Tasting the Wines of Languedoc, 2012

We’ve covered the Languedoc — the area in the south of France that borders the Mediterranean — before. Recently we had a chance to sample a variety of wines from the region, known both for its affordability and the eclectic nature of the grapes grown and wines made there. Enjoy this semi-random walk through the wines of the south of France.

NV Domaine J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux Brut - This Cremant de Limoux offers fresh apple and distinct pear character, with a good balance and nice acidity. None of that earthy yeastiness of the sparkling wine from that other part of France. But seriously: Simple and refreshing, with just a touch of baking spice on the finish to keep things interesting. 60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin Blanc, 5% Mauzac, and 5% Pinot Noir. A- / $14

2009 Antech Emotion Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose - A blend of the same 4 grapes as the Laurens, but in a rose style. A lot more yeast and fizz in this one. A bit of woody funk on the nose, with a few green pepper notes. Under all that, moderate fruit and some floral character that saves the day. B- / $15

2011 Les Vignerons de Fontes Prieure Saint-Hippolyte Languedoc Rose – Surprisingly bright red in color, this blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache is all candied fruit on the nose. Big strawberry character on the palate, with a touch of earthy, dusty funk to finish. Quite sweet and easy-drinking, but showing its varietal character. B / $11

2010 Chateau de la Negly “La Brise Marine” Coteaux du Languedoc La Clave – Ultra-golden color, lots of fruit — apple and lemon — with moderate, flowery aromatics. Simple and refreshing, but with a touch of medicinality on the back end. A blend of Bourboulenc (!), Roussanne, and Marsanne. B / $15

2009 Domaine Rimbert “Le Mas au Schiste” Saint-Chinian – A Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache blend. Light body, but full of fruit character, cherry mainly, with some mint and tropical overtones. Really easy-drinking, a great example of what the Languedoc can be. A- / $20

2009 Domaine Gres Saint Paul “Antonin” Coteaux du Languedoc – 80% Syrah with 10% each of Mourvedre and Grenache. Intensely earthy, with aromas of raw meat and coal dust. The body’s about the same. D- / $17


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