The latest offerings from Stone, Vine & Sun



I always enjoy Stone, Vine & Sun’s tastings for they are one of the few wine merchants who really concentrate on the south.  So here are a few highlights from their most recent tasting.   First some rosés


2022 La Combe Saint-Paul, Amandiers, Pays d’Oc - £9.95

A very good start to the tasting. Pale pink colour, with a fresh nose, and quite a rounded ripe palate, with fresh raspberry fruit.  From an estate in La Clape that also has vineyards outside that appellation.


2022 Château la Grave Minervois, Expression - £11.25

Pale orange pink.  Quite a firm structured nose.  Quite rounded, ripe fruit with a little weight and good balancing acidity.  A more serious rosé.


2022 Domaine de la Ribotte, Bandol - £19.50

And even more serious.  A hint of orange in the colour. Quite a rounded but firm nose and palate, with some structure and weight, as well as fruit.  


Domaine J. Laurens is one of my favourite Limoux producers so I was very pleased be able to taste a couple of their wines.


NV Blanquette de Limoux le Moulin - £15.95

Light colour. Rounded nose with some dry herbal notes typical of Mauzac, on both nose and palate.  A rounded palate with good acidity.  Nicely refreshing.


2020 Crémant de Limoux Brut, les Graimenous - £16.95

Light colour.  Quite a firm restrained nose and on he palate some rounded creamy fruit, balanced with good acidity and an elegant mousse.  Nicely satisfying weight on the palate.


Amongst the unoaked whites, these stood out

2022 l’Estabel, Languedoc blanc, Grand Cuvée Comtesse - £10.95

From the very successful coop in the tiny appellation of Cabrières.  A blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette and a little Bourboulenc.  Quite a delicate nose, with rounded dry fruit, and some herbal notes.  Elegantly understated.


2021 Domaine Pégaline, Juste, IGP St Guilhem le Désert - £16.50

This is a new name for me, from the village of Claret, within the appellation of Pic St Loup.  A blend of Grenache Blanc, and Vermentino.  A hint of colour.  Quite a firm dry nose. A lightly fragrant palate, with some structure and a slight bitterness balancing the finish nicely.


2021 Clos de l’Amandaie - £16.95

This is a new addition to Stone vine & Sun’s list.  And it is an estate that I discovered during our first summer at our Languedoc house, when we wandered into a wine shop in Clermont l’Hérault looking for a bottle of rosé for lunch.   We did also need some wine for our house warming party later in the week, and we came out with a couple of cases of Clos de l’Amandaie.  I have had a soft spot for it ever since. And this wine did not disappoint.  Light colour.  Lightly rounded and herbal on the nose.  And on the palate, some fragrant herbal notes, and nicely textured.  Both supple and subtle.


There were three oaked wines, of which my favourite was

2022 Domaine Bégude, Etoile Chardonnay, Limoux - £16.95

The oak was nicely understated and well integrated.  A little colour. Lightly rounded nose, and lightly buttery on the palate with good acidity.  An elegant finish.  This estate is owned by an Englishman, James Kingslake. 


A large selection of reds followed.  The first section was Wines for Regular Drinking.  

2020 Château La Grave, Minervois Rouge, Tristan & Julien - £11.25

Medium young colour. Spicy red fruit on the nose and palate.  Youthful streak of acidity and tannin balancing some lovely fruit.


2021 Clos de l’Amandaie, Chat Pitre IGP Pays d’Oc - £12.50

Quite a light red colour.  And a lightly fruity nose, and wonderfully easy drinking on the palate.  Fruity with a dry streak of tannin, but essentially a mouthful of appealing southern fruit.


2021 La Combe Saint-Paul, Grès Rouge, la Clape - £12.50 

Medium colour. Some dense spice on the nose and palate.  Quite firm tannins balanced by spicy fruit.  Youthful potential.  A little more serious than the previous two wines.


Pinot Noir (& Cinsault) came next.  I liked all four of the wines in this category.


2021 La Croisade, Pinot Noir, Pays d’Oc - £10.25

From the cooperative in the St Chinian village of Cébazan.  Medium colour and lovely light easy fruit on the nose and palate.  A fresh finish.  No great depth but eminently easy drinking with some light varietal character.


