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05 September 2011

Languedoc: Clos Fantine, Faugères

The Andrieu family is the brains and brawn behind Clos Fantine, one of several high-quality estates dotted around the ‘village’ of Cabrerolles in the generally exciting Faugères appellation lying to the north of Béziers. They say their red wines see very "natural" handling as they're made with wild yeasts, no added sulphur dioxide and not fined or filtered, which can be a bit risky but the result speaks for itself here. Their extraordinary white is fashioned from the disappearing Terret variety, which you find here and there in isolated spots in the Languedoc and can make eyebrow-raising full-flavoured dry white wines, as you can see from my glowing note below. The downside of rarity and lovely quirkiness is a hefty price tag: this white goes for about £15-£20 from importer Les Caves de Pyrène, among one or two other wine merchants in London, while their enticing red is nearer £10…
2009 “Valcabrières” white (Terret) - oxidising style vs peach and dried apricot aromas/flavours, ‘sappy’ too; rich intense mouth-feel, concentrated yet elegant, quirky stuff. 2-3
2009 “Tradition” red Faugères (Mourvèdre, Carignan, Grenache) - quite ‘baked’ tones but this has lush ripe liquorice fruit, meaty and concentrated palate with solid yet still rounded tannins, pretty intense finish. 2
As usual, more on "1, 2, 3" on the right...

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