A brilliant southern French red

This is fantastic. It’s a blend of seven different grape varieties (Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, Counoise, Grenache Noir, Terret Gris), made without any oak. And it manages to catch an almost Burgundian precision and elegance, with a natural, unadorned purity to the fruit. This is the sort of southern French red that I love.

Gravillas [...]

30670 - an appealing Languedoc red

This is a slightly curiously labelled wine. 30670 is the postcode of where the wine comes from, and it’s made by Domaine de la Dromadaire (the camel’s domaine?), which is a partnership by the Goellner and Redon families in the Languedoc. The innovative packaging contains a really appealing Languedoc red, which flirts with jamminess but [...]

An elegant Languedoc red: Ch l'Hospitalet

This wine, from Gerard Bertrand’s Ch l’Hospitalet, is really impressive. Quite elegant, which is an achievement for a warm region like the Languedoc.

Château l’Hospitalet La Reserve 2007 La Clape, Languedoc, France
13.5% alcohol. A blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache. Beautifully aromatic with sweet, pure berry and cherry fruit notes. Quite liqueur-like. The [...]

Jean-Claude Mas is a genius

I’m just so impressed by the wines of Jean-Claude Mas, from France’s Languedoc. Five of his wines were in yesterday’s Asda Press tasting, and they were all brilliant – he can even make Merlot taste interesting.

The wines show lovely fruit purity, varietal typicity and great balance. They’re modern but not spoofy. And they’re affordable.

This wine [...]

Pennautier Cabardes – brilliant value!

It’s always good to find an affordable wine that really over-delivers. This is fantastic stuff, and it’s an utter bargain.

Château de Pennautier 2008 Cabardès, France
From a small (500 ha) appellation in the Languedoc, this is one of my bargain wines of the year. It shows distinctive, savoury, gravelly, structured dark fruits with good acidity and [...]

Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat Minervois: another stunner from the Languedoc

It seems I’m having a bit of joy in the Languedoc. I may have to make a visit soon to see what’s going on. This is a beautifully pure, fresh, natural expression of Minervois.

Domaine Jean Baptiste Senat Minervois ‘Mais ou est Donc Ornica’ 2008
13.5% alcohol. Deep coloured. A wonderfully pure, fresh, elegant expression of [...]