Here’s what we’re pouring and the knowledge we’re sharing with wine lovers:
Wines at the Grand Tasting:
- NV Coté Mas Rosé AOC Crémant de Limoux – srp $16
- 2016 Château Paul Mas Belluguette Blanc AOC Languedoc – srp $20
- 2017 Chateau la Roque Blanc AOC Languedoc – srp $18
- 2017 Foncalieu Ensedune Cabernet Franc Rosé IGP Coteaux d’Enserune – srp $15
- 2014 Chateau Pennautier AOC Cabardès – srp $13
- 2016 Chateau Ollieux-Romanis Cuvée Classique AOC Corbières – srp $17
What you need to know:
The Languedoc is France’s largest wine region and it’s situated in the south of the country, right along the Mediterranean Sea. Why do these things matter? The size means there’s a great diversity of wines, something for every palate and always something new to discover. The Mediterranean influence means the climate is moderate, it’s easy to produce organically/sustainably/biodynamically. In fact, over 30% of France’s organic viticulture comes from Languedoc!
Let’s start with some bubbles: Any traditional method sparkling wine, in France, that is not Champagne is called Crémant. This is an example from Languedoc, from the appellation of Limoux which specializes in sparkling wines. In fact, Limoux is home to the oldest written records in France which show they were making sparkling wines here as far back as 1544 (before Champagne). If you are looking for a great sparkling wine with the quality of Champagne, but not the price, then look for a Crémant (or Blanquette) de Limoux.
How about some whites? There are some awesome white wines from Languedoc – both blends and single variety wines (like Picpoul de Pinet!), go check those out for something a little different than a familiar Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay etc.
Next up: Rosé – You probably know rosé from Provence, right next door. Similar styles, but did you know Languedoc actually produces more rosé wine than its neighbor? Key difference is price is generally more approachable – they are “under the radar” so to speak.
While this region does some stand out things in the lighter colors – 80% of the production is still red wines. These are generally blends of grapes like Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. Some of those you may recognize, maybe from the neighboring area of the Rhone valley – others are more distinct to Languedoc.
AOC Languedoc is the regional appellation, there are many other smaller appellations with their own names, such as Minervois, Corbières, Saint Chinian. These are key words to help in a retail shop – mention Languedoc or one of the appellation names when you are talking with staff. These wines have little oak character, generally, really letting the fruit speak for itself, and often a little more savory than really sweet fruit forward. Which means they are awesome food partners in that way, really matching well with herbs that you are cooking with! And all of these come in at under $20, so you can explore with no guilt.
Find these wines at some of our awesome retail partners like:
K&L Wine Merchant
Wally’s Wine & Spirits
The Wine House