Sud de France Top 100 from Languedoc-Roussillon
Guest post by Sarah James:
A few years back we spent a delightful week in a traditional cottage in the heart of this region of France. Although Mediterranean in character, it’s very varied in terms of landscape and sites. The wonderful Carcasonne can be found in this region, as well as Montpellier, Cassis, Cathar castles, and it touches the beautiful and wild Carmague.
During this week we sampled quite a few wines, some straight from the winemakers’ door in plastic bottles, and others delivered slightly less rustically. I really enjoyed Picpoul de Pinet, a fragrant white wine perfect for summer drinking, some Viogniers which always had a lovely peachy taste without ever being sweet (the Australian winemakers are good at blending this with Shiraz to produce some very smooth reds), and one or two Cremant de Limoux which in my opinion is a wonderful near-to-Champagne bottle of wine.
We also visited the place where Noilly Prat is made, and it’s impossible to describe how wonderful it smelt even from the street! The wine is aged outside in barrels, hence the wafting aromas.
Bargains are to be had in buying wines from this region; many such as Cote du Rhone, Pic Saint Loup, Minervois, and Fitou can be found pretty readily on supermarket shelves at very reasonable prices.
I was sent a bottle of Marsanne by Paul Mas, who is one of the larger scale producers in the region.
What could be nicer than a chilled white wine on a humid English summer evening? This Sud de France wine certainly hit the spot, delivering a scent of nectarines and white flowers, whilst remaining dry. I could tell that it had been in oak barrels, but this was a lot more subtle than some of the new world wines, and added a little complexity.
This can be found in The Co-operative and Olivers Beer & Wine for around £8-£10.
If you’d like to find out more about wines from this region of France, it’s all be made very easy with a list of 100 judged to be the best in June 2014 on suddefrancetop100.co.uk
For those of us lucky enough to live in London, there is an office promoting the region situated on Cavendish Square.