Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Languedoc and the Dirty Dozen


The Dirty Dozen are a group of young dynamic wine importers.  They held a tasting recently, so I went along to see what was on offer from the Languedoc.  Some specialise in Italy, Spain or Burgundy, so I am afraid that I ignored them altogether, but from others I found some interesting offerings.

Clark Foyster Wines :   www.clarkfoysterwines.co.uk

2011 la Coume Mas, Mas Cristine, Côtes du Roussillon
Quite a deep colour.  A ripe rounded nose and palate.  Lots of cherry fruit from the Grenache, balanced with a streak of tannin, and a ripe finish.  Very warming.

Roberson Wine:  www.robersonwine.com
Roberson’s are always a great source of Languedoc wines, as it is one of  Mark Andrew’s particular enthusiasms. 

2011 Domaine Laurens, Crémant de Limoux.   Graimenous  - £13.95
A blend of Chardonnay, Chenin blanc, Pinot Noir and Mauzac.  A lovely creamy glass of wine, rich and rounded, with some notes of yeast autolysis.  Delicious.

2012 Mas Coutelou, Vin des Amis  - £12.95
Light fresh fruit on nose and palate.  Very refreshing with some acidity and an appealing lift on the finish.  This was also amongst the Absolutely Cracking French wines.

2004 Domaine Peyre Rose, Clos des Cistes.- £64.95
This was serious.  Rich dense and leathery on the nose and on the palate, rounded ripe and concentrated, but also harmonious.  Still some firm tannins, but also some notes of maturity.  A very satisfying mouthful.  Very serious and also expensive.

2003 Domaine de Trévallon, Bouches du Rhone  - £54.95
I’m straying into Provence here, but who could resist the opportunity to taste Trévallon.  In fact I found that this wine was suffering from the hot vintage.  There were some tarry tannins, and some rich sweet fruit, but the whole was not very harmonious.  Not Trévallon at its best.

Mark was also enthusing about his new Bandol, so I tried that too.

2012 Domaine Maubernard, rosé.  - £16.95 The neighbours are the famed Bandol estate, Domaine de Pibarnon, so vineyards on a good site.   A very pale delicate colour.  A delicate nose, with some dry fresh fruit on the palate.  Initially quite ethereal, but with an unexpected streak of flavour.

2009 Bandol Rouge, Domaine Maubernard. - £16.95
Light red colour.  Elegant leathery fruit on the palate.  Rounded palate, ripe and  nicely understated.  Quite an elegant finish.

Vine Trail were showing wines from Domaine La Grange de Quatre Sous.   www.vinetrailco.uk

2011 Le Jeu du Mail  Pays d’Oc
A blend of Viognier and Marsanne,, aged mainly in large wood with just one barrique.  Quite a rich apply nose, with more depth on the palate.  Good texture and some rich fruit.

2011 La Grange des Quatre Sous, Garsinde, Pays d’Oc
Another intriguing blend of Malbec 60% , Syrah  25% and Cabernet Franc 15%
Quite a deep young colour.  Firm ripe fruit on the nose, and on the palate.  Ripe and concentrated, with rounded fruit and balancing tannins.   Youthful with lots of nuances.  Some ageing potential.

They also have Domaine de Cebène’s Faugères, les Bancèls, with its lovely spicy fruit.  Finely crafted and sunshine in a glass.

Indigo Wine  www.indigowine.com  have taken on  Catherine Roque’s wines, so I had to check out her Viognier, les Aires, and the Faugères, le Presbytère, with its peppery fruit.

And as well they were showing a good Corbières estate,

2011 Clos Perdus, Corbières, Cuvee 91
Carignan dominate, with some Grenache and Mourvèdre.  I thought there was a touch of brett on the nose, or it was just a bit viandé. But the palate is characterful and rich and gutsy, with some firm tannins and some ripe fruit, and a slightly sweet note on the finish.  A wine with an attitude.

I had not come across Aubert & Mascoli before  www.aubertandmacoli.com, so was delighted to see that they had a wine from Domaine Fontedicto, namely 2003 Promise, Coteaux du Languedoc.   It was fascinating to try a wine that was ten years old, but I felt that the bottle had suffered with constant pouring.  The flavour was rather leathery and losing its freshness.  Younger would have been better.

And then there was a new estate:
2010 Domaine des 2 Anes, Corbières, Fontanilles
Apparently they are on the coast at Peyriac.  A blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah.  Medium colour.  Fresh spicy fruit on the nose.  Medium weight palate, with some lovely spicy fruit and a fresh finish.

2010 Ocre Rouge, Chardonnay
This comes from an estate outside Dions, just north of Nimes in the Gorges du Gardon.   I tend to avoid Chardonnay from the Midi, but it is refreshing to have one’s prejudices overturned every so often.  This had some fresh fruit, with good acidity, and did not taste like a southern Chardonnay.

The Wine Treasury  www.winetreasury.com  had a pair of wines from Roussillon, labelled Consolation

2011 Juliette, Roussanne.  Quite rich and leafy and on the palate, some oak but textured layers.  A touch too much oak for my taste.  I didn’t like this as much as at the Absolutely Cracking Wines of France tasting.  Shows how wines and tastebuds can change from day to day.

The red version, Wild Boar Syrah, was deep in colour, with a rich nose and some ripe spicy rounded fruit, and some orange notes on the finish.  Quite warming.

And finishing with H2Vin, there were a pair of Corsicans,   www.h2vin.co.uk 

2011 Domaine San Armettu, Sartène rouge
Light colour.  A touch bretty on the nose.  I preferred the palate which was quite ripe with some dry leathery notes.

And Clos Canarelli, Figari blanc.  Light herbal notes on both nose and palate, with a rounded finish.  Initially it seemed quite delicate, but with a ripe finish.

2011 Domaine de l’Oustal blanc  Naïck

This estate is in the Minervois, but the wine is Vin de France;  I am not sure why.  It is a blend of Carignan and Syrah, supported by Cinsaut and Grenache and was rich and spicy on both nose and palate, with some confit notes on the finish.  A rich gutsy wine from wild scenery. 

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