Sunday, 3 January 2010

Most enjoyable of 2009

Much of the media seems to be reviewing 2009 so I’m joining in with wines I’ve enjoyed most.

As the Languedoc is essentially a red wine region I’ll pick three reds.
Aupilhac (Montpeyroux), Le Carignan 1998 (from magnums) was the pinnacle at the splendid Repas Vignerons hosted by Sylvain Fadat and La Terrasse du Mimosa.
Ollier Taillefer (Fos in Faugères), Castel Fossibus 2001 and 2002 enjoyed at several meals with friends chez nous and fully mature.
Mas Gabriel, Clos Gabriel 2006 as the exciting newcomer.

For white I’ll pick just one, a Viognier Clovallon Les Aires (Bedarieux) 2006 severed as an apero on the balmy terrace of Le Mimosa and as rich and balanced as any Condrieu I’ve tasted.

For sparkling wine, plus the bargain of the year, is Clairette de Die Jaillance Tradition purchased at Carrifour’s Foire aux Vins (€10 for three bottles). While actually from next door Provence it’s a blend of Clairette (also grown in our village) and Muscat. Simple, fresh, light, sweet, frothy, low in alcohol and brilliant with any fruity summer dessert in the setting sun.

The wine events of the year have been the aforementioned Repas Vignerons (Mas Jullien especially, Aupilhac, Alain Chabanon, Terrasse d’Elise and Pas de l’Escalette) plus their revealing and fun Dégustations à l’aveugle - informal blind tastings. Also up there, literally, was the Ascension Day walk up and down the Pic Baudille. Here was evidence that Mas Brunet and Mas Cal Demoura are making great strides.

The Pic Baudille at 849m guards the edge of the Larzac plateau and overlooks the finest Herault valley vineyards.

Wines stocked up on, beyond ongoing odd bottle purchases, were the Picpoul bargain Domaine de Bridau, reds from Ollier Taillefer, a selection from Domaine Treloar in the Rousillon and find of the year Mas Gabriel.


  1. Fascinating choices. I had my first real visit to the Languedoc this year and discovered Ollier Taillefer myself. Great wines, lovely people.
    Le Mimosa, Magellas, Treloar etc - bring on next summer and three weeks in the area

  2. There were others I could have equally mentioned, but memorable wines are usually right for the moment - a combination of the company, the place, the food and the drink itself.