Leon Stolarski Fine Wines
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Online Wine Shop  >  Languedoc Red Wine (IGP/VdP/VdT)

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Vins de Pays
IGP/Vins de Pays
There was a time when any French wine with aspirations to quality needed to conform to the strict wine laws of the "Appellation d'Origine Contrôllée" (AOC) - recently reformed and renamed Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP). The most important - not to mention restrictive - factor has always been the pernitted grape varieties. No matter how good a wine is, if it is to qualify as AOC/AOP, it can only be made from certain permitted grape varieties. The "Vins de Pays" (literally translated as "country wines") denomination was created in the early 1970's, to enable wines made from "other" grape varieties to be made, free from the restrictions of the AOC's, but with a level of quality way above mere "table wine" status. The Vin de Pays denomination was itself recently superseded by the "Indication Géographique Protégée" (IGP). Frankly, little has changed, except fior the name! Pays d'Oc is the best known of the VDP/IGP's (and covers virtually the whole of Languedoc/Roussillon).  Others may use the départment name (Hérault, Aude, Gard, etc) whilst many better and more innovative (though less well-known) wines are sold under the local VDP/IGP, which normally takes the name of a small river, town, other local feature or sub-region. Many of these wines (whether from a single variety or a blend of two or more) can be delicious, complex and, in some cases, truly world-class. Indeed, some of southern France's most famous and iconic wines are "humble" Vins de Pays - Trévallon and Daumas Gassac being prime examples.

Domaine Turner Pageot 48H 2012 Vin de France
Turner Pageot 48H 2012
Vintage
2012

Region Gabian, north of Pézenas
Colour/Style Dry, deeply-coloured rosé or "clairet" 
Grapes 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Cold cuts, light meat dishes, grilled sardines, pizza
Next day
Still fine
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
Clairet is a term the Bordelais use for a light red wine, or a very dark rosé. The method is basically saignée (the free-run juice) but taken only after an extended 48 hour maceration (hence the name 48H). The colour is more of a bright ruby red than rosé, and the nose is distinctly fruity, with notes of raspberry and redcurrant, subtle hints of peach and apricot and a delightful smokiness. There is a welcome hint of rusticity to the palate – and even a touch of grape skin tannin - but it is essentially soft and gloriously fruity, even quite rich and mouth-filling, whilst remaining perfectly balanced, with a tangy, peppery bite to the finish. Think of a young Pinot Noir or a top-quality Cru Beaujolais and add a touch of soft, ripe southern fruit and you’re just about there. A really delicious, even quite serious wine. Certified organic and biodynamic.
 

Price:  £11.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de Foltodon Sancti Cosmae 2011 IGP Pays d'Oc
Domaine de Foltodon Sancti Cosmae 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Saint-Come de Marujols, Vin de Pays d'Oc
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied
Grapes 90% Syrah, 10% Mourvedree - partly oak-aged
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Roasted red meats, hearty stews, cheeses.
Next day
Still very good, perhaps even more so
Drink Now or over the next 5 to 8 years
A bright but deep, semi-translucent carmine/cherry red colour. Fresh out of the bottle, a mix of tar and roses is the first impression, followed by a riot of bramble and cherries in kirsch, dried orange peel and mixed spice. And despite the fact that one-third of the blend is aged for 10 months in new oak barrels and a further third in 1 year-old barrels (with the remainder aged in vat) the oak nuances are really very subtle and beautifully integrated. In fact, this is a wine full of fruit and spicy southern charm. The palate is fresh and vibrant, with more in the way of super-ripe raspberry and strawberry flavours, contrasted by a deliciously tangy sour cherry quality, with excellent concentration, just the right amount of tannic grip and bags of juicy acidity. After plenty of air (or better still, a night in the decanter) it develops some earthy and meaty/savoury aromas and flavours, whilst still exhibiting all of that wonderfully fresh fruit. A bit of a bargain, this - a really substantial and even quite serious wine, from yields of just 22 hl/ha - and whilst great to drink now, it certainly has the structure to evolve nicely for a good few years.
 

Price:  £10.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Saint Etienne Perserose Rouge 2012 IGP Pays du Gard
Domaine Saint Etienne Perserose Red 2012
Vintage
2012
Region Pays du Gard, south-west of Avignon
Colour/Style Dry red - medium bodied.
Grapes Grenache, Syrah and Carignan
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Cold cuts, char-grilled meats, pizza, spaghetti bolognaise
Next day
As good
Drink Now, or over the next 2 or 3 years
Blimey, this is lovely! An enticing nose of wild strawberries, red cherries, creamy vanilla, herbs, and an intriguing hint of citrus fruit. Warm, spiced fruit and herby flavours abound, with lovely acidity and gentle tannins. For such a lowly denomination, this is classy indeed - full of ripe, juicy fruit, yet beautifully "winey" and satisfying. The finish is considerable, too, with those warm, gently spicy flavours lingering long on the palate. Coming from vineyards which fall just outside of the Côtes du Rhône appellation, this really is a Côtes du Rhône in all but name, and is a cracking weekday wine. It would age nicely for a year or two, but why bother when it is so delicious now? Southern France in a glass!
 

