Languedoc around the London tastings

Yapp Bros, who began life as specialists in Loire and the Rhône Valley, diversified further south quite a while ago and their list now includes some gems.

First off, NV Crémant de Limoux Brut from Domaine Collin - £12.75
Quite a firm, tight nose, with a lightly herbal note on the palate.  Quite fresh and crisp and stony, with fresh acidity.

2015 Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine Gaujal, Cuvée Ludovic Gaujal.   - £10.75
Is it me, or is there a tendency to produce softer Picpoul these days?   Without disparaging Picpoul, I tend to think of it as the Languedoc equivalent of Muscadet, something crisp and refreshing that goes deliciously with an oyster. This example was soft and rounded, with a dry finish, but lacked the salinity that is the hallmark of good Picpoul.

2013 Bellet, Domaine de la Source  - £25.50
A little deviation into Provence to Nice for a tiny and almost forgotten appellation, Bellet.  The white wine is based on Rolle and this was firm and stony, with fresh fruit and good acidity.   It is expensive, as the vineyards are on what could be valuable building land, within the city boundaries of Nice.

2013 Palette, Château Simone - £37.00
Another Provence wine, from another tiny appellation, just outside Aix-en-Provence.  At one time Château Simone was the only producer, but these days there are two or three others.  A wonderful mix of grape varieties, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc and Muscat.  Quite a dry, restrained nose and on the palate some underlying oak, and fresh fruit, with lots of nuances.  This is a white wine that ages well and will develop much greater depth of character with some bottle age.   One of the classics of Provence.

2014 Vin de Corse, Sartène, Domaine Saparale.  Rosé. - £14.95
From Sciacarello, Vermentino and Nielluccio.  Just the thing if you are looking for an original rosé this summer.  Again it is pretty expensive, especially for a rosé, but that is one of the problems of wine production in ‘Corsica, all their dry goods, bottles, corks etc. have to be imported from le continent as Corsicans call mainland France.   A pale colour, and a delicate nose, and on the palate some lovely fruit and depth.  It is fresh and powerful at the same time, and will accompany summer dishes from salade niçoise to barbecued lamb.

2014 Pic St. Loup, l’Arbouse, Mas Bruguière - £13.95
A blend of Grenache Noir and Syrah, from one of my favourite Pic St. Loup producers.  Medium colour, with some elegant spice and red cherries on the nose, and even more spice on the palate.  Quite ripe and rounded, but balanced with a fresh finish.  Good length.

2014 Domaine Richeaume, Tradition, IGP Méditerranée - £18.50
A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir from an estate in the Bouches du Rhône.  Quite firm youthful fruit on the nose and on the palate tight knit and structured, with red fruit, dry spice and balancing tannins.  A youthful tannic finish and showing some potential.

2005 Domaine de Trévallon, IGP Bouches du Rhône - £60.00
A blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and not appellation Les Baux de Provence, for its lack of Grenache Noir, which Eloi Durrbach stubbornly refuses to plant.   This makes his wine so much better than many of those of his neighbours in the appellation.   Medium colour, showing a little development.  Some rounded spice and cassis on the nose.  And on the palate it is still quite youthful, with a tannic edge and some rounded fruit, with some intriguing nuances.  Really a wine to savour at table rather than taste quickly in a line up of bottles.

And then on to Lea & Sandeman.

I was delighted to find that they were showing my friend Simon Coulshaw’s lovely Roussanne.

2015 Domaine des Trinites, Pays d’Oc, Roussanne. - £12.95
Deliciously floral nose, and nicely textured palate, with good mouth feel.  I know from experience that this wine develops beautifully with a couple of years of bottle age, so this 2015 is still too young.

2015 Domaine Saint Felix, Rosé - £6.95
A blend of Grenache and Cinsaut.  Very pale colour, and quite a fresh delicate nose, but I found the palate a touch amylic with undertones of boiled sweets, but that may well disappear in a month or  two.

There were also a trio of rosés from Domaine Sainte Lucie in Côtes de Provence.

2015 MIP* Made in Provence Classic Rosé - £11.95
Quite a firm but delicate nose, and on the palate some understated weight, but a touch amylic on the finish.

2015 Made in Provence, Premium Rosé - £19.95
Very pale colour.  Delicate and fresh on the nose, with a fragrant palate, with good acidity and some depth on the finish.

2015 L’Hydropathe, Elite Rosé, Côtes de Provence, Sainte Victoire - £15.95
Quite a delicate fragrant nose with a rounded palate, with more weight than the previous two wines.  A nicely characterful Provencal rosé.

2012 Muscat de Rivesaltes, Domaine Treloar - £9.95
Light golden colour, quite perfumed and peachy on the nose, and on the palate quite soft and ripe.   

And then at O. W. Loeb,  I was thrilled to discover that they were showing Domaine des Chênes,  2006 Rivesaltes Ambré.  This is the style of Rivesaltes that I really enjoy.  It was firm and intense and nutty on both nose and palate, with a very good bite on the finish, and utterly delicious.  


AlanM said…
Agrre completely about Picpoul, it has become softer though I have noted a little more zest in a couple of 2015s tasted so far.

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