Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Twelve producers from Occitanie

Another tasting in London about Occitanie, the region of France that was created on 1 January 2016 from the fusion of former regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées. This is an administrative region, it does not change the classification of the wines.

Thank you to Isabelle Kanaan and Sébastien du Boullay of "Maison de la Région Occitanie - Sud de France" in London for organizing this event.

Besides a walk-around of dozens of wines from 12 producers, there were two most interesting masterclasses today, both led by Matthew Stubb MW.

Masterclass: Occitanie outside the box

1. Terroirs d'Occitanie, baron Ermenegaud, AOP Fugères 2020
50% Roussanne, 20% Marsanne, 20% Vermentino, 10% Viognier
Scisty soil, very poor, roots have to go deep to find nutrients.
A fresh wine (from Vermentino) with floral notes. Honey suckle, jasmine, peach. A complex wine with a long finish. Score 88.

2. Les Vignerons Castelas, Vieilles Vignes, AOP Cd Rhone Sinargues 2018
40% Grenache noir, 40% Syrah, 20% Carignan
Red and black fruits, spicy, peppery notes, good substance (matière!). Good balance, smooth finish. Score 89

3. Domaine de la Louvière, La Sèductrice, AOP Malepère 2019
60% merlot, 20% Cab franc, 20% malbec
Super smooth wine, merlot clearly overwhelming, probably more than 60%
Very ripe fruit, green pepper, herbaceous notes.. Score 82.

4. Les Vignerons du Brulhois, le Vin Noir, AOP Brulhois 2017
50% merlot, 30% tannat, 15% cab sauv, 5% malbec
From the northern part of the region, closer to Bordeaux. medium-strong tannins, probably from tannat. A simple simple but pleasant wine. Score 80.

5. Vignobles Vellas, Domaine Valinière "Granmarone", AOP Languedoc St Drézéry 2019
Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
The name wants to indicate that this is done in "Amarone style", though the grapes are dried on the vine, unlike Amarone. Fermentation for four months, no wood, aged in concrete for one year. An impressive deep color, intense nose and plump, complex and long in the mouth, a touch of sweet at the end. Score 93.

6. Domaine F. Jaubert, Or du Temps, AOP Rivesaltes 2002
70% Grenache gris, 30% grenache blanc
Fortified wine, they added 96%abv to raise wine to 17%abv. Domain started using this technique in the XIII century, before fortification started in Porto, Madeira or Marsala. Dried fruit, caramel, toffel. Aged 17 years in concrete, NO WOOD. About 85g residual sugar. Score 88.

Masterclass: Local grapes and distinctive taste of Occitanie

1. Maison Sinnae, Eléments Luna, AOC Côte du Rhone Villages Laudun 2020
65% grenache blanc, 35% clairette
Citrus and peach follow a floral welcome to the nose. A delicate wine despite 14.5% abv. Waxy notes, no oak, steel only. Score 84

2. Domaine Lalaurie, marselan, IGP Pays d'Oc 2020
100% marselan
This grape is a cross between cabernet sauvignon and grenache. Produced in the early 1960s, it has become popular in Languedoc and more recently in China because of its resistance to mildew and small berries which result in lower yields. Aromatic wine, red and black fruits, licorice, spicy. Medium tannin. Score 84

3. Domaine Gayrard, Braucol, AOP Gaillac 2019
100% fer servadou (braucol)
Smooth, medium body and balanced wine, herbaceous notes. Lacks complexity and length. Biodynamic. Score 82

4. Les Domaines Auriol, Influences naturelles, IGP Pays d'Oc 2020
syrah 100%
Smooth, medium body, crunchy and vibrant fruit. Not a complex or long wine but pleasant nonetheless. Biodynamic. Score 82.

Before the masterclass I had tasted their Chant de l'âme 2019 a blend of syrah, carignan, mourvèdre and cinsault: a complex, round and long wine ready now. Score 92

5. Domaine Guillaman, Gos manseng, IGP Côtes de Gascogne 2020
100% gros manseng
Semi-aromatic wine, smooth and med long, not complex. Sweetness prevails with 35g of residual sugar, only 11%abv. Score 83

6. Domaine Tariquet, Dernières Grives, IGP Côtes de Gascogne 2018
100% petit manseng
beautiful deep golden yellow for this aromatic sweet wine. Yet one can easily pick a vibrant acidity that makes for a well balanced product. Honey, tropical fruits (mango?). It is a late harvest wine but without botrytis. 100g residual sugar. Score 93.

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