Price:  £7.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Cébene Ex Arena 2012 IGP Pays d'Oc
Domaine de Cebene Ex Arena 2012
Vintage
2012
Region Béziers, Pays d'Oc
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied
Grapes Grenache and Mourvedre - partly oak-aged
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Roasted red meats, game, cheeses.
Next day
Improves for 2 or 3 days
Drink Can be drunk now, or aged for up to 10 years
Grenache and Mourvedre, from sand-based terroir in Corneilhan, just north of Béziers. This is a worthy follow-up to the delicious 2011. The nose is truly elegant, exhibiting floral aromas and notes of redcurrant and cherry, garrigue herbs and a gentle savouriness. With time in the glass (and especially on day 2) the floral aromas grow, with an unusal yet most welcome array of spring blossom ,violets and honeysuckle The palate is relatively rich and powerful, yet at the same time soft and silky, full of fresh and crystallised fruit flavours, countered by savoury nuances, even a hint of salinity. All of this is wrapped around a core of fine-grained tannins and ample acidity. I hesitate to make comparisons, for this is a wine that can more than stand on it's own merits, but think Chateauneuf-duPape.... but with more elegance. A delicious wine.
 

Price:  £13.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine La Combe Blanche l'Incompris Cinsault 2012 IGP Côtes du Brian
Combe Blanche l'Incompris Cinsault 2012
Vintage
2012

Region Côtes du Brian, in the Minervois
Colour/Style Dry red - medium-bodied.
Grapes 100% Cinsault
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Barbecued red/white meats, pizza, pasta, risotto
Next day
As good
Drink Perfect now, or over the next couple of years
l'Incompris means "the misunderstood", which alludes to the fact that Cinsault is usually considered only good for red blends or rosé, rather than as a variety with lots of character, which needs only the hands of a skilled vigneron to make something really rather lovely. Aromas of garrigue herb-infused red cherries, damsons and raspberries simply leap from the glass, with a touch of polished leather, spice and eau de vie. Succulent red and black fruit flavours abound, in a wine that is rich in flavour, but surprisingly balanced and fleet of foot, in a seamless mix of warm spice, silky tannins and ample acidity. Although it is a delight to drink now, I have no doubt that it will keep nicely for a good year or three. Bargain.
 

Price:  £8.20 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine La Combe Blanche Why Not? Pinot Noir 2011 IGP Côtes du Brian
Vintage
2011
Region Côtes du Brian, in the Minervois
Colour/Style Dry red - full-bodied.
Grapes 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Red or white meats, pizza, pasta
Next day
As good
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
Medium-deep red colour with aromas of summer fruits and soft citrus, hints of forest floor, leather and soft spices and remarkably fresh and high-toned. This is in my opinion the best Pinot Noir that Guy Vanlancker has fashioned in years - balanced and fresh on the palate, with lots of red cherry and raspberry fruit flavours, a subtle spiciness, easy tannins and a refreshing backbone of juicy acidity, yet with plenty of southern charm and warmth and a delightful sweet and sour finish. And it is drinking beautifully already. A lovely wine!
 

Price:  £8.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine La Combe Blanche l'Enfer Pinot Noir 2012 IGP Côtes du Brian
La Combe Blanche l'Enfer Pinot Noir 2012
Vintage
2012
Region Côtes du Brian, in the Minervois
Colour/Style Dry red - full-bodied. Aged in old oak barrels for 18 months
Grapes 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol (a.b.v)
15.0%
Food Rich game dishes, lamb, fillet of beef
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 10 to 15 years
This deep, dark purple coloured wine certainly smells and tastes like Pinot Noir, but don't expect a light, airy Burgundy look-alike! The aromas, flavours and texture of this wine are very definitely rooted in the warm south, with rich, ripe red and black fruits and a hint of classy oak, perhaps even similar in style to a Californian Pinot. The flavours are similarly rich and ripe, but far from heavy, with velvety tannins, a touch of red cherry sourness and a decent lick of acidity making for something really quite balanced and more-ish. It is approachable now and whilst certainly no shrinking violet, I have enough experience of Guy Vanlancker's Pinots (going back to the mid-1990's) to know that this could turn into something rather special and ethereal in 10 to 15 years. Either way, a lovely wine!
 

