Castelmaure Corbieres, a fabulous Languedoc red at a good price

Really like this wine. Lots of personality, some elegance, and a haunting perfume – and at a good price, too. It’s from a co-op working in partnership with Jean Jean, and it just works.

Saint-Félix de Castelmaure Corbières 2010 Languedoc, France
13.5% alcohol. Ripe and beautifully framed, with a floral, meaty cherry and plum fruit nose that [...]

A fascinating Languedoc white from Virgile Joly

Had a really fabulous white from Domaine Virgile Joly today, one of many interesting wines being imported into the UK by Dudley and de Fleury. It’s one of those wines that I love, but which I can understand might not be to everyone’s taste. It seems quite oxidative on the nose, but it is so [...]

A good lunch with some nice wines

Very enjoyable family lunch today at my sister’s place in Gerrards Cross. A four siblings plus their families and my parents were gathered. Some nice wines were opened. I didn’t take proper notes this time, but here are my brief impressions.

First some fizz. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is a very fruit-driven Champagne with lovely depth [...]

Two high-end southern French reds

The south of France, with its varying appellations, was one of the first wine regions that I fell in love with. I still retain an affection for the likes of Pic St Loup, Corbieres, Faugeres and Cotes du Roussillon, but it’s ages since I have visited – something I should try to address next year. [...]

Lunch at the Anchor and Hope, with a lovely Languedoc red

Very enjoyable lunch today at famed gastropub the Anchor and Hope, on The Cut, within a few long strides of Waterloo Station.

It was my first time here, and I came away impressed. It’s everything a gastropub should be, with a rustic interior, a no reservations policy, and honest, well-prepared, interesting food at sensible prices.

I started [...]

A lovely Languedoc white

I’m on a bit of a Languedoc roll at the moment. Here’s another really delicious, quite serious, yet well-priced wine. And it’s white.

La Chapelle de Bebian 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc, France
A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette. Very distinctive nose: fresh, minty, herby with a hint of fennel and some anise. The palate is [...]

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 [...]