, many winemakers today are
focusing on terroir and value, giving consumers lots of options.
I spent five days in January touring the Languedoc-Roussillon region, meeting winemakers and tasting through a slew of organic wines from the region. I’ll have more posts about my trip in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime, here are some reviews of Languedoc-Roussillon wines I tasted before my trip. Like many wines from the region, they all retail for about $20 or less.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2012 Calmel + J Joseph Chardonnay Villa Blanche - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Vin de Pays d'Oc
SRP: $13
A medium gold color in the glass. Aromas of whipped honey, white flowers, chamomile tea, green and yellow pear. On the palate, this wine shows medium acid on a medium-bodied frame. The green pear and honeydew flavors are light, matched with up by notes of chamomile tea, honey and lemon. A sea shell note lingers onto the finish. I like the flavors, but I don’t get a lot of depth out of this wine. (85 points)

2010 Mas de Guiot Vin de Pays du Gard Cabernet-Syrah - France, Languedoc, Vin de Pays du Gard
SRP: $15
The nose is full of sweet red and black currant fruit, mixed in with some pepper. Juicy currant and plum fruit leads the way on the palate, with fine-grained tannins offering a bit of support along with medium acid. Roasted coffee and toasted oak flavors add to the overall easy-drinking approach. (86 points)

2011 Mas de Guiot Vin de Pays du Gard Grenache-Syrah - France, Languedoc, Vin de Pays du Gard
SRP: $10
Aromas of leather, roasted lamb and pepper over top of juicy plums. The tannins have a bit of grip and the acid shows through. Blueberry mixes with plums, and the rich fruit is backed up by pepper and soy flavors. A generously fruity wine, but it shows a lot of rustic, earthy flavors that make me crave burgers or lamb chops. Despite the “Grenache-Syrah” label this is 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. (87 points)

2011 Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Corbières - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Corbières
SRP: $15
A bright medium ruby color Aromas of bright red plums and currants, some red apple peel, and lots of earthy-spicy aromas. On the palate, the fine-silky tannins a whole lot of freshness from the acid. Nice cracked pepper, meat and earthy flavors. Tasty stuff, probably more of a near-term drinker. I’d love to open this with some roasted lamb and veg. (87 points)

SRP: $20
On the nose, beef, pepper and charcoal blend in with blackberry and currant fruit. Juicy and fresh in its approach, with fine tannins and medium+ acid. Red cherries and currants, along with black pepper, dried Provencal herbs and charcoal, a bit of beef. Sleek and drinking perfectly well now. (87 points)

2012 Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Vin de Pays d'Hauterive Le Clos - France, Languedoc, Vin de Pays d'Hauterive
SRP: $11
Snappy cherries and raspberries on the nose, bright red flowers and some pepper. Tart on the palate, with grainy tannins supporting the cherry and red currant fruit. Some loamy, dusty notes on the finish. Not very complex, but fresh and definitely food-friendly. 45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache and 15% Cabernet. (86 points)

2011 Calmel + J Joseph Faugères - France, Languedoc, Faugères
SRP: $15
A smoky nose, like charcoal, hot asphalt over top of the red and black plum fruit, currant skins, dried flowers, leather. On the palate, the freshness is very nice, firm but manageable tannins, some crispness from the acid. Dark plum, currant and pomegranate fruit is snappy but smoky. I like the charcoal, chestnut and black pepper notes. A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 20% Carignan. (87 points)

2011 Calmel + J Joseph Saint-Chinian - France, Languedoc, Saint-Chinian
SRP: $13
Aromas of juicy blackberries and plums, smoke, sweet lavender, charcoal. Nice grip to the tannins, pervasive freshness, it forms a silky texture. Darker and more structured than the 2011 Faugeres, this wine shows rich blackberry and currant fruit, mixed in with a hefty dose of pepper, dusty soil and smoke. A nice kick of lavender and rosemary on the finish. Full and plush, but there’s a lot going on in here. 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 10% Carignan. (89 points)

2011 Calmel + J Joseph Vin de Pays des Côtes de Brian Vieux Carignan - France, Languedoc, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Brian
SRP: $19
Clear bold purple color. Black cherries and blackberries on the nose, with some dust notes, pencil shavings and tree bark, as weird as that may sound. Firm but fine tannins and medium acid, creamy mouthfeel. Lots of dark roasted plums and blackberries, earthy and inky notes, some pepper, capers and anise. Dark and peppery with some well-integrated toast. A lot going on here with this vin de pays Carignan. (89 points)

This report was first published in the daily wine blog Terroirist.

No comments:

Post a Comment