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Domaine de Saumarez, Coteaux du Languedoc

Metrairie de Bouisson, 34570 Murviel-les-Montpellier, France
Tel: +33 (0)6 24 41 56 20
E-mail: domainedesaumarez@yahoo.co.uk

I caught up with proprietors of this new Languedoc domaine, Liz and Robin Williamson (pictured), at Handford’s South Kensington wine shop. They’re young Brits with a background in finance who have moved to the south of France to make wine. Their property is 15 hectares, of which 12 are under vine, with a classic mix of Languedoc varieties (principally Grenache and Syrah). It’s in the village of Murviel-les-Montpellier, near to Domaine de la Marfee.

I tasted the two red wines here – some white is also made. The grapes are harvested fully ripe, before fermentation in lined concrete tanks. There’s very little pigeage (plunging of the skins) because the ripeness of the grapes makes heavy extraction unnecessary, with just a bit of pumping over (remontage) to keep the skins wet. Some new oak is used, particularly with the top wine, Aalenien.

These are impressive wines, very fairly priced, in a modern, ripe (perhaps almost over-ripe) style. A producer to watch. 

Domaine de Saumarez ‘S’ 2004 Coteaux du Languedoc
A blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, with yields averaging 35 hl/ha. Nice sweet dark fruits nose: dark, rich, quite full. The palate is supple, very ripe and lush with a spicy edge. I really like the grainy, spicy structure here: Grenache at its best. A lovely wine at a very good price. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£7.99 Handford)

Domaine de Saumarez ‘Aalenien’ 2004 Coteaux du Languedoc
65% Syrah (12 hl/ha) and 35% Grenache (27 hl/ha), aged in barrels of various sizes, 90% of which are new. Very deep coloured. Open nose with sweet dark fruit leads to a lush palate with good concentration and richness. Deliciously forward, richly textured and quite hard to resist. A very ripe style, with nicely integrated oak. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£13.99 Handford)

Wines tasted 04/06
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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