Saturday, 22 December 2012

Buying Languedoc wine in the UK

I had an e-mail from Terroir Languedoc that particularly caught my attention as they were offering one of my wines of 2012, Domaine Clovallon Pinot Noir 2011. With vines sited in the cool Orb valley the wine typically has a fresh understated Burgundian character you won't find anywhere else in the region with Pinot Noir. It also comes in at just 12.5%. Vintage variation is relatively pronounced here, but in 2011 the harvest yielded perfect fruit giving a wonderful equilibrium; irresistible drinking without being a quaff. Note that I have yet to try the Les Pomarèdes cuvée made from older vines. Terroir Languedoc is particularly strong on the well established classics and offers some mature vintages - think Peyre Rose, St Jean de Bebian, Mas de l'Ecriture and the like. That noted, my tip would be to look at growers with a lower UK profile - Mas Gabriel, La Jasse Castel, Domaine Rimbert and Mas Champart, plus the rest of the Clovallon range. If you're quick, the Pinot Noir is available as a 6 bottle case offer at the bottom of the Clovallon page

Another merchant worthy of mention is Joseph Barnes Wines, they also take Languedoc-Roussillon seriously. Here you find a good selection from Léon Barral (my pick would be cuvée Jardis), Ollier Romanis plus some Clos du Gravillas. They also list wines I'm itching to try from Domaine Thierry Navarre.  or visit their shop in Saffron Waldon.

Cambridge Wine Merchants are Sud de France merchant award winners with well over 100 "serious" wines of the region listed. Hidden in the depths - I do find the site annoyingly clunky to browse - are Mas Cal Demoura L’Infidele 2008, La Reserve d’O 2008, several great value Domaine des Trinités reds, some Domaine Rimbert and Domaine de Cébène plus pretty much everything made by Domaine Treloar. or visit one of their Cambridge shops.

Leon Stolarski Fine Wines continues to champion the region and Leon feels strongly enough about it to regularly blog passionately on his gems. Every wine on the list is well chosen and sourced from small growers he will have visited. My personal recommendation would be to look at Domaine d'Archimbaud, Domaine de Cébène, Mas Foulaquier, Domaine de La Marfée and from Roussillon Domaine Treloar.  and Leon's blog