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19 October 2021

Roussillon 2019 reds: La Préceptorie, Domaine Jones and Vignobles d'Agly.

The three 2019 vintage reds tasting-noted here come from a few different northern Roussillon vineyard locations. Full profiles of these wineries and notes on their other wines and previous vintages can be found in my book on the Roussillon. These tasty reds are all available from the Wine Society in the UK (among others, and in other countries), which I became a member of recently.
This general summary of 2019 is taken from my book: "Something of a rollercoaster year and an example of how climate change is affecting the Roussillon, bringing home the reality of the more extreme conditions that can be seen nowadays. In mid-April following a relatively mild winter, the temperature sank dangerously close to freezing in some inland areas of the Agly Valley. By the end of June, record temperatures of nearly 45 degrees were recorded in the region although cooler nights in August and rain in September mitigated these difficulties, resulting in a ‘promising’ vintage but the lowest volume for at least four years."

'Expression Lesquerde' Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2019 Collection Terroirs, Vignobles d'Agly - Produced by a consortium of co-op wineries in the Agly Valley centred on Estagel, this blend showcases how well Syrah is performing in the Lesquerde zone (50% of the wine, grown on granite based soils on hillsides) with Carignan and Grenache making up the rest, and no oak used in the winemaking. Enticing herby minty black cherry fruit, ripe and spicy with savoury edges, a touch of dry grip and freshness too but this is dark fruity and liquorice-y, full and rounded with light bitter twist; very drinkable now. Good value: £8.50 (€8.80 cellar door).

Domaine Jones Grenache Noir 2019 'Vieilles Vignes' IGP Côtes Catalanes (14.5% abv) - This "Grenache Noir and a tiny bit of Carignan" is sourced from Katie Jones' first old vine plot (purchased in 2009) on the hills above Maury. Maturing spicy nose offering ripe cherries and berries with liquorice and black olive edges, sweet fruit flavours underpinned by enticing savoury development and lightly firm tannins, a touch of oomph on its spicy finish with lingering and subtly concentrated kirsch fruit. Delicious now although will keep nicely for a year or two, well-balanced despite its intrinsic power. Decent match with calf's liver fried in garlic and herb butter. £11.95 (€14 in France).

'Coume Marie' La Préceptorie 2019 Côtes du Roussillon, Les Vins Parcé Frères (15% abv) - Sumptuous Grenache and Carignan from this celebrated wine estate (based in St. Paul de Fenouillet) are fermented in tanks and aged in old barrels, which don't impart oak flavours to this pure-fruited powerful spicy red with fragrant ripe kirsch and black cherry / blueberry fruit, peppery liquorice and lush fruit on the palate with light grip and bitter twist, lingering rounded weighty finish. Another very enjoyable-now 2019 red that wouldn't be harmed by spending a further year in bottle. Went pretty well with spicy char sui pork chow mein, surprisingly perhaps. £12.50

Other recent reviews of 2019 Roussillon reds: Domaine of the Bee.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.