2022 Domaine Bégude, les Cerisiers, Pinot Noir, Haute Vallée de l’Aude- £14.50

The Haute Vallee de l’Aude is one of the coolest parts of the Languedoc and one of the best places for Pinot Noir.  I have never quite understood why Pinot Noir does not feature in the appellation of Limoux.  Medium colour.  Fresh raspberry fruit on the nose and palate.  Quite a rounded palate with a tannic streak and a fresh finish.  Lovely fragrant fruit.


2021 Domaine Pégaline, Pin-Sault, Vin de France - £15.95

A blend of each parts of Cinsault and Pinot Noir, as the name might imply.  Quite a light colour, and rather a funky nose, for want of a better description.  A touch of reduction that blew away.  The palate has some lovely fresh red fruit.  Nicely supple.


2012 Domaine de Cazaban, Parti Pris, Pays d’Aude - £20.50

This a new supplier for Stone, Vine and Sun. Based in Cabardès, Clement Mengus came south from Alsace and makes a thoughtful range of wines.  His Pinot Noir was new to me.  Medium colour. Quite a firm nose.  Quite a structured palate, with red fruit and some Pinot Noir silkiness.  Youthful and elegant, and more serious than the previous wines.


The next section was based on Carignan.


2021 Domaine de Cazaban Jours de Vigne, Pays d’Aude - £15.50

A blend of Carignan and Grenache Noir.  Medium colour.  Fresh cherry liqueur fruit on the nose and palate, with a streak of tannin.  Fresh and elegant.  This has long been a favourite and this 2021 vintage did not disappoint.


2020 Clos de l’Amandaie, Héritage Carignan, IGP Vicomte d’Aumelas - £13.95

Quite a deep colour with a firm nose.  Good depth and texture on the palate, with some solid ripe red fruit and a rounded finish.  Nicely satisfying.


2021 Domaine du Grand Arc, Corbières, Cuvée des Quarante - £13.75

Deep young colour.  Firm spice on the nose and palate.  Some youthful oak with a firm backbone of tannin.  Structured and youthful, with ageing potential.


Then on to Grenache based and Rhône Style blends


2019 Clos de l’Amandaie, Grès de Montpellier - £16.95

Deep colour with rounded spicy nose, and more spice and peppery notes on the palate.  Fresh fruit, with a good grip and a youthful bite.  Nicely balanced with ageing potential. 


Syrah based wines came next,  with 2020 Villa Orae, la Clape Sillons - £17.50

This was new to me.  I gather it is a single vineyard from Domaine la Combe Saint Paul, with 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre, and no oak.  Good colour.  Dense ripe fruit on the nose and a rounded harmonious palate.  Balanced with a fresh finish.  


Domaine Cazaban also showed well again with his Cabardès, les Petites Rangées - £18.95   A blend of  60% Syrah with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Cabardès is one of three appellations in the Languedoc that allows Bordelais grape varieties.   The Syrah dominated the flavours with rounded spice and red fruit, while the Cabernet added some structure.  Medium weight and nicely balanced.


2018 Château de la Liquière, Faugères Rouge, Cuvée Cistus - £21.95

Good colour.  Quite firm fresh spice on the nose and palate.  Youthful fresh red fruit.  Nicely balanced.  Evolving nicely.


Mourvèdre was the next variety with Mas des Brousses, in the Terrasses du Larzac.  The 2020 vintage had youthful colour with a frim fresh nose, and youthful fruit.  It was finely crafted elegant and nicely balanced.  Xavier Peyraud is a grandson of Lucien Peyraud who did so much for the appellation of Bandol and established the reputation of Domaine Tempier, so Xavier must have Mourvèdre in his genes.


And we finished with Vin Doux Naturels, a pair from Domaine Fontanel in Tautavel.  


2019 Domaine Fontanel Maury Grenat – £21.95

Medium red colour.  Ripe cherry fruit on the nose and palate.  Redolent with fresh red fruit, with a subtle note of alcohol on the finish, from the fortification.   Lovely fresh fruit.  A great alternative to ruby port.  


I can never resist a good Rivesaltes Ambré and this was no exception.  2015 Domaine Fontanel - £22.95, with an amber colour and elegant nutty notes on the nose.  A lightly sweet palate, with some orange notes, as well as walnuts. Delicious.  Why are these wines not drunk more often?














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