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Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

07 March 2013

Provence: Château des Launes

2011 Château des Launes white (85% Rolle, 15% Ugni blanc; 13.5% alc.) - aromatic floral and lees-edged, quite intense crisp and fresh with grapefruit vs oily honeyed flavours/texture, has a bit of weight too on its long stylish finish. Approx €11.50 cellar door/on-line (see website below for world distributors).
2011 Château des Launes rosé (75 Cinsault, 25 Grenache; 13%) - delicate and zesty with attractive citrus and rose petal aromas/flavours, crisp mouth-feel with lees-y bite and texture and a little roundness on the finish too. €9.50
2008 Cuvée Thomas red (70 Syrah, 30 Cabernet Sauvignon; 13%) - smoky edges with meaty and dark fruit, firm grip vs ripe and rounded on the palate, structured 'serious' finish with concentrated solid mouth-feel vs smoky maturing fruit. €13
2008 Cuvée Spéciale red (70 Syrah, 30 Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5%) - more pencil shaving/coconut oak on the nose, rich and solid though with grainy texture, extracted and concentrated layered with lush ripe fruit and firm tannins, then tasty savoury finish too. Again pretty serious wine although quite dear at €19.50 (that's trendy Provence for you, although it's on offer on their site for about €11.75 when I looked, as are some of the others reviewed here).


This pretty estate lies in the Côtes de Provence appellation in the spectacular Massif des Maures national park area, about 10 kilometres inland from Saint Tropez heading towards Le Luc. It was renovated and replanted by the Dielesen family in 2005, who've obviously invested heavily here with a new winery, on-site holiday accommodation and a riding school too: check out www.chateaudeslaunes.com for more on that (I pinched the photo off there by the way). I tasted their wines in London last year.

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