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Languedoc Appellations Case

Case of 12
3.000000000 star rating 1 Reviews
The Languedoc is one of France’s oldest and most complex regions and it cries out for a tour guide. As The Society’s buyer for this patchwork quilt of diversity for many years, Marcel Orford-Williams is delighted to offer one up. This mixed case is designed to place six much-loved appellations in context, from Minervois, with its Roman heritage, to much newer appellation Pic-Saint-Loup. What they share is striking quality, great food-matching possibilities and brilliant value.
Price: £0.00 Case of 12
is no longer available
Code: MX21267

Wines included

2021 - 2023

Faugères ‘Lou Cazalet', Domaine Saint-Antonin 2019

Lovely fruity red from Faugères in the south of France where the soils of schist seem to give the wines their fragrance and mineral flavours. Succulent, fleshy, cherry and damsons fill the full-bodied, spicy and fruity palate.

France £11.50 per bottle
2021 - 2024

Fitou Origines, Domaine Bertrand-Bergé 2019

Strong, full-bodied and richly flavoured Fitou, and from one of the top producers in this appellation in the deep south of France, with a reputation for making wines with finesse.

France
2021 - 2025

Minervois, Plaisir d'Eulalie, Château Sainte Eulalie 2020

Generous, ripe and full-flavoured Languedoc red, round and plummy in this hot vintage, with the accent on fruit and balance.

France £8.50 per bottle
2021 - 2023

Pic Saint-Loup Espérance, Château de Valflaunès 2019

Soft, fruity Languedoc red, luscious and fruity in 2019, made from a blend of syrah, mourvèdre and carignan with no oak. Purity of fruit and elegance combine to make an attractive Rhône-style red for enjoying with grilled meats, vegetables or stews.

France
2020 - 2024

Saint-Chinian, Château La Dournie 2018

Generously flavoured, full-bodied, spice-laden Languedoc red with plenty of character. Deeply coloured and brimming with dark, slightly smoky fruit flavours.

France £10.50 per bottle
2020 - 2024

The Society's Corbières 2019

Hailing from the ‘most undervalued appellation in France,’ in the view of buyer Sebastian Payne MW during our 2022 Wine Champions blind tastings, this dark, rich Languedoc red is a beautiful melange of cherries, plums, blackberries and spice, with a refreshing finish.

France £8.50 per bottle
2021 - 2025

Reviews

Buyer Marcel Orford-Williams introduces his pick of red wines from the Languedoc region.


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Buyer Marcel Orford-Williams introduces his pick of red wines from the Languedoc region. Video transcript

Video transcript

Languedoc Introduction

Good afternoon, I’m Marce of The Wine Society, and I’d like to talk about the Languedoc, and in general I’d like to talk about six major appellations of the Languedoc. Now, these are some of the oldest vineyards in France. They go back well over 2,000 years. As we all know, the Romans loved planting on the hillsides and they found ideal hillsides in southern France. And I’ve chosen six wines to represent the Languedoc, and what I’ll try and do is actually explain how the vineyard sites actually make a difference tot the wine and why the wines taste the way they do. The great thing about Languedoc wines is, one, they’re very good value for money. They’re also very good food wines. The people in the south of France take their food very seriously and they have the perfect wines to match.

Pic Saint-Loup

My key wines start with Pic Saint-Loup, which is one of the most most recent of the new appellations in the Languedoc. Now, Pic Saint-Loup is to the east of the region and it’s the closest one to the Rhône Valley, and I would suggest that Pic Saint-Loup is slightly more Rhône-like. In terms of geology Pic Saint-Loup is mostly sort of mostly chalky, sort of limestone. The key thing about Pic Saint-Loup is that you have cool breezes coming from the north and north-west and its very close to Montpellier, but there’s a huge difference in temperature between Montpellier and Pic Saint-Loup, in the summer, especially at night, Montpellier bakes, it’s hot, this is about 8, 9, 10 degrees cooler. The main grape variety here is syrah and syrah does really well. So, this is more Rhône-like which means it’s sort of slightly softer, slightly rounder, slightly sunnier. It’s a lovely sort of lovely open fruity smell. It’s a wine that’s really popular with university professors in Montpellier and has a huge following there and a huge following in Paris too, and it’s doing pretty well at The Wine Society. Pic Saint-Loup.

