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02 November 2011

Languedoc: Le Clos du Serre, Terrasses du Larzac

Sébastien Fillon set up shop as a brave new winegrower in 2006 having spent a few years trying to find ‘the right spot’. Well, he found it - and 15 different parcels of old-vine vineyard (including some 85 and 110 year-old Carignan) - in those breath-taking elevated wine-lands around St. Jean de la Blaquière: there really are serious stoney terraces up here unlike other parts of the so-called, and somewhat flatter "Terrasses du Larzac" mini-appellation. The easiest way of finding it is by heading up the spectacular A75 motorway from Montpellier or Béziers and follow the signs (doh!). His 'Le Clos' red blend sampled below includes one third of this virtually extinct variety of Cinsault apparently (that's a new one on me) selected from one distinct and obviously cherished parcel. Sébastien had the bright idea of creating a kind of investor 'vineholder' scheme to reduce the sum of money he had to borrow (building and equipping a cellar is a very expensive business), which has amounted to no less than 80 people pitching in and buying their own vines. Further wisdom: leclosduserres.fr.

2009 Le Clos Languedoc (Syrah, Cinsault 'oeillade', Grenache; 13.5% alc.) - has ‘inky’ spicy and floral notes, dark vs crunchy fruit profile, firm mouth-feel with hints of chocolate oak and light bitter twist, tight closed up finish. Good, needs a couple of years to come out of its shell perhaps. £10.99 Premium Wine Collections.
2009 Les Maros Terrasses du Larzac (60% Grenache plus Cinsault & Carignan; 14.5% alc.) - ripe fruity nose with spicy dark fruit combo, liquorice vs pepper too; big solid palate, tight closed up finish again, very attractive style with a touch of class. £15.99 Premium Wine Collections.

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