Browse Tag


Just a sec

[grapes]Miquel “Domaine de Barroubio” 2006 Vin de Pays d’Oc Muscat Sec (Languedoc) – Outrageously muscatty, full of elderflower and lily of the valley, exotic perfumes, and a fine particulate texture that only adds to the persistent attempts of the mind to taste this as sweet. But it’s not; it’s got everything but the sugar. There’s a lot of pure, direct fun here. (5/08)

Minervois mouse

[vineyard]Julien “Château Villerambert Julien” 2001 Minervois (Languedoc) – While it smells authentic enough (leather-wrapped meat, just a bare hint of blackberry), the palate just sort of sits there, reflecting the nose but adding nothing other than a vague shrug in the direction of tannin. Maybe age will help, but this lacks the out-of-the-gate complexity and interest of the region’s better producers. (4/08)

Pic it up

Durand & Valentin “Château de Lancyre” 2006 Pic Saint-Loup Rosé (Languedoc) – Roses and old blood orange, lavender, perhaps a faded sachet from your grandmother’s drawer. This is an appealingly aromatic rosé – and yes, there’s that ubiquitous pulse of excess heat so common to southern French rosés – that comes alive with food. Nicely done. (5/08)

Bringer of war

Font-Mars 2007 Picpoul de Pinet (Languedoc) – Clean, sharp, simple, and cheap. Hints of flowers, a good deal of citrus, but really, this is well-executed quaffing wine (4/08)

Iché fingers

Iché “Château d’Oupia” 2006 Minervois (Languedoc) – Very light mercaptans, funky and difficult throughout. Tannic, as well. I don’t think this is ready for the spotlight quite yet. Maybe the wine is in mourning for its creator, who died last year. I know I am. (1/08)

No Mas

[vineyard]Clavel 1999 Coteaux du Languedoc Gres de Montpellier “Le Mas” (Languedoc) – Maturing nicely for a $7 wine, showing an extremely dusty, old sofa-in-the-attic aroma reminiscent of earthy complexities of decades ago. A gentle pleasure for drinking nowish. (1/08)

Just add sugar

[vineyard]Pacaud-Chaptal “La Croix Chaptal” 2004 Clairette du Languedoc “Vieilles Vignes” (Languedoc) – Very crisp and bright, which is not something one gets to say about a Languedoc white very often. Blind, I might guess viognier (the slight alcoholic burn) or something else white and Rhônish (the very slightly oxidative nut/stone fruit character), but the wine doesn’t really fit into any truly familiar paradigm, and there’s a bright, sunny grapefruit quality to its fruit. Good, but mind that heat. (1/08)

Pinet nut

Bonfils “La Chapelle de la Bastide” 2006 Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet (Languedoc) – Sharp, crisp lime and green apple, with touches of ultra-ripe gooseberry and a sweet-tart edge. Clean and absolutely lip-smackingly bright. Given the quality and the low cost, I can’t understand why these wines aren’t more popular. (12/07)

l’Année Hérétiques

Iché 2004 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc) – Drinking very nicely right now, though it’s in no danger of falling apart, with dark, scowling structural elements, a medium-bodied and meat-infused dark berry-and-branch core, and a pleasant, balanced finish. Despite the recent price creep (inevitable given the currency situation), this is still one of the better values in the marketplace; a lot of wine for very little money. (12/07)