Southern France comes to London
Sud de France: The umbrella brand name for the sizeable Languedoc-Roussillon region bordering Spain, characterised by fertile plains, the rugged Pyrenees and miles of Mediterranean coastline. This region offers unrivalled diversity and value for money.
You can find out more about this French region this month at The Sud de France Festival taking place in London until 25 September, with various Wine and Food related events all over the capital. Have a look at which event is happening near you at festival-suddefrance.com
Here are some of our favourite Sud de France wines, reviewed by By Daniel Briggs, Assistant Manager of Majestic Wine Wimbledon:
Domaine Sainte Rose is run by a British couple who left high-flying careers in Blighty to pursue their dreams… and so far they’ve made a pretty good job of it! Inspired by the traditional styles of the Midi, their wines embrace new world techniques and have earned them a string of accolades and awards. Award-winning ‘Le Marin Blanc’ 2010, is a lively, refreshing blend of Rhône varietals – Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. Partially barrel-fermented, this floral wine with aromas of white rose petals and nectarines pairs beautifully with grilled fish.
Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2010, Gérard Bertrand, PGI Pays d’Oc
On meeting Gerard Bertrand in his winery, Chateau L’Hospitalet, he told me “the history of wine has already been written in Bordeaux (in 1855) and Burgundy (by the monks!), but we are writing ours on a clean page. We are writing history.” Gerard has set the bar high with a host of award-winning wines. Winning a Silver medal at the International Wine Challenge (IWC), his Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2010, is an expression of Viognier from a more southerly aspect with some tropical notes of pineapple and dried apricot yet still floral and elegant with honeysuckle aromas.
Having won a Bronze medal at the IWC, this is one of a host of wines from a prestigious producer who strives to make natural, simple wines, with minimalist intervention in the vineyards. This beautifully balanced, delicately-oaked Chardonnay has notes of white peach, citrus and honey with a slight creamy texture from the oak and a refreshing minerality. It has all the makings of a great white Burgundy at half the price.
This is a blend of classic Bordeaux varietals made using modern techniques. This rich wine is brimming with juicy red and blackcurrant fruit, with notes of pencil lead. It has a savoury nature and shows some restraint making it an ideal ticket for a barbeque when a wine of more elegance is desired. Awarded a Decanter Silver and IWC Bronze, expect excellent quality at an impressive price.