Savoury and satisfying are among the descriptors most commonly used by our judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards when describing the best red wines of the Languedoc in southern France.
Archetypal blended styles with appellation requirements that call for a minimum of two varieties, Languedoc’s AP wines can be complex, revealing a host of enticing aromas and flavours to delve into, particularly from the region’s top appellations and named sub-zones such as Minervois, La Clape or Corbières-Boutenac.
Scroll down to see a selection of top red wines from across the region
Languedoc’s increasing attention to small-production and high-quality wines has meant that exports of the region’s AP wines continue to grow, as do the tallies of top medals won at international wine competitions such as the Decanter World Wine Awards. The 2022 competition results saw five wines awarded Platinum medals (97 points) from various Languedoc appellations, as well as 13 Golds.
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre play a principal role in these blends, but appellation specifications, the addition of other varieties such as Carignan and Cinsault, and the choices made by the winemaker mean that these wines can range from refined and elegant reds to deep and rich.
‘We are always looking for harmony, equilibrium, balance and subtlety; wines which incarnate that particular regional style with panache and style’
– Andrew Jefford, DWWA Co-Chair
Below, explore the styles which the DWWA experts scored highest from 10 of Languedoc’s regional appellations – and there are many more to discover at awards.decanter.com
Riveting reds of the Languedoc
Château Pech-Latt, Mémoire d’Alaric 2020
A very elegant ripe cherry nose with sweet vanilla oak leads to a juicy, supple palate of perfectly ripened fruit and a satisfyingly long kirsch finish. Alcohol 15%
Château Ollieux Romanis, Atal Sia 2019
£19.50-£25.65 L’Art du Vin, North & South Wines, The Good Wine Shop, The Wine Society
Smoky and earthy with notes of spiced meats, tobacco, herbs and incense joining rich blackberry and chocolate. Some lovely rustic tannins and wellintegrated oak. Deep and rich, yet it shows finesse. Alc 14.5%
Mas Gabinèle, Inaccessible 2020
POA Hallgarten Wines
Beautiful whole-cluster brambly aromas with plenty of intensity. The palate is refined and elegant, with dark cherry, tobacco leaves and herbs. Still rather youthful, this will develop and improve over time. Alc 15%
Grés de Montpellier
Château Bas d’Aumelas, L’Egérie 2019
A deep, complex nose shows smoky blackcurrant, sweet vanilla oak and dark cacao. A mouthwatering palate follows, with dark peppery fruit, savoury nuances and an oaky richness. Alc 14.5%
Gérard Bertrand, Château l’Hospitalet Grand Vin 2020
£38-£46 Harrods, Hedonism, Hic, Ocado
Ripe cassis with perfumed cloves and freshly ground pepper. The full-bodied palate is rich with tannins and oak, offering baked fig, cooked cherry and soy. Has the substance and quality to age gracefully. Alc 15%
Château Capitoul, Maëlma 2018
Opens with blackberry compote and liquorice highlights. On the palate are olives, rosemary, tobacco and sweet spices. Huge and complex, but also spacious and airy, with distinct oak matched by deep fruit. Alc 14.5%
Domaine Cailhol Gautran, Villa Lucia 2019
A huge, inky extracted red with lots of oak and tannin texture. A dark brambly fruit nose is precise and well expressed, while the lush palate has silky fruits, spices, pepper, coffee and smoked tea. Very polished. Alc 14.5%
Château d’Agel, In Extremis 2020
Has a rich nose of classy vanilla oak and plenty of ripe, smoky fruit, with a touch of cloves in support….
Source : https://www.decanter.com/decanter-world-wine-awards/riveting-reds-of-the-languedoc-494220/