Gavin Crisfield is one of my favourite (amongst many) Languedoc winemakers, producing some of the Languedoc’s most elegant wines, epitomised by his delicious Cinsaut La Traversée. So, I was delighted to discover that Virgin Wines are selling two wines that he has made for them, based on his négociant activity.
2015 Trois Calices Réserve, Vin de France - £11.99
Medium depth of colour. An enticingly fragrant nose, with perfumed fruit. An elegant palate, with fresh red fruit, balancing acidity and a streak of tannin. A blend of 40% Syrah, and 30% each of Grenache Noir and Carignan. Deliciously fragrant and appealing.
2016 Cirque de Navacelles, Coteaux du Languedoc, Réserve d’Héric - £9.99
A blend of 60% Grenache Noir, with 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan. The flavours are sturdier and more tannic than les Trois Calices, but nevertheless retain their benchmark elegance with some lovely fragrant fruit. Both the wines have an appealing freshness, coming from some of the cooler vineyards of the Languedoc, and the alcohol in both cases is a modest 13°.
Escura des Pins, a Pays d’Oc, Alicante Bouschet. - £10.99
The third offering from Virgin Wines comes from a grape variety that was much decried and despised as a Teinturier variety with red flesh, but these days it is beginning to make something of a comeback. Its yields need to be restrained, which they never were in the past, and then it has some characterful flavours, with ripe spicy fruit and supple tannins. It makes an original choice if you are looking a more unusual variety from the Languedoc.