February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:52 pm

John Bojanowski wrote:Bob, probably better than copying out this thread is just using Rosemary George's blog to create a list of interesting wines ! She likes lots of different styles of Languedoc wines, each for its own reasons. Jancis Robinson recently did a list of her favorite languedocs. Did any of the US journalists ever come so near to the ground? There are LOTS of good growers missing from these 6 pages. If you come visit with a good bottle of wine from somewhere outside of languedoc, making a list would give us something to do when we drink it.

A+john


Thanks for the suggestion John, And a good suggestion it is. I will bookmark Rosemary's blog URL, and read often. I hope that you, Rosemary, and Jon will stay around the WLDG and join with us in our wine speak as often as you can. Every Wednesday evening at 9:30PM eastern time and on Sunday at 4PM eastern some of us meets in the chat room and talk wine among other things. We would be happy to welcome you. I realize the Wed chat is way too late for you, but the Sunday one might work if you have the evening free.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:26 am

Some interesting Faugeres thoughts here. Tim might have access but not sure?

http://www.tastelanguedoc.blogspot.com/


....and here.

http://www.languedoc-wine.blogspot.com/
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:18 am

Bob, the only one of those Faugères estates which I know about is Léon Barral. Bloggers are always introducing to new well performing estates like these, so it's hard to keep up. I hope that these people manage to make a decent living.

Faugères is apparently opting to stay outside the mooted Languedoc Grands Crus. I wonder why?
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby GrahamTigg » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:42 pm

Tim York wrote:Faugères is apparently opting to stay outside the mooted Languedoc Grands Crus. I wonder why?


Not heard they were going to stay outside. Faugères were only given Languedoc Grand Vin rather than Grand Cru in the CIVL proposed new grading (completely absurd of course) so may be thinking of going it alone - a bit like Montpeyroux and Saint Saturnin which are villages in the middle of the Terrasses du Larzac. Interesting thing about the new classification is I bet very few consumers will know that Grand Cru is supposed to be "better" or more expensive than Grand Vin.

Rosmary's blog recently reported on Domaine Trinite and Domaine Cébène, both interesting relative newcomers I would recommend.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:45 pm

Tim York wrote:Bob, the only one of those Faugères estates which I know about is Léon Barral. Bloggers are always introducing to new well performing estates like these, so it's hard to keep up. I hope that these people manage to make a decent living.

Faugères is apparently opting to stay outside the mooted Languedoc Grands Crus. I wonder why?


Barral is a name known to me too Tim.
I think this Focus needs to be highlighted from time to time, there are some important voices here and there always seems to be something current to discuss.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:37 pm

Barral is now not only a respected name to me but also wine in my glass.

Faugères 2008- Domaine Léon Barral - Alc.13% - (C.€14), made from Carignan 50%, Grenache and Cinsault grapes certified organic. This is Barral's entry level cuvée but it already allows me to see what all the fuss is about.
The aromas from the nose and the palate showed that caressingly vibrant fruit which reminds me of the late Marcel Lapierr's Morgon with added touches of spice and hints of tar. The body was quite full and there was lively acidity and enough backbone and grip to provide more than just beautiful fruit. I don't think that this wine needs further ageing because it is delicious as it is; 16.5/20.

This is quite different from the more sophisticated and polished Faugères from Alquier which I continue to love in a different way.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:53 am

Here is another view of the "new" Languedoc classification which continues to surprise.

http://www.languedoc-wine.blogspot.com/

Maybe Tim might want to comment?
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:45 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Here is another view of the "new" Languedoc classification which continues to surprise.

http://www.languedoc-wine.blogspot.com/

Maybe Tim might want to comment?


Bob, I couldn't agree more with the points being made in this blog (is Graham, the author, Graham Tigg?). The pyramid concept is not bad in itself, just the way it is being implemented.

- AOC Languedoc is daft to include Roussillon.
- The Grands Crus are being defined far too widely and have some crazy exclusions, e.g. Faugères and Montpeyroux.
- Grands Vins and Grands Crus sound too alike for most people to be able to make the distinction but given the way Grands Crus are being drawn they won't lose much.

Grands Crus would IMO only make sense if an attempt were made to identify really outstanding estates, e.g. Mas Jullien, Léon Barral, Alquier, Mas Chapart, Mas du Daumas Gassac, Grange des Pères, etc., and perhaps immediately surrounding terroirs with the same potential. (As things are the last two estates will still have to continue as Vins de Pays.) I wouldn't be against copying the way that the 1855 Médoc classification was established by making selling price one of the determinants for which estates qualify and this could give an easy route to future promotions and demotions. The automatic price thresholds proposed by the CIVL are daft, however.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Jon Hesford » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:34 am

I'm very much against having a hierarchy of mini-regions, especially with typical AOC rules attached which dictate percentages of grape varieties and especially when pricing comes into it. It looks like an artificial attempt to mimic more respected regions and I don't think any buyers are going to be fooled by it.

The strength of this region is it's massive diversity and the potential and freedom to craft amazing wines. Putting rules around it will cramp that freedom.

