(2020) This blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah comes from Chateau de Figuières' 70-hectare property, the vineyards all within the La Clape appellation, one of the Languedoc's most interesting with its marl-limestone soils and proximity to the ocean. Made in stainless steel, it presents a beautifully creamy, smooth profile of black fruits, dusted with a fine layer of violet and lavender. On the palate there's terrific juiciness, the tangy, sour black cherry edge to the acidity and the firm but fine tannins wrapped around the core of sweet black fruit. A lovely wine which the producer hopes to bring to the UK. Around 7.50€ in France at time of review.
(2020) From one of the 'Crus' of the Languedoc region and limestone soils, this is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape-like blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah, aged 12 months in barrel. There's real depth and spice-touched glossy black fruit on the nose, meaty yet at the same time touched with floral and garrigue perfume. Sweet, svelte black fruit coats the palate too, with chocolate-rich tannins and black cherry acidity, some smokiness and peppery spice, in a really lovely wine.
(2018) A blend of Grenache and Syrah made in stainless steel, this is all about the dense and deep black cherry and clove-infused plum compote fruit on the nose, moving smoothly through to the palate where a very nice axis of creamy but firm tannin and juicy cherry-skin acidity cuts through the creamy ripeness of the fruit. Tangy, quite spicy and long, the palate has it's serious side for sure with the extraction nicely judged to give a bit of real grip.
(2018) Also from the Terrasses du Larzac's clay and limestone soils, a blend of 20-year-old Syrah and Grenache with just 2% Mourvèdre, this cuvée vinified in stainless steel. Crushed raspberry notes add lift to the black fruits here, a hint of camphor, of leafy twigs, all quite different from the Velour cuvée aromatically. In the mouth the two draw closer, as the meaty substance of the ripe fruit darkens the picture, but there's a dimension of juiciness, traded against the smoothing breadth of the Velours, that makes this equally appealing. Is the alcohol a touch more prominent in this differently structured wine? Maybe, but for me it retains balance and even some elegance.
(2017) A typical blend of Syrah and Grenache with Carignan and Mourvèdre, this comes from a stony plateau and has a deep, rich colour. Warming, spicy and flowing with black fruit on the nose, there's a wisp of smoke and herbs which adds extra interest. It's a ripe, plummy and big-hearted wine, some cranberry red fruits joining the depth of black, firm and spicy tannins and a juicy cherry skin acidity add real structure and power. I have a hunch this would cellar rather well for five to eight years too.
(2017) A Pinot from the Languedoc, this has certainly retained freshness and edge in the heat of the south, with only 12.5% alcohol and a crisp, herb and red fruit nose. It's a Pinot in an authentically light- to medium-bodied style, fragrant and staying crisp and refreshing. The antithesis of 'blockbuster', but lovely of it's style.
(2017) From on of the Languedoc's traditional appellations, this is a typical local blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvêdre. Richly-fruited and spiced on the nose, this deeply coloured wine is immediately inviting, with aromas of crushed red and black berries and hints of cocoa and liquorice. In the mouth there's a surprising crispness to the flavour and texture, the good level of acidity no doubt aided by the fact that the fruit was harvested in the cool of the night. It is a fairly sumptuous, expansive style nevertheless, with red and black fruits and that hint of spice in the background. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) Another deeply-coloured wine, organic certified and coming from the traditional Corbières appellation. It blends 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Mourvèdre, all aged in oak barrels, 60% of which were new. It's immediately serious and savoury on the nose, vinous and darkly-hued, with damson and black cherry, a wisp of smoke and a bit of graphite in there too. Solid and powerful in the mouth, the vanilla of the oak helps soften the tannins, but it is a structured wine, crying out for beef or lamb - either that or give it some time: the fruit, black olive savouriness, density of texture and structure suggest to me this will cellar well for five years.
(2017) A blend of Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre with no added sulphur, this bold and fruity organic wine has spice and bramble fruit, and a vinous, savoury quality with plenty of rustic tannin and acidity to give it chewiness and bite.
(2016) A blend of 45-year-old Syrah, with 30% Grenache, with yields of just 30hl/ha. Half of this cuvée was aged in oak for one year. I'd suggest decanting this slightly brooding wine, with its tight, dark red fruit nose, hinting at black olive and briar, but muscular and tight. On the palate there is considerable concentration, with the tannin and the deep, ripe, sweet but savoury core of black fruit filling the mouth, a chewy seriousness to the finish, with bittersweet acidity and very good, gently spicy length. An un-flashy but serious and structured, meaty red that should cellar.
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