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Showing posts with label Fitou. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fitou. Show all posts

03 July 2023

Languedoc - Fitou: Domaines du Vent, Bertrand-Bergé, Lérys & Château de Nouvelles.

Nathalie Boyer, Domaine du Vent.

The Fitou region nudges against the Corbières hills at the southern edge of the Languedoc before you cross over into the Roussillon, and is split into two parts divided by a chunk of the Corbières appellation in what might have been the middle of it (viticultural history, village politics). In simple terms, the seaside bit lies around Fitou itself and just to the north; and the hillier rockier inland bit is centred on Mont Tauch and the villages of Paziols, Tuchan and spreading north to Villeneuve les Corbières.

10 May 2016

France: 'wines of the moment'


Domaine Marguerite Dupasquier Rully blanc 2013 (13% abv) - I bought a few bottles of this over a year ago (click to see note made on International Chardonnay Day last May); this was the last one and what a revelation. Buttery and almost exotic with light toasty coconut edges, nicely rounded and creamy yet still has some fresh bite too. £10.50 Asda.


P. Desroches Brut non-vintage (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, 12%) - Made by the Nicolas Feuillatte winery actually, this stylish well-made crowd-pleaser confirms that Marks & Spencer know what they're doing on the Champers front. Elegant yet toasty/yeasty, eminently drinkable at £14.50 on offer! It supposedly usually costs £29, but I wouldn't pay that for it. Funny how the other multiple grocers, including Tesco who was the worst offender, have stopped doing these so-called (and dishonest) half-price deals (which blatantly aren't), but Marks is still doing it on certain Champers labels anyway. Mustn't grumble ah.
Buy my Champagne e-supplement HERE.


Alain Grignon Carignan Sélection Vieilles Vignes 2013, Pays d'Hérault (12.5%) - Attractive example of the fashion for making varietal reds from old-vine Carignan, this is aromatic and quite soft with fairly intense berry fruit flavours. Dunne's €12.50/€9 on offer in the Republic/about £9-£10 in Belfast? (Most of Dunne's NI stores aren't licensed it appears).
Laurent Miquel Syrah 'special edition' 2014, Pays d'Oc (13%) - Lovely pure peppery black cherry fruit with a light bitter twist of tannin on the palate, plenty of sexy Syrah style but reasonably subtle with it. Dunne's €9 on offer.
Domaine Jones
Fitou 2014 (old vine Carignan, Grenache, Syrah from 15 small plots; 14.5%) - Concentrated (blue)berry fruit with uplifting crunchy vs sweet profile mix, lively spicy and powerful finish. £87-£95 case of 6 (depending on mix).
Blanc Barrique 2010 (Grenache gris, 13.5%) - The follow up vintage to apparently a 'by accident' barrel-aged white, made in limited quantities, this is quite oaky to start yet has delicious nutty oxidised and oily characters and rounded texture, unusual and tasty. £80 for 6.
Château l'Argentier E&F Jourdan Cinsault Vieilles Vignes 2014 (old vines) - Lovely aromatic sweet fruit, soft and oily palate although actually pretty concentrated with mature vs fresh finish. £14.99 Red Squirrel Wine.
Château Montfin Saint-Jacques 2014 Corbières blanc (Roussanne, Grenache blanc, organic) - Concentrated and intense dry white, zingy yeast-lees notes vs oily rounded mouth-feel, lovely wine. £90 for 6 Joie de Vin. More Montfin HERE.

More of the latest from the Jones', Argentier, Montfin and lots more besides from the Languedoc to follow as an update to my 'French wine tasting and touring' e-magazine (drawn from extensive tastings at the recent 'Outsiders' tasting in Dublin and at the London Wine Fair)...

