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Roussanne and chardonnay bring fruit and weight of flavour while sauvignon and colombard add freshness. Volcanic soils also play a part in creating a deliciously refreshing white that hits the spot every time.
Product Code: FC38301
View all products by Domaine du Bosc
Situated in the Hérault department in southern France’s Languedoc region, Domaine du Bosc is not far from the beautiful seaside resort Cap d’Agde. It is a winemaking region steeped in history: Agde has actually been home to vines since the 5th century BC. This long winemaking history has been attributed to Agde’s port, which meant that, unlike those in many areas of France, growers were able to export their wines to various Mediterranean countries from very early on.Their proximity to the sea provides the vines with a wonderful Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, sometimes wet autumns and winters. This part of the Languedoc sits on ancient lava flows that are very positive for the wines, allowing them to retain a good deal of freshness. The Besinet family were vine growers for many generations, originally owning vineyards in Montpellier. Pierre Besinet had trained as a chemical engineer and for many years worked in the north of France, far away from any vines. He returned on the death of his father, but very quickly decided to sell up and start somewhere else.Pierre became attracted to the volcanic soils around Agde and that is where he settled, creating Domaine du Bosc. At the time, the vineyard was planted with all manner of red grapes, and geared up for mass production; however, Pierre had the vision to start from scratch and planted other varieties. Starting with cabernet sauvignon and merlot, he was among the first to plant Bordeaux grapes, and then also planted grenache blanc. In time, he would add many more varieties, and to this day is still experimenting: recent additions have included petit verdot and petit manseng.Pierre made his reputation on fresh, clean-tasting, fruity wines. His background helped him make some quite radical changes, especially in the cellar, which was one of the first in the Languedoc to be thermo-regulated. He was also one of the first to adopt night time harvesting, especially for white grapes as a way of preserving fruit flavours and freshness.Today he is helped by winemaker Jean-Etienne Cros, a good friend of the Wine Society who used to manage his family’s estate in Gaillac. The day to day running of the business is in the hands of Pierre’s daughter Dominique – though Pierre now well into his 80’s, still looks in.
Where do we start in a region so huge? With production nearly three times that of Bordeaux, or more than the whole of Australia, the Languedoc-Roussillon accounts for about a third of all French wine made. The sheer scale of production and the intense competition to channel such volumes through to the market means that in most years supply is greater than demand so prices are kept in check. It is not for nothing that wines from the South of France offer such great value for money. Here you get what you pay for. The trick is to get beyond the gain line and tap into a rich vein of almost endless vinous pleasure. Appellation Contrôlée and Vin de Pays (also known as IGP – Indication Geographique Protegée) - officially, these are two quite different wine worlds that live side by side almost, seemingly, in complete ignorance of each other's existence. Luckily, reality is different and most producers see no conflict between the two and many produce wines under both codes. Nor is one necessarily better than the other. Indeed many of Languedoc's most iconic wines, such as Mas de Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères, are Vin de Pays. So why the difference? The status of Appellation Contrôlée was gradually conferred to the historic heartlands of Languedoc-Roussillon, in other words those sites in the foothills of the Massif Central and Pyrenees where viticulture has existed since the Romans. Appellation status is also about taste and about wine made from a narrow selection of mostly Mediterranean grape varieties.Vin de Pays (IGP) was introduced to improve the quality of what was then the mass of 'vins ordinaries'. It confers an identity to wines coming from those areas that were planted during the big periods of expansion, mostly in the plain between Narbonne and Pézenas. It allows for higher yields than AC, and, more importantly, allows a much wider palette of grape varieties for the growers to choose from.In terms of grape varieties Languedoc-Roussillon is France's answer to the New World. In the duality of Appellation Contrôlée and Vin de Pays, the conformism of Parisian bureaucracy goes hand in hand with the creative spirit of pure liberalism. So in terms of grape variety, almost anything goes! Native Languedoc and Roussillon varieties are at the heart of all appellation wines. With a changing climate and a tendency to extremes of weather, these ancient varieties are gaining favour.Carignan is the workhorse of Languedoc especially in the drier west. At its best, it produces a wine that is deeply coloured, quite tannic, sappy with brambly fruit. Many producers have woken up to the qualities of carignan if it is treated with respect and low yields are achieved.Grenache produces round tasting wines, often with low tannin and high alcohol and is rarely to be found on its own except in the fortified reds of Roussillon.Cinsault belongs in the heat of North Africa. In the South of France, it is