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Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

01 December 2011

Languedoc: a tale of two Fitous...

Aka a couple of Fitou-esque updates from Domaine Jones and Cave de Mont Tauch, just for the sake of making the post title a touch catchier. There's also a theme to my stream-of-conscious word outpourings, as you'll gather if you read this post from August last year featuring Domaine Jones and her first vintage release wines. Katie used to work for the Mont Tauch co-op in marketing but is now a fully-fledged winegrower/maker, and has a few wee vineyard parcels in the Maury area and now a massive 0.6 hectares (1.5 acres) in Tuchan in Fitou country (near where she lives) across the rocky Corbières border between Languedoc and Roussillon. The 2010 red tasting-noted below is hence her first vintage (although it says on her website that 2011 would be the first?!) from these particular mixed old vines, some of them 100 years and counting, which is looking good already. Katie's wines are also now available in the US via David Vincent Selection, in Sweden from Johan Lidby and at Bodaweinhaus and Weinhaus Gawron in Germany, so she has been busy.
Just for the hell of it, or to stir up a bit of mischief perhaps, I've slotted in a new (outside of France anyway) single-vineyard Fitou from Mont Tauch co-op winery (also from Tuchan) underneath, which was previously included in this post on some new southern French reds from M&S. Oh, and a little "local politics" might not go amiss here... Katie's partner used to be president of said co-op and has since reverted to quietly getting on with looking after his own vineyards in the area, although was unfortunately a victim of some spiteful jealous moron, allegedly, who decided to wreck one of these, presumably because of some former conflict over "policy". There's progress for you, just when most of France has finally woken up to real competition in the big bad wine world, down south, in certain co-op worlds at least rather than forward-thinking ones or estate wineries, your competitor/enemy is still your neighbour! Anyway, as always, let's let the wines do the talking, which are both good it has to be said in their different ways...

2010 Domaine Jones Fitou (Carignan, Grenache, Syrah; 14% alc): Sweet dark berry fruit and liquorice aromas with volatile edges, shows a light touch of chocolate/coffee oak adding grainy vs rounded texture, fair oomph vs attractive supple tannins, black fruits and subtle dark choc bitter twist. Drinking nicely already yet still structured and concentrated, ripe and rounded mouth-feel vs tarter blueberry fruit side. Quite dear at £20 but I understand she didn't make much at all, and it's good stuff for sure. Available on-line for UK delivery or see Katie's blog for other outlets: domainejones.blogspot.com.
And one of her latest red releases is featured here2012 Le Petit Train Syrah December 2013

2009 Fitou, Château de Montmal / Cave de Mont Tauch (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan; 13.5%): nice spicy black cherry and sweet liquorice vs smoky tobacco and volatile balsamic notes; powerful solid palate with tasty concentrated fruit, lush and lively with ripe maturing finish. Well-made attractive chunky style, a special-occasion red at the price: £12.99 M&S on-line only.
Previous MT wines and profile are here.

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