TN Two good ones from the south of France, one poor one from the Loire

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Rychlewski, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Three wines over this weekend.

    The white wine, 2013 Vouvray sec from Domaine du Clos Naudin (Foreau) was a huge disappointment because this was from a well-known producer, whose wines I have greatly enjoyed on other occasions. The acidity was killing and the rest of the flavor profile was annoyingly neutral.
    I’m prepared to believe that wines such as this need to age, but no amount of cellaring will bring this around in my opinion. Not familiar with Loire Valley vintages, I went and had a look at the Wine Advocate vintage chart (for what it’s worth), and they give 2013 the lowest rating in 20 years. Perhaps that explains things…

    2011 Domaine de l’Horizon “Rouge”, IGP Côtes Catalanes was a lovely surprise. This is made in small quantity from very old Carignan and Grenache vines. It had a nose with smoke and truffle nuances I would have pegged as a fine Northern Rhône (despite the absence of Syrah) if tasted blind. The wine may have been less special on the palate, but it was still very good indeed. A nice discovery that just goes to show how knowledgeable people in wine shops can guide you. I would never have bought this wine on my own, being totally unfamiliar with the region or the producer.

    2008 Saut de Côte from Alain Chabanon was also a treat with roast chicken. This is made from 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah and aged for 36 months in egg-shaped concrete vats (one of which figures prominently on the label). Perhaps a little less enjoyable than the previous, with a short aftertaste, it was nevertheless a wine to restore my faith in the Languedoc and a very successful effort.

    Both red wines are fine to drink now, although they will hold for several more years.

    Best regards,
    Jonathan Hesford likes this.
  2. I too had a couple of bottles of the Dom de l'Horizon, maybe two years ago and loved it. I have never been able to find it since. If anyone out there knows of a supplier I would appreciate the advice.
  3. Domaine de l'Horizon is a tiny estate in Calce run by a former top German (or Austrian) sommelier. If I'm honest I found his wines on the oxidative side in the early years. Recently he has completely changed to early-picked, high-acidity wines I have heard. His notoriety in his homeland, added to high prices means that the wines are not found that easily.

    Alain Chabanon is one of the founding fathers of the Languedoc Renaissance. I've not tasted his wines for a long time but they were definitely making the best of the terroir and grape varieties down here.
  4. I've been drinking Les Boissières,Domaine Chabanon 2008 which I picked up from TWS. I think it puts many Chateauneuf's in their place, being a Grenache dominate Rhone blend.

    The Saut de Côte seems to be a premium cuvee and TWS says the 2007 has only just been released.
  5. Just had a bottle of 2011 Chabanon L'Esprit de Font Caude and was blown away. This is a rich and full-bodied wine made from equal proportions of syrah and mourvédre hinged together with 10% grenache. There is a good deal of complexity with layers of spice-laden fruit.
  6. Big believer in the Languedoc, wish I had better access to the "known" wines from this area.
  7. I rather unexpectedly enjoyed Chabonon's Le Merle aux Alouettes. The name is a pun - it;s a Merlot. But it worked.
  8. Imported by Carte Blanche I believe, so someone there should be able to help out.
  9. Grazie mille Oli, I will call them.
  10. Hi Alex
    I'm very wary of vintage chart ratings and a read of vintage reports often reveals a lauded vintage is likely to be in a style that I'll not enjoy as much as a supposedly more modest vintage. However in a vain attempt to get to grips with recent French vintages (for an upcoming short trip), 2013 kept on coming up as a disaster for many regions, which I'd not expected considering how lauded the 2013 vintage was in Piemonte. It's never that simple is it (and that's ignoring the fact that many producers / wines can buck the general trend).
  11. I have not enjoyed many Loire chenins from 2013 though no doubt Philippe Foreau, who is a fascinating talker about pairings, would have a a suggestion about a suitable use for his. In the early '00s, we visited his estate and he persuaded me to take a plunge, amongst more reliable choices, on a couple of bottles of 1984 sec saying that they were very acidic but would go well with des coques IIRC. We tried the pairing once and were underwhelmed. The second bottle still languishes in my cellar and will probably used for cooking, if not too vinegary for that.

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