If Languedoc Roussillon were a fashion style, it might be Glam Grunge.
It is currently one of the most interesting, innovative winemaking regions, aiming to become the largest organic and biodynamic vineyard area in Europe within 5 years.
The new Pays d’Oc IGP category allows grape variety labelling. There are 56 different grapes permitted for Pays d’Oc including the familiar Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
South of France grapes Vermentino, Cinsault and Grenache make excellent quality wines and blends. The ever trendy white wine Viognier is also a success story in the Mediterranean climate.
Pays d’Oc held a tasting and dinner recently at the charming townhouse restaurant Gauthier in Soho. Mark Andrew from London indie merchant Roberson and Matthew Stubbs MW of Languedoc wine school Vinécole, hosted the evening. Top wine picks included:
Mas des Dames, Blanc, £12.95, Roberson. Grenache Blanc can be light and floral or full and smoky. It makes great blends too. A versatile, foodie white with firm structure and appealing citrus tang. Delicious with lobster salad.
Domaines Paul Mas, Vermentino, £7.99, Majestic. Aka Rolle, Vermentino is one of the ‘on-trend’ white grapes. Ex-Rugby player Gerard Bertrand is one of the Languedoc’s biggest producers. Lemony, floral, pretty and perfect for fish.
Domaine Bégude, Rosé, £8.99, Majestic. Atlantic influence and altitude make the Limoux a prime spot for cooler climate loving Pinot Noir. A delicate, fresh rosé by saignée method, it is delicious with truffle risotto.
Domaine Gayda, Figure Libre Cabernet Franc, Stockists include Highbury Vintners and see here. With herbaceous, floral aroma and always a fresh finish, the light bodied Cabernet Franc makes a great match for sea bass.
Languedoc Roussillon has an umbrella name Sud de France – to help customers not familiar with the area – also used for cheese and olive oil. For info see here.
For more info on organic viticulture, see Ecocert. To learn more about biodynamic viticulture, see Demeter and Biodyvin.
(photo – TORIMBC / Flickr Creative Commons)