Thursday, 21 October 2010

Lledoner Pelut

Lledoner Pelut is related to Grenache and apparently has hairy leaves. It's unusual to see it named in a blend, let alone used as a 100% varietal bottling. I know of two. One is made at Domaine Canteperdrix at Gabian in the north of the Côtes de Thongue, although I haven't tried (or even seen) a bottle for several years. The other is made due south from Gabian on the outskirts of Béziers at Domaine La Colombette.

I picked up a bottle of the 2004 Domaine La Colombette Lledoner Pelut (Vin de Pays des Coteaux du Libron) from a local caviste at the height of summer. Even in the hottest weather I can't live without drinking red, but stick to young vigorous wines. As this has some age I resisted broaching it until cooler autumn weather.

I found it balanced and pleasantly mellow. Black cherry fruit with spice and some butch tannins that leaves the side of the palate with a warm slightly chewy but pleasant feel. Good elegant length and lovely to savour.

Does Lledoner Pelut differ from Grenache in taste and quality? One problem here is that there are relatively few Grenache or even Grenache dominated blends made in the region. Roussillon does better and famously Grenache make its vins doux naturels (Maury, Banyuls). Grenache is king in the Southern Rhone but I've tasted few in recent times. The Languedocs I am know vary in style - degrees of oak and ripeness. Grenache seems able to express terroir better than most varieties, which is to say it reveals different subtleties in different vineyards. Conclusion - I find the question more or less unanswerable.

For Leon Stolarski's enthusiastic review of this wine see his blog here

For Rosemary George's review of Domaine Canteperdrix see her blog here


  1. Graham - For the very reason you state (i.e. rarity) the title certainly got my attention. Glad you liked the wine too. I feel the 2004 has a few more years of development left in it - though I hate those plastic corks with a passion! I know that La Colombette like to offer their pricier wines with a choice of either Stelvin or a driven "cork", but why solid plastic? Let's hope they soon discover the benefits of DIAM.

    By the way, I visited La Colombette in June and tasted their current range. The quality is as high as ever, if not better, though they still haven't really mastered Pinot Noir. The only wine I didn't taste was.... Lledoner Pelut. I clean forgot about it!

  2. The cork seemed to work fine but won't be used for constructing my next insect curtain.

    Is any interesting Pinot Noir made in the area other than at Clovallon in Bedarieux I wonder. I'm sure other parts of the Orb valley would be suitable.

  3. I was lucky enough to get half a dozen of the 2004s from Leon earlier this year, and am sadly down to the last couple now. I've found this to be a wine that improves enormously the next day with much greater depth of flavour and length, in fact I have been a bit underwhelmed with the day 1 experience, in complete contrast to day 2. I dare say day 3 would be even better but none have survived that long!