I went to a seminar and wine tasting on Monday evening at the Wine School at L'Alliance Francaise. It was presented by Charles "Bear" Dalton, the fine wine buyer at Spec's and a local wine personality/guru. The subject was "Tasting the Languedoc". As many wine drinkers know, the Languedoc region of France was not taken very seriously for years in regards to any type of quality wine production, it was often referred to as the "wine lake" of southern France, quantity was great but quality was not. Over the last two decades, this reputation as a region of mass or bulk wine producers has begun to change with a new focus on quality that is due in part to outside investments.
We tasted ten wines over the course of the evening ranging in price from $6.99 to $32.71 and I felt most were interesting, pleasant and very drinkable (there was only one that I just did not care for at all). I am listing my three favorites here:
Domaine Font Mars Picpoul De Pinet 2009- Made from the Picpoul grape, this white wine had fresh citrus aromas and flavors, high acid, medium alcohol and finished with a medium-length crisp minerality. At $10.83, a great alternative to your usual chilled summer patio sipper.
Domaine Cantussel "Cuvee Cantussel" Minervois 1999-A brownish garnet red color, this wine is a blend of "Old Vine" Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. Strong black fruit aromas from the Carignan with hints of the earthy garrigue, dusty tannins and a lightly spicy finish. Interestingly "old world" for $14.99.
Chateau D'Aussieres Corbieres 2004-Opaque brownish red with a garnet rim. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre aged in old oak. Intense aromas of ripe blackberries and plums with notes of coffee. Medium+ acid and tannin with medium alcohol and a subtle but lingering savory, black-fruit finish. $32.71