(2019) Picpoul may be relatively unknown when compared with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, but over the past few years it has come from nowhere to be something of a crowd-pleasing favourite. This is typical in many ways, relatively simple and upfront, down-the-line easy to drink but fresh fruit - pear and lemon - and balance on the palate with a bit of concentration and texture, and fine acidity to set off fish and seafood. It's actually a very good, quite concentrated example, of a variety that tends to deliver very good wine without any real fireworks. £10.35 to Daily Drinker Club members.
(2019) Hampton WaterI have to say upfront that everything about this Pays d'Oc blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre screams 'marketing' - first the ambitious price of £20 per bottle, second the striking label, 'Vinolock' glass stopper and designer bottle, and thirdly that it is made by Gérard Bertrand for a wine company launched by rock star Jon Bon Jovi and his son, Jesse - the business run by 23-year-old Jesse who studied political science and business economics. The 'Hampton' of its name is The Hamptons, and exceedingly up-market coastal playground for New York's super-rich, where the inspiration for making a rosé came to the father and son team. Following booming sales in the US, the wine has recently arrived in the UK. So is it any good? It's from the Languedoc, but pale and Provençal in style, though it has seen seen some barrel ageing which is not typical of Provence. There's a buouancy and fruity lift to the aromas, intense small berries and a limey note. In the mouth no real trace of oak, other perhaps than a richer texture than might be expected, again plenty of concentration of flavour, and a salty lick of minerality to join the pithy lemon zest acidity. It's certainly a bigger mouthful of wine than a typical Provence example, and has enough going on to justify the hype, though no doubt a bit of celebrity factor is built into the price.
(2019) The Sauvignon Gris that lies behind this pale blush wine is immediately apparent on the nose and palate; tasted blind one might have guessed Sauvignon Blanc, with its racy acidity, grapefruity tang and touches of elderflower and passion fruit. Not a remarkable rosé it's true, but distinctive and quite unusual.
(2019) A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, this is a rosé pitched as 'feminine', with its elegant frosted pink glass bottle and glass stopper, pale but bright pink hue and touch of sweetness. It has pleasant downy peach and summer fruit aroma, the palate showing that touch of sugar, though there is acid too, and citrus notes. Something about this did not appeal as much as others in the Foncalieu pink range, maybe just too much of a sweet and sour character. No UK stockist at time of review.
(2019) Cheap rosé in a 250ml ringpull can, a French wine but packaged in Germany. Should we even bother to taste it? Well, the 'single serve' wine and convenience markets are apparently booming with more and more such wines finding shelf space, so although I find the whole presenation particularly dodgy - a lounging, pubescent-looking girl in short shorts adorns the pink can - I decided this is one to be approached with an open mind. The stuff inside is Grenache I believe, and the aromas are gently summery, with berries and light grassiness. The palate is dry and nicely balanced, and in truth the wine is a good quality quaffing rosé. So, with this concept apparently popular, if it works for you, it can be recommeded. Price for the 250ml can. For more information please watch the video.
(2019) Made for Majestic by James Kinglake of Domaine Begude, a domaine in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. Limoux majors on Chardonnay, both still and sparkling, and I guess some or most of the fruit comes from Limoux, but in fact this is an IGP Pays d'Oc, so some or all could have come from a wider area around. Fresh and unoaked, but limpid and with a creamy richness from lees ageing, this has a lightly buttery character but lovely balance and pitch, citrus and crisp apple against lightly nutty tones and always hints of a more exotic fruit ripeness. The finish is restrained and clear as a bell, in a stylish wine that is £8.99 as part of a mixed six bottles at Majestic.
(2018) Silène is the legendary tutor of the Greek god Bacchus, and his likeness was found on an ancient clay seal found in one of the Paul Mas vineyards, a copy of which strikingly covers the entire front of this imposing bottle of Chardonnay from its Languedoc homeland, Limoux.  The nutty, slightly marmalade-like and spicy richness of the nose immediately tells you this has been aged in quality oak barrels, then the palate is really very beautifully composed: crisp, fresh and taut orchard fruits and lemon are backed up by some peach, toast and Brazil nut buttery fatness, but the clean, zesty citrus finish gives great cut and thurst through the richness. A perfect and stylish partner to roast poultry.
(2018) It's a full seven years since I last tasted this wine, when it was a relatively youthful three-year-old and scored 91/100. Now, with a decade under its belt, the blend of 38% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Macabeu, 19% Vermentino and a handful of other varieties shows a slightly deeper colour and has a lightly sherried aspect on the nose, but still intense apricot and creamy, oatmeally character, the large, old oak barrels used for fermentation and ageing just adding to that. In the mouth a touch of bruised apple, but there is still real fruit sweetness there, allied to a citrus peel acidity and touch of phenolic grippiness, that gives structure and length. Drinking well, it is showing a little age, but hard to say where it will go from here.
(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) Here we have 98% Syrah, from 35-year-old vines in Montpeyroux, harvested at just 20hl/ha - a very, very low yield and only 6,000 bottles produced. This cuvée spends eight months in oak barrels from Nièvre. Another densely-hued wine, the ramping up of concentration is noticeable immediately, dark, tightly-wound aromas of damson plum, peppercorn and liquorice, muscular and dense, but with a glimpse of brighter raspberry and violet, a wisp of curling bonfire smoke. Super stuff in the mouth: such a beautifully slick but firm and grippy, youthful palate, etched by its acidity and tannin framework, but the effortless concentration of fruit suggesting significant ageing potential too.