WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

28 May 2014

Languedoc: Domaine du Lys, Uzès

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One of those eternal "Languedoc or Rhone valley?" winery quizzes that can perhaps be answered simply as "both." Olivier Privat and Eileen and Ray Monahan's 30 hectares of vineyards (75 acres) lie in the Gard region, at the very eastern end of the Languedoc before you fall into the River Rhone, around a big-old-stone village called Blauzac not far from probably better-known Uzès (north of Nimes in any case). They have a medium-length list of varieties planted in blocks selected in 2008 (the vines are much older though), as you can see from the taster below, which are fashioned into single varietals and blends monikered as IGP (the new 'vin de pays') Cévennes (the nearby hills have eyes) and IGP Duché d'Uzès. Undergoing conversion to total organics since 2010. More @ www.les-lys.fr.

2011 Aillargues (75% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon blanc) - quite full-bodied and peachy fruited with attractive aromatic and crisper edge.
2010 La Grande Blanc (Chardy, barrel-fermented) - fairly concentrated with light toasted butter notes (or buttered toast if you prefer), rich and oat-y vs steely edges, maturing savoury finish too. Good stuff.
2012 La Petite Syrah (Syrah with some Sauvignon blanc actually) - nice cherry fruity style, easy-going quaffer.
2011 La Grande Rouge ("old-vine" Syrah, fermented/aged in large wooden vats) - minty herby peppery nose with lush dark cherry fruit, nice savoury side too, concentrated yet elegant; good stuff again.
2012 Caillasses (Grenache barrel-aged for a year, 16% abv!) - fair amount of vanilla oak on top vs lots of sweet fruit though, big and chunky finish. Their site offers a classic French food match: "hardly cooked meat."

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