Price:  £12.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine La Combe Blanche Les Dessous de l'Enfer Tempranillo 2010 IGP Côtes du Brian
Domaine La Combe Blanche Les Dessous de l'Enfer 2010
Vintage
2010

Region La Liviniere, north-east of Carcassonne
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full bodied, aged 18 months in old oak 
Grapes 100% Tempranillo
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Duck, game, char-grilled red meats, wild mushrooms
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 10 years
Guy Vanlancker planted his Tempranillo in the early 1990's, high up in the hills above La Livinière, where the winters can be fiercely cold and the summers fiercely hot, hence the name Les Dessous de l'Enfer - roughly translated as "under hell"(!) The last time he made this cuvée was way back in 2001 (and a bottle we tasted recently was still yet to reach its peak). For this vintage, he used mostly old barrels. After 18 months, the wine was transferred to vats for a further year, before being bottled in the Spring of 2013. It is vibrant and full of life, with an expressive nose, redolent of black cherry, raspberry and bramble, with subtle hints of oak vanillin, mocha and dark chocolate. After a while, it develops further notes of roasted red capsicum and turkish delight. All of which adds up to a pretty complex and alluring wine. The palate is full-bodied, with a richly tannic structure and a gentle oakiness, but at the same time immensely fruity, with real mineral depth, subtle hints of spices and garrigue herbs. All of which, combined with ample acidity, makes for a wonderfully sweet and sour and considerably complex wine. It is already excellent to drink (especially after 24 hours in the decanter) but will no doubt age gracefully for a further 10 years or more.
 

Price:  £13.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Gayda Flying Solo Grenache-Syrah 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc
Domaine Gayda Flying Solo Red 2013
Vintage
2013

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - medium bodied
Grapes 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Red or white meats, cold cuts, grilled veg, pasta, cheese
Next day
Still good, retains freshness
Drink Now to 2017
With a heady waft of red and black summer fruits, freshly-baked bread, herbs, spices and notes of damp earth and tobacco, this really hits the spot. The palate is simply crammed full of summer fruit and orange flavours, with juicy acidity and earthy but ripe tannins. Medium weight and a delight to drink, it is very much in the mould of a good Cru Beaujolais, but with deeper, more intense flavours and fruit so chunky you can almost bite it. A really delicious all-rounder, and great value for money.
 

Price:  £7.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Gayda Grenache 2011 IGP Pays d'Oc
Vintage
2011

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - medium-bodied
Grapes 100% Grenache
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Red or white meats, cold cuts, pizza, pasta
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 2 to 3 years
From limestone in La Liviniere and schiste in Maury, the grapes are cold-soaked for a week, before a cool (20C) fermentation. The grapes are pressed before the fermentation has finished, giving a rounded wine with no hard edges. An abundance of raspberry, soft citrus and tar on the nose and in the mouth, with excellent acidity and velvety tannins. A far from simple wine, this could evolve further, but is already delicious to drink.
 

Price:  £8.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine Gayda Syrah 2011 IGP Pays d'Oc
Gayda Syrah 2011
Vintage
2011

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - medium-bodied
Grapes 100% Syrah
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food On its own or with red or white meats, pizza, pasta
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
From limestone in La Liviniere and sandstone on the Gayda estate. 10% is aged in 1, 2 and 3 year-old barrels, the remainder in stainless steel. A nose of bramble, blackcurrant, raspberry, violets and fresh bread, with hints of tobacco, allspice, citrus-infused pot-pourri and iodine adding more complexity. This is a lot of wine for the money. Spicy, tangy redcurrant and cranberry flavours, with supple tannins and citrussy acidity. There are some very subtle savoury notes, but more in the way of lapsang tea, herbs and tar, with a nice hit of sweet damson giving a touch of richness to an otherwise tangy, sprightly wine, very much in the northern Rhône style. A really lovely wine, to drink now or keep for a year or three.
 

Price:  £9.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine Gayda Figure Libre Freestyle Rouge 2012 IGP Pays d'Oc
Domaine Gayda Figure Libre Red 2012
Vintage
2012

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - full-bodied, aged in barrels for 9 months
Grapes 45% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 10% Carignan, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% mourvedre
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Red meats, game, roasted vegetables
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or up to 2020
The grapes are sourced from a variety of vineyards in Roussillon, Minervois/La Livinière and Gayda's own estate in Malepère. Fermented in stainless steel, then aged for 9 months in a variety of oak barrels. Fragrant with notes of fine eau de vie, cherry skins and garrigue herbs. Subtle notes of mint, coriander and freshly cut grass add real freshness to the high-toned red and black fruits. The palate is beautifully balanced and fruity, shot through with flavours of fresh bramble and spiced oranges, with firm but ripe tannins and excellent acidity, with a gently spicy, sweet-sour finish. It just needs a little time for the tannins to soften a little, after which it will drink well for a good few years. 
 