Bordeaux and the South-West

Château Lassègue Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2006 (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% abv) - This posh chateau is found lurking among some of the Saint-Emilion region's best vineyard sites, and is part of the Jackson Family Wines' group, "a collection of premium wineries owned privately by Barbara Banke and the Jackson family," the blurb says, probably better known for their West Coast US wines. Still dense and quite oaky for a ten year-old red, although with distinct brownish hints to its otherwise dark colour, it shows a classy mix of lush plummy fruit, maturing meaty notes and spicy nicely textured oak/tannin combo to finish. c. £25 a bottle - £152 for a case of 6 from closcru.com.
Domaine de la Maletie Monbazillac 2013 (Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, 12.5%) - Bargain Sauternes replacement made in the same way but in Monbazillac on the Dordogne River in the Bergerac region. Delicious exotic apricot marmalade nose with spicy 'volatile' edges, lush and sweet but with nicely balanced freshness and lighter touch. £7.99 Lidl.
Combel la Serre 'Pur Fruit de Causse' 2014 Cahors (Malbec, 12.5%) - Alluring fruity 'funky' nose, very Malbec berry and spice style though with light bite and grip. £13.99 Red Squirrel Wine. Update on CLS to follow, and lots more Cahors HERE.


JP Muller 2012 Riesling Engelberg Grand Cru (12.5%) - Pretty classy dry white at this price: classic developing Riesling nose with aromatic oily 'mineral' notes, similar maturing palate profile yet still quite concentrated with some fresh bite and elegant finish. €12.99/€9.99 on offer Lidl (Ireland).

27 July 2012

Languedoc: Fitou

Fitou (pronounced something like 'fee-too'), possibly the Languedoc's most schizophrenic wine region, has a coastal bit around the town of Fitou and a hilly bit inland around Tuchan and neighbouring villages, which are inconveniently buffered by a fat wedge of the Corbières appellation in between (something to do with history, local politics and this co-op winery that occupies much of the latter territory, allegedly). So, two rather different areas in terms of microclimate and terrain; and, generally speaking, the best wines probably come from the wineries and estates lying inland (but not exclusively) on these higher wilder wine-lands. Fitou is for red only, and you'll find all the usual-suspect grape varieties here with a fair bit of old Carignan still being used side by side with plenty of new plantings of Syrah. And not forgetting lovely Grenache of course.
Touring around this pretty neck of the woods, you could start in Fitou village, which is nicer than the first impression you get just off the dangerously busy main Narbonne to Perpignan road, as you climb up the hill to a more peaceful backdrop. Tuchan and around (Villeneuve, Paziols...) is very much Caves de Mont Tauch country, an amalgamated mega co-op that's become the biggest player and well known in export markets for being reasonably innovative. The Mont Tauch mini-mountain overlooking their silvery winery and surrounding landscape is dramatic in a raw and primeval kinda way; for the best view, approach from the south on the winding road from Roussillon country over the other side...
I've covered a few Fitou estates and wineries on this blog before - here are links with words and recommendations of some of the more interesting reds, and more links below too alongside the relevant winery:
Domaine les Enfants Sauvages (cellar/home in Fitou though their vineyards aren't...)
"Cellar Reserve" FitouChâteau de Montmal and Cave Mont Tauch (all CMT)
Domaine Jones and Domaine Maria Fita.
The wines tasting-noted and tipped here, spanning the 2008 to 2011 vintages, were on the table at this year's epic "Millésimes en Languedoc" week about three months ago. Has to be said it was quite hard work filtering out the best ones to recommend, with a lot of hard tannic and/or clunky oaky wines; and I wasn't the only one who thought this. Anyway, here she blows:


Domaine Grand Guilhem - maturing prune and plum fruit, quite light and crunchy with dark berry vs smoky meaty notes, pretty firm but the tannins are digestible; drink now. Previous DGG here.
Château Lérys - quite rustic and 'inky', fairly rich on the palate though with earthy liquorice fruit vs extracted tannins and a bit of weight. Previous Domaine Lerys.


Vignerons de Cascastel 'F' - spicy berry fruit layered with a fair bit of vanilla oak adding sweeter texture and flavour, pretty firm tannins but softens up on the finish with weight and dark fruit.
Cave Mont Tauch Hautes de Paziols - aromatic black cherry, ripe vs firm backdrop, lacks a bit of character but it's not overblown at least like many here.
Château Abelanet vieilles vignes (old vines) - again a tad extracted and firm vs subtle grainy oak and has substance too, rounder sweet berry finish.
Domaine Bertrand-Bergé Ancestrale - nice perfumed black cherry and blueberry fruit, minty wild floral thing going on too with subtle concentration and solid but not too tannins. Very good. Previous Domaine Bertrand-Bergé.
Château de Nouvelles - perfumed spicy floral black cherry, fruitier softer wine with ripe berry and touch of savoury development, light grip and elegant length. Also one of the better ones.
Château Wiala Sélection - smoky earthy savoury notes vs dark fruit, a bit rustic perhaps but has some substance and attractive coating of softening tannins, tobacco vs liquorice tones on finish.


