La Sauvageonne is back
Sauvageonne drew attention for its 1992 "Prestige" Syrah blend, which drew a rave (and 92 ratings points) from the critic Robert M. Parker, who likened it to the sought-after La Mouline Cote-Rotie. But following vintages didn't produce similar raves, prompting the U.S. importer David Schildknecht to cease importing it, judging the producer's quality "spotty" under the former owner Geantet Ponce.
But new British ownership since 2001 has given the winery a thorough spring-cleaning, and a new wine maker, Gavin Crisfield, an English sommelier, has brought to market an impressive lineup of reds, a selection of interesting wines that manage to blend rusticity and elegance in an appetizing marriage.
Crisfield visited here yesterday with a group from the Cincinnati-based importer Vintner Select, and it was my pleasure to meet him and sample his wines during a casual dinner at Louisville's excellent L&N Wine Bar and Bistro.
La Sauvageonne, located in the scenic Terrasses du Larzac region of the Coteaux du Languedoc, consists of about 30 hilltop acres of reddish schist soil, growing a combination of traditional Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault grapes along with some not-so-traditional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wines showcase them all, in varying proportions.
Chateau la Sauvageonne 2001 "Les Ruffes" Coteaux du Languedoc ($9)
Chateau la Sauvageonne 2002 "Pica Broca" Coteaux du Languedoc ($14)
"La Sauvageonne" 2001 Vin de Pays d'Oc ($19)
Chateau la Sauvageonne 2001 "Puech de Glen" Coteaux du Languedoc ($36)
FINDING THESE WINES:
Also, Wine-Searcher.com lists La Sauvageonne at a limited number of international retailers:
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Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2004