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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > FRANCE: South & South-West: Reds

Winner Details

France: South & South-West – Reds

2015: Gold 4 Silver 8 Bronze 6 Commended 6
2014: Gold 7 Silver 11 Bronze 10 Commended 7

No surprise that 2015’s Southern French reds couldn’t repeat last year’s exceptional haul of medals, but compared with every year apart from 2014, this was still an impressive performance.

While the region couldn’t match last year’s astonishing ‘three Golds under six quid’ trick, the pricing here was still good, and our team found much to like at all levels, with taster after taster pointing out that these wines – round, generous and with a bit of hearty ‘grunt’ – play well with the Great British Public. The slight easing off on the oak over the past few years has allowed the sunny southern fruit to shine

From the Tasting Teams

‘Languedoc has to reflect the garrigue – the soil and herbs. One of the plus points of the Languedoc is the pricing – in general it’s quite affordable.’ Gustavo Medina, Rex Whistler Restaurant

‘As soon as we got up to £10 they were really good. All black fruits and warming sensations.’
Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Gilbert Scott

‘We sell a lot of these. There were good round, clean flavours. Customers like these sort of wines, and the quality for the price is good.’ Carlos Ferreira, New Street Wine Shop

‘There’s enough value for money here to do some nice wines by the glass at the front of the list.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘For me, this is a bit of a hand-sell, but with a really appealing price-point and value. People often struggle to stray away from established regions – for instance. But if you tell them about it, they’re often willing to give it a go.’ Benjamin Chan, Hakkasan Mayfair

‘In these minor regions you need to deliver value for money. People are more willing to spend £50 or £100 on Bordeaux than on South-Western France.’
Luigi Buonanno, Bianco4

Award winners

Found 24 wines

France: South & South-West, Red

Gérard Bertrand, L'Hospitalet, La Réserve Rouge, Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape 2013, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

With its silky texture and firm, fresh fruit, this was a worthy Gold Lister. ‘Green pepper and soy sauce, cherry liqueur aromas, leading to a warming palate and good length, supported by dry, old wood tannins,’ said Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth, with team leader Angela Reddin agreeing: ‘Lovely clove note from the oak lends spice to the sweet fruit, well structured and very good.’ Pair with pork chop with rosemary or Provençal tomates with black olives, suggested Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair.

£13.85 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château de Chambert, Grand Vin, Cahors 2009, South-West France, France

Gold medal winner

A serious Malbec from this biodynamic vineyard. ‘Ripe, structured fruit with a touch of spice and vanilla. Clean and well made, with good fruit/acid balance,’ said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, while Mike