20070423

A south-facing amphitheatre of vines, vintners and wine values: Languedoc-Roussillon

Complete list Vin de Pays designations within Languedoc-Roussillon region One regional level VdP classification Vin de Pays d'Oc physical boundaries of Oc are identical to those Languedoc-Roussillon region this makes Pays d'Oc one most prolific wine producing regions in world Four departmental level VdP classifications Vin de Pays de l'Aude Vin de Pays du Gard Vin de Pays de l'Hérault Vin de Pays des Pyrénées-Orientales These four departments compromise Languedoc-Roussillon region 54 zonal level VdP classifications (18 within Aude) Vin de Pays Cathare Vin de Pays de la Cité de Carcassonne Vin de Pays des Côtes de Lastours Vin de Pays des Côtes de Pérignan Vin de Pays des Côtes de Prouilhe Vin de Pays des Coteaux de la Cabrerisse Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Miramont Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Narbonne Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Peyriac Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Littoral Audois Vin de Pays de Cucugnan Vin de Pays d’Hauterive Vin de Pays de la Haute Vallée de l’Aude Vin de Pays des Hauts de Badens Vin de Pays du Torgan Vin de Pays du Val de Cesse Vin de Pays du Val de Dagne Vin de Pays de la Vallée du Paradis (24-32 within Gard) Vin de Pays des Cévennes Vin de Pays des Côtes du Vidourle Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Cèze Vin de Pays des Coteaux Flaviens Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Pont du Gard Vin de Pays Duché d’Uzès Vin de Pays des Sables du Golfe du Lion Vin de Pays de la Vaunage Vin de Pays de la Vistrenque (33-57 within Hérault) Vin de pays de la Bénovie Vin de Pays de Bérange Vin de Pays de Bessan Vin de Pays de Cassan Vin de Pays de Caux Vin de Pays de Cessenon Vin de Pays des Collines de la Moure Vin de Pays des Côtes du Brian Vin de Pays des Côtes du Ceressou Vin de Pays des Côtes de Thau Vin de Pays des Côtes de Thongue Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Bessilles Vin de Pays des Coteaux d’Enserune Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Fontcaude Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Laurens Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Libron Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Murviel Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Peyriac Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Salagou Vin de Pays de la Haute Vallée de l’Orb Vin de Pays du Mont Baudile Vin de Pays des Monts de la Grage Vin de Pays du Val de Montferrand Vin de Pays de la Vicomté d’Aumelas Vin de Pays de Saint-Guilhem le Désert (58-59 within Pyrénées-Orientales) Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Vin de Pays des Côtes Vermeille Some Languedoc-Roussillon producers to look for arranged by appellation AOC name Listed below in boldface type you will find appellation names that designate a bottle of wine from Languedoc-Roussillon sprawling region located in south of France that is focus of WBW 33 top ten Languedoc-Roussillon appellations found below are in alphabetical order Inserted beneath each one are some recommended producers who operate there producers are listed in no particular order These producer names are supplied only as a helpful guide. For purposes of WBW 33 participants should feel free to select any producer making wine in Languedoc-Roussillon just remember to pick a bottle that is mid-priced and assess its value for money claim Cabardès written Appellation Cabardès Contrôlée on label) Limoux Cotes de Roussillon villages collioure minervois faugeres corbieres languedoc st-chinian fitou Rectorie Dom du Mas Blanc Dom du Traginer Ch de l’Horte Ch Hélène Ch la Baronne Roque Sestière Dom du Grand Crès Ch Mansenoble Dom d’Aussières Ch Ollieux Romanis Ch la Voulte-Gasparets<br />Dom de Villemajou Ch les Palais Ch Caraguilhes Ch Haut-Gléon Ch de