Faugères

Wine number two comes from Faugères. Now, from Pic Saint-Loup this is over the hills and far away, over quite a few hills in fact. Faugères is distinctly hilly, and geologically this is quite different to anywhere else in the Languedoc, because here the soils are of schist, or schist and a kind of slightly more advanced version of slate, and it produces wines that are distinctly spicy in character. There are different styles, but the styles are to do with grape varieties and the way the wines are aged. Here you have a lot of carignan and this is not aged for keeping particularly, this is aged to be drunk very, very quickly as a young wine. But Faugères is a serious wine and can keep. When I said, when I talked about geology and about schist remember that Côte-Rôtie is on exactly the same kind of soil, and I’d suggest that Faugères can actually be almost as good as a Côte-Rôtie, and very, very good value for money. So, this comes from a good grower, Domaine Saint-Antonin, and he makes a fantastic easy-drinking Faugères, carignan with some grenache. Lovely wine, and spicy. So, spicy means it goes even better with food.

Saint-Chinian

Next to Faugères as you go west you come to another appellation, a bigger one this time, called Saint-Chinian. And Saint-Chinian exists in different styles and with different geologies. The eastern part of Saint-Chinian is actually quite similar to Faugères, it’s on schist, but as you go west the soil changes to limestone, which is more or less, this is a bit of both. This comes from Château La Dournie to the sort of north-west of Saint-Chinian, very close to Saint-Chinian itself, and Saint-Chinian again is quite a hilly kind of place, makes big powerful generous wines, and I think of it in terms of the Rhône. Saint-Chinian to me is a little bit Gigondas-like, so quite big and full, very generous. Grape variety-wise a lot of syrah again, some carignan, some grenache, rich full-flavoured wines. Absolutely super.

Minervois, Château Sainte-Eulalie

Moving on from Saint-Chinian going west you come to an appellation called Minervois, which is probably one of the best known, and of course its name itself suggests Roman involvement. The village of Minerve needs to be visited, it’s absolutely fantastic. Anyway, Minervois. There are three styles of Minervois. There’s an eastern style of Minervois which is a bit like Saint-Chinian, and there’s very much a western style, which where the Atlantic plays a part in defining the climate and the wines are fruitier and lighter. And then there’s a middle style, which is this one, Château Sainte-Eulalie, where the climate is dominated by the Black Mountains from the north. Winters are cold and there’s very little rainfall, it’s arid, and the wines are arid, they’re slightly austere I always find. So, this is Minervois. Carignan is a grape variety that does really well in conditions where there’s not too much rain. It survives drought extremely well, and so in a place like Minervois that’s really good because rainfall here is minimal. So, this is Minervois Château Sainte-Eulalie, produced by a couple called Coustal, Mister and Madame Coustal, who originally came from Bordeaux, and they make absolutely fantastic wine and we do practically everything they make. They make a very good rosé and they make a very good wine for ageing. This is their kind of regular red. Mmm, bring on the cassoulet.

The Society’s Corbières

The Society’s Corbières is next and is the flagship of the Languedoc range. Corbières is the best-known appellation in the Languedoc. It’s the one that The Wine Society has worked with for a very long time. It’s also quite a complex area with lots of different sort of terroirs, different villages that all have quite a different style. We buy ours from a village called Boutenac, which I think makes the best Corbières, and this comes from a grower called Pierre Bories, and his estate is called Ollieux-Romanis. Carignan is like in many ways is the number one grape variety, produces big, intense wines. So, this is The Society’s Corbières. Again, this is not made for keeping 20 years, this is made for immediate drinking. It’s mostly carignan, there is some grenache as well and it should be really quite delicious, real fruit, slight sort of tarry, extremely ripe because of the vintage, quite alcoholic actually but with food no problem at all. The Society’s Corbières, excellent and great value for money.

Fitou Bertrand Bergé

I’m still in the Corbières. The Corbières are an extraordinary area of lowish mountains, secret valleys, and desert-like landscape, quite extraordinary. A landscape dotted around with abbeys and castles, reflecting a very turbulent history. Right in the south of the Corbières is an area that’s been demarcated with its own appellations since the 1940’s and it’s called Fitou. And Fitou is a real sort of mountain wine which ought to be as famous as Priorat in Catalonia. Again, carignan is the main grape variety with syrah and grenache. A big, always a big full-bodied wine, very concentrated, very dark in colour, and Fitou can age extremely well. So, this is one we buy, he’s called Jérome Bertrand, who’s a very good grower, we buy from others as well, but I think he makes a really good, authentic style of Fitou, which I shall now open and share with you. You’ll see as I’m pouring this out the colour, which is really very dark, very concentrated, a wonderful plummy nose. Huge and smack-full of fruit, absolutely brilliant. So, these are my six Languedoc reds. 

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