Well, this is a first for me. I usually avoid instant blogging or live blogging – indeed I do not really regard my blog as a blog, it is after all not a diary or log. I normally write, what I hope are considered articles. Unusually, today everything on this page is being done in situ at the time.
I thought it would be interesting to take part in the Sud de France Live Wine Tasting. It was arranged to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the establishment of the Sud de France promotional umbrella. This body promotes the region of Languedoc-Roussillon and the food and wine products from those regions.
Those of you who read my Wine Page regularly will know that I have written about some of the superb wines from here before – there is a lot of good stuff to choose from.
Many consumers will know the region as a producer of excellent varietal Vin de Pays wines – most famously Vin de Pays d’Oc, and a whole range of good quality and interesting ACs. The red wines are the most famous, but there are some really good and interesting – and improving – white wines too. There are some pretty good sparklings coming out of the Limoux area too, so get experimenting.
The format was interesting, so I decided to go along for the experience. In theory wine tasters from all around the world are blind tasting the same five wines – however, it is not at the same time as it is 11 am local time for everyone.
All the details are on: http://suddefrance-export.net/sync-tasting/en/
It’s getting exciting now, I just heard a sparkling wine open with a pop – unless it was a car backfiring in Cavendish Square!
Blind wine 1:
Pale lemon colour.
Yeasty, slightly dried citrus peel nose with a touch of brioche or pannatone yeastiness.
The palate is quite soft and lemony, a little lemon-curd, medium acidity. Pretty nice, quite foamy with a clean and leesy finish.
Sieur d”Arques Grande Cuvée 1531 Brut
AC Crémant de Limoux
Chardonnay 70%, Chenin blanc 20% & Mauzac 10%
Blind wine 2:
A touch of burnished copper colour.
Intriguing nose of herbs and honey – quite fat & weighty.
Rich, fat and round with some buttery and oily notes, quite resinous. Very fresh too with a lovely clean, rich finish – food friendly I expect.
Cigalus Cuvée 2008
Vin de Pays d’Oc
It is a white wine from Corbieres made mainly from Chardonnay with some Viognier (15-20%) and a little Sauvignon (5%) and that is really exactly what it tastes like. The Chardonnay gives the fattness, the Viognier gives that herbal touch of the exotic and the Sauvignon lends the freshness. Those grapes are not permitted in the white Corbieres production so it is labelled up simply as a Vin de Pays d’Oc.
I liked this a lot and would love to try it with food, but it appears to be eye-wateringly expensive at something like £40 a bottle.
Blind wine 3:
A rosé, even I could see that.
The colour is quite deep, rose hip and sort of strawberry juice.
The nose is slightly confected and bubblegum-like with red cherry too.
The palate is pretty soft with some fresh acidity and a lot of red cherry/tizer-like flavours. The finish is slightly hard and bitter with some spice notes and a little touch of tannin. It is quite long with some spice on the finish.
It is ok, but neither elegant enough to be fine, or rich enough to be rich. Perfectly nice though especially on a hot day with some fish and a salad or just as a drink.
Fruité Catalan Rosé Non Vintage
AC Côtes du Roussillon
This is a blend of Syrah 60 %, Grenache Noir 25 %, Carignan 10 %.
Blind wine 4:
Deep, almost opaque purpley black.
The nose is mineral, rocky and slightly hot with black fruit notes and black pepper, hints of leather and mocha and earth too.
The palate is quite soft at first with rich fruit, then firmness kicks in with leather, spice, granite minerality, liquorice even. Some freshness and acidity, from the Syrah keeps it all motoring along and clean and fresh in the mouth.
Good long earthy finish with background notes of fruit and spice the lack of oak makes it well balanced as there are quite enough spicy and savoury notes without it.
I think this wine is very good indeed.
Dromadaire 30670 Cuvée 2006
Vin de Pays d’Oc
This was a superb savoury blend of unoaked Syrah 60 %, Grenache 40 % that was really well balanced with lovely fruit and great tannin management.
Blind wine 5:
Finally the sweet wine is quite pale, but viscous looking.
The nose is fragrant and honeyed, with floral notes, touch of orange – subtle Muscat.
Good palate, pretty subtle and restrained and balanced with apricot, orange, honey and nuts notes.
This is really very good, I do not normally find fortified Muscat elegant, but this is elegant and very clean as well as tasty – it would be lovely with a tarte tatin or even an apricot crumble. I especially like it because I got it right! It is a Muscat de Frontignan.
Mas de Madame 2006
AC Muscat de Frontignan
Well, there we are, I didn’t disgrace myself – except with one bad joke. My tasting was ok and the wines were very enjoyable. I really liked them all except the rosé and would happily, very happily actually, drink any of them.
The two standouts for me were the still, dry white and the red – although the Muscat was very close behind.
I really enjoyed the experience, the discipline even of live blogging – although I am not sure it suits my mentality.
The wines are good, so please go out and try something new from the Languedoc-Roussillon – Sud de France.