widely grown and can add fragrance and lightness of touch to big brawny reds, but more often it is made into rosé.Like carignan, the native whites are more obviously associated with high production but with careful handling can produce wines of real interest. There is maccabeu and grenache blanc, grown mostly in Corbières and Roussillon. Clairette, grown mostly in the east, closer to the Rhône. Terret is grown extensively around Marsseillan, home of French vermouth. Maybe the best of all is the piquepoul which east of Beziers produces good quaffing dry picpoul de Pinet. Muscat used to be grown exclusively for vin doux naturel such as Saint Jean de Minervois and Rivesaltes but also produces full-flavoured dry wines of some interest.The biggest change in the South of France was the introduction of other grape varieties to help boost quality. For the reds, syrah was the most obvious import and is now widely planted and is usually part of a blend with grenache and/or carignan. Syrah is at its best where there is a little humidity such as in the east around Pic Saint Loup. Mourvèdre is much more complicated to grow but has a real future in areas close to the sea such as in parts of Fitou and Corbières.For the whites, roussanne and marsanne have also journeyed south from the Rhône to add finesse and flavour to Mediterranean blends. Increasingly, the Corsican vermentino, also known as rolle, can be found in blends where it often has a positive influence.Bordeaux has for long been an important connection for the Languedoc with the Canal du Midi there to prove the link. Not surprisingly, Languedoc producers were quick to introduce Bordeaux varieties in their vineyards. Merlot is the most widely planted and in some years has been very profitably exported in bulk to California or back to Bordeaux. The later ripening cabernets are probably better suited to the climate of the south and have great potential.Another revolution across the South of France has been in the quality of the whites. Before new standards of cellar hygiene and refrigeration were introduced, the concept of a fresh, dry and fruity Languedoc-Roussillon white wine was nigh impossible. Growers like Pierre Bésinet at Domaine du Bosc and Louis-Marie Teisserenc at Domaine de l'Arjolle were quick to spot the potential and successfully plant chardonnay, sauvignon and even the mysterious viognier.Regional StylesLanguedoc-Roussillon is such a large region that it is impossible to generalise about the entirety. It helps to divide it into three main sections: Eastern Languedoc, Western Languedoc, and Southern Lanuedoc. The east includes excellent appellations like Faugères, Côteaux du Languedoc, Pic saint Loup and Montpeyroux. The style of wine produced here is often Rhône-like: generous, thickly textured and often high in alcohol. Syrah is the outstanding grape variety and it blends well with grenache and sometimes mourvèdre. Nothing remains static in Languedoc and the old Côteaux du Languedoc is about to be replaced by a new appellation called simply Languedoc. Western Languedoc is more dramatic, mountainous, and much drier than the east, but it's also colder and the austerity of its climate and topography can be tasted in its wines. The carignan grape is often an essential element in many of the reds. Look out for saint-Chinian, Minervois and Saint Jean de Minervois (the latter for muscat based sweet vin doux naturel), Cabardès, Limoux (especially sparkling Crémant de Limoux).The south incorporates Corbières, Fitou and Roussillon. These are dry, hot regions surrounded by mountains which provide a majestic backdrop. Fitou is the oldest Appellation and confusingly comes in two parts. The best wines though come from in between in what is actually southern Corbières. Corbières is the largest single appellation in Languedoc, with myriad different styles from different soils and microclimates. This veritable chaos of crags, gorges, strewn with castles, wild herbs and abandoned abbeys encapsulates the heart of the Midi. The wines all have a little of that wildness and wonder.In Roussillon black schists on the north bank of the Agly make the best reds. These are typically fine and spicy with grenache and syrah. Traditionally the best-exposed sights near the village of Maury have produced sweet fortified wine. High mountains provide the opportunity to plant vines at higher altitudes and make fresher wines. Finally, this vast region ends in a narrow strip of land between mountain and the sea and with Spain on two sides. Twisting lanes and vertiginous vine terraces link the little ports of Collioure, Banyuls and Cerbère. The fortified wines are sold as Banyuls and are mostly Grenache-based with a little carignan. The Collioure appellation is for expressive, full-bodied and refined table wine which can be made from several grape varieties: carignan, syrah, grenache, mourvèdre and counoise for the reds and grenache, roussanne and vermentino for the whites.
"2019 not quite as dry as previous years."
I would recommend this wine
"A very pleasant, dryish wine.
Not going to set the world on fire, but well priced everyday drinking."
"For the price, a lovely fresh white that goes down well"
"A very pleasant, dryish wine.
Not going to set the world on fire, but well priced everyday drinking."
I would recommend this wine
"2019 not quite as dry as previous years."
There are no press reviews for this product.
"I think David a bit harsh. For the price I thought this worked very nicely as an aperitif with a nice blend of grape varieties. I may well buy again."