Price:  £12.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine Gayda Figure Libre Cabernet Franc 2012 IGP Pays d'Oc
Domaine Gayda Figure Libre Cabernet Franc 2012
Vintage
2012

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - full-bodied, aged in oak barrels for 10 months
Grapes 100% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Red meats, game, roasted vegetables, rich stews
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or up to 2022
From Gayda's own Cabernet Franc vines surrounding the property, planted in 2004 and with official Organic certification. Aged for 15 months in 1 year-old oak barrels, with regular batonnage and racking/bottling according to the phases of the moon. This has quite the most intoxicating aromas, including (though by no means limited to) blackcurrant, plum, bramble, raspberry, spiced orange and even a hint of strawberry. And those are just the fruity bits, for it also manages to cram in exotic spices, tobacco, iodine, freshly-baked brioche and beautifully integrated (and really quite subtle) oak. For those (including me!) who might struggle to love Cabernet Franc, this may come as a bit of a revelation. Apart from the complete absence of any sort of vegetal or green/red capsicum notes, it has plenty of genuine Cab Franc character, with fabulous acidity and plenty of tannic grip. It manages to be at the same time generous and rich, yet beautifully balanced, with sweet black and red fruits and savoury/herby elements combining seamlessly with the tannins and acidity. A cracking wine!
 

Price:  £14.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou 2010 IGP Pays d'Oc
Gayda Chemin de Moscou 2010
Vintage
2009

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - full-bodied, aged in barrels for 21 months
Grapes 63% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 2% Cinsault
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Fillet of beef, rack of lamb, game, mushroom risotto
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 10-15 years
The grapes are sourced from no less than 6 different areas of Languedoc and Roussillon. The Syrah is aged in new oak for 9 months, the Grenache and Cinsault in 2 and 3 year-old oak for 9 months, followed by blending of the best barrels of each variety and a further 12 months maturation of the final blend in the same barrels. New vintage - tasting note to follow.
 

Price:  £19.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou 2011 IGP Pays d'Oc
Domaine Gayda Chemin de Moscou 2011
Vintage
2011

Region IGP Pays d'Oc - sourced from various parts of Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red - full-bodied, aged in barrels for 21 months
Grapes 68% Syrah, 28% Grenache and 4% Cinsault
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Fillet of beef, rack of lamb, game, mushroom risotto
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or up to 2025
New vintage - tasting note to follow.
 

Price:  £19.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de La Marfée Les Vignes Qu'On Abat 2009 Vin de Pays de l'Hérault
Domaine de La Marfee Les Vignes qu'on Abat 2009
Vintage
2009

Region Saint Georges d'Orques, west of Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged for 2 years in oak barels
Grapes 100% Carignan
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Beef, lamb, duck, perhaps even a spicy tagine
Next day
Still going strong
Drink Now, or over the next 8 to 10 years
Semi-opaque medium-deep purple colour, leading to a very narrow ruby rim. This dense, intense, smoky and ethereal - and at just 3 years of age, yet to really show its true colours. The nose is simply crammed full of raspberriy, bramble and blackcurrant aromas, with all sorts of other things going on, such as red meat, polished wood, incense, aromatic herbs, curry spices, new leather, damp earth, truffles, orange peel and cream. And despite ageing in oak for 2 years (mostly older oak, with just a small percentage of new barrels used each year) there really are no obvious oak aromas - everything just melds together beautifully into a whole of immensely heady complexity - every sniff reveals something new. The palate is medium-rich, but delightfully tangy and refreshing, with flavours of bramble, blackcurrant, cranberry, tar and spice, with hints of garrigue and stoney minerality. Ample tannins are matched by ample acidity, and carry the fruit all the way to a persistent finish. Another fantastic Carignan, from one of Languedoc's very finest exponents of the variety. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £24.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Ravanès Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 IGP Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Merlot-Cabernet 2009
Vintage
2009

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged 18 months in tanks (no oak)
Grapes 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food All manner of meat, cheese or vegetable dishes, pizza
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
Semi-opaque purple/red colour - deep, dark and inviting! The nose is crammed full of cassis and bramble fruit, tobacco, citrus and spice aromas, with hints of meat and new leather. The palate is bright and intensely fruity, lightly spicy and herby, with heightened tannins and lip-smacking acidity. And despite the tannic structure, it has the feel of a very good right-bank Claret, but with more than enough warm southern spice and charm to make it very drinkable now (even lightly chilled) although it will undoubtedly age nicely for a few years.
 

Price:  £9.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Ravanès Petit Verdot 2010 IGP Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Petit Verdot 2010
Vintage
2010

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged 16 months in tanks (no oak)
Grapes 100% Petit Verdot
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Red meats, cheese, vegetable or mushroom dishes
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
A very classy nose - leather, meat, tobacco, citrus and a whole load of black cherry, blackcurrant, bramble, forest floor and kirsch. On the palate, it has real tannic grip, but is ever so fruity, with dark, herb-infused fruits and citrus combining beautifully in a wine of real freshness and verve. And despite the fact that it is aged exclusively in vats (i.e. no oak influence) it has real complexity, with hints of tobacco and dark chocolate and a long, peppery finish. Ripe but not overtly rich, generous but beautifully balanced.
 

