The Outsiders, a disparate group of wine growers who do not originate from the Languedoc, were in Montpellier the evening before Millésime Bio. Some are organic, but not all, so they decided to host a tasting to get us in the mood for the salon the next day. Most are estates that I already know, but it was a great opportunity to taste some new vintages.
I naturally gravitated towards white wine and fizz first.
Château Rives-Blanques www.rives-blanques.com
2013 Chardonnay – Chenin IGP – 5.00€
Dry honey on both nose and palate, with some fresh acidity. Still a touch adolescent but that is to be expected.
2102 Odyssée, Limoux,
Ripe rounded nutty fruit on nose. Good fruit with a nicely textured palate. Very satisfying.
2012 Occitania, Limoux,
Lightly grassy, rounded nose. A nicely textured palate, with youthfully layers of flavour.
2011 Dédicace, Limoux
Dry honey; lovely honey. Delicious. The palate is filling out.
2011 Blanquette de Limoux,
90% Mauzac 10% Chenin and Chardonnay
Quite a rich yeasty rounded nose. Ripe rounded palate with some honey. Quite rich and nicely mouth filling.
2011 Crémant de Limoux.
Elegantly creamy on both nose and palate. Just as I would expect it to be.
Château d’Anglès www.chateaudangles.com
2011 Classique Blanc, La Clape
50% Bourboulenc, 30% Grenache, 10% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne.
Lightly herbal nose, with some fresh sappy fruit and some weight on the palate. Very good acidity and a satisfying salty note. A lovely glass of wine.
2011 Grand Vin white, La Clape
40% Bourboulenc, 20 % each of Grenache, Roussanne and Marsanne
The Bourboulenc is 75 years old, planted by a previous owner, Jean Segura, who pioneered La Clape Blanc at a time when people thought the Languedoc was completely unsuitable for white wine production. Rounded nose, with understated oak. And on the palate, fresh and rich, and beautifully balanced. Hints of honey and fennel, and a certain weight on the palate.
2010 Classique red, La Clape
20% Mourvèdre and 40% each of Syrah and Grenache.
Medium colour. Ripe juicy fruit on the nose and on the palate an appealing freshness, with supple red fruit and a streak of tannin and a long finish
2009 Grand Vin red, La Clape
55% Mourvèdre with 25% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 5% Carignan. The Grenache is aged in tank, and the other varieties in barrel. Deep colour. Very good depth on both nose and palate. Some oak, with rich youthful spicy fruit. A tannic streak, with ageing potential. Very elegant.
Domaine Turner Pageot www.turnerpageot.com
2012 Le Blanc, Languedoc.
80% Roussanne with 20% Marsanne
Some intriguing herbal notes on nose and palate. Quite ripe, with good balancing acidity.
2012 La Rupture, Vin de France,
Quite firm and mineral on both nose and palate. Very good acidity; firm fruit and stony minerality.
2012 Vin Clairet
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre.
A very bright pink. Rounded raspberry fruit on nose and palate. Very fresh fruit, with some texture on the palate.
70% Syrah; 30% Mourvèdre.
I much preferred the palate to the nose, which was a bit eggy. Rounded youthful fruit; quite rich and solid with furry tannins.
Mas Foulaquier www.masfoulaquier.fr
2012 la Chouette blanche, Languedoc
70% Grenache Blanc, 30% Rolle and Bourboulenc
I found this a bit unbalanced. A ripe rather sweet nose, and on the palate quite appley and rounded.
2012 l’Orphée, Pic St. Loup
50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.
Quite a structured nose. Ripe palate with red fruit and some furry tannins, and a slight prickle which was a bit disconcerting.
2011 Le Petit Duc, Pic St. Loup
90% Grenache, 10% Syrah. I thought that Pic St. Loup was supposed to be predominantly Syrah, but I suppose it depends on what is in your vineyard.
Quite a deep young colour. Quite sturdy, firm fruit on the nose. A ripe rounded rich palate.
2011 Gran’T Pic St. Loup
50% Carignan and 50% Grenache – old vines.
Deep young colour. Ripe solid nose and some furry red fruit on the palate. My tasting notes seem to have given up a bit at this point.
