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15 April 2010

Languedoc: Mas Conscience, Terrasses du Larzac

Mas Conscience

Laurent and Geneviève Vidal were (wo)manning a stand at the enigmatically named "Salon du X" - it's not that much of a mystery, actually, a tasting organised by their agent Xavier Peyrot des Gachons with a dozen Languedoc & Roussillon winegrowers present (there were originally 10, I think) hence the X - in April 2010 at Domaine Gayda's impressive winery & restaurant complex, found between Limoux and Castelnaudary. And what a find: effervescent Laurent and Geneviève farm 10 ha (25 acres) of vines biodynamically (although not "certified" I don't think, if it matters) on the lower slopes of the increasingly fashionable, it would seem, and very beautiful Terrasses du Larzac. St-Jean is found about 50 minutes northwest of Montpellier and northeast of Béziers, off France's most dramatic motorway, the A75, at the point where it begins to climb up onto the Massif Central mountain plateau. I tasted these quirkily titled yet nevertheless delicious wines, which are available in the UK and US via Berry Bros:
2009 L'In vin de pays (Grenache blancRoussanneViognier) - aromatic and exotic white with zesty and mineral touches; "chalky" vs leesy palate with greener fruit edges. Attractive style. 85+
2008 La Petite Prise Coteaux du Languedoc (6 year-old Syrah &Grenache) - nice juicy vs ripe vs scented garrigue fruit; liquorice vs crunchier side, tasty and soft vs a bit of weight. 85
2009 Cieux ciel ciel vin de pays (100% old Cinsault) - lovely "sweet" cherry and lavender notes almost; quite elegant with fine tannins and underlying liquorice and wild herbs. Unusual. 87
2008 Le Cas vin de pays (100% old Carignan) - smokier and richer profile, again has that very ripe black cherry fruit but with more grip and intensity; enticing dry vs "sweet" texture, fresh and firm vs elegant fruit. Approx £10/$15. 89
2007 As 
Terrasses du Larzac (SyrahGrenacheCarignan) - delicious ripe aromas again vs lightly toasty oak; good grip and tight mouth-feel, more powerful and lusher too. Needs 1 to 2 years to open up. Approx £13/$19. 89-91
2007 MahaTma (Mourvèdre) - a tad toasty at first with herbal undertones; riper palate with black olive and garrigue notes too, interesting "sweet/savoury" style with attractive tannins and subtle fruit. 87+

Route de Montpeyroux, 34150 Saint Jean de Fos. Tel: 04 67 57 77 42, mas.conscience@wanadoo.fr.

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