Lastours Ch Gléon Montanié Dom des Chandelles Ch des Auzines Ch Prieuré Borde-Rouge Clos de l’Anhel Ch de Pech-Latt Dom Baillat Ch Etang des Colombes Ch Grand Moulin Ch Cascadais<br />Ch Aiguilloux Dom Serres-Mazard Ch de L’Ille Mâitres Vignerons de Cascastel Les Clos Perdus Ch de Sérame Ch de Mattes-Sabran Dom du Grand Arc Dom l’Aiguelière Dom Font Caude Dom d’Aupilhac Mas Jullien Mas Cal Demoura Dom de Fenouillet Dom Capion Prieuré St-Jean de Bébian Dom des Lauriers Ch La Condamine Betrand PaulhanPomérols Co-op Abbaye de Valmagne Dom des Belles Pierres Dom de Comberousse de Fertalière Dom de Terre Megère Dom Henry Ch de Fourques Ch de Flaugergues Ch Lascaux Ch de Cazeneuve Ch de Lascours Mas Bruguière Ch de Lancyre Dom de l’Hortus Les Coteaux du Pic Mas de Morties Dom Clavel Ch Puech-Haut Dom de la Coste Dom de la Devèze Dom de la Prose Dom Peyre-Rose Dom d’Ormesson Ch St-Martin de la Garrigue Dom de l’Arjolle Dom de Clovallon Laurens Co-op Dom des Chemins de Bassac Dom de la Croix-Belle Ch de Ponpezat Dom la Condamine l’Evêque Dom de la Baume Dom de Coussergues Mas St-Laurent Dom Jourdan Ch de la Peyrade Dom de la Grange des Pères Ch Rouquette-sur-Mer Dom de l’Hospitalet Ch Pech-Céleyran Ch de laNegly Ch de Marmorières Mas du Soleilla Ch d'Anglès Dom Bouisset Ch Pech Redon Ch Coujan Dom la Colombette Ch le Thou Dom du Nouveau Monde Mas de L'Ecriture Dom de Montcalmès Dom Belles Pierres Dom Mas Amiel Cave Jean-Louis Lafage Dom des Chênes Dom Gardiés Dom du Mas Crémat Ch de Jau Dom Piquemal Dom des Schistes Dom Gauby Dom Cazes Dom Laporte Dom Sarda-Malet Dom Força Real Ch Mossé Dom Ferrier-Ribière Dom La Tour Vieille Clos de Paulilles Dom du Mas Rous Cave de l’Étoile Dom du Mas Blanc Cellier des Templiers Dom de la Rectorie Dom de Cazenove Dom Singla Dom le Soula Dom Laguerre Dom Matassa Dom Pithon Dom Padié Dom du Clot de l’Oum Dom Grain d’Orient Ch de Caladroy Dom du Bila-Haut Clos du Rouge Gorge Ch Planère Dom Depeyre Dom Sol-Payré Coume del Mas Dom Madeloc Dom St Sebastien Ch Les Pins Dom Boudau Dom Pouderoux Ch St-Roch Dom Calvet Thunevin Dom Pertuisane Dom du Clos des Fées Preceptorie de Centarnach Dom Roc des Anges Mas Baux Casot de Mailloles Dom Fontanel Dom de Rancy Dom Vaquer Dom Alquier Ch de la Liquière Ch des Estanilles Dom Léon Barral Dom du Métèore Ch Moulin de Ciffre Dom Lerys Castelmaure Co-op Ch de Nouvelles Mont Tauch Co-op Dom du Trillol Dom Bertrand-Bergé Dom Maria Fita Ch Abelanet Ch des Erles Dom de Baron d’Arques Ch Coupes Roses Dom Borie de Maurel Clos Centeilles Ch Villerambert-Julien Dom Piccinini Clos de l’Escandil Ch d’Oupia Ch de Gourgazaud Ch Tour Boisée Ch Fabas Ch la Grave Ch Maris Ch Bassanel Ch de Beaufort Ch de Cesseras Dom Pierre Cros Clos du Gravillas Dom Malys-Anne Ch Massamier la Mignarde Ch Saint-Jacques d’Albas Dom Saint-Sernin Ch Tourril Dom Bénazeth Dom Luc Lapeyre Ch Sainte-Eulalie Dom des Murettes L’Oustal de Cazes Dom de Hegarty Chamans Dom des Aires Hauts Dom Jean-Baptiste Senat Dom de Barroubio Borie la Vitarèle Cave de Roquebrun Berlou Co-op Canet Valette Ch Cazal-Viel Dom de Limbardié Ch de Prieuré des Mourgues Dom Champart La Grange de Quatre Sous Ch Maurel Fonsalade Clos Bagatelle Dom des Jougla Dom Rimbert Dom du Tabatau Dom de Viranel Ch la Dournie Dom Navarre Dom la Madura Dom des Terres Falmet Ch Moulinier Ch de Sau Ch is short for Château; Dom is short for Domaine There are other appellations in Languedoc-Roussillon but ten above are main ones For completists view, I will be presenting additional appellations in separate addendum post So if you are a completist or a Francophile youll probably want to check back on Doktor Weingolb main pages for posts tagged with label WBW 33
WBW 33 is Languedoc-Roussillon value wines, aka mid-priced wines from the Midi. I'm quite familiar with wines of this region (which is why I am enthusiastic about this theme); I'm not sure how new the topic is to potential participants.