Price:  £11.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Ravanès Cuvée Diogène 2008 Vin de Pays de Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Cuvee Diogene 2008
Vintage
2008

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged 18 months in oak barrels
Grapes 60% Petit Verdot, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Beef, lamb, rich casseroles, hard cheeses
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 7 to 10 years
Now we are really entering into Languedoc territory of ripe, almost opulent fruit, aided by 18 months' ageing in 1, 2 and 3 year-old oak barrels. Aromas of cassis and bramble, black cherry and cedar, with an intriguing note of violet. Beautifully fresh in the mouth, with bright, intense fruit flavours, just the merest hint of savouriness, ripe, almost velvety tannins and bags of fresh acidity. It is so wonderfully balanced that it is eminently drinkable now, but also has enough stuffing and structure to age for at least another 10 years. A fabulous combination of ripe fruit, florality and restrained power - a really elegant wine.
 

Price:  £13.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de Ravanès Les Gravières du Taurou 2007 Vin de Pays de Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Gravieres de Taurou 2007
Vintage
2007

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged 28 months in oak barrels
Grapes 58% Petit Verdot, 42% Merlot
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.5%
Food Beef, lamb, game, duck, wild mushroom risotto
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 10 to 15 years
The estate's top red, from 35 year-old vines, aged for 28 months in a mix of 1, 2 and 3 year-old oak barrels. An opaque black cherry colour with a tiny rim, it reeks of rich, ripe, concentrated bramble and cassis, with notes of dried figs and orange peel and a cloak of fine, gently charred oak, leather and cigar box. The palate is rich and concentrated, the black fruits augmented by flavours of licourice, lapsang tea, garrigue herbs and peppermint, with a definite streak of minerality, rich, ripe tannins and plenty of acidity. As with the Diogène (and perhaps even more so) this has real ageing potential - I'd say 15 years-plus - but it has such warmth, such generosity, and is so approachable in it's youth - a quality that most classed growth Claret can only dream of having. This is a very, very fine wine, with a great future ahead of it.
 

Price:  £22.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Mas Coutelou La Buvette A Paulette 2013 Vin de France
Mas Coutelou La Buvette A Paulette 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Puimisson - midway between Béziers and Faugères
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah. 
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Red and white meats, pasta dishes
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 2 or 3 years
An impressively deep colour, which belies the rather elegant nose and palate. A wonderfully fresh and vibrant combinination of lusciously juicy blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, grippy tannins and fabulous acidity, with notes of damp undergrowth, peppery spices and new leather. It doesn't pretend to be particularly complex or even especially age-worthy, although it will certainly keep for a few years. But when it is as delicious as this, who cares?! Such a lovely wine deserves to be drunk young and hearty and without too much ceremony. A brilliant and completely natural Cabernet, which just leaves you salivating!
 

Price:  £10.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Mas Coutelou Sauvé de La Citerne 2013 Vin de France
Mas Coutelou Sauvé de La Citerne 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Puimisson - midway between Béziers and Faugères
Colour/Style Dry red - medium-bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 70% Mourvedre, 30% Syrah. 
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Red and white meats seasoned with herbs, pasta dishes
Next day
Best on day 1, but still good on day 2
Drink Now, or over the next 2 or 3 years
Quite a deep, dark but limpid carmine colour, with a narrow rim. The nose belies the colour, with it's wonderfully expressive aromas of raspberry and cherry, brioche and sous-bois, with underlying notes of garrigue herbs and dry-fried curry spices. The palate is perhaps even more expressive - initially light and ethereal, but quickly followed by waves of concentrated fresh summer fruits, white pepper and oregano. Mouth-wateringly delicious, with a real cherry skin bite and mineral depth, countered by a hint of creaminess, firm, tea-like tannins and a core of orange/lemon acidity. It really is a beautifully elegant, pure and finely structured wine. Wonderful!
 

Price:  £10.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Mas Coutelou La Vigne Haute 2013 Vin de France
Mas Cotelou La Vigne Haute 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Puimisson - midway between Béziers and Faugères
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 100% Syrah. 
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Red and white meats, pasta dishes
Next day
Still very good
Drink Now, or over the next 5 or so years
Rightly or wrongly, I tend to compare every Syrah that comes my way to the benchmark wines of the northern Rhône. And, whilst undeniably Languedoc in origin and style, this one compares very favourably, with its elegant red fruit and savoury/saline aromas and flavours, along with hints of roasted meat, polished leather and a veritable pot pourri of aromatic herbs and spices. In time, little notes of violet and honeysuckle begin to emerge, making for a truly alluring and elegant nose. At a mere 13 percent abv, the grapes for this wine were evidently harvested relatively early, thus retaining all of those lovely fresh fruit and floral aromas and flavours and mouth watering acidity. There's plenty of colour - and a healthy dose of tannin to match - but this only serves to heighten the sheer vibrancy and youthful vigour of this wine. As ever with Jeff Coutelou's wines (and despite the zero added sulphur) I suspect this can only get better with a few years' ageing. Then again, this is yet another of his wines that are almost too good not to drink young!
 