The idea of an 1855 classification would be crazy. Half the producers that are currently regarded as the best by the establishment have already been eclipsed by new ones. Things are changing so fast no organisation can hope to define it.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:46 am

Jon, it sounds as if you are simply saying that you are against any hierarchical classification, at least for Languedoc-Roussillon.

I am a big fan of the Burgundian hierarchy, although this and that aspect can always be criticised, e.g. inclusion in the Grand Cru of Clos Vougeot plots near the route nationale. The Bordeaux classifications are estate based; the price based 1855 classifications of Médoc and Sauternes seem to have largely stood the test of time and to be better than that, judgemental and more recent, of Saint-Emilion, where the accolade "grand cru" seems over generously applied and where the 10 year updating has become excessively political.

I do believe that in both Burgundy and Bordeaux the "cru" system helps the quality image. The German refusal in the 1971 law to ratify one seem to have disadvantaged them, hence the VDP private initiative to get one recognised though their GG, etc. bottlings.

I agree that LR is different because its diversity and relative newness for quality make classification more difficult. However, I am sure that the Grand Vin/Grand Cru pyramid will confuse more than help.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby GrahamTigg » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:17 am

Rosemary George recently discussed the Languedoc classification on her blog tastelanguedoc.blogspot.com.

One new point she has unearthed is that the classification is based on current prices - I assume these are averaged out. As the bulk of the wine from Faugères, Montpeyroux and Saint-Saturnin comes from cooperatives the price is lower than the so called Grand Cru areas. All absolute madness in my view.

She also points out that relatively few consumers will know that Grand Cru is supposed to be higher up the pyramid than Grand Vin.

It's also been reported that Fitou don't pay their dues to CIVL so they will presumably be deleted from the map, text etc. in due course.

I'd like to point out that the main reason this interests me is I'd like the region's wine business to do well as a whole. By and large the cream of the Independents that are drunk by those here will build their own markets and brands as many have already done outside of the AOC system (Daumas Gassac, Grange des Peres, all 100% Carignans etc.)

Tim, yes Graham the Languedoc blogger = Graham Tigg here.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Sat May 07, 2011 6:55 am

Jancis Robinson joins in the discussion of the appellation reform in Languedoc on the side of the angels http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/f26e5240-76b8 ... z1Lefcew4I .
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Jon Hesford » Sat May 07, 2011 11:17 am

Two things particulalry interested me in her article. The first is that the head of the very large negociant, JeanJean, is the president of the CIVL, who have designed the new AOP hierarchy and the second is the minimum price of the Grand Crus at 10€ a bottle. I think the average price today for those wines is around 5€ so it will be an interesting exercise to see if adding a title to an appellation can double the price.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Sun May 22, 2011 9:07 am

This is one of my favourite Languedoc estates -

Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux 1999 – Domaine d’Aupilhac, Sylvain Fadat – Alc.13.5%. Flicking through the archive to see whether I had written a TN on this wine before, I came across none on 1999 but this one on a bottle of 1998 which is equally applicable to this 1999 –
Coteaux du Languedoc AOC Montpeyroux 1998 – Domaine d’Aupilhac – Alc. 13% - is made from the usual regional cocktail of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan, it has well repaid its ageing and really sings. Deep colour and body and harmonious with mature dark fruit, secondary aromas of tar and garrigue and good length; 16.5/20.
I would add that these Montpeyroux from Sylvain Fadat do seem to have an aptitude for acquiring an extra class and elegance over some 10 years but whether they would respond well to longer term ageing I do not know in spite of the fact that there were no signs of incipient decline here.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:51 am

Tim York wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Here is another view of the "new" Languedoc classification which continues to surprise.

http://www.languedoc-wine.blogspot.com/

Maybe Tim might want to comment?


Bob, I couldn't agree more with the points being made in this blog (is Graham, the author, Graham Tigg?). The pyramid concept is not bad in itself, just the way it is being implemented.

- AOC Languedoc is daft to include Roussillon.
- The Grands Crus are being defined far too widely and have some crazy exclusions, e.g. Faugères and Montpeyroux.
- Grands Vins and Grands Crus sound too alike for most people to be able to make the distinction but given the way Grands Crus are being drawn they won't lose much.

Grands Crus would IMO only make sense if an attempt were made to identify really outstanding estates, e.g. Mas Jullien, Léon Barral, Alquier, Mas Chapart, Mas du Daumas Gassac, Grange des Pères, etc., and perhaps immediately surrounding terroirs with the same potential. (As things are the last two estates will still have to continue as Vins de Pays.) I wouldn't be against copying the way that the 1855 Médoc classification was established by making selling price one of the determinants for which estates qualify and this could give an easy route to future promotions and demotions. The automatic price thresholds proposed by the CIVL are daft, however.


Well, I picked up the newly arrived vintage (09) of the Lancyre from Pic-St-Loup. For some reason, the importer seems to have passed on the `08 vintage?
Interesting that most notes on CellarTracker are on recent Rosés, but I can understand why. Terrific stuff!
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:40 pm

From the archive:

This might well have been the most enlightening thread in 2011. Lots of imput from those-in-the-know!
Just returned from a visit to Calgary and managed to pick up some 2010 Gravillas sous les Cailloux des Grillons. Is anyone here coming across these good wines from Gravillas?
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