For starters then, I offer any reticent L-R drinkers to take a look at the lay of the land. Google Maps shows how Languedoc-Roussillon has a natural gift -- a semi-circle of mountains and ridges aligning vineyards at a more direct angle with the rays of the summer sun. This clever arrangement maximizes budding and fruit production. To this, the neighbouring Mediterranean Sea moderates the temperature so grapes don't get scorched. In other words, nice digs for a wino!

Go ahead an click on the map and take a closer look around the area. It's no wonder genius winemakers by the dozen have set up shop in this region of southern France.

Languedoc and, especially, Roussillon ... have attracted investors such as the owner of Le Pin in Pomerol, the director of Ch Latour in Pauillac, the owner of Ch Valandraud in St-Emilion, Chapoutier, Tom Lubbe of South Africa and several Masters of Wine.

This excerpt was taken from another famous Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson. I credit her not only for inspiring the theme for WBW 33, but also for sending me the bulk of recommended producer names posted during the announcement last week to get bloggers interested. (Jancis Robinson's online forum of subscribers as well as Le Guide du Vin author Michel Phaneuf supplied a handful of other names).

Last fall I met Jancis while in New York, where she spoke about how wine lovers can get the most bang for their buck. In effect, she said to seek out Languedoc-Roussillon bottle priced between $15 and $30:
My reasoning is that the best Midi wines are hand-crafted wines from small domaines run by people with real commitment yet they generally lack sufficient reputation to charge very high prices.

I cannot stress enough what value is to be found in the south of France in the following appellations – none of them super-famous and all of them extremely variable.

These main appellations she's talking about can be found as part of that recommended producers list, which is now a permanent reference on Doktor Weingolb's appendix.

The wine appellations of Languedoc-Roussillon are special, to say the least. I will focus on them some more in upcoming posts. By their very definition, they disallow varietal wines. So that means international varietals like Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon will not likely be seen for WBW 33 (yet WBW participants are sure to taste them as a great many L-R wines will feature some of these grapes in the mix, often alongside Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan).

I realize a move away from the labeling of grape varieties in the wine we drink can be a significant change for drinkers. Grape profiles often determine whether a wine is suitable for serving with dinner, whether it goes with a particular dish or food. I hope to provide some tips on this.

Besides that, in general a lot of wine buyers act on recognizable grapes on the label. For WBW 33, that impulse will be denied in part. This might be different, but change is good! After all, I'm sure most winebloggers (and other potential participants) are intrepid types who will be unfazed by this. So be sure to participate on May 16.

Wines await to be discovered! And with the promise of wine values too!

Next: Vin de Pays

9 comments:

Sonadora said...

Marcus, thanks for the help about the region and the producers. I'm not very familiar with French wine, since I tend to focus more on California myself. I'll keep looking for your next posts, but plan to strike out this weekend and snag a bottle that will work for this theme!

Marcus said...

Excellent. I should upload lots more background on the theme by then.

Care to share what your greatest hesitancy is when thinking of buying Languedoc-Roussillon wine? I could address this in a post that would likely be of use to many people..

Sonadora said...

Well, my French is pretty poor. And I get confused by the various "levels" of French wines, so that makes it difficult. And I'm not at all familiar with French producers!

Marcus said...

Hey Sonadora,

I love to hear this feedback.

I'm with you on the confusion. I'm taking longer than I thought I would sorting out my next post -- an explanation of Vin de Pays wines (literally means "country wines") and specifically those from Languedoc-Roussillon.

Perhaps it's not as much confusing as it is filled with lots of detail and terms that aren't always nicely defined. Hopefully, I'll keep working on the post and end up presenting a fairly clear overview of these level (from AOC (official appellation) wines and go down to VdP and simple table wines). As I've said so often lately... stay tuned!

As for the French producers not being familiar to you... I'm sure by the end of WBW 33 that will be a different story!

Nate said...

Interesting thing I've learned about wines from Languedoc-Roussillon for this WBW: they're cheap! You mentioned that the price range for the WBW bottle should be in the $15-$30 range - of the 30 some bottles of L-R wine at the local wine "megastore" I looked at, only 3 of them were priced above $25! Most were in the $10-$20 range. Since it sounds like the winemaking skills and practices of Langeudoc-Roussillon winemakers have improved dramatically over the last decade or so, this region seems poised to offer some great Quality-to-Price Ratio wines!

I'd be interested in learning more about the whole VdP classification, and what types of wine are allowed under French law for the region. Like Sonadora, I'm pretty French-wine ignorant, so appreciate the help.

Marcus said...

Nate,

There can be some very expensive L-R wines and they usually are associated with big prestigious names of the wine world, but you are right that as whole the region is good one for people looking for "everyday" pricepoints. Some are unbelieveably cheap too. Somewhere in the middle I think we'll find the perfect combination of price and quality, which of course equals BEST VALUE!

I will give you shout when the VdP post is up!

winefornewbies said...

Marcus --

You're going above and beyond the call of duty with info on Languedoc-Roussillon!

Anyway, per your urging, I've prepared and published a podcast on the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon that you may want to pass onto your readers. Check it out at http://winefornwebies.net/.

I'm really looking forward to this WBW!

Bill

Marcus said...

Thanks Bill. I'll be checking it out shortly at this link. I'm about to publish a post introducing vin de pays, since these could be major contenders for WBW 33.

Glad you will be taking part!

Ash said...

A video on WINE MAKING