Domaine de la Grange Via Fonteius - chunky fruity style with minty berry / cherry flavours, firm yet rounder tannins underlined by ripe fruit. Good.
Château de Nouvelles Gabrielle - touches of coconut oak and attractive minty black cherry, pretty solid mouth-feel yet has a lighter touch too and nice grainy texture.
Château Champ des Soeurs Bel Amant - floral minty cherry and cassis, ripe vs dry tannins, fairly elegant finish. Good.
Château Champ des Soeurs La Tina - coco vanilla oak but not too over the top, has fair grip vs sweeter cherry and liquorice fruit then rounds out a little.
Domaine de Mandraou - slightly rustic perhaps with leather and tobacco notes vs pruney liquorice, solid tannins vs some concentration too.
Domaine de la Rochelierre Privilege - 'modern' style with lively blackberry vs a touch of coconut, nice softer palate vs a bit of oomph and grip.
Domaine les Mille Vignes Atsuko - upfront spicy black cherry and minty garrigue aromas (that slightly elusive wild earthy herb/flower thing), a little punch and grip vs ripe dark fruit; probably very Syrah but good with it.
François Lurton cuvée des Ardoises - smoky rustic edges vs raisiny berry and black cherry, again has appealing dry vs softer mouth-feel with 'sweet' perfumed vs earthy fruit.

2011 (probably unfinished samples)

Château de Nouvelles - enticing ripe dark fruit, spicy blackberry/cherry and liquorice, fairly soft tannins vs nice grip and depth. Promising.
Mont Tauch - chunky and quite extracted with vibrant fruit, ripe blueberry and black cherry, again nice textured tannins.
Château Champ des Soeurs La Tina - chocolate oak coating vs ripe and rounded, bit closed up and firm yet has good depth of fruit.

18 July 2010

Languedoc: Domaine Bertrand-Bergé, Fitou

A serene daytrip back in late September 2006 (keep reading for updates), taking in the wine villages of western Fitou country, set the scene ruggedly for discovering three wineries, one big (Cave Mont Tauch) and two small (this one and Dom. Lerys)... Jérôme and Sabine Bertrand revitalized this old 30 ha (75 acre) property in 1993 to start making "real wine" again. The family had stopped producing wine in the 1960s becoming co-operative growers; now they prefer the personal touch to shape quality and styles of wine by doing everything themselves. It shows too: these are arguably among the best in the area. If you're looking to stay in the Fitou highlands / southern Corbieres, have a look at the website where you'll find details on their holiday house in the village and nearby "camp site" (a piece of rugged land actually)...

Le Méconnu Cabernet Sauvignon - Carignan, vin de pays Côtes de Torgan - nice liquorice and tobacco notes on a blackcurrant/cherry backdrop, fairly chunky and concentrated actually. €4.20 85
2004 Fitou Tradition - lovely herbal blackberry fruit aromas lead to very fruity palate turning savoury and leather, easy start v more serious finish. €6.40 87+
2004 Fitou les Mégalithes (mostly old Carignan) - maybe a touch corked as it seems a little stripped? Anyway, much tighter and firmer than above v 'sweet' liquorice fruit, powerful length. €9.30 89+
2003 Fitou Ancestrale (Carignan Grenache Syrah) - delicious ripe fruit then chunky structured mouth-feel, firm tannins v 'sweet' coating. €8.50 89-91
2004 Fitou Ancestrale (Carignan Grenache Syrah) - similarly attractive black fruits with light cedar oak, more closed up than above, tight fine finish shows class and potential. €8.50 90-92
2004 Fitou Jean Sirven - spicy wood v lush fruit, nice balance of power and concentration v elegance and length, dry grip v coating mouth-feel. €30 90-92
Rivesaltes Ambré Grande Réserve - complex Madeira and whisky notes layered with pecan nut sweetness, nice bite giving drier nutty finish. €8.80 50cl 88-90
2003 Rivesaltes Tuilé Ma-ga (Grenache) - delicious ripe oxidising plum and tobacco nose, quite powerful alcohol (which should integrate as it's young) but lovely sweet spice and earthy fruit; wow. €18 90+ 

