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Languedoc-Roussillon

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Chateau Saint-Esteve, H de M, Corbieres, 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW OUT OF STOCK (please ignore stock messages at foot of page, these are updating) BUT MORE IS EXPECTED BY FRIDAY 10th APRIL, BUT PLEASE ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF DELAY. IF YOU WANT WINES IMMEDIATELY, THIS ONE IS NOT OR YOU - WE HAVE PLENTY OF THE SUPERB CHATEAU GREZAN FAUGERES! **

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition panel tasting of Corbières (see blue link below).

 

Château Saint-Esteve, H de M, Corbieres, 2017 - April 2020 Decanter review

Situated in the south of France, near the Mediterranean coast, the estate is located in the heart of Corbières, on the terroir of Boutenac, with its clay-limestone soils and round pebbles, in a century-old pine forest. Château Saint-Estève revels in the beauty and the charm of a protected landscape. This is a special place: the estate echoes to singing cicadas in summer, sits among magnificent pine trees and visitors can admire the garrigue, blue sky, protruding rocks and magnificent nature.

Owner Eric Latham has been cultivating the Château's 120 ha of vineyards since 1984. The adventurous and daring spirit of the family, has been strongly influenced by the experiences of their ancestors and their bold lifestyle choices. For example, his great-grand-uncle, Hubert Latham, an aviation pioneer, was known for his attempts to cross the Channel and his rivalry with Louis Blériot. Eric's grand-father, Henry de Monfreid - after whom this wine is named - was a famous adventurer, photographer and writer, native to Corbières and best known for his exploits in the Red Sea.

Carignan and Syrah principally grow on the lands of Saint-Estève; Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Cinsault (also varieties of the Corbières appellation) to a lesser extent. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Caladoc are also present in addition for the production of IGP wines. The red varieties naturally dominate although Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat are also grown.

Although the Château itself sits within the Boutenac cru, this wine, the H de M, is drawn from vineyards that lie outwith that demarcation and classes as 'standard' Corbières .

Syrah 60%, Carignan 20%, Grenache 10%, Mourvedre 10%.

For more/full details of this wine, see the blue link below for a detailed data sheet from/by the Château themselves. <NB: an additional precision to information listed there, having checked with the producer is: 50% of the wine is aged in barrels which are 2 to 3 years old.>

Chateau Saint-Esteve, H de M, Corbieres - fiche technique

Garnet colour with ruby glints. Intense nose of ripe fruits (blueberry, blackcurrant), spices and vanilla. In the mouth, cocoa and praline notes. Tannins are silky and round. Carignan brings elegance and freshness to this distinguished wine.

ABV = 14.0%.

£14.95

Cazes Ego Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2018 (1x75cl)

2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Cazes 'Ego' Côtes Du Roussillon-Villages 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family makes a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison Cazes is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by 'galets roulés' (the 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre. The three varieties were 100% de-stemmed and before being put in separate stainless steel vats. Only naturally occurring yeasts were used; no yeast was added to the must. Fermentation was temperature controlled at 28°C. The residual matter was circulated by pump-overs and the sediment was broken up by hand twice a day to extract the best qualities. The wine was macerated for four weeks before pressing after which it underwent malolactic fermentation.

As well as being biodynamic and organic, this wine is suitable for vegans.

The palate is bright with ripe red and black fruit aromas and rich liquorice notes, balanced by delicate tannins. This wine has a remarkable balance, thanks to its good acidity and freshness. Long finish with white pepper flavours.

ABV = 15.0%.

£15.35

Chateau Grezan Les Schistes Dores, Faugeres 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW BACK IN STOCK! **

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

We also highly recommend Chateau Grezan's excellent (and excellent-value) unoaked Chardonnay.

