New Wines from Laurent Miquel
Some new wines from Laurent Miquel came my way recently. Laurent has vineyards in the hills outside Lagrasse in the Corbières, where he has planted Albariño and his main cellars and vineyards are in the appellation of St Chinian. Le Côte is a new range for independent wine merchants and then there were some new vintages of more established wines.
2020 Albariño, Lagrasse, Vin de France – Waitrose £11.49; Sainsburys £10.00
Laurent really is the pioneer of Albariño in the Languedoc. Light colour. Quite delicate and lightly peachy on the nose. And on the palate, pithy with fresh acidity and some light peachy notes. Elegantly mouth filling with a fresh finish.
2020 Albariño, Côte 238. Pays d’Oc, Pech Gentille IGP Aude – RRP £15.00
Fermented in concrete tanks. Light colour, A slightly fuller nose, with light peachy notes which is how I identify Albariño. The nose was quite full, but the palate seemed firmer with more marked acidity, with greener notes, maybe green apple.
2020 Viognier Pays d’Oc Côte 128 Pech Sévignac - RRP - £15.00
Light colour. A much peachier, fatter nose than the two Albariño, as you would expect. A rounded textured palate, with some fresh acidity and a juicy finish. Nice weight. Partly aged in oak.
2018 Lieu dit La Verité Cessenon Viognier - £17.99 at Waitrose
Just 8100 bottles made of this. A more characterful wine, rounded oaky peach notes on the nose and an oaky streak on the palate. 70% of the wine was fermented and aged in French oak. More depth, some satisfying layers of flavour. Softer acidity than the previous wine. Good length. Initially the oak was not entirely harmonious, but food softened the oak effect.
2017 Lieu dit La Croix Chardonnay, Lagrasse - RRP £20.00
Light colour. Lightly buttery on nose and palate. Nice acidity, balanced by buttery oak. To quote my South African friend Winnie Bowman, who contributes to the annual Platter guide, it was ‘oak forward’, and nicely balanced. And would benefit from food to temper the oak.
2020 Solas Pinot Noir, Pays d’Oc - £12.5 Heritage Cellars, Upton upon Severn Wines, Stop & Save
Medium colour. Fresh red fruit on both nose and palate. Nicely rounded with savoury notes. Medium weight. A dry finish. Benefits from some light chilling.
2018 Côte 136, Pech Cézarine, St Chinian – RRP £19.00
136 metres is the average attitude of the vineyards. Partly aged in French oak. A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache Noir and a heady 15°. Deep colour, intense ripe tapenade and black fruit on the palate. And on the palate dense and rounded, and quite tannic. Warm, rich and peppery. Lots of nuances. It does not taste like a 15°wine.
2018 St Chinian, Bardou, Cessenon
6100 bottles. A heady 15.5°. Pure Syrah. Old vines. 55% of the wine aged in new French oak for 14 months. This time I was more aware of the alcohol. Rich black fruit. Quite solid rounded and ripe, and on the palate ripe and dense with quite youthful tannins. Ripe garrigues fruit. Firm, sturdy and youthful. Needs time.
So in conclusion, some lovely wines from one of the Languedoc's leading wine growers.