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2001 in the Languedoc-Roussillon
Tasting 30 of the top wines

The Languedoc and Roussillon are two rather different wine regions that are often considered together for the sake of convenience. Over the last two decades there's been a revolution in the Languedoc, with dozens of new producers emerging on the fine wine scene, all keen to make the best wines possible from fantastic, previously underachieving terroirs. Mas de Daumas Gassac kicked things off, but if you are under the impression that they are among the front runners of the region, then you seriously need an update on what has been going on in the Languedoc. For most of this time the Roussillon hasn't really had much of a revolution, but it's now well under way: over the last three years or so there's been an explosion of new producers making the most of some exceptional terroirs and low land prices, chief among these being Gauby. The current situation is that the Languedoc and Roussillon are producing unique wines that are right up there with the very best that France can produce.

This tasting was a chance to see how things are shaping up. I assessed 30 of the leading wines from the 2001 vintage. The tasting was organized by Liz and Mike Berry of Grand Cru Wines (previously of La Vigneronne), and where the wines are available from Grand Cru their prices are given in brackets. The quality of these wines was uniformly very high.

2001 in the Languedoc


Domaine de la Grange des Pères 2001 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
Open, complex, perfumed herby, spicy nose. The palate is structured but very elegant with ripe, herby fruit and good acidity. Complex and midweight, this is an elegant, expressive wine. Very good/excellent 93/100 
  Clos Marie ‘Les Metaries du Clos’ Vieilles Vignes 2001 Pic St Loup, Coteaux du Languedoc
Lovely sweet expressive nose: smooth and elegant. The palate has lovely pure smooth fruit, subtle spicy complexity and firm but smooth tannins. Very refined. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£18.50)


Terre Inconnue Los Abuelos 2001 Vin de Table
Slightly faded colour. Sweet intense, seamless nose is slightly herby. The palate is sweet and smooth, a tiny bit porty, with lovely elegance to the spicy fruit. Wild stuff. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£23.50)


Terre Inconnue Léonie 2001 Vin de Table
Sweet, intense nose is slightly porty. The palate is lovely and spicy with a smooth rich, earthy character. Really interesting and unusual. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£18.95)

Mas l’Ecriture Le Mas 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Sweet, ripe smooth liquoricey fruit on the nose. Lovely structure on the expressive palate: chewy and spicy with lovely tannins. A serious effort. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£30)


Domaine Gauby Vieilles Vignes 2001 Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Intense, smoky, slightly roasted nose is firm and savoury. The palate is rich, intense and quite structured with chunky black fruits and firm tannins. A savoury, intense wine. Very good/excellent 91/100

  Domaine Chabanon L’Esprit 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Savoury intense nose is spicy and earthy. Nice savoury earthy structure on the palate with firm chunky tannins. A serious, savoury structured with that is very distinctive. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£20)

DIVEM 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Smooth ripe fruit on the nose is quite elegant. The palate is concentrated and smoothly structured with firm but smooth earthy, spicy tannins. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£21.95)


Domaine La Terrasse d’Elise ‘Le Pradel’ 2001 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
Distinctive ripe, sweet nose. Spicy, porty and well defined. Lovely structure and purity of fruit on the palate with a nice spicy richness. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£15.75)


Mas Jullien 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Inky colour. Beguiling nose is ripe and perfumed with spicy, sweet red/black fruits. Nice concentration and structure on the palate with a roasted edge to the ripe fruit and firm tannins. Bold and structured. Very good/excellent 91/100


Tardieu Laurent Costières de Nîmes 2001
Deep coloured. Lovely sweet, spicy nose with deep, intense roasted fruit. Lovely meaty, olive character to the fruit. Quite rich and very expressive. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£10.95)  


Château de Beck Rouge 2001 Costières de Nîmes
Ripe expressive nose is meaty and slightly herby. Perfumed. The palate is nicely weighted and structured. Slightly meaty with a lovely hint of olives. A really tasty wine. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£14.95)  


Mas l’Ecriture Les Pensées 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Spicy, expressive wine with lovely structured fruit. Quite elegant and expressive with a spicy complexity to the red fruits. Very good/excellent 90/100 


Clot de l’Oum Numéro Uno 2001 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Caramany
Very deep colour. Firm, savoury herb and olive-laced nose. The palate is intense, chewy and spicy, inky and savoury with smooth dark fruits. An unusual, profound wine. Very good/excellent 90/100


