The Pétrus-beating Ravanes Les Gravières du Taurou 2000, at age 17

There’s a story behind this wine, and it’s quite a fun one. I tasted it first blind, back in 2004. This was a blind tasting comparing the best of Languedoc-Roussillon with benchmark wines, and it was really interesting. I gave this a very good score then, so it was nice to revisit it at age [...]

Two lovely Languedoc wines from Gayda

Had a look at some samples yesterday after getting home from New Zealand, and these two, from Domaine Gayda, stood out.

Gayda Figure Libre Chenin Blanc 2015 Pays d’Oc, France
13.5% alcohol. Organic farming, sandstone soils, 200 m altitude. Harvested in two tries, with 10% botrytis, and fermented in concrete egg. Full yellow colour. This has a lovely [...]

Domaine Clavel Le Mas: excellent value from the Languedoc

Not to be confused with the Côtes du Rhône domaine of the same name, Domaine Clavel has vineyards in four different Languedoc terroirs: Pic St Loup, Grès de Montpellier, La Méjanelle and Saint Christol, with 33 hectares in all. The farming is organic.

This, their entry level red, is really smart. It’s from Grès de Montpellier, [...]

Three Languedoc wines from Calmel & Joseph

Laurent Calmel and Jérôme Joseph are negociants working in the Languedoc-Roussillon. They work with 20 different producer partners and make around 450 000 bottles each year, the vast majority of which are destined for export markets. The company as it is now was formed when oenologist Calmel joined Joseph, who had up to this point [...]

Two lovely own-label French wines from Sainsbury's

Credit where credit is due. I wouldn’t usually find myself recommending you to hot-foot it to your local supermarket to buy wine, but here are two good own label wines from Sainsbury’s that I really enjoyed. The regular prices are 25% more than what they are on the shelves for at the moment (the prices [...]

A serious Languedoc red from Mas Belles Eaux

I am a huge fan of the Languedoc. It’s a region that possesses some serious terroirs, and where winegrowers have the motivation, they can use these to make serious wines that usually represent great value for money. The potential of the Languedoc has attracted the attention of larger wine companies: AXA Millesimes purchased Mas Belles [...]

Zelige Caravent, exciting wines from the Languedoc's Pic St Loup

Two wines from this interesting Pic St Loup property. Zelige-Caravent have 12 hectares of vines, separated into 22 different parcels, on interesting soils in the over-achieving Languedoc commune of Pic St Loup. They farm biodynamically (although they are certified organic only), and the newer parcels are planted at very high density and are massale selection. [...]

Three amazing natural wines from Mas Coutelou

These are lovely, lovely wines. I followed them over the course of a few days, so I’m fairly confident in my recommendations, too. They are made by Jeff Coutelou, in France’s Languedoc. Jeff works naturally, using very little sulfur dioxide at all. All are young, dense and grippy, and I think that you’d be safe [...]

A day in the Languedoc

I spent today in the Languedoc, doing some work. The work was actually quite enjoyable: I was tasting a selection of 90 of the estate wines from Les Grands Chais de France, with a view to selecting 12 ‘ambassadors’ – wines that Grands Chais could use to show to the press and trade what they [...]

Two from Mas Belles Eaux

Mas Belles Eaux is the Languedoc outpost of AXAs wine empire. Christian Seely was captivated by the potential of the terroirs here, and since 2002 has invested heavily in the property, which is situated in Caux, near Pézenas. A new winery was built and has been in operation since the 2008 vintage. This is a [...]