jamie goode's wine blog: France fights back - Mont Tauch

Thursday, July 05, 2007

France fights back - Mont Tauch

Despite what you hear in the press, there is hope for the French wine industry. The evidence? Wines like these from the Mont Tauch cooperative (with a great website - http://www.mont-tauch.com/). They are affordable, well made, modern, and have a sense of place about them. I can't imagine that many consumers, tasting these two wines alongside new world equivalents at the same price, would prefer the new world options - and especially if the wines were at table, with food. Mont Tauch rock.

That's not to say they are perfect wines. The Corbieres is perhaps just a touch too extracted (or am I being over-fussy at this price point?). The label design is very retro, and I'm not sure it communicates the right message. The back labels are dense with information, but I wonder whether a single message could be more effective and tell the story of the wines a bit more ('ideal with cheese, stews curries and grills' is a bit catch-all, and 'serve at room temperature' perhaps a little redundant).

Mont Tauch Corbieres 2006 Languedoc, France
Deep coloured. Lovely savoury, spicy, almost earthy undercurrents to the ripe, dense red fruits nose. The palate is richly fruited with lots of earthy tannins and great concentration. It's mouthfilling, dense and quite savoury with a drying finish. I like the density and stuffing, but with its prominent tannins this is a wine that would work best with food. The Carignan in the blend makes its presence felt here. The modern face of Corbieres, and a bargain. 83/100 (4.99 Somerfield)

Mont Tauch Fitou 2005 Languedoc, France
Bright, fresh, peppery red fruits nose is aromatic and welcoming. The palate is vivid, bright, a little sappy and really nicely weighted. It's savoury and food friendly, finishing with dry, peppery structure. It's not as dense or rich as the Corbieres, but the extra freshness and spice makes this potentially a more successful wine. Very drinkable and another bargain. 84/100 (4.99 Waitrose, Sainsbury, Somerfield)

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At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mont Tauch 'Les Douze' is a step up from these bargain beauties at around 7 - 8. This co-operative is showing others the way.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Just seen that the Mont Tauch Fitou is currently 3.99 in Waitrose - bargain time.

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joining or forming co-ops like Mont Tauch is surely a better way forward for SW France growers than involvement in the antics of CRAV?

I agree with Jamie's praise of Mont Tauch's website. It opens straight away without the minutes long arty-farty intro that's a feature of so many other winery sites.

Informative and user friendly, it gives you confidence that they are a professional outfit who make wines that are worth seeking out.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

I guess that's what a website by a cooperative will give you...

Michel Marty is the chief winemaker for the co-op and I've definitely come to rely on his wines year after year and even the non-AOC VdP entries are great successes and bargains equally. The website for some reason does not list the L'If VdP red that is available in Canada. It's a Carginan/Merlot blend. Perhaps it is export only?

In any case Jamie, I find that its label and the one for the Fitou Vieilles Vignes from Mont Tauch that I see in stores here are more suited to communicate that single message that you talk about... Again, the different labels could be a export market thing.


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