The Bunch are a group of six dynamic independent wine merchants, namely Adnams, Berry Bros & Rudd, Corney & Barrow, Lea & Sandeman, Tanners and Yapp Brothers. They hold an annual press tasting, which is always well worth attending, as you know the wines will be exciting. You may not necessarily like them, but they will have a personality and an attitude. Sadly the Languedoc did not get that much of a look in this year, but of the four wines from the region, I liked three enormously.
From Corney & Barrow there was a 2012 Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine de Morin Langaran – £8.95
This is a new name to me; the label says that they are in Mèze. It had that pithy, salty, sappy quality that all good Picpoul should have, that immediately makes you think of the sea, and demands an oyster or a dozen by way of accompaniment. Deliciously refreshing and characterful
Yapp Brothers showed 2011 Pic St. Loup, Mas Bruguière, l’Arbouse. - £14.50
This was Pic St. Loup at its most elegant. Medium depth of colour. Some firm mineral stony fruit, with a touch of red fruit, and on the palate rounded fruit, with balanced tannins and a satisfying mineral note. Pic St. Loup should be one of the more elegant appellations of the Languedoc, and this certainly is. I’ve not visited this estate for a while – it’s on the list. Xavier Bruguière has taken over from his father and is now working organically.
Adnams had a Costières de Nimes that was also new to me, Domaine de la Cadenette, 2012 for £7.99, which is brilliant value. I always think of Costières de Nimes as the Beaujolais of the Languedoc, the wine that provides straightforward appealing fruit for easy drinking. And that is just what this does, with some spicy red fruit and supple tannins. Or to quote Rob Chase from Adnams, it has the elegance of Provence, the ripeness of the Rhone and the wild card element of the Languedoc. I couldn’t have put it better myself.