(2023) It's over a decade since I last visited Mud House on a trip to New Zealand, at that time an ambitious and impressive operation that already made wines in Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago. In 2021 I was surprised to receive a sample of a Sauvignon Blanc from Mud House Chile, the company having branched out to South America. Now in 2023, they've come back to Sauvignon Blanc's homeland of France, though not the Loire Valley, but the Languedoc. You may, if you wish, line-up wines from the three countries to compare and contrast. For me, this French version is a hit: it successfully marries New World exuberance with a bit of Old World savoury restraint. It has prerequisite passion fruit and gooseberry, but a dry, grapefruit and lemon palate with decent length too. £8.00 at time of writing in Morrisons. Watch the video for more information.
(2023) From the 'Cru' of La Clape in the Languedoc, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. Breezy, crunchy, bold red fruits in the nose are appealing. Raspberry and garrigue lift. In the mouth there is bags of fruit, again it's the juicy, buoyant red fruit that drives this, though a sandy weight of tannin and plucky acidity does add a serious note. Quite spicy in the finish, this is a double thumbs up at the mixed dozen price of £12.99
(2023) From a biodynamic estate in the Languedoc where owner/winemaker Bertie Eden plies his trade, this is 100% Muscat made in contact with skins and pips. The Muscat aromatics are all present and correct here, florals and peach, but with an added dimension of something stony and herbal too. Sweet and ripe Muscat fruit on the palate, but the wine is bone dry, a hint of seeds and nuts with that pithy citrus acid that gives this some bite and good freshness.
(2023) Leading light of the Languedoc, Jean-Claude Mas, is never predictable. His take on orange wine is in fact a blend of regular rosé and skin-contact orange wines, hence the name ‘Roseoarange’. Quite orthodox peach, lime and subtle orange notes, a touch of spice. Nice ripeness and fruit sweetness on the palate, racy, plenty of zesty lemon for a fresh, appetising finish.
(2023) An organic Grenache wine, handsomely packaged with vinolock glass stopper, from a property in the Minervois region of the Languedoc. Pale salmon pink, the nose has strawberry bob-bons, dusted with icing sugar, and a pert feeling of freshness. In the mouth rounded with creamy fruits, and a hint of sweetness that I might guess as a mere touch of residual sugar. Acidity is good, giving this balance and meaning the finish is dry and citrus fresh. Stylish.
(2023) Descrbed as "an easy-drinking blend of Grenache Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah," this pours a fashionably pale Provençal shade, with a tutti frutti confectionery character of cold ferment, pear drop marrying with summer berries. The palate is brisk and fresh. A pink to appeal to Touraine Sauvignon lovers perhaps, well done with a hint of stony minerals to the acidity in the finish. Good value.
(2023) An unusual blend of Grenache and 15% Roussanne from the Côtes de Thongue, and ninth generation winemaker, Olivier Coste. It has a pale peach colour and charming but intense nose, a little stony pebble quality, plenty of strawberry and small red berries and a limey background. In the mouth there's a serious, vinous quality to this. Succulent is the word, with ripe pear and a teasing nuance of tropical fruit, then loads of pink grapefruit and orange flashes through to a delicious and sustained finish.
(2023) Mostly Grenache with a little Cinsault, this organic rosé is a very pale and delicate pink. The nose is quite peachy and has a touch of creaminess, a little redcurrant too. In the mouth a sweet and ripe fruit profile has a nice chalky acidity, moving from lemony to mineral salts, it is long and the fruit persists in a very nice wine.
(2023) I have already reviewed the white and red partners to this Languedoc pink, which all come in the same very distinctive, squat little bottles. It's actually a brand of Australian giant Banrock Station, but made in France.
Everything is basically 100% recycled: glass, labels and screwcap. It blends 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah and was fermented in both stainless steel and concrete tanks. Fashionably pale, small red berries and a little floral note before a palate with maybe just a hint of residual sugar, red berries running into lime.
(2023) This is 50% Grenache with equal parts Syrah and Carignan made in concrete tank - it weighs in with 15% alcohol declared on the label. So much creamy black fruit, violet-scented but concentrated black fruit that is plush and inviting. The palate has all that plushness again, chocolaty and ripe and sweet black fruit, but it really does have freshness from the clay-limestone soil, a precise finish with smooth, chocolaty tannins and pert acidity.