Update summer 2010
Jérôme told me they've been "converting over to organics step by step, using less and less treatments... now more "natural" products and an "intercept" (a clever but simple tool attached to a tractor for removing weeds under the vine rows). We've noticed a difference... we'll be fully certified from 2013, although in fact some plots have been for longer anyway."
2009 Le Méconnu white vin de pays Torgan (Muscat) - nice aromatic grapey floral style, clean and crisp with zesty citrus and mineral finish. 80+
2009 Le Méconnu rosé (Syrah) - crisp and zesty with gentle red cherry fruit, elegant and mouth-watering. 80+
2008 Le Méconnu Merlot - attractive plummy vs leafy style, touches of tobacco and "inky" spice too; juicy and soft palate with a bit of oomph and grip underneath, convincing varietal style.80+
2008 Origines Fitou (Carignan Grenache) - perfumed fruity blackcurrant and blueberry notes; more liquorice and spice in the mouth with nice tannins, subtle concentration and quite elegant length. 85-87
2007 Les Mégalithes Fitou (95% old Carignan) - complex herbal vs red pepper nose underpinned by richer cassis and black olive notes even; again shows that subtle concentration vs firmer and more solid backdrop, nicely textured tannins too with closed up and fairly fine finish. About €10 89+
2007 Ancestrale Fitou (Carignan Grenache Syrah) - different aromatic profile with more cherry, richer and hints of tobacco; "sweet vs savoury" mouth-feel, concentrated yet elegant with rounded vs dry tannins; grippier finish with dark vs crunchy fruit, still youthful really. About €10 88-90
2007 Jean Sirven - lots of smoky bacon oak swamping it; it does add nice coconut texture and it's certainly concentrated, but can't really get anything else!
2008 Muscat de Rivesaltes (Muscat petits grains) - piercing citrus and honey aromas, sweet grapey marmalade vs lively fresh bite and lighter touch in the end. 85+
2008 Proposition Tardive (Muscat, 14%, 140 g/l residual sugar) - toasted notes plus caramelised orange and lemon, pretty sweet to start but shows nice cut and rounded coconut palate; closes up on the finish, quirky and promising. 87+
2007 Rivesaltes Tuilé Ma-ga (Grenache 17.5% alc.) - serve chilled: nice dark plum, liquorice and tobacco nuances; touch of chocolate oak vs lush and spicy, appealing grip and oomph vs sweet cherry fruit. 89+

2012 update - Fitou report featuring their 2009  Ancestrale.

Avenue du Roussillon, 11350 Paziolswww.bertrand-berge.com

25 January 2010

Languedoc: Domaine Grand Guilhem, Fitou

You'll (eventually) find Séverine and Gilles Contrepois in a beautiful spot pretty much smack in the middle of the Corbières hills, not far from Villeneuve or Durban nestling in the rugged inland part of the slightly confusing Fitou appellation (well, all you really need to know is that its geography is purely political...). They have 10 organic ha of vineyards (25 acres) - officially blessed as such since 2004 - around their splendid stone-built home, which also has four guestrooms (they do B&B and wine dinners) and a couple of adjoining holiday cottages (see website below). I tried these wines with Séverine and Gilles at the 2010 edition of Millésime Bio organic wine show:

2007 Fitou - herby vs smoky nose, attractive dried currant and ripe dark plum aromas/flavours; quite powerful and chunky with firm tannins vs lingering maturing "sweet" fruit. 87+
2006 Fitou - more mature (obviously) and savoury with rich yet elegant fruit; lovely peppery concentrated palate with solid structure, big finish and dried fruit vs meaty flavours. 89
2006 Fitou "Coup de Coeur" (more Carignan, different parcels) - more volatile and cough sweet tones; firmer mouthfeel, probably more concentrated but overall less charming perhaps. 
2005 Fitou - developing savoury aromas underpinned by nice "sweet" dried fruits; quite elegant for an 05 (some are pretty rich and big) with again fair grip but not too much. 88

2012 update here (2008 Fitou tasted).