Domaine des Montcalmès 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Remarkable open, perfumed nose: herby, spicy, sweet and slightly animally. The palate is expressive, spicy and open. Very interesting: potentially a little flawed, but I like it. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£20)


Domaine La Terrasse d’Elise ‘Mas de Blanc’ 2001 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
This is a Merlot, and it has a distinctive slightly leafy nose that’s true to the variety. The palate is nicely weighted with expressive, chalky, leafy, supple fruit. Nice balance and good varietal character. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£14.50)


Domaine de la Garance ‘Les Armières’ 2001 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
Sweet, expressive, soft porty nose. The palate is ripe and sweetly fruited. Distinctive wine that is expressive and contemplative. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£11.95)


Domaine Chabanon ‘Merelaux Alouettes’ 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Rich, ripe blackfruits on the nose with a minerally edge. The palate is elegant and nicely weighted; a structured effort that is firm and savoury. Nicely balanced with a minerally structure. Distinctive rich style. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£20)


Domaine de la Marfée ‘Les Champs Murmurés’ 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Spicy, rich roast coffee nose, with ripe, full fruit. The palate is distinctive and roasted with nice tannic structure and bold ripe fruit. Quite woody, but lovely fruit. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£18.50)

  Clos de la Belle 2001 Vin du Pays de Gard
Ripe, spicy, roasted nose is quite perfumed. The palate is nicely weighted and structured with spicy, earthy tannins. Lots of structure here. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£22.95)
  Domaine les Aurelles Solen Rouge 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Ripe, intense, porty, spicy nose. Quite elegant. The palate is elegant with smooth ripe fruit and fine-grained tannins. A very smooth ripe wine. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£10.95)  


Mas Cal Demoura ‘l’Infidèle’ 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Very distinctive spicy, roasted nose is intense. The palate is vividly fruited with a pronounced spiciness and some roast coffee character. Bold and distinctive. Very good+ 89/100 (£11)  


Mas Jullien Les Etats d’Ame 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Sweet ripe nose showing nicely defined red fruits. Nice weight and structure on the palate with ripe fruit and a dusty, earthy structure. Spicy tannins. Very good+ 89/100 (£9.95)


Roc d’Anglade 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Ripe, sweet dark fruits on the nose with a lovely smoky edge. The palate is concentrated and structured with spicy tannins and good balance. Very good+ 89/100 (£20)  


Clos del Rey 2001 Vin de Pays d’Oc
Intense, defined spicy nose. Palate is structured and full with spiciness: it’s quite oaky and modern. Well made but a tiny bit anonymous. Very good+ 88/100


Domaine Chabanon ‘Les Boissières’ 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Very ripe sweet fruit on the nose. Rich, slightly porty palate with very ripe fruit and nice structure. Tasty and expressive. Very good+ 88/100 (£20)


Domaine Faugeray de Beauclair, Val Grieux, La Croix de Soupié 2001 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
Deep coloured. A shy, rather dusty nose leads to a rich, firm, structured palate with smooth ripe fruit and a spicy finish. Bold wine with smooth, firm tannins. Very good+ 88/100 (£8.95)


Domaine Virgile Joly 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Blackcurrant jam nose. The palate is ripe and quite rich with elegant fruit and some spiciness, with firm tannic structure. Midweight and quite expressive. Very good+ 88/100 (£16.95)  


Domaine Virgile Joly 2001 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault
Vivid blackcurrant and cherry fruit nose. Very vivid fruit. The palate is forward and fruity with an intriguing liquoricey spicy character. Tasty in a midweight style. Very good+ 88/100 (£9.95)  


Domaine Vaquer L’Exception 2001 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
Ripe, assertive, slightly porty nose with a caramelly edge. Chewy, supple fruit on the palate. I’m not terribly keen on this. Very good+ 86/100

see also: tasting notes of Languedoc wines; Leading wines of the Languedoc  

Grand Cru Wines, 1100-5 Avenue des Alpilles , 13310 Saint Martin de Crau, France
Email : gcw@wanadoo.fr Website: www.grandcruwinesltd.net  
Fax : (0033) 490 47 1321 Telephone : (0033) 490 47 2906

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