Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tasting Report: Grab Bag of Languedoc Wines

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of touring the Languedoc region of France. It was an eye-opening experience, and I found many underdog wines worth rooting for. Since my last tasting report on wines from the Languedoc, I’ve tasted through a few rosés and reds and found some impressive and interesting wines. Most of them are solid values as well.

These wines were all received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

2013 Domaine de Gournier Vin de Pays Cévennes Rosé - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Vin de Pays Cévennes
SRP: $10
Aromas of white peach, honeydew and watermelon, some white pepper as well. Zingy and crisp on the palate, steely even. White cherries and tart strawberries mix with sea salt, white pepper and minerals. Crisp but plump with lingering minerals on the finish. Cabernet, Cinsault, Grenache, Merlot and Syrah. (87 points)

2013 Domaine Saint-Antoine Vin de Pays du Gard Rosé - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Vin de Pays du Gard
SRP: $13
A vibrant watermelon color. A burst of red apple peel, strawberries, sweet roses and a rustic, earthy, herbal quality as well, which I find very attractive. The palate is really impressive, showing a lot of concentration and depth, but the acid rips through, balancing it out. Gushing strawberries, white cherries and McIntosh apple fruit, but it’s laced with pepper, granite and there’s a lot of earth tones in this wine. I’m impressed with the complexity of this wine, and the kinds of food it could pair with, but it’s still fresh and zesty wine at its core. A rosé of Syrah, and a ridiculous value. (89 points)

2012 Abbaye Sylva Plana Faugères “Les Novices” - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Faugères
SRP: $20
Medium ruby-purple color. Spicy on the nose, with cracked pepper and sage over top of cranberries, sour cherries and red plums. Medium-bodied with medium tannins and fresh acid. The raspberry and cherry fruit is tangy and fresh but it’s also got just a bit of a sun-roasted quality to it. This wine shows a lot of earth, like deep, loamy soil mixed in with crushed rocks. I get a nice sweet spice note as well, like clove and cinnamon. Made from the estate’s younger vines, this is a bit lighter, but it still shows significant complexity. 55% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. (87 points)

2012 Abbaye Sylva Plana Faugères La Closeraie - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Faugères
SRP: $25
A bright magenta-purple color. Aromas of sweet roses, tar, strawberry, currant jam, basil-rosemary, all deep and complex. Fresh, fine tannins, juicy strawberry, cherry and currant fruit mix with earth, chestnut and roasted coffee notes. I also get some bright floral notes, and an underlying sense of minerality. Very impressive and lasting, could even use 2 or 3 in the cellar. So pure and tangy and fresh, elegant even. 35% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 20% Mourvedre. (89 points)

This Faugeres sounds the clarion call: Take Languedoc seriously.
2011 Abbaye Sylva Plana Faugères Le Songe de lAbbé - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Faugères
SRP: $39
Dark purple color. Complex, deep aromas of blackberry, black currant, crushed rocks and pencil lead, some cedar, graphite and iron, so dark and complex. Fresh and tangy acid but firm tannins. Tart black berries and black currant fruit blends with accents of charcoal, cedar, black pepper and cocoa powder. I also get some earthy-herbal elements (Sweet basil? Eucalyptus?) Deep and very complex, profound even. This is drinking well now but could easily improve with 3-5 in the cellar. From the producer’s oldest vines in schist soils, this is a blend of 50% Carignan, 30% Cinsault, 10% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre, aged 12 months in new oak. I’ve tasted a ton of Languedoc wines this year, and this ranks up there with the best. (92 points)

2012 Mas des Bressades Vin de Pays du Gard Cabernet/Syrah - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Vin de Pays du Gard
SRP: $15
A juicy ruby color in the glass. Nose of black cherries, black currants, vibrant roses and sweet herbal tea, incense, herbal liqueur. Full bodied and velvety with chewy tannins and moderate acid. The plum cake, roasted fig and currant paste flavors are long and complex, accented by spice cake, fig cookies and some pepper sauce. Ripe and chewy but not just about the fruit. Decant or hold for two to four years. 70% Cabernet and 30% Syrah. (88 points)

2012 Domaine Sainte-Eugénie Corbières La Réserve - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Corbières
SRP: $15
Bright raspberries and red currants on the nose, some underlying smoke, anise and violet notes. Tangy and fresh on the palate, with crisp acid and dusty tannins. Bright raspberries, red currants, red apple peel mix with minerals, crushed rocks and pencil shavings, and there are some underlying herbal elements. So fresh and lively, quite complex with lots of mineral and rocky-granite elements. Finishes long and fresh. I’m really surprised by how pretty this wine is. Syrah, Carignan and Grenache. Great bargain. (90 points)

No comments:

Post a Comment