This week I had the pleasure of attending the Sud de France Languedoc-Roussillon tasting here in New York. After enjoying a few bottles from Languedoc-Roussillon this summer, I was happy to try some more, and while I tasted many wines at this event, I will be focusing mainly on my favorites.
The 2010 Gilles Louvet Element Terre Sauvignon Blanc is very pale in color, with big aromas of bright citrus, a bit of tropical fruit, blossoms, and plenty of herbal notes. On the palate, the citrus flavors were dominant with some of those green characteristics as well - the wine is very bright with a long finish and would be very food friendly and easy to pair, and I think this is an ideal summer wine.
Another white from Gilles Louvet which I enjoyed was the 2010 “O” Chardonnay, which is a nice example of a Chardonnay that balances fruit and spice very well, with notes of tangerine, lemon, apple, and baking spices and honey. It has those buttery and toasted characteristics indicative of a nice Chardonnay, a smooth texture with just enough brightness to make it food friendly, and a respectable finish. A white like this is a good way to transition from the summer menu to the cooler months.
My favorite Rose of the tasting was the 2010 Val d’Orbieu Les Deux Rives, a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, with a lovely pinkish color and characteristics of somewhat ripe berries including strawberry and raspberry, a bit of blossom, and just a hint of cherry to finish. The wine starts off very elegant, light, soft, and smooth, and finishes with a bit of bright tartness.
The first of my two favorite reds of the tasting was the 2005 Prieure de Saint-Jean de Bebian blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. The wine has characteristics of darker fruits and berries, somewhat bold spice, and a hint of chocolate, with a big presence yet a very smooth texture and nice balance of acidity and tannin. I’d say this is a wine best for cooler months and for pairing with hearty dishes.
The other red that I felt really stood out was the 2008 Mas de Soleilla Les Bartelles, a blend of Syrah and Grenache Noir. A very dark wine with many layers, I thoroughly enjoyed its complexity with its ripe fruit, bold spice, wood and earth notes, and excellent structure and lengthy finish.