Pays d’Oc – Highlights from the 2019 Ambassador Wines

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Each summer the Pays d’Oc organise a tasting to choose the wines that will be their ‘ambassadors’ for the coming year. I had a chance to taste them at The France Show at Olympia, and what follows are the highlights among the nineteen wines. Needless to say, they would not all have been my choice, but amongst them were some bottles that I would drink with great pleasure.

2017 Viognier, Les Vignerons du Sommiérois – 5.90€
Lightly peachy nose, with some elegant fruit on the palate, and a soft peachy finish. Peachy is my catch word for Viognier and this wine displayed some appealing varietal character, making for easy drinking.

2017 Domaine d’Aigues-Belles, Cuvée Premier Rolle – 16.90€
In other words, a pure Rolle, or Vermentino. With a little colour, and quite a delicate nose, with a touch of oak, but nothing too obvious. Quite a textured palate, with some depth and nicely mouth filling and understated.

2017 Rosé, Grenache Gris, Villa Blanche Calmel & Joseph – 9.00€
A blend of both Grenache Noir and Grenache Gris. A pretty orange pink colour. A delicate fresh nose, Nicely rounded fruit on the palate, with a little weight. Good balance of acidity and a soft elegant finish.

2016 Domaine de la Metairie d’Alon, Pinot Noir – 16.90€
I’ve enthused about this wine before on my blog, and am delighted to do so again. Medium depth of colour. Elegantly perfumed fruit on the nose, and on the palate some fresh red fruit, with ripe cherries and raspberries. Elegant weight and a balancing streak of tannin.

Domaine Gayda, Figure Libre, Cabernet Franc – 16€
The advantage of Cabernet Franc in the Languedoc is that it often ripens much better than in the Loire Valley. Quite a deep young colour. Some lovely fresh berry fruit on the nose, while the palate is ripe, opulent, with rounded succulent fruit, and a streak of balancing tannin on the finish. Fresh, juicy and delicious. The wine has spent nine months in barrel.

2016 Domaine les Yeuses, Syrah, les Epices – 7.00€
Good colour; firm peppery spice on both nose and palate, with some spicy blackcurrant gums – one of my catch words for recognising Syrah. Nicely rounded ripe fruit, with good depth.

2017 Domaines Paul Mas, Cuvée Paul Mas Estate Mourvèdre – 6.95€
Deep young colour; some spicy fruit and on the palate rounded, with ripe spice and a firm streak of tannin. Nicely balanced with a certain freshness on the finish. Six months barrel ageing.

You can read more from Rosemary George at her blog here.