Clos du Gravillas www.closdugravillas.com
2012 L’Inattendu, Minervois Blanc
80% Grenache, 20% Maccabeu
Quite firm fresh nose. Fresh fruit and good acidity on the palate. Herbal notes and a certain sappy quality. Nicely balanced.
2012 Mademoiselle Lily, Côtes du Brian Blanc
50% Terret 5o% Viognier.
Quite soft and peachy, with some sweetness and balancing acidity.
2011 Lo Viehl, Carignan de 100 ans. Côtes du Brian rouge
Deep colour. Solid dense ripe nose. Élevage in new barrels. Ripe black and red fruit. Quite tannic and very youthful. Very promising.
2011 Rendez-vous sur la lune. Minervois
50% Carignan 50% Syrah
Very deep colour. Ripe rounded red fruit, and on the palate. Furry tannins. Very characterful.. This is John and Nicole’s first red Minervois as they bought three more hectares, in order to get some more Terret, but it came with Cinsaut and Syrah which they will keep, so that they can now make Minervois rouge, and some Grenache that is being pulled up. Apparently there are moves afoot to present Cazelles as a potential cru of the Minervois. There are about a dozen growers involved, seven or eight of whom form a solid core of support for the project.
And to finish 2012 Muscat, with nicely perfumed fruit on nose and palate. Deliciously grapey.
Domaine Le Clos du Serres www.leclosduserres.fr
2011 Le Saut du Poisson, Languedoc
70% Grenache blanc, 20% Vermentino and Roussanne.
Lightly herbal with a touch of oak, and on the palate intriguingly herbal and oaky, balanced with some good fruit. Youthful.
2012 Le Clos, Languedoc
30% Oeillade, 30% Cinsaut, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache
Good deep colour. Some lovely fruit on the palate. Rounded and dense, solid ripe black cherries.
2012 Le Blaca, Terrasses du Larzac
70% Syrah, with 15% Grenache and Carignan.
Some smoky oak on the nose, with good solid ripe perfumed fruit on the palate. Ripe vanilla and some structure. Promises well.
2011 Mollard & Fillon Terrasses du Larzac
30% Syrah, 32% Grenache, 21% /Cinsaut, 17% Carignan
Medium colour. Rounded ripe fruit. Quite silky and smooth.
They were only supposed to have four wines, but somehow others appeared .......
2012 Mollard & Fillon Terrasses du Larzac
Quite solid dense nose, with furry tannins, and ripe rounded red fruit. Very youthful
2012 Les Maros
Deep colour, Quite solid, ripe and rounded nose and palate. Lots of black fruit.
2013 Rosé, about to be bottled.
Light and fresh, delicate and elegant.
Domaine Treloar www.domainetreloar.com
2012 La Terre Promise, Côtes Catalanes Blanc
2012 La Terre Promise, Côtes Catalanes Blanc
60% Grenache Gris, 30% Maccabeu, 10% Carignan
Quite rounded nose, Herbal notes on the palate, with some fresh fruit. Good acidity and texture.
2011 Motus, Côtes du Roussillon
90% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache
Quite rich and oaky on the nose, and on the palate also ripe and oaky, with black fruit and tannins. Plenty of potential.
One Block Grenache 2011, Côtes Catalanes red
60% Grenache, 40% Lladoner Pelut
Dark colour. Solid rounded black fruit on the nose, and rounded ripe fruit on the palate. Rich and dense.
2012 Muscat de Rivesaltes,
Muscat à petits grains.
Fresh and grapey; ripe and rounded; and very refreshing
Domaine de Saumarez www.domainedesaumarez.com
2012 S’blanc Coteaux du Languedoc
50% Grenache blanc, 40% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne
Soft and rounded on both nose and plate, but with some acidity. Very easy drinking.
2012 S’Rouge Coteaux du Languedoc
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Medium red colour. Rounded ripe soft fruit on nose and palate. Medium weight with a fresh finish. Again easy drinking
2011 Trinitas Grès de Montpellier
One third each of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah. Co-fermented.
Quite a deep colour. Quite solid and rounded on both nose and palate. Ripe fruit and quite a dense textured palate.