Price:  £13.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Mas Coutelou Classe 2013 Vin de France
Mas Coutelou Classe 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Puimisson - midway between Béziers and Faugères
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full-bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 80% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 5% Grenache 
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Red meats, duck, herby sausages, pasta with rich sauce
Next day
Even better on day 2
Drink Now, or over the next 5+ years
This is a gorgeous bright, semi-translucent carmine red colour. And what a wonderful nose too - a veritable bucket-load of soused brambles and raspberries, old leather and spice, with hints of flowers and even white fruits, autumnal forest floor, herbs de Provence and a refreshing whiff of volatile acidity - it really is truly vibrant and full of life! Wave upon wave of succulent, mouth-watering, sweet-sour red cherry and bramble fruit flavours coat the mouth, with a sprinkle of white pepper and spice adding a savoury note, all of which is wrapped around a core of gently rustic, grippy tannins and lip-smacking soft citrus and cherry skin acidity, which carries all the way to an impressively long finish. And for those who cn't finish the bottle on day 1, this just gets better and better with air - after 24 hours, the tannins are softer, the fruit gains even more weight and elegance and everything comes together in a most glorius way. A simply delicious, life-affirming wine, which should put a smile on the grumpiest of faces!
 

Price:  £16.90 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Mas Coutelou L'Oublié NV Vin de France
Ma Coutelou l'Oublié NV
Vintage
NV - a blend of several vintages from 2001 to 2013

Region Puimisson - midway between Béziers and Faugères
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged several years in old demi-muids
Grapes Carignan and Syrah 
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Red meats, duck, casseroles, risotto
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
A quirky "solera" blend of Carignan from the 2001, 2007 and 2010 vintages, plus Syrah from the 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 vintages. When first opened, it smells really fresh and full of fruit, but with an unmistakably cheesy - and undeniably attractive - whiff of maturity. A day or even 2 days later and that cheesiness disappears, and the wine is even fresher, more perfumed and more alluring than when first opened. Complex notes of old leather, curry spices, forest floor and fine eau de vie are married to fresh bramble and cherry aromas and flavours, and perhaps a touch of licorice. The tannins are nicely chewy and robust and the acidity is - surprise, surprise - mouth-watering and tangy. The overall effect is a full-bodied, concentrated, yet really elegant wine, which will age nicely for a good few years, although again, there is no need whatsoever to wait. A brilliantly quirky and really delicious wine!
 

Price:  £19.99 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Mas Coutelou Copains 2013 Vin de France
Mas Coutelou Copains 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Puimisson - midway between Béziers and Faugères
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full-bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 75% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, 5% Grenache 
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Beef, lamb, feathered game
Next day
Best on day 1, but still good on day 2
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
Another deceptively deeply-coloured wine. As with the other red cuvées, there is a purity and a vibrant freshness that is simply a joy to behold. Plummy, brambly fruit aromas mingle with notes of freshly-baked bread and a pot-pourri of herbs, spices and damp undergrowth. A gentle savouy/meatiness is offset by a lick of soft citrus, with notes of fine eau de vie and smoking incense adding further layers of complexity. The palate offers intense yet remarkably fresh and vibrant red fruit flavours, with notes of cherry, redcurrant and something even more tangy, like rhubarb or pomegranite. It is gently savoury, though less meaty than the nose would suggest. A wine of restrained power and elegance, with chunky but ripe tannins, fabulous acidity and a long, juicy, peppery finish. Utterly delicious!
 

Price:  £24.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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L'Argentier Vieilles Vignes de Cinsault 2011 IGP Pays d'Hérault
l'Argentier Cinsault 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Sommières, in western Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red, medium bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 100% Cinsault
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Grilled meats, roasted vegetables, cold cuts
Next day
Still good, but not quite as fresh as on day 1
Drink Over the next 3 to 5 years
This is pure Cinsault from a vineyard planted in 1969 (so 45 years old). As can be expected with Cinsault, it is the lightest of this grower's reds - both in colour and body - but nevertheless delicious. It offers aromas of red berry fruits laced with spices and herbs, with subtle hints of sous bois and freshly baked brioche. It is beautifully soft and approachable, full of raspberry and redcurrant fruits, with soft tannins and a gently creamy texture and flavour. In fact it is really rather light and ethereal, in an almost Burgundian sort of way, but with a softer feel. There's plenty of acidity though, and just the right amount of tannic grip. Cinsault is (along with Carignan) traditionally one of the "black sheep" grapes of the Languedoc family, but I have enough evidence to suggest that, from old vines and a sympathetic hand in the winery, it can make fabulous wine - and this is one of them. Lovely stuff!
 

