Browse Tag



Clavel 1999 Coteaux du Languedoc Terroir de la Mejanelle “Copa Santa” (Languedoc) – Clinging by its nails to life and relevancy. Fully resolved and then some, leaving a porcine meat juice, herb-infused broth, and some browned, autumnal appeal in its declining wake. If you’re holding any, don’t. (12/10)

A Barral of fun

Barral 2007 Faugères Valinière (Languedoc) – Spicy mixed berries and cumin seeds. Quite tannic, but it’s a beautifully ripe tannin, and everything is both concentrated and in flawless balance. This is terrific now, but the question is whether or not anyone will wait long enough for it to be the even better wine it should become, many years from now. Masterful. (11/10)

And scratchy

Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2007 Minervois (Languedoc) – I really did not care for this wine at release, and was suspicious about what I’d find. My fears were unfounded; it’s as classic an Oupia Minervois as any other, dark and soil-browed, with the faintest tinge of an herbal licorice to the dark fruit and meat-roasting spices. I don’t know that I’d call the wine “expressive,” but it does express something…and quite clearly, too. (9/10)

Hugues Johnson

Hugues Beaulieu “Les Costières de Pomerols” 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet (Languedoc) – As reliable a bargain wine as there is these days, crisply green and succulent, driving its sharp point home with one sharp thrust and then letting it rest. Uncomplicated and amenable. (9/10)

Barral of fun

Leon Barral 2004 Faugères (Languedoc) – Warm fruit, earthen and well-rested, enveloping and just in the right position between rural gentility and a more modern, almost culinary appeal. Nice wine. I wouldn’t really go beyond that. (9/10)

Bear fear

Comte Pierre de Colbert “Château de Flaugergues” 2009 Languedoc “Cuvée Rosée” (Languedoc) – Is it just my imagination, or are the Languedoc rosés now littering American shelves getting sweeter? Not that I really mind so much, but while it increases the cocktail appeal, it doesn’t help much when it comes to matters culinary. Crushed handfuls of berries, strawberry leaf, and lingering sucrosity…I don’t know how much, if any, residual sugar is actually in this, but the wine is certainly softer and prettier than it needs to be. On the other hand, I suppose this is preferable to the overly alcoholic imbalance that used to plague Southern French rosés (and still does, to be honest). (8/10)

Like a bedroom

Boudouresques “Château Massiac” 2006 Minervois (Languedoc) – Earthmeat, grit, layers of rough structure, and the darkest precursors of blackened berries. Scowling. Probably closing up, but it feels a little overstructured anyway. I guess time will tell. (6/10)

Boudouresques “Château Massiac” 2007 Minervois (Languedoc) – More open than the 2006, with much greater generosity of black fruit and a lighter foot on the tannin pedal. Otherwise, mostly the same in terms of overall organoleptics and structure. This is promising. (7/10)

Freezer burn

Gibert “Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie” 2009 Vin de Pays d’Oc “Rosé des Glacières” (Languedoc) – Almost violet-magenta in hue, and shockingly alive. Very present, even forceful, with a near-explosion of purple flowers and bright fruit exotica. There’s a little residual sugar, perhaps, but only the extremely averse will mind. Absolutely terrific. (7/10)

Paula Barroubio

Miquel “Domaine de Barroubio” 2005 Muscat de St-Jean de Minervois (Languedoc) – White minerality and flowers with big acidity. So incredibly vibrant. Among the best that I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting from this appellation. (5/10)

A nice Peyre

[bottle]Les Costières de Pomerols “Saint-Peyre” 2008 Coteaux du Languedoc Viognier (Languedoc) – Despite suggestions of the lurid/lotiony floral notes typical of viognier, this tastes more like one of the region’s picpouls than it does viognier. For many, this will be a good thing, and in fact the acid and general crispness are positives, but the consequence is that those honeysuckle elements that are present don’t quite integrate with the rest of the wine. Perhaps viognier does need to be just a little bit sticky (not sweet, but texturally adhesive) for its best expression, whether or not everyone likes that expression. It’s not a bad wine, though, and I suspect some will quite enjoy it. (1/10)