Saturday, 14 May 2011

Terrasses de Maynard aka Roquebrun coop

I'm always wary of cooperative wines. There is something depersonalised about them. The wine can only be as good as the poorest performing grape grower and usually undergoes particularly heavy handed winemaking to counter this. Most I've tasted at events along with independents and they show badly, but it has to be recognised they provide a massive service for the sub €5 a bottle market and have local affinity.

Coops are aware of this image and seek the cachet of an independent grower with their flashier cuvées. This bottle of 2008 Saint-Chinian Roquebrun "Terrasses de Maynard" is testimony to that - you need to read the micro-print to spot the origin as Cave de Roquebrun. I encountered the wine at dinner where the hosts, who spotted it at a local grande surface, stated they followed the cave and its fine reputation for decades. In the glass it was a pleasant melange of brambles, cherry and smoke with some grippy tannins and a nice medium weight. The oak was kept in the background - rare restraint with cooperative "premium" wines. It finished as it started, but was nevertheless a pleasant drink, confirmed a few days later having procured a €6.40 bottle to consume chez nous. 60% Syrah with Mourvèdre and Grenache from a schist terroir very similar to Faugères that borders to the east. A pity so few co-ops seem able to achieve this standard and hence value for euros. The flowers are wild garlic by the way.


  1. I have drunk quite a few from their range. They do provide good quality at the price range, certainly one of the better co-ops in France. I have a penchant for Neffies too

  2. It is years since I have been, but I seem to remember the Roquebrun co-op made some pretty respectable wines. The Faugeres co-op at Laurens also do some good stuff, although again, I haven't been for a while - even though we were on holiday there last year (and will be again in a few weeks).

    As for Neffies, they have now merged with another (lesser) village co-op and upped the prices (at least for export), which is a shame, because they were - maybe even still are - the best of their kind in Languedoc.

  3. The Hatfield Brothers skiing at Les Gets 10/1/13

    Seduced by the medaille d'or we bought a bottle at the local Carrefour. It was the best bottle of the week hence our search to find out more about this unusual appellation. Experts in the Gigondas and Vacqueras we would recomment this to anyone.