Price:  £11.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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L'Argentier Vieilles Vignes de Carignan 2011 IGP Pays d'Hérault
L'Argentier Carignan 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Sommières, in western Languedoc
Colour/Style Dry red, full bodied, aged in vat
Grapes 100% Carignan
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.5%
Food Roasted red meats, hearty stews, herby sausages
Next day
Even better - opens out nicely after a night in the decanter
Drink Over the next 5 to 8 years
Pure Carignan from a vineyard planted in 1935 (80 years old). A reassuringly bright colour, with rich fruitcake aromas and flavours, a touch of spice and a whiff of eau de vie. An initial slight tarriness on the nose dissipates to reveal a rather elegant wine, with a silky-smooth palate, soft, ripe tannins and a spicy warmth. It really begins to show its true colours after 24 hours in the decanter - still with a gentle warmth, beautifully balanced, gently spicy and with a tremendous core of crystallised red fruit flavours, flowers, herbs and soft spices, tea-like tannins and a rasp of juicy, orange infused acidity. This is a wine that (with the benefit of a day's air) could hardly fail to appeal to the most jaded palate. A truly delicious and elegant expression of my very favourite grape variety. An absolute cracker!
 

Price:  £14.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de La Garance Les Armieres 2006 Vin de Pays de l'Hérault
Domaine de La Garance Les Armieres 2006
Vintage
2006
Region Caux, a few km north-west of Pézenas
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied
Grapes 90% Carignan and 10% Syrah, aged for 2 years in barrel
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Roasted red meats, game, cheeses.
Next day
Still fresh, though at its best on day one
Drink Now, or over the next 10+ years
Mostly Carignan, with a little Syrah, and this one has quite a lot of sediment. But I don't let a little sediment worry me, for it is what the wine tastes and smells like that is important - and my word this one is good! The nose offers-up myriad aromas of red and black fruits, woodsmoke, pepper, exotic spices, leather and garrigue herbs. There is also a strong hint of grilled meat and - at the other end of the spectrum - even some delicate floral notes. A huge hit of bramble and redcurrant fruit washes over the palate, accompanied by the most wonderful citrus-tinged acidity and all kinds of other flavours and textures, which coat the mouth and linger for an age. This really is a wine which fills the senses and keeps you coming back for more. There is plenty of grip, but the sheer pleasure offered by the intense, concentrated, yet gloriously succulent sweet-and-sour fruit is such that you almost don't notice the tannin. Every mouthful leaves you salivating and simply craving for more. It is utterly delicious, and yet another example of why I think Carignan - in the right winemaker's hands - is the jewel in the Languedoc's crown. A stunning wine.
 

Price:  £18.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de La Garance Les Armieres 2007 Vin de Pays de l'Hérault
Domaine de La Garance Les Armieres 2007
Vintage
2007
Region Caux, a few km north-west of Pézenas
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied
Grapes 90% Carignan and 10% Syrah, aged for 2 years in barrel
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Roasted red meats, game, cheeses.
Next day
Still fresh, though at its best on day one
Drink Now, or over the next 10+ years
This is almost on a par with the amazing 2006 - perhaps even its equal. Once again, mostly Carignan, with a little Syrah, deep blood red in colour, almost opaque, with a tiny rim. As with the 2006, the nose is a riot of red and black fruits, smoke, white pepper, exotic spices, leather and herbs, with hints of sandalwood and forest floor. The palate has all of those things going for it, and more - concentrated but not overly rich, a complex array of red and black fruits, with healthy tannins and a core of juicy, citrus and cranberry-tinged acidity. The finish is satisfyingly dry and tangy, with lingering flavours of forest fruits, cedar and peppery spice. Although it may be a few years short of its absolute peak, it is nevertheless rather delicious already. Another wonderful, world-class Carignan.
 

Price:  £17.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Terre Inconnue Les Bruyeres 2013 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Les Bruyeres 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes 50% Carignan, 50% Grenache
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Rack of lamb, rib of beef or rich, hearty stews
Next day
Even better
Drink Over the next 10-15 years
Winemaker Robert Creus advised me to taste and assess this wine over 3 to 4 days, since (at the time of writing - February 2014) it is so young and very recently bottled. I can sort of see why it will take that long to show it's true colours, but I have to say I am loving it from the start! Yes, the tannins are chunky and robust and the acidity is relatively high, but it is absolutely chock full of fresh and pickled bramble and sour cherry fruit, damp earth aromas and flavours that it is hard to resist! Add to that some subtle hints of polished wood and spicy, herby notes, plus of course that utterly wonderful streak of volatile acidity that I love in Robert's wines, and it really is a wonderfully fresh, vibrant, expressive wine. After time in the glass, it also begins to develop some nice floral/violet aromas, which lend a touch of real elegance to the fruit, which is increasingly turns more red (rather than black) by the sip. For the money, this is an absolute bargain, whether you drink it now, or cellar it for 10 years. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £13.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Terre Inconnue Guilhem 2011 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Guilhem 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes A blend of Carignan, Grenache, Tempranillo and Merlot
Alcohol (a.b.v)
15.0%
Food Roasted or grilled red meats, wild mushroom risotto
Next day
Still really good
Drink Now, or over the next 10+ years
A vibrant, young ruby/purple colour. Despite the seemingly eclectic blend, the nose is classic Carignan - intense aromas of soused bramble and raspberry, fresh bread and aromatic herbs, with evocative sous-bois notes, like a funghi-filled autumn forest. The advertised 15% abv is in this case just a number, for it feels more like 13% - the palate is tremendously fresh and vibrant, with a combination of ripe red and black fruits, fine tannins and mouth-watering acidity making for a wine of real balance and not a little elegance. It's lightness of touch really is a very pleasant surprise, and whilst the finish is underpinned by a gentle warmth and spiciness, it remains fresh and juicy to the very end. A fine, complex and delicious wine, and yet another which demonstrates what old-vine Carignan is capable of, in the hands of a skilled vigneron. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £17.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Terre Inconnue Guilhem 2012 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Guilhem 2012
Vintage
2012

