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23 July 2012

Roussillon: Domaine de l'Ausseil update, Latour de France

Latour de France overlooking Grenache gris vines  Domaine de L'Ausseil
Latour de France watching over old Grenache gris vines
Domaine de L'Ausseil
Previous wines and words on Domaine de l'Ausseil can be found here (April 2007 and April 2009). Owner/grower/winemaker Jacques de Chancel was, as sure as flowering follows budding, at the 2012 vintage version of Millésime Bio wine fair (held in Montpellier earlier this year) with the latest vintages gleaned from about 10 organic ha (25 acres) of mostly old vines scattered around the handsome timeless village of Latour de France (photo). Among other things, Jacques told me that, in addition to organic-only treatments in their vineyards, he's also focusing on using "very little - less than 10 milligrams per litre - or no SO2" (sulphites in winemaking: without wanting to get too chemical, 10mg/l is roughly 10% or less of what could be in a 'regular' bottle, depending on the wine/winemaker). €uro prices below are cellar door (in France obviously) to give you an indication: more info @ www.lausseil.com.

2011 P'tit Piaf white - very Muscaty with orange peel vs floral grapey notes, ripe and rounded vs crisp and juicy. Nice easy style. €6.50
2011 P'tit Piaf rosé (Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah) - zingy 'mineral' touches with yeast-lees undertones, crisp dry finish. Nice style again. €6.50
2010 Papillon (Grenache gris/blanc, Macabeu, Muscat) - rich nose with complex 'volatile' edges, lovely spicy vs honeyed palate with lush and lees-y vs intense 'mineral' finish. Very good dry white. €13
2008 La Capitelle Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France (Carignan, Syrah, Grenache) – lush vs savoury style red, again has that intriguing wilder side and lovely concentrated fruit; developing quite fast but it's still very good. €9.50
2007 Les Trois Pierres Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France – reductive/herby vs ripe and aromatic Syrah dominant profile (?), meaty and concentrated with chunky tannins, developing complex flavours with powerful finish. Lovely red. €14
2011 Prise de Bec red (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre) – lively black cherry/berry and cassis to start, soft vs dry texture, attractive quaffer finishing with peppery liquorice notes.
2011 Du Vent dans les Plumes(Carignan based) – quite rustic / bretty even (?) and spicy, although the former works here thanks to its rich vs crunchy mix of flavours and textures; concentrated too with thick yet supple tannins. Very good actually despite that initial nose.

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