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20 February 2009

Languedoc: Château Pech-Latt, Corbières

Pech-Latt is a little off the beaten track, lying in an idyllic spot the other side of the tiny village of Ribaute and surrounded by nothing but vines (around 100 ha / 250 acres), although it’s quite well signposted whichever way you approach it from. Regarded as one of the leading lights in the Languedoc for organic viticulture and producing top-notch Corbières, their range is as handsome and complete as the fading old château itself. The reds in particular show the kind of depth and excitement you can achieve from well-looked after and highly expressive terrain typical of the Lagrasse area. Vineyards and winemaking are overseen by Philippe Mathias, who with his partner Sophie Guiraudon have a small domaine of their own called Clos de l’Anhel (see winery A to Z, right).

Tasted October 2008 - February 2009:

2007 Corbières white (mostly Marsanne 13%) - honeysuckle and white peach, lightly floral with oily and quite full mouth-feel v reasonably fresh and relatively light; quite nice although turns a bit bland when it warms up (second tasting). 80-85
Corbières rosé (13.5%) - tasted in situ: quite punchy with yeast-lees notes, crisp dry palate with light red fruits. Second bottle at home: a bit blander and flatter, I wonder if the plastic cork is to blame for that variation (premature oxidation, so to speak)? 80-85
Corbières vieilles vignes (Carignan Syrah Grenache Mourvèdre 14.5%) - a tad closed up, awkward and 'reductive' on the nose to start; however, moving on quickly to distinctly delicious lush dark fruit with a bitter chocolate twist, tobacco v violet edges too; very firm with big texture, closes up on the finish needing a good year to express itself fully, I'd say. Very nice though. 90-92
2006 Tamanova (Syrah Carignan Grenache Mourvèdre 14%) - also not very revealing at first, hinting at dark fruits; quite extracted and solid with chocolate texture although plenty of fruit buried underneath. We'll see. Another bottle another time: indeed, its rich spicy fruit is now more to the fore and the oak is melting into its generous rounded texture. 90+
1995 Les Pi
èces Nobles Vin de Liqueur (Grenache 15.5%) - jammy fruit with mature meaty edges, sweet v nutty oxidised flavours with a touch of grip too helping to balance out the sugar. 87-89

More Pech-Latt wines here (Millésime Bio 2006).

Ribaute, 11220 Lagrasse. Tel: 04 68 58 11 40, 

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