Friday, 27 January 2012

SALON DES VIGNERONS INDEPENDENTS IN LONDON - Domaine du Grand Chemin

I didn’t get to the Salon des Vignerons Independents in Paris this winter, for various reasons, but instead made up for that omission at a mini-salon at Lords last week. There was a good handful of growers from Languedoc-Roussillon, some new to me and some familiar. So my next few posts will focus on what I discovered at Lords.

First off was a new name – Domaine du Grand Chemin, with Emmanuel Floutier, at Savinargues in the Gard, not too far from Anduze and Alès. Most of the wines they were showing were IGP Pays d’Oc, but they also come within the Pays des Cevennes and Duché d’Uzès. Emmanuel’s first bottling was the 2003 vintage, but his father started bottling back in 1984. Altogether they have 60 hectares of vines and produce an eclectic range. Here are some of the highlights, or indeed just of few of the wines they make, as the number of wines was limited to six for each exhibitor – nowhere near enough, even with a couple more hidden under the table. I ended up tasting more of their wines that I anticipated which must be a good thing.

2011 Sauvignon – 4.50€
Quite a firm pithy nose. Crisp palate, with good acidity and a rounded finish.

2011 Viognier
A hint peachy on both nose and palate. No great depth but fresh with light varietal character.

2011 Chardonnay
Lightly buttery on the nose. Light fruit on the palate and nicely balanced.

2011 Rosé Gris – a blend of Cinsaut and Grenache. – 4.60€
This wine accounts for 40% of their production, and pretty good it was too. A light, pretty colour. A delicate nose, but on the palate quite ripe and vinous, with a rounded delicate fruity finish. A food rosé.

2010 Pinot Noir
They are in one of the cooler parts of the Languedoc, where Pinot Noir fares better. It was quite a simple wine, but none the worse for that. A delicate nose, with a hint of raspberry, and on the palate quite dry, with a hint of liquorice and a fresh finish. Easy simple drinking.

2010 Merlot
Quite ripe and rounded, with a tannic streak.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Quite rich, rounded cassis on the nose. Quite dry fruit on the palate, with good varietal character.

And then came a couple of blends:

2009 Cuvée JMF – after Emmanuel’s father Jean-Marc. -9.00€ A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with 20% Pinot Noir, blended together after six months of élevage, partly in old French oak and partly in vat. The nose was quite firm and oaky, with some perfumed fruit on the palate, some spicy oak and a fresh finish. I am not sure about blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir – I think they might argue a bit in the glass, but from memory it was the first time that I had tasted such a blend.

2010 Clos Rogé, a blend of 40% each of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, with 20% Petit Verdot which worked better. It was also more expensive at 14.50€ and included a higher percentage (80%) of oak ageing, in 400 litre tonneaux.. Quite firm and structured on the nose; quite powerful palate, with an elegant finish. Some good ageing potential.

www.domainedugrandchemin.com

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