Chemin du Col de la Serre, 11360 Cascastel des Corbières. Tel: 04 68 45 86 67, www.grandguilhem.com.

20 July 2009

Languedoc: Vignerons du Mont Tauch, Fitou

The Mont Tauch
A serene daytrip back in late September 2006 (read on for 2009 and 2011 updates), taking in the wine villages of western Fitou country, set the scene ruggedly for discovering three wineries, one big (below) and two small (Dom. Bertrand-Bergé here & Domaine Lerys here)...
Just a few years off its 100th birthday, Vignerons du Mont Tauch is one of the most progressive co-operative cellars in southern France. It's grown bigger over the years combining 4 cellars & 250 growers in and around Tuchan, Paziols, Villeneuve and Durban, giving them 2000 hectares (nearly 5000 acres) to play with. And this year they formed a partnership with the united co-ops in Fitou itself and La Palme, near the coast. The massive stainless steel winery would look a little ugly set anywhere else but, jutting out underneath mighty Mount Tauch itself (picture above), it creates a pretty dramatic contrast.
The co-op has implemented a comprehensive vineyard management system that tracks each parcel, and the growers are helped at every stage to improve the quality of their grapes and environment. They're paid on a graded scale - and can be 'demoted' if necessary - that takes into account vine age, pruning, yields, disease, picking, ultimate wine type etc. So, for Les Douze (see below) I'm told you can actually trace the grapes to those 12 growers, who might not be the same ones every year. Les Quatre is sourced from four growers' (Robert, Christophe, Juliette and Jean-Régis) best plots in a high altitude vineyard near Paziols. 120 core growers (over ¾ of the vineyard area) have now taken the plunge into sustainable viticulture aiming to reduce chemical treatments "significantly": hopefully the others will too.

MT wines are widely available in the UK, Sweden, Belgium and Canada. Le Village du Sud (scroll down to 'OLN' article July 2006) fun range of vin de pays d'Oc varietals - click to see the cartoon pic of the label. The Merlot, Chardonnay and Rosé are available in the UK at Co-op stores for £3.99:
2005 Chardonnay - (a bit cold to taste) simple clean style, dry and crisp with light peach and citrus fruit; lacks a bit of character but it's OK.
2005 Rosé (Grenache) - zingy and dry with light red fruits, a bit stripped perhaps.
2005 Merlot - plum and currant notes showing a touch of Merlot character, fruity with dry tannins; a bit lean but OK.
2005 Syrah - nice peppery black cherry style, has more substance and grip. 82-84
2005 Mont Tauch Corbières (50-50 
Carignan Grenache) - appealing berry and liquorice style, light fruit v a bit of grip. 82-84
2005 Mont Tauch Fitou (Carignan Grenache 
Syrah) - a bit richer and spicier with light tobacco tones, attractive firmness v fruit.83-85
2004 Les Douze Fitou (Carignan Grenache Syrah, 14%) - nice smoky ripe fruit, good weight v light tannins; subtle background oak and earthiness v 'sweetness'. 85-87
2004 Les Quatre Fitou (Carignan Grenache Syrah, 14.5%) - perfumed coconut oak but not overdone, good depth of fruit v power and grip, quite long. 87-89
2004 L'Exception Fitou (Syrah Grenache
 Carignan selected from Tuchan and Paziols) - aromatic liquorice and black fruits with light layer of chocolate oak, concentrated powerful and structured finish; better than when first launched (previously too oaky). 89-91

The 3V range - Vins Vents Vignerons (wine wind grape-growers: blustery climate rather than local eating habits) - consists of small batch high quality cuvées, so far only available in France in restaurants and wine shops; but I'd be surprised if they don't crop up in Britain or elsewhere sooner rather than later. Tasted Oct-Nov 06:
2004 Montmal Fitou (Syrah Carignan Grenache, 14%) - closed up and unrevealing at first, better with a bit of air: touch of oak turning black cherry then more savoury, quite elegant tight mouth-feel; underwhelming in a positive way, quite like it in the end. 87+
2001 Château de Montmal Fitou (Syrah Carignan Grenache, 14.5%) - 12 ha (30 acre) vineyard in Villeneuve: rich and smoky with savoury leather notes, powerful and structured v maturing fruit, complex and well-integrated on the finish. Yum. 90-93
See link at the bottom to latest vintage, 2009.