Dr Paul Booth (23-Nov-2019)
"I pretty well agree with David Vasey's comments."
Mr Robin C Garrard (06-Jul-2019)
"Clean to start and fresh on the nose - mainly cut grass and "green" aromas. It's the after taste that I find quite sharp - and I think that's more of the green coming through which is a shame as I was expecting just a hint of ripeness to balance out the green. Was part of my latest attempt to try and find another alternative to my usual after having some amazing non WS wines. Sadly I probably won't return to this one. However - if having a party and need a wine to add soda to then this is spot on."
Mr David Vasey (25-Jun-2019)
Mr Gordon Allan (16-May-2019)
"Excellent wine. Plenty of fruit flavour. It is dry but not too much and has good body. Really good value for an everyday white. Our local wine tasting group all preferred it to a much more expensive Montrachet. "
Mr Peter J H Devlin (20-Apr-2019)
"This is, as honest as Dixon of Dock Green, a non nonsense, drink me quick, everyday gulp and none the poorer for it. Buy in safety."
Mr Andrew Kerslake (17-Apr-2019)
Mr Piers Beckley (05-Feb-2019)
"Lovely everyday dry white - lime and gooseberry/ apricot on nose meets floral apricot on palate for a smooth crisp finish that delights
Mr Hugo Allen-Stevens (23-Oct-2018)
"I think this is a great everyday drinking wine and very good value for money at this price bracket compared to offers!
Mr Robert Swiney (10-Oct-2018)
"Like other reviewers I was pleasantly surprised by the body of this great white wine and well worth the price - another for my wish list."
Mr Kevin Hewitt (20-Aug-2018)
"Had friends pop in yesterday opened a bottle of dry white out of a mixed case .Loved by all four of us that we opened another bottle . Sadly only 2 in mixed case but will be ordering a case very shortly"
Mr Mel Reed (20-Jun-2018)
"The society sent me 2 bottles of this in error. I opened one on Sunday, sat outside with a salad lunch and was surprised how drinkable it was. Perfect as an aperitif the bottle disappeared remarkably quickly. Hard to see how anyone could be disappointed at this price point."
Mr Christopher Taylor (12-Jun-2018)
"Wouldn't buy again as is too sweet for a dry wine."
Mr Tim Sharman (26-Dec-2017)
"Dry and crisp. Easy drinking. Best well chilled. Notes of lime and citrus. But overall rather unremarkable"
Mr Tom Rodger (22-Oct-2017)
"For me this wine is all about value for money. Consistently good quality, year on year. As an everyday dry white it hits the spot every time."
Mr Stephen Baldock (14-Jun-2017)
"Disappointing just lacks character to me. Don't really get much on the palate and not sure about the level of sulphur but found that I need to be careful drinking more than a big glass before I get a headache. It would be fine to serve at BBQ's which I need to as I bought a case. Sorry"
Miss Ida de Fouw (26-Apr-2017)
Miss Chloe Connor (20-Jan-2017)
"I had a bad experience with an earlier version of this wine (which tasted flabby and rather tired) several years ago, since when I have avoided it. Tempted by a dozen discount, I re-ordered a case recently and found it much improved - not that that would be difficult given its undistinguished predecessor. I am a regular purchaser of Bésinet's single-variety wines but still find this blend a tad below their usual standard. It is a pleasant enough drink with food (a bottle went down very well with a smoked haddock risotto the other day) but there are a number of white wines in the list at a similar price point that I would choose in preference, especially for drinking as an apéritif. It may be a couple more years before I order another case."
Mr Richard B Morse (14-Jan-2017)
"It is a very pleasant wine, but I would not describe it as bone dry as you do. It is slightly sweet and my preference generally is for something bone dry, but I will enjoy it nonetheless.
Mr Richard F Lloyd (03-Apr-2016)
"A creamy, fruity mouthful followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste. Had a glass on its own (very refreshing) followed by a glass with salmon and pea risotto. Overall a decent enough bottle of dry white at the price."
Dr Brian Carr (18-Mar-2016)
"This wine was slightly sweeter than I expected, but still very pleasant, easy drinking."
Ms Anne McBride (22-Feb-2016)
"Really disappointed with this wine. Was expecting something quaffable for the week, but has an almost bitter taste that lingers in the back of ones mouth. Can still feel this after a couple of hours later. I have put it to one side for cooking, and opened a different wine, which I haven't done for years."
Mr Jonathan Kemp (27-May-2015)
"Excellent value, typical of 'The Society's' range. I typically buy New World Sauvignon Blanc but with prices steadily rising I thought I would try closer to home. The Roussanne softens the Sauvignon Blanc to make a well rounded wine. I struggle to believe that there is a better white wine for £6.25."
