In the south, the hot, sun-drenched vineyards of the Languedoc and Roussillon wine regions don’t just produce loads of inexpensive wine under the Pays d’Oc umbrella. Some AOCs, such as Corbières, Minervois, Coteaux du Languedoc and Côtes de Roussillon offer a magic mix of great value, history and fascinating herbal (garrigue) and fruity flavors.
A new hierarchy has recently been agreed upon for Languedoc appellations, with AOC Languedoc wines at the bottom of the pyramid, followed by Grands Vins de Languedoc (such as Saint-Chinian and Faugères) and finally the Grand Crus du Languedoc (such as Pic Saint Loup and La Clape).
A veritable alphabet soup of grape varieties are grown, with the most common being Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault. Search our Languedoc-Roussillon wine guide’s hundreds of Languedoc-Roussillon wine reviews for more details on individual wines and for our comprehensive database of Languedoc-Roussillon wine ratings.
With only 795 bottles produced, this is a special treat. Although it’s ready to drink now, it has the structure and pedigree to age for decades. Loaded with rich nut and rancio flavors, there’s so much going on; aromas of dried orange peel, gingerbread, toasted macadamia nut and a drizzle of molasses lead into flavors of dried red plum and fig dusted with Nutella…
For any serious fan of Rivesaltes, this is a must-have example. Aromas of dried apricot, toasted hazelnut, fig, ginger, sweet spice and candied orange rind fill the bouquet, while the mouth is silky and balanced—sweet and heady without being cloying. All of the aromas transition onto the palate alongside accents of walnut skins and shiitake mushroom. Soft salinity…
A limited production (2,500 bottles) wine, named after the great Bordeaux enology professor who was in at the birth of the Mas de Daumas Gassac estate. Pure Cabernet Sauvignon, this bursts with ripe fruit, with new wood flavors and with great intensity from the low-yielding old vines. This promises great things, but it also needs patience - wait at least 10 years.
There’s a strong mineral backbone to this wine, which alongside notes of garrigue (think lavender and bay leaves) and purple violet florals highlight this fantastic terroir. Black cherry, plum, licorice stick and black peppercorns flood the palate, while hints of used coffee grinds, cocoa powder and graham cracker crust appear on the seriously long finish. Creamy…
If you need convincing of the true potential of the La Clape region of Languedoc, look no futher. This is a delicate yet complex wine of true character and depth with a beautiful bouquet of rich dark fruit, tea leaves, leather and menthol. The mouth, smooth and lush, is loaded with intense plum, cherry, spice and pepper. The balance is fantastic, making this an…
A big wine, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, explosive with deep, dark flavors, brooding and intense. This special selection of the best wines from Mas de Daumas Gassac has black fruit, great richness and opulence, a powerhouse of wild flavors. But there’s also an underlying structure that means it will age, and age well.
An amazing wine, especially considering that the dominant grape is Carignan; the rest is Syrah. Just shows what old vines can do in the right soil. Rich, thick, complex and noble, it’s filled with grilled meat, white pepper, tobacco, cassis, violets and sage. The depth of flavor is thrilling, the texture splendid. Editors’ Choice. —S.H.
This is a dense, concentrated and expressive wine, although it’s still young and promises more beauty and elegance with age. Aromas of African violets and cocoa nibs marry harmoniously with the fleshy black-fruit core. Jammy, ripe plum and cherry flavors lead the lush and slightly creamy palate, transitioning into notes of roasted coffee and chocolate, and finally…