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes A blend of Grenache, Merlot, Carignan and Tempranillo
Alcohol (a.b.v)
15.0%
Food Roasted or grilled red meats, wild mushroom risotto
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 10+ years
An eclectic blend of old-vine Grenache, Merlot, Carignan and Tempranillo, and a big, brooding wine, with tremendous depth and complexity. The nose offers notes of black fruits steeped in eau de vie, leather, tapenade, roasted meat and coffee, not to mention huge wafts of garrigue herbs and burning incense. The palate offers all of this and more, with a combination of fresh and baked fruits and tertiary elements, backed up by robust tannins and a layer of fabulously juicy acidity that builds towards a long finish. Granted it is still very youthful, with a long (10 year - plus) future ahead of it, but it is already offering much pleasure. Brilliant wine! Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £17.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Terre Inconnue Leonie 2011 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Leonie 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes 100% old-vine Carignan
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Roasted or grilled red meats, wild mushroom risotto
Next day
Not yet tested
Drink Over the next 10-15 years
New vintage - tasting note to follow. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £21.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Terre Inconnue Los Abuelos 2010 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Los Abuelos 2010
Vintage
2010

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes 100% Grenache (100 year-old vines)
Alcohol (a.b.v)
15.0% (yeah, right!)
Food Feathered game, fillet steak, seared tuna, soft cheeses
Next day
Still really good
Drink Now, or over the next 10+ years
This wine is a complete enigma, and one that (were I to taste it blind) would have me all over the place. With notes of preserved/crystallised redcurrants and raspberries, polished old wood, garrigue herbs and leather, it does have some of the traits that you would expect from Grenache. Conversely, it has a lightness and freshness - both in terms of appearance and aromatically - that would put me somewhere much further north, perhaps even in Burgundy, with lifted notes of tea, violets and roses making for something really quite elegant and delicate. Which I suppose is not too fanciful, since I have occasionally heard Grenache (especially from very old vines) described as the "Pinot Noir of the Languedoc". And this wine illustrates the point almost to an extreme, for the palate is even more Pinot-like than any Grenache I have ever tasted, with redcurrant and red cherry flavours to the fore, a hint of strawberry sweetness lurking at the end. A core of fine but firm tannin and the most amazing rasp of cherry/citrus acidity carries the fruit all the way to a long, bitter-sweet and totally mouth-watering finish. As for the advertised 15% abv on the label..... well, I am flabbergasted, for it feels for all the world more like 13% or less. This wine might not be typically Languedoc - in fact, it is almost as far removed from the template as it is possible to get. Indeed, the style is not even typical for this estate. But if you have an open mind - and perhaps even a love of fine Burgundy - then you will love this! Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £29.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Terre Inconnue Los Abuelos 2011 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Los Abuelos 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes 100% Grenache (100 year-old vines)
Alcohol (a.b.v)
15.0%
Food Feathered game, fillet steak, seared tuna, soft cheeses
Next day
Not yet tested
Drink Over the next 10+ years
New vintage - tasting note to follow. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £29.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Terre Inconnue Sylvie 2011 Vin de France
Terre Inconnue Sylvie 2011
Vintage
2011

Region Saint-Sériès - midway between Nimes and Montpellier
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged in used oak barrels
Grapes 50% Syrah and 50% Sérine
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Roasted or grilled red meats, game, hard cheeses
Next day
Still really good
Drink Over the next 10-15 years
New vintage - tasting note to follow. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £32.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


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We deliver only to UK and Northern Ireland addresses. The minimum order value is £75 (plus the delivery charge). You may of course choose a mix of any wines in our range. Orders between £75 and £200: delivery charge is £7.50. Orders over £200: delivery is free! (If your order is over £200, please remember to change the delivery charge in checkout to £0.00). Please note: Delivery to non-mainland addresses (Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, etc.) is usually possible, but may not be on a next-working-day basis. It is also more expensive than delivery to mainland addresses, so will be charged at cost (for orders under £200) but with a small discount for orders over £200 - please call us for a quote.

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It is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 18. (Section 149 Licensing Act 2003).We reserve the right to seek proof of age. Leon Stolarski says "drink less, but drink better!" Please consume alcohol in moderation.