The viticultural history of the Cros-Pujol family began five generations ago, in 1877, on a very small parcel of Carignan between Autignac and Laurens. It was worked with a donkey and a horse, the harvests were vinified at the back of the family home by Jules-Anatole Cros, known as Costant, and his wife Anna, the first winemakers of the family. For the past 30 years, Château Grézan has expressed the very essence of Faugères wines. Produced from selected grapes, the Château Grézan wines combine respect for ancestral wine traditions and an open-mindedness to modernity.

The vineyards of Château Grézan and the Cros-Pujol family now cover nearly 110 hectares in both AOP Faugères and IGP Pays d’Oc. Their grape varieties in AOP Faugères are the classics of the region: Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan. The Schists Dorés here is (most) unusual in Faugères for its almost exclusive use of Syrah

The soil in Faugères consists essentially of shale(s) - golden and slatey: the forner gives the name to this wine. This stone is characterized by its remarkable capacity to retain water and its ability to store daytime heat and then release it at night. This is how the grapes continue to ripen at night. The climate is Mediterranean with a mountain influence. It is characterized by mild winters with rare frosts and hot and dry summers with infrequent but heavy rainfall.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this (highly medalled/awarded) wine from the team at Chateau Grézan.

Chateau Grezan Les Schistes Dorés, Faugeres 2017 - fiche technique

90% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre.

For our tasting note, we hand over to the DWWA19 judges:

"This is very classy stuff. Blackcurrant jam is the dominant flavour, but is flanked on either side by toasted cinnamon and vanilla, the superlatively integrated oak adding yet another layer to this already complex, ravishing wine. Delicious weight of rounded, brushed cotton tannins, and lush super-ripe black fruits – totally delicious, persistent and racy! Perfect with food".

ABV = 14.5%.

£18.95

Les Mougeottes Pinot Noir IGP Pays d'Oc 2018 (1x75cl)

The Les Mougeottes wines are from the region to the east of Carcassonne. Ripe grapes are essential for a good Pinot Noir. The full aromatic potential has already been developed, but the sugar content should be relatively low in order to pre-serve the variety's elegant style. For that, a part of the crop is harvested quite early and ferments at low temperature exalting fruity aromas. The other part, fully ripe, under-goes a traditional, long maceration. About one third ages in French oak barrels for many months, adding complexity to the wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine has a clean and precise bouquet with black cherries and raspberry aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit and a silky long finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£9.55

(Cave de Embres-et-) Castelmaure, Hauts de Castelmaure, Corbieres, 2018 (1x75cl)

** WE ARE SADLY TAKING NO MORE ORDERS FOR THIS WINE, DESPITE ITS HUGE POPULARITY.

WE HAVE JUST LEARNED THAT IT DEFINITELY CANNOT BE BOTTLED ON ITS ORIGINAL SCHEDULE OWING TO THE INDEFINITE CLOSURE OF THE CASTELMAURE BOTTLING PLANT.

WE HAVE EMAILED THE MANY CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT THE WINE TO ALERT THEM TO THEIR OPTIONS.

WE ARE OFFERING THE 2017 VINTAGE TO THESE CUSTOMERS - ARGUABLY A BETTER VINTAGE - BUT WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SUFFICIENT STOCK - YET - TO OFFER FURTHER ONWARD SALES BEYOND THOSE CUSTOMERS. THAT 2017 STOCK IS EXPECTED WITH US INSIDE 10-12 DAYS, COVID-19 DELAYS ALLOWING. 

WE HOPE TO OFFER SOME OF THE 2017 TO OTHER CUSTOMERS SOON. WE WILL ALSO OFFER THE 2018 WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND CAN BE TRANSPORTED INTO THE UK! **

** We have received a sample of the 2017 vintage and just tasted it. It is very much as expected. The 2017 does not vary hugely from the 2018 tried a few weeks ago; it is closer to the 2018 than it is either of the other Outstanding Decanter Corbières. It is a fuller, warmer and darker-fruited version than was the 2018; it remains a very attractive glass of wine on its own (ie without food) - more so than the St-Esteve or Serres Mazard, which are more easily matched with dishes. It is not jammy or over-hot; it's rich but with good acidity, tannins and 'bite'. Like the 2018, it is the least complex of the three Outstandings, but makes up for this in its "yummy" (to quote Decanter) immediacy. The 2017 is no poor twin of the 2018 - I personally preferred it and rate it more highly - and it comes recommended.