2004 L'Esprit de Montmal Fitou (Syrah Carignan Grenache, 13.5%) - lightly volatile complex aromas, ripe and smoky v herbal and white pepper, moving to blackcurrant black cherry and fig on the palate; elegant concentration and weight with firm long finish, fresh acidity even v power and alcohol. Gets better with aeration. 88-90
2005 Merlot-Carignan vin de pays de la Vallée du Paradis (13%) - nice aromatic inky yet juicy red and black berry fruit with smoky liquorice backdrop; lush v tarter side, fruity and soft v dry bite and length. 87-89
2005 La Coucante Corbières white (Grenache blanc Muscat, 13%) - subtle oats and coconut on the nose lead to enough floral fresh fruit with aniseed bite, crisp and dry v a bit of weight. Try with salmon in a dill sauce. 85-87

2005 Domaine de Coucante Corbières red (Carignan GrenacheSyrah, 13.5%) - attractive more modern style with juicy black fruit and light oak, turns more rustic and chunky yet with relatively soft tannins. 87
Tasted July 2007:
MT Muscat de Rivesaltes - classic Vin Doux Naturel style with aromatic grape, citrus peel and pear-drop notes; quite full and sweet v fresher punchier finish. £5 in the UK. 87

Mont Tauch update summer 2009
The village's annual Fête du Vin bash on 17th-19th July provided a lively platform (I think the entire village was out on Saturday night for the big dinner and watching the live band afterwards) to check out the co-op's swanky new visitor centre and wine shop, as well as catch on new wines and vintages...
2008 Les Garrigues Grenache blanc vin de pays (13%) - honeyed & oily vs floral, mineral and "stony" aromas/flavours; juicy and refreshing with aniseed notes, turns fatter with very light wood (?) spice and yeast-lees edges. €5.50 £6.99 (same price for all four of these varietals I think). 85
2008 Grenache noir (13.5%) - nice creamy vs spicy black cherry and liquorice with cassis and blueberry undertones; crunchy vs richer mouthfeel, fruity finish with lightly bitter twist. 85+
2008 Carignan - attractive fruity wild berry nose with spicy notes and a touch more vanilla; a tad tart on the palate although has appealing freshness too, then creamier on the finish. Quite good, perhaps less charming than above (maybe why there's more oak?) although has fair length and it was over-chilled anyway, as they all were at first. 85
2008 Marselan (13.5%) - riper jammier fruit with spicy dark backdrop and light vanilla wood; enticingly full-bodied, rounded and "sweet" vs dry bite and lively finish. 87+
2006 Fitou "Les Trois" (14%) - maturing savoury aromas with peppery vs dried fruits; nice bit of grip and integrated blob of oak vs rounded maturing resiny fruit flavours/textures. 87+
2007 Fitou "Les 12" (CarignanGrenacheSyrah 14%) - big fruit and pepper on the nose, juicy attractive palate although ends up a little disappointing despite its nice dry vs "sweet" finish. Tried again the next day: perhaps richer and gutsier with appealing pure "sweet" liquorice & black cherry fruit; a touch of background oak, grip and power to finish. Majestic £6.99. 85-87
Muscat de Rivesaltes (15.5%) - classic piercing grapey honeysuckle Muscat and orange peel notes; sweet and tasty vs quite well-balanced and refreshing. £6.29 half-bottle Morrison's.85
2004 Fitou "Tuchan" (CarignanGrenacheSyrah 14%) - developing smoky tobacco notes with dried red & black fruits and a touch of spice; mature savoury palate with very light dusting of oak and dry texture, nice subtle warm finish. Drink now. 87(+)
2006 Fitou "Villeneuve" (CarignanGrenacheSyrahLladonerPelut 14%) - nice fresh berry and cherry fruit; attractive mouthful with fruity minty finish, although lacks a bit of depth and real character. 85+
2006 Corbières "Durban" (CarignanGrenacheSyrah,
Mourvèdre 13.5%) - a bit too vanilla coconut oaky although it does have quite appealing & vibrant fruit and "sweet" vs dry texture. 85
2008 Corbières white - fresh and clean showing a bit of character and floral honeyed juicy fruit. 83+
2008 Corbières rosé - lightly creamy red fruity style with crisp vs oily finish. 83+
2008 Chardonnay Le Dog de Charlotte vin de pays d'Oc (13%) - aromatic and a touch peachy and exotic with gummy citrus palate and clean attractive finish. 80+
2008 Le Village du Sud Chardonnay (12.5%) - a touch more yeast-lees notes and butter, moving on to fresh crisp bite vs a touch of weight. The Co-Op £4.49. 80-83
2008 Le Village du Sud rosé (Grenache) - juicy boiled sweet nose with crunchy red fruits underneath; attractive enough fruity vs crisp style. The Co-Op £4.49. 80+
2008 Merlot Le Dog de Jean Marc (13%) - herbal plummy and spicy, turning firmer in the mouth with fresh bite; not bad style.80+
2008 Le Village du Sud Merlot (13%) - plummier still with a hint of soy sauce, turning to cassis with a tad of liquorice; juicier and lusher than above. The Co-Op £4.49 83-85
2007 Growers' Reserve Fitou - gets better with aeration showing creamy cassis and liquorice with wild herb undertones; a bit confected, jammy and simple although has quite nice dry texture vs crunchy fruit on the finish. Tesco £5.99. 83
2007 MT Corbières (CarignanGrenache 13.5%) - similar style but a bit richer and more concentrated, dark fruity vs herby underneath; quite nice style and texture. 83-85
2007 MT Fitou (CarignanGrenacheSyrah 13.5%) - more peppery on the nose plus nice liquorice, more interesting and gutsier than it used to be. Asda/Booths £5.99. 85
2006 Fitou "Les 4" (CarignanGrenacheSyrah 14%) - up-front vanilla and coconut oak but also has nice ripe & resiny wild fruits vs herbs; attractive grip, coating and weight with concentrated spicy punchy finish, well-handled oak in the end. Waitrose £8.99. 89(+)
2006 Fitou "L'Exception" (Syrah Grenache Carignan 14%) - that dusty spicy oak is quite strong on the nose at first; however, this has lovely depth of dark fruit vs a touch of cedar on the finish, but it's concentrated enough to soak up that wood combined with maturing tobacco notes, nice grip and bite. Needs 1 or 2 years to mellow. Majestic £10.99. 88-90?

