Well this month it's more of a general pointer towards the Languedoc than any specific wine. We've just come back from two very pleasant, warm and sunny weeks in Mèze on the Thau Lagoon between Montpellier and Beziers, and of course, whilst there we took the opportunity to taste some wine in order to restock our very empty cellar!
So the Languedoc, think lots of sun, good meaty reds - we tasted Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. We've come away with a super well rounded 2009 Merlot from Domaine la Fadèze a small vineyard between Mèze and Marseillan (home of Noilly Prat) on the Lagoon. We had tasted some Merlot from a different winery about 20km further away a couple of days previously and this one was so different and so much smoother that there was no question of not buying - and at less than 5 Euro a bottle a complete bargain to boot! Here we came across two varieties we'd never tried before - Terret and Roussanne. Terret is a traditional variety from the Languedoc enjoying a renaissance there and was a refreshing light white - good as an aperitif - and if we'd not been so taken with the Merlot, we'd have bought some of that. The Roussanne is a variety grown a lot in the Rhone Valley and it too was interesting to try, but not as nice as the Terret.
The first Domaine we visited was La Baume between Pezenas and Beziers, ah - thought I, I know that name - convinced it was the same as a wine I buy locally - but when we got there I noticed that the logo was not the same - albeit similar and after chatting in my best French to the Vigneron, we discovered it was from the same area just not the exact same place. Bit suspect really given the similarity in name etc.... anyway so Domaine de La Baume was our first stop - there we tasted everything from Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon...... and were pleasantly surprised by a very fruity (yellow fruits/peaches/apricots) Viognier - which we bought - and also by their Syrah which was suitably peppery in a subtle way - (not in an in your face New World style). So needless to say we had some of that too!
Our final wine stop was the Beauvignac Cellars in Mèze itself. There we particularly wanted to try the Picpoul de Pinet which is another traditional variety of the area. The Lagoon de Thau is the largest Oyster producing area in France and the white wines they make are designed to go well with seafood - and the Picpoul fits that bill perfectly. Light, fruity and crisp - perfect in the sun and with a plate of Coquillage! We also tasted a blended wine they make - called Gemme - consisting of 50% Terret and 50% Vermentino - this was a VDP des Cotes de Thau so completely local to our holiday and another super fresh white wine - and that too has found its way into our cellar.
All in all a successful trip on the wine front and although we were disappointed with some of the other wines we tried - some Corbieres (which is usually a banker for us) and the fact we failed to find a Minervois - both wines of the region - we can wholeheartedly recommend Languedoc wine - both red and white.