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Thursday 19 February 2015

Sud de France Saint Chinian Tasting

A tasting of St Chinian wines at Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon

When I think of Languedoc, it is still as a relatively homogenous area; I know there are different sub-regions and terroirs, of course - I have even visited some of them.
But Languedoc still stands as a byword for a broad region of improving quality, increasing sophistication, southern warmth and value for money.
One emerging sub-region that is gaining a profile is St Chinian; tasting the wines at the Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon (yes, there is such a thing) in Cavendish Square, I learnt:
- the whites are good; full, sophisticated, versatile, food-friendly and fresh
- there are ageworthy reds, with complex aromas of old leather and game
- the most impressive producers I came across were Pech Menel and Pradels Quartironi
The wines are all AoP St Chinian unless indicated.
Whites / Rosé
Domaine Belot, Viognier 2014 IGP Oc harmonious and persistent
Domaine Belot Cuvee Vignalet Rosé 2014 fresh and long with ripe red berries
Domaine Pech Menel Poudre Rolle Viognier Chardonnay 2013 IGP Oc floral, aromatic and complex. Good.
Chateau Viranel Viognier 2012 toasty, smokey and full
Chateau Coujan Cuvee Bois Joli 2012 (swig) ripe and tropical-citrussy. Good.
Domaine Coujan Cuvee Rolle IGP Coteaux de Murviel (Linlithglow Wines) fresh and ripe with sweet spice. Good.
Domaine Marion Pla, Cuvee Les Larmes de Jeanne 2014 fresh, ripe and full. Good.
Domaine des Pradels Quartironi Blanc 2013 waxy, citrussy, ripe and tropical - a touch blowsy.
Domaine Marion Pla Cuvee Conviction Intime 2013 floral, violets, lifted dark fruits. An expressive, modern easy-drinker.
Domaine des Pradels Quartironi de Sars Haut Coup de Foudres 2011 complex with dark fruits and spice, mellow and harmonious, soft and supple with a firm finish. Good.
Chateau Quartironi de Sars, Campanil 2008 brick red hints, aged leather, dried red fruits, dried green herbs, cool mint, soft supple and harmonious. Very Good.
Domaine Belot Best of BELOT 2013 complex, with sweet vanilla, lifted ripe fruits, floral violets and spice; harmonious and persistent. Good
Chateau Pech Menel 2011 complex and supple, well integrated, dark fruits and gaminess. Very Good.
Chateau Pech Menel 2007 complex aged nose, aged leather and well-hung game, dark fruits, supple tannins with some firmness. Very Good.
Chateau Coujan Cuvee Gabrielle 2013 lifted dark fruits and spice, fresh and toasty with a grippy finish.
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