I prefer to warn you right away: I love Languedoc wines. I will do everything to remain as impartial as possible. Red, white, rosé or bubbly, these wines never cease to surprise me.
THE LANGUEDOC: A LONG WAY OF THE CROSS!
Before I sing you the praises of this region, it seems important to me to clarify to you that things were not always like that. For decades, the only concern of everyone (consumers and winegrowers) was unfortunately productivity.
The Béziers region in the lead was the cradle of the production of poor quality wines in very large quantities. Sometimes blended with wines from the Spanish Basque country, sometimes sold to winegrowers of the Bordeaux appellation in need of juice! The Languedoc appellation has often found itself in the spotlight for its unorthodox practices (which makes many allusions to religion anyway! ! ;-)).
A DENSE AND COMPLEX REGION
From the end of Provence to the beginning of Roussillon, this region offers you an infinite number of landscapes. And yet I am Breton so I might as well tell you that I know about landscape diversity. 😀
But enough glorious presentation. Languedoc is above all wine and what a wine! Since the beginning of the 2000s, the rise of organic wine and better drinking has been experienced and considerable progress has been noted.
WINE, WINE, WINE!
Some may remember the film “Mondovino” which showed the work of a pioneer of organic wine. Mr. Aimé Guibert and his wife Véronique de la Vaissière*, from the Mas de Daumas Gassac estate, were opposed to the standardization of wines and flavors against the giant Mondavi (American producer and defender of the standardization and globalization of wine).
*Let us not forget that it was she who made the choice not to use chemicals in the wines of the estate.
In short, all this to tell you that today this great vineyard has been, to a large extent, cleaned and purified but not only and this is the great divide in Languedoc.
BIG MERCHANT AGAINST SMALL WINEGROWER
Between these two options, it is not necessary to choose between the trader and the wine grower. You have to choose between good and bad wine. Because in Languedoc, you will find as many wines “made” in large volumes and powerfully insipid; like fabulous, original and healthy wines from craftsmen (winegrowers AND merchants)!
Moreover, in the Languedoc, there are much less restrictions to stay in an appellation than for a Bordeaux or Burgundy wine.
For example, in Burgundy, if you want to make a great wine (but especially sell it as such) you will have to be located on the right plot, with the right vines and the right technique.
The PDOs of Languedoc being more flexible as to the way of doing things, everything is set up to boost the creativity of the winegrowers.
LANGUEDOC : AN UNLIMITED CHOICE!
And yes! This is its great advantage and its great disadvantage at the same time: Languedoc is multiple! Between its numerous PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), you will find concentrated, powerful and fleshy wines, as well as delicate, fine and subtle wines.
I can’t recommend too much to you to ask your wine merchant for advice because a large number of domains are worth the detour.
It is for me, with the Loire region, the region where you will find the best value for money as well as the greatest wines in France.
Nothing but that!
MAKE YOUR CHOICE
The next time you hesitate between two bottles of Bordeaux, look away to find the Languedoc department. Find a bottle in the same budget you planned to spend. Buy it and taste it! You’ll thank me.
The pleasure/price ratio of these wines has always surprised me. In addition to that, it is a vineyard that gives pride of place to organic wines.
NOT TO FORGET
Any bottle less than 5 years old in red will gain to be decanted!
GRAPE VARIETIES FOR EVERYONE!
Beyond the varied terroirs, it is the variety of grape varieties that always surprises me. Because even if the Syrah/Grenache base is almost always present for red PDOs, there are a multitude of other grape varieties.
Carignan, Mourvèdre and Cinsault, for the reds, offer spicy and powerful aromas of ripe black fruits, undergrowth or liquorice and flowers.
In white, we discover with pleasure Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache blanc, Maccabeu. You’ll soon understand that you’ll need more than one try to get around it!
In rosé, white and grey grenaches are the pillars of grey and grey rosé wines (Read my article on rosé wines).
I hope I convinced you to go to your wine shop this weekend to try one of the many red, white or rosé wines from Languedoc!
Remember to leave me the name of your favorite wines in comment. I always want to try new bottles!
To learn even more, click now to read my article on Bordeaux wine
And once again, think about sharing to continue growing the DesVinsaVous community!
See you soon
Corentin – DesVinsaVous