Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the south of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson.
The grapes for this wine come from selected vineyards around the Etang de Thau, planted on clay and limestone soils.
2017 was a challenging vintage in the Languedoc. A warm spring promoted good vine growth but this was halted when frosts hit the region in late April. Rain during flowering also reduced fruit set meaning yields were lower than previous vintages. However, the fruit that made it through is of a very high standard producing elegant and characterful wines.
The grapes arrived in the winery in the early morning and were macerated on the skins for a few hours, then pressed by pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at controlled temperatures of between 14-18°C for 16 days. No oak was used and the wine was bottled early to retain freshness and delicate aromatics.
Pale lemon in colour with a youthful rim. Crisp apple aromas are complemented by a citrus edge. On the palate, it has attractive weight, with a good balance of ripe, yellow plums and greengages and a fresh lime zest acidity that continue through the finish.
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition expert review of Languedoc whites (see blue link below).
Named after the street the winery is located on in the village of La Livinière, Minervois, Boulevard Napoléon is the partnership between restaurant owner Trevor Gulliver and winemaker Benjamin Darnault. Seeing the potential in the vineyards located by his holiday home, Trevor started making the wines and then showed them to his other partner, chef Fergus Henderson, who was more than impressed, as were we! Each wine is a classic expression of the varietal grown on the dry, stony slopes of the south of France - yet they retain a vibrancy and definition that marks them out from the crowd.
Fruit is sourced exclusively from a 75 year old single vineyard situated on stony terraces in the high hills of La Livinière, in the Minervois region. Here, soils are predominantly limestone and clay with the age of vines averaging 70 years. The wines show brightness, ripeness, definition and character - elements which can be largely attributed to these older vines. Grenache grapes are picked in two passes, as both the Noir and Gris grapes are grown in the same plot.
Grapes were all harvested by hand into small cases before undergoing a slow and gentle whole bunch pressing in a bag press. After one day resting on its skins, the juice was racked off into one and two year old 225 litre barrels for fermentation. The finished wine was then aged in barrel on its lees for one year without racking. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling.
One of the best examples of white wines from the Languedoc region. Aromatic, with citrus perfumes, this wine is rich and supple on the palate with distinct notes of smoke and liquorice. The finish is fresh, long and lingering.
The 2015 vintage was awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of Provence (see blue link below). The 2015 vintage has alas now run out, but key component analysis of the two vintages shows them to be very similar - the 2016 has merely yet to be subject to review by Decanter!
Since purchasing the estate in 1975, Comte Henri de Saint-Victor and family have been producing some of the most seductively aromatic and nobly structured wines in all of Southern France.
This celebrated white - 45% Clairette, 30% Bourboulenc, 25% other - is aged in large oak casks after a long, slow fermentation, giving a wine of considerable body and geat flavour integration.
It is mellow and vinous and develops a wonderful freshness that delights the palate, accentuated with flavours of white flowers (jasmine, lime flowers and hawthorn) and fruits (such as pear and peach). It has a almost savoury-salty finish.
It is additionally suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
A bright yellow wine with ripe stone fruit aromas, a hint of jasmine on the nose followed by a juicy lemon and pear-scented palate. A dry, medium to full-bodied Roussanne with plenty of apple and stone fruit and a lingering lemon sherbet finish.
Maison Louis Latour is one of the most innovative producers in Burgundy whilst maintaining its traditional image. In 1979, with a view to expanding the business, the valley of the Ardèche river with its clay and limestone-based soils was chosen as the ideal location to produce top-quality Chardonnay wines.
The Grand Ardèche comes from the best vineyards, carefully selected every year when harvesting begins. The grapes are pressed and the must is placed immediately in oak barrels made by the cooperage at Latour, where the wine will age for approximately 10 months, like the great wines of Burgundy.
The Grand Ardeche is made traditionally in oak barrels and undergoes complete malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 8 to 10 months in oak barrels (20% new) which are from the Louis Latour cooperage, made of French oak and are medium toasted.