2011 update: click here for a tasty note on MT's latest single-vineyard Fitou available at M&S (on-line): 2009 Château de Montmal...
Or HERE for my Fitou report 2012 featuring their latest vintages...

2 Rue de la Coopérative, 11350 Tuchan. Tel: 04 68 45 44 73, caveau@mont-tauch.comwww.mont-tauch.com.

21 September 2006

Languedoc: Domaine Lerys, Fitou

Domaine Lerys

A serene daytrip back in late September 2006, taking in 
the wine villages of western Fitou country, set the scene ruggedly for discovering three wineries, one big (Cave de Mont Tauch) and two (Bertrand-Bergé and this one, obviously) small... Maguy and Alain Izard farm 45 "low-yielding" hectares (110 acres) around the pretty lost village of Villeneuve; they also do chambres d'hôte with two rooms above their nice shop, one double and one family with a terrace.

2003 Fitou tradition (Carignan Grenache, 13.5%) - perfumed and pure, liquorice and pepper fruit with light rustic notes; firm tannins v ripeness, elegant bite and length. €6.20 87-89
2003 Fitou Prestige (Carignan Grenache Syrah) - more floral and herby followed by nice black fruit, firmer and more austere with lightly bitter bite; structured finish with coating of tannins. €7.30 88-90
2001 Fitou Fût de Chêne (Carignan Syrah) - coconut spice with nice fruit underneath, layered tannins with long bite; attractive but would be better with less oak. €7.70
Rivesaltes (
Grenache blanc & gris) - appealingly oxidised walnut and toffee notes, quite subtle freshness v sweetness. €6.20 87+

Latest HERE - 2012 Fitou report featuring their 2008 vintage.

11360 Villeneuve-les-Corbières


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