WSDC Event - Wines of Southern France Tasting

What: Wines of Southern France Tasting  
When: 12 Feb 15 ,18:30 -20:30
Where: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining SW1Y 5DB map
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A very happy New Year! We commence proceedings for 2015 with another of our ‘discovery’ series of tastings. So far we have discovered the extensive range of wines made around the Mediterranean, the delights of sweet and sticky wines, and the efforts of producers in countries where English is spoken. This tasting explores the south and south-west of France, wines with long histories and diverse flavours. We have six whites and six reds to enjoy, topped and tailed with a sparkler and a sweetie.

We welcome you with a glass of Crémant de Limoux Cuvée St-Laurent Antech 2011. This is a blend of chardonnay, chenin and mauzac – a grape local to the Aude valley in the foothills of the Pyrenees where sparkling wines have been made for half a millennium –supposedly a monk discovered the process by accident in 1531. 

The whites start with Sauvignon de l’Arjolle 2013, a fresh and fragrant wine made by Louis-Marie Teisserenc using Loire grapes planted in somewhat warmer Languedoc-Rousillon. Grown organically in Provence, Domaine Richeaume Tradition 2011 is a blend of vermentino and clairette and will be crisp and fruity. Languedoc Blanc, Domaine Félines Jourdan 2013 is a full-flavoured wine made from roussanne with a dash of picpoul (which means sharp-soft). Mas Bruguière Les Muriers 2012 is from Pic Saint-Loup north of Montpelier, but bears the appellation Coteaux du Languedoc. It is 80% marsanne and 20% roussanne giving herbs, flowers and apples. Les Perles de Jones Carignan Gris, Côtes Catalanes 2013 is made from an unusual grape variety and should show herby character, pear fruit, and some length. Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2013 is a delicious viognier-based wine from a famous estate planted by a Parisian glove-maker after he purchased a farmhouse to renovate in 1971.

Our reds are Domaine de Millet Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2013 from Gascony, recently recommended by Jancis Robinson MW for low-alcohol households. Chateau Milhau-Lacugue Cuvée Magali 2012 is a youthful blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah from Saint Chinian. Domaine Ferrer-Ribière Tradition 2010 from the Côtes du Roussillon apparently has a deep core of cassis and kirsch. From the south-west comes Madiran, Domaine Pichard 2008, a good vintage for that area promising balance and finesse. The main grape is tannat.

We now compare two examples from Bandol, a fishing village between Toulon and Marseilles in Provence noted for its clement climate. The first is Mas de la Rouvière 2010 made by the Bunan family, full-bodied with a palate of black fruit and spices. The second is Domaine Tempier 2011, rich and chocolaty. In 1936 Lucie Tempier married Lucien Peyraud, who campaigned for planting the mourvèdre grape, now the corner stone of all Bandol reds.

We finish with a Jurançon Mœlleux, Domaine Bellegarde 2012. This is a blend of Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng made by Pascal Labasse giving sweet pineapple fruit backed by fresh acidity. I hope this will provide a fitting end to our voyage of discovery.

Nigel Black

Dress Code: Smart casual

Guests: £32
Members: £29

Forthcoming events:
23rd March 2015 – Château Berliquet dinner at the Travellers Club

12th May 2015 – AGM and Burgundy dinner at the Savile Club

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