All the flavour and almost all the complexity of a Meursault for a third of the price! Oak-aged for 10 months, the wine has a clear, golden-yellow colour and a powerful, elegant bouquet of vanilla, exotic fruits, honey and subtle spices. Wonderfully rounded and fleshy on the palate, it displays honey and gingerbread flavours that persist in the mouth.
We like this because it's from a Burgundy producer of great fame and does everything that a fine, rich white Burgundy does without the cost. It's wonderfully rich and creamy: a "mock Mersault", if you will.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition expert review of Languedoc whites (see blue link below).
Situated in Badens, a few kilometres from Carcassonne, the vineyards of Domaine Cros sit on the poorest of poor shallow stony soils that are so stark and inhospitable in certain places that only the vine and the olive tree can scratch an existence. The love of this arid terroir, where the drought seems more extreme than elsewhere, has induced Pierre Cros to preserve several ancient parcels of Aramon (planted in 1930), Piquepoul Noir (1910), Alicante (1927) and Carignan (1910) alongside the more classic “noble” (parvenu) varieties of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.
The Minervois tradition provides superb value for money. This Minervois Blanc is lovely – a field blend of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Muscat à Petit Grains and Piquepoul Blanc. Typically floral and resinous at the same time this white conjures dried apricots and plums sprinkled with garrigue notes of fennel and broom.
Picpoul is an ancient white-wine grape variety of the traditional and prolific Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in southern France. The name Pique-poul translates literally as "stings the lip", and is a reference to the grape's mouthwateringly high acidity.
The Grange des Rocs range is produced from vineyards located along the Mediterranean coast of southern France. Low yields and a ruthless approach to quality control means that behind the label lie some of the best value wines in the Languedoc. They use a cultivation method know as lutte raisonee which means that while they follow many of the principles followed by organic growers they do not wish to be bound by all the restrictions that this can bring.
The grapes for this wine are harvested by hand. Fermentation takes place over 12 - 15 days using a temperature controlled environment in stainless steel vats using carefully selected yeasts. It is then left on its fine lees for 8 months before filtration and fining take place prior to bottling. While sulphur is used during the bottling process it is not used during the winemaking process.
This wine has a light delicate fragrance with floral and fruit aromas as well as a hint of minerality. It is a dry wine which has light and subtle flavours and is best served with seafood and fish or is perfect as an aperitif.
This wine is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans as it was fined using bentonite.
After harvesting the grapes undergo an short skin maceration. After a gentle pressing and meticulous off-settling, the juice is collected and fermented. Ageing takes place in stainless steel tanks.
The Leduc Viognier has a vibrant, luminous colour with green hues. On the nose, peach, apricot and almond aromas prevail with a refreshing yet fruity palate with a smooth and round finish.
Excellent with spicy foods, grilled chicken or fish. A great match with sushi and sashimi.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Mas La Chevalière was established near Béziers in 1995 by Michel Laroche, after ten years of searching for the right vineyards. The 40 hectares comprise high altitude, cooler sites for whites and hillside terraces for reds. The wines are classified Indication Géographique Protégée because irrigation is used to avoid heat stress (and hard, bitter characters in the wines) in the southerly, sunny climate. The conversion to screwcap for the majority of wines took place at the same time as in Chablis.
Winemaker Géraud Blanc supplements the estate fruit with grapes from 50 growers with whom he has long-term purchasing partnerships. Grapes for this Viognier were grown at higher altitudes in Minervois, Béziers, Agde, Bédarieux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Cévennes, which give fresh, varietal aromas and elegance to the wine. They were harvested in mid-September during the cooler, early hours of the morning.
The Viognier grapes were whole bunch pressed then left to settle for 24 hours before beginning their fermentation, for 12 days at 15°C, in stainless steel vats. No oak was used and there was no malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the natural acidity and crispness. After six months in stainless steel there was a light filtration only in order to preserve the natural fruit character and body of the final wine.
Light gold in colour with fragrant aromas of orange blossom and spice touches. Delicate apricot and white stone fruit character on the palate with a lingering aromatic and fresh finish.
A good example of Sauvignon Blanc from the South of France. Classic flavours of refreshing citrus fruits and gooseberries balanced with a delightful acidity make this ideal with light food.