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Showing posts with label Provence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Provence. Show all posts

07 March 2013

Provence: Château des Launes

2011 Château des Launes white (85% Rolle, 15% Ugni blanc; 13.5% alc.) - aromatic floral and lees-edged, quite intense crisp and fresh with grapefruit vs oily honeyed flavours/texture, has a bit of weight too on its long stylish finish. Approx €11.50 cellar door/on-line (see website below for world distributors).
2011 Château des Launes rosé (75 Cinsault, 25 Grenache; 13%) - delicate and zesty with attractive citrus and rose petal aromas/flavours, crisp mouth-feel with lees-y bite and texture and a little roundness on the finish too. €9.50
2008 Cuvée Thomas red (70 Syrah, 30 Cabernet Sauvignon; 13%) - smoky edges with meaty and dark fruit, firm grip vs ripe and rounded on the palate, structured 'serious' finish with concentrated solid mouth-feel vs smoky maturing fruit. €13
2008 Cuvée Spéciale red (70 Syrah, 30 Cabernet Sauvignon; 13.5%) - more pencil shaving/coconut oak on the nose, rich and solid though with grainy texture, extracted and concentrated layered with lush ripe fruit and firm tannins, then tasty savoury finish too. Again pretty serious wine although quite dear at €19.50 (that's trendy Provence for you, although it's on offer on their site for about €11.75 when I looked, as are some of the others reviewed here).

This pretty estate lies in the Côtes de Provence appellation in the spectacular Massif des Maures national park area, about 10 kilometres inland from Saint Tropez heading towards Le Luc. It was renovated and replanted by the Dielesen family in 2005, who've obviously invested heavily here with a new winery, on-site holiday accommodation and a riding school too: check out www.chateaudeslaunes.com for more on that (I pinched the photo off there by the way). I tasted their wines in London last year.

10 November 2011

Southern French reds @ Marks & Spencer's

Half-a-dozen new releases or new vintages of old M&S favourite reds gleaned from a sweeping swathe of the big south, taking in the Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence and Rhone Valley and all sampled and savoured at their recent London tasting (nice newish HQ building by the way).

2010 Old Vines Grenache Noir, Roussillon - Vindivin (14% alc.): sexy ripe sweet juicy Grenache nose and palate, soft liquorice vs peppery punchy side, lush mouth-feel with a bit of grip vs pure fruity pleasure. £6.99
2008 Cuvée Extrême, Côtes du Roussillon Villages - Vignerons Catalans (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan; 14.5%): spicy vs maturing nose, quite rich and big with a touch of 'old wood' grain, powerful and grippy vs sweet / spicy fruit finishing with meaty edges too. That 14.5 alc. is a little hot but this has plenty of flavour to counter it! £9.99 150 stores.
Profile and Catalan wines tasted previously.
2007 L'Etoile de Romanin, Les Baux de Provence - Château Romanin (Mourvèdre, Cabernet, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault; 14%): interesting cocktail of varieties conjuring up a seductive smoky nose and palate, liquorice vs cassis fruit and savoury meaty and black olive tones as well; grip and power vs concentrated mouth-feel, attractive raisin vs olive flavours, lovely style balance and class. Dear though at £13.99 (150 stores), which is pretty typical of rich men's club and small production Baux de Provence. They sell most of it to well-off Parisians with holiday villas in twee places like St. Rémy de Provence. Jealous, moi...
2009 Crozes-Hermitage, northern Rhône - Domaine Collonge (actually made by Philippe and Vincent Jaboulet; 100% Syrah, 13% alc.): quite closed up on the nose, leads on to delicious Syrah spice style with dark cherry fruit and meaty edges, concentrated with dry grip vs lovely white peppery and fruity finish, rounded vs lively; well-balanced and classy. £12.99 in 150 stores.
2009 Saint-Josephnorthern Rhône - Cave de St-Désirat (100% Syrah, 12.5%): quirkier herbal-leaning nose moving on to lusher mouth-feel with dark vs savoury profile, chunky and more structured vs sweet peppery fruit then maturing meaty notes; much firmer finish than above but still good. £12.99 80 stores.
2009 Fitou Reserve, Languedoc - Château de Montmal / Cave de Mont Tauch (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan; 13.5%): nice spicy black cherry and sweet liquorice vs smoky tobacco and volatile balsamic notes; powerful solid palate with tasty concentrated fruit, lush and lively with ripe maturing finish. Well-made attractive chunky style although very much a special-occasion red at the price: £12.99 on-line only.

Click here and here for a couple of M&S southern French whites. And here for a couple of hearty Australian "reds of the mo" from Rhone / Med grape varieties...


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