We have recorded a video tasting for those who have 2 minutes free ...

Castelmaure, Hauts De Castelmaure, Corbieres, 2017 - Exel tasting video

 

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition panel tasting of Corbières (see blue link below).

 

Castelmaure, Hauts de Castelmaure, Corbieres, 2018 - April 2020 Decanter review

Embres-et-Castelmaure is a tiny village in Corbières, with around 150 residents, all of whom are families of vignerons. Their co-operative Cave de Castelmaure - generally known now as Castelmaure - was founded in the 1920s and today consists of 65 members making wine from grapes hand-picked from 760 local plots (totalling 350 hectares). 90% of Castelmaure's production is red, with 80% of this classified  as AOC Corbières, made from the appellation's key grape varieties:Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Mourvedre.

Surrounded by mountains and adjoining the vineyards of Fitou, this wild, windswept terrain has a variety of soils from schist, limestone, alluvial river wash to clay-chalk. The co-operative is modern, innovative and extremely well-run producing excellent and award-winning wines.

To wit, this wine, being

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Carignan.

For more/full details, see the blue link below for a detailed data sheet from/by the producers themselves

Castelmaure, Hauts de Castelmaure, Corbières 2018 - fiche technique

An expressive and open nose, full of damson jam and cassis notes, and that unmistakable garrigue aroma of heather and wild thyme. Plenty of body and soft, ripe tannins. A great all-round wine for drinking on its own or with food. Ideal with beef daube, casseroles and other tender red meats.

ABV = 14.5%.

** PLEASE SEE ORDERING/AVAILABILITY/DELIVERY NOTE ABOVE. **

£11.95

Domaine Serres Mazard, Cuvee de Henri Serres, Corbieres 2017 (1x75cl)

** OUT OF STOCK BUT MORE IS EXPECTED BY FRIDAY 10th APRIL, BUT PLEASE ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF DELAY. IF YOU WANT WINES IMMEDIATELY, THIS ONE IS NOT FOR YOU - WE HAVE PLENTY OF THE SUPERB CHATEAU GREZAN FAUGERES! **

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition panel tasting of Corbières (see blue link below).

 

Domaine Serres Mazard, Cuvee De Henri Serres, Corbieres 2017 - April 2020 Decanter review

In Talairan, in the heart of Cathar country, the Mazard family craft rich, honest, AOP Corbières wines characterised by their aromas of wild orchids. Jean-Pierre Mazard is proud of the domaine’s family history which dates back as far as 1545. Today, his children, Marie-Pierre and Damien, produce a dozen different varietal wines and use their talents to create wines with an original, succulent character. 

In 1975, the domaine joined a local cooperative of growers with shared values and this group now collectively own 60ha of vineyards between them, with soils made up of rocky clays and limestone. The domaine has recently earned the Level 3 HEV (High Environmental Value) certification, underlining the family’s passion for sustainable viticulture alongside producing traditional styles of wine which represent the terroir

50% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre.

For more/full details of this wine, see the blue link below for a detailed data sheet from/by the producer themselves. <Additional to the information there, we would add, after verifying with the domaine, that 50% of the blend was aged in older/used oak barrels for 1 year, the remainder in concrete vats>.

Domaine Serres Mazard, Cuvee de Henri Serres, Corbieres 2017 - fiche technique

A beautiful shining ruby colour. This wine has an extraordinary nose which invites you to travel through thyme, rosemary, citrus and berries. The palate is powerful and suave, revealing ripe fruits, blackcurrant, elder and eucalyptus notes. 

ABV = 14.0%.

** MORE STOCK AVAILABLE IN 10-15 WORKING DAYS BUT COULD POSSIBLY BE DELAYED  **

£11.95
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