2011 Aaleien, Coteaux du Languedoc. The name describes the stones in the vineyard, lumps of clay and limestone with quartz.
90% Syrah, 10% Grenache
Deep colour. Quite dry and smoky, with a certain sweetness
Domaine Sainte Croix www.saintecroixvins.com
2012 La Serre, Vin de France
60% Grenache Blanc, 40% Grenache Gris
And why is it Vin de France. You need two varieties for Corbières, and in this context Grenache Gris is not considered to be a different grape variety ....... no comment!
Anyway I liked the wine, with appealing herbal notes on the nose, and more rounded herbal fruit on the palate.
2010 Le Fournas, Corbières
45% Carignan, 28% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre
Medium colour. Quite a rounded nose. Quite a soft rounded palate, with ripe fruit, but lacked a bit of grip.
2012 Pourboire Nature, Vin de France
70% Carignan, 15% each of Syrah and Grenache. And why is this Vin de France? The maximum amount of Carignan allowed in Corbières is 50%..... It is made from wild yeast with no S02 and the grapes are picked quite early. Acidity is a protective factor. Quite fresh red fruit. Medium weight. Rounded ripe fruit. A nice glass of wine.
2010 Celéstra Corbières
90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre.
Dee ]p colour, some oak and more so on palate. Quite solid and dense. Plenty of potential.
Château Combebelle www.combebelle.com
2008 St. Chinian, Henri
100% Syrah. Maturing colour. Dry leathery notes, with some red fruit and a streak of acidity. A bit of an edge. Not very harmonious
2010 St. Chinian,
70% Syrah, 30% Grenache
Quite a solid, rounded tarry palate.
2012 St. Chinian les Fleurs Sauvages,
70& Syrah, 30% Grenache
Medium colour. Rounded fruit on the nose, and ripe fruit with some tannin on the palate.
2012 St/. Chinian, Olive
80% Syrah, 20% Grenache.
Medium colour. A ripe sweet nose and on the palate, some ripe fruit, but finishes a bit jammy, with an edgy streak of acidity.
Domaine de Cébène www.cebene.fr
2012 Ex Arena IGP Oc
85% Grenache 15% Mourvèdre
Rounded perfumed fruit, and on the palate. Supple tannins. A lovely glass of wine.
2011 les Bancèls, Faugères rouge
Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan.
Still very young. Solid rounded fruit, with some furry tannins
2012 les Bancèls
Quite a closed nose, but with some rounded fruit, on nose and palate. Quite fresh and elegant on the palate, with some attractive red fruit.
2012 Belle Lurette, Faugères
70% Carignan with Grenache and Mourvèdre
Quite a firm smoky nose, and on the palate quite rounded with good texture and balance, and some fresh acidity.
2011 Felgaria, Faugères
Quite solid rounded spicy fruit on the nose, and on the palate quite a solid dense palate, with firm fruit and tannin. Still very youthful
Again quite a solid firm nose, and on the palate rounded ripe smoky red fruit. Beginning to evolve.
Château St. Jacques d’Albas www.chateaustjacques.com
2008 La Chapelle St. Jacques, Minervois
2008 La Chapelle St. Jacques, Minervois
96% Syrah, 4% Grenache
Solid dense ripe fruit. Still quite oaky, with rounded ripe fruit on the palate
2010 Chateau St. Jacques d’Albas, Minervois
60% Syrah, 40% Grenache
Deep colour. Solid smoky oak on nose and black. Ripe black fruit. Rounded with good fruit and body.
2010 Le Domaine, Minervois
60% Syrah, 20% each of Mourvèdre and Grenache.
Rounded ripe smoky nose. Good fruit on the palate. Medium weight with attractive spice and a satisfying balance.
2012 Le Petit St. Jacques, Pays d’Oc
50% Cabernet, 50% Grenache
Deep colour. Rounded cassis on the nose, and some ripe rounded fruit on the palate.
2011 Les Garrigues
Rounded ripe sweet red fruit.. Easy drinking
And a rince bouche to finish the tasting:
2012 Rosé with a light nose and fresh ripe s strawberry fruit and good acidity.
Apologies for lack of prices They weren’t supplied on the tasting sheet, and there were too many people at the tasting to keep asking ........