Mr Guy Laister (04-Jun-2014)
"I rarely buy inexpensive French whites because many years experience have taught me that there is always better value elsewhere. But this, bought as part of a mixed case, is a rare exception. Certainly nothing outstanding, but for the price, a good, clean, fresh, interesting everyday wine. For me, better than the similarly priced Society Cotes de Gascogne."
Mr Peter Holpin (25-Oct-2013)
"Excellent value. Fresh clean quaffer. At this price I feel lucky to find a wine that doesn't have any bad qualities and has a little a little depth of flavour. This is certainly one. Keep up the good work."
Mr Paul Dodd (04-Jul-2013)
"I was a bit surprised by the couple of dodgy reviews for this. It seems to me a very pleasant, reasonably cheap southern French white, with more character than most such."
Mr Stephen J H Cromie (12-May-2013)
"I ordered this because I thought as The Society's recommendation it must be good. My wife and I found it quite unpleasant. Not good at all. Not even good value for money. It is inexpensive but overpriced for the quality."
Mr John Moran (01-Apr-2013)
"I found this to be a good, clean and enjoyable wine, very crisp and refreshing. I’m no expert but I have consumed a fair amount of Sav Blanc in recent years. I have now mostly given up on NW SB and prefer the less ‘in your face’ varieties that come from France, the Loire in particular. Although my palate is not sensitive enough to allow me to determine what else is in the blend it is obvious the SB forms the base and it has an attractive perfume indicative of this grape. I will buy again on subsequent orders and it will certainly feature during the summer months complimenting a BBQ’d Sea Bass (providing we have the weather!!)."
Mr Aron Hills (04-Feb-2013)
"This is a very good wine for the price. Sauvignon flavour and zing with added body and great length. I bought this to try to keep the cost of a mixed case down and I'll certainly buy it again."
Mr Andrew D Panting (08-Dec-2012)
"I am not inclined to comment on any particular wine unless it is outstanding but I feel I must on this occasion as this wine is not up to the standard of what I would expect from The Wine Society."
Mr Alex Hankinson (29-Jun-2012)
"I first encountered this excellent everyday white when a couple of bottles arrived in error in a case of Chilean whites. The Society, sportingly, credited my account with their value ... and I have subsequently ordered a case. (Was this a lucky accident, or a clever marketing ploy by the Society?) Seriously, this wine makes a refreshing change from New Worlds whites in the same price range."
W G R Stevens Esq (21-Jun-2011)
"Very pleasantly surprised with the exceptional taste of this dry white - excellent value for the price. Will taste superb in the Bermuda summer heat."
Mr Mark Moffat (24-May-2011)
"Wonderful value for money, particularly now just before prices go up!!! I have faithfully bought wine from The Society for about 40 years, though I have had the odd flirtation elsewhere, but now I just rely on you. I have never had a bad bottle, value is always good, the van driver cheerful, and prices are always fair - what more could one want? Keep up the good work."
Mr Richard F Lloyd (05-Apr-2011)
"A very pale hue, sharp green fruit on the palate and a nice peppery acidity to finish this bright and uncomplicated Sauvignon. No great finesse or individuality here, but nonetheless really rather good at 5 odd quid and I will most likely be ordering more in the future. Cracking value."
Mr William Davies (19-Dec-2010)
"Lovely summer drink. Nice and clean - excellent value."
Ms Amina Waters (11-Apr-2010)
"I have been drinking this wine for years especially with summer BBQ’s! I have just opened a bottle before dinner and find it well structured for a wine of this price. I have had more expensive supermarket wines that are nowhere near as enjoyable."
Mr Peter Brown (25-Feb-2010)
"Good solid unfussy dry white. Best as an aperitif in my view but others drink it through the meal as well."
Mr Stephen G Barnfield (01-Sep-2009)
thewinegang.com (5th May 2014)
"Fresh and breezy,
light on its feet with a herbaceous zesty freshness. It's great springtime
drinking fodder made from 55% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Roussanne and 10% Terret
Blanc. Made by the Bésinet family. - The Wine Gang"
The Mail on Sunday (20th Apr 2014)
"Wine of the week: The
ultimate wine o'clock white - bright, light, fresh and utterly delicious. Set
your watch by it! - Olly Smith"
The Wine Gang (Mar 2013)
"This a blend led by Sauvignon and by its fresh, grassy, lemony flavours and crisp, lightly herbal finish, but with a fleshier, peach note in the middle. Made by the Bésinet family from their own vineyards on volcanic soils near the Med. Goes with: Aperitif wine, Salads & Vegetable dishes, Fish & Seafood."
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