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09 August 2013

Languedoc: Domaine Turner Pageot, Gabian

Frenchman Emmanuel Pageot and Australian Karen Turner almost strike you as an uber-qualified and experienced couple, with an impressive international wine world background between them. Karen studied winemaking at Adelaide Uni, and Emmanuel's CV takes in France's Université du Vin, sommelier training, UK trade qualifications and learning the biodynamic way from certain distinguished mentors; and, before doing their own thing, they both worked for some well-known names in Aus, UK, elsewhere in France, South Africa, Italy and Portugal. However, this isn't some globalized shiny winery operation, but a small (6.5 ha/16 acres) down-to-earth and bio-dynamically farmed estate off the beaten Languedoc track that appears to be making quality-focused wines worth talking about. Domaine Turner-Pageot is split up into four main chunks of vineyard circling the little village of Gabian, which lies about halfway along the road from Pézenas to Faugères, to the north of Béziers. It's a pretty part of the world to tour around, also sitting between Magalas and Neffies on a hilly southwest-northeast axis. Back to winemaking, very briefly, they prefer to "limit use of SO2 to the final bottling stage" when possible; and both whites and reds spend a fair amount of time ageing on the fine lees. I like their colourful 'modernist' labels too, like the fishy rosé here; makes them stand out. More @ turnerpageot.com.

2012 Le Blanc (Marsanne, Roussanne) - floral honeysuckle and apricot notes, creamy lees-y palate with spicy floral notes and quite exotic fruit too, crisp vs fatter profile with tasty long finish. €11 cellar door.
2011 48H 'rosé' (Grenache, Syrah macerated for two days and 'bled' off) - very deep colour with cherry fruity 'boiled sweet' nose, full and lush mouth-feel with light grip even vs nice creamy fruit. Wow, serious foodie style. €7
2011 Le Rouge (mostly Grenache + Syrah) - perfumed fruity nose with black cherry and cassis, fairly concentrated vs firm tannins and fresh bite too, lively yet tight finish; needs one to two years to open up. €11
2011 Carmina Mayor ("best barrel selection" of 70% Syrah from basalt & limestone soils, 30% Mourvèdre on sandstone) - a touch funkier on the nose with herbal berry fruit, tight and a bit awkward on the palate with light bitter twist; has good depth and length though, so maybe just needs to calm down a little in bottle... €14

Previous comments on some of their wines HERE - my mini-report on Pézenas area wineries penned in May 2011 (mind you, reading it again, I obviously wasn't that keen on their 2009 vintage Rouge!). Emmanuel and Karen are also one of the Terroiristes du Languedoc gang caught pensively on film by Ken Payton, and the Languedoc Outsiders (goes to Facebook) where I pinched the photo from.

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