Majestic put on one of their mammoth tastings last week. It’s impossible to taste everything – I certainly don’t have the stamina, so I chose carefully and on the whole was rewarded with some sympa bottles from the Languedoc.
Majestic do lots discounts on second bottles so the first price is the price for just one bottle, and the second price is when you buy two bottles.
2012 Picpoul de Pinet, Villemarin - £7.99 - £6.99 or even £6.49, depending on timing. This comes from the Pinet coop and is up to their usual standard, with some dry salty notes on the nose, and a fresh vibrant palate with good acidity.
2012 Striking French Viognier, Pays d’Oc - £9.99 - £7.99
This comes from Domaine Paul Mas, and is partly fermented in French and American oak. The oak is nicely integrated, so that the nose is perfumed and peachy and the palate is rich and textured, with good depth and weight. Great value, especially when you consider the price of Condrieu.
2012 Croix Saint Adel Blanc, Coteaux du Libron - £9.99 - £7.99
This is a blend of 60% Chardonnay with 20% each of Sauvignon and Viognier and comes from the Cers –Portiragnes coop. Light colour with some herbal hints on the nose, and a touch of oak on the palate. Maybe the wine is still too young; I didn’t find the oak very integrated, or the palate very satisfying.
2011 Limoux, L’Etoile de Bégude Chardonnay - £17.99 - £12.99
Quite a firm nutty nose, and rich nutty fruit on the palate. I found it a touch heavy and alcoholic on the finish. It would make a great alternative to white Burgundy, but my problem is that I am not really a fan of Chardonnay in the Languedoc, and much prefer Chablis, to Meursault. The Petit Chablis from Louis Moreau alongside it was much more my style of Chardonnay. Sorry James.
2012 Striking French Merlot, Pays d’Oc - £9.99 - £7.99
Also from Jean-Claude Mas. I also have problems with Merlot in the Languedoc, and found this rather sweet and oaky.
2011 Château de Pennautier, Cabardès £7.49 - £6.99
From the appellation that includes both Bordeaux and Mediterranean grape varieties. Medium colour, and quite a firm nose, with a structured palate, as you would expect. Still quite young and tasting a bit adolescent.
2012 Domaine de Montval Syrah, Pays du Gard - £9.99 –£6.66 or £6.99, depending on timing.
Medium colour. Soft easy nose, and some fresh peppery fruit and spice. An undemanding simple glass of wine for a cold winter’s evening.
2011 St. Chinian Roquebrun, la Grange des Combes - £12.99 - £9.99
This comes from the very successful Roquebrun coop. Medium colour. Some firm spice on the nose, and on the palate a touch of smoky bacon, and some peppery fruit and a balancing streak of tannin. Lovely and characterful. A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre.
2011 Château l’Hospitalet, la Clape, Grand Vin, Gérard Bertrand - £19.99 - £16.99
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre aged in 12 -1 6 months in oak. Good deep colour. Some smoky bacon and oak on the nose and a solid youthful palate, with tannin and oak and rich black fruit. Plenty of ageing potential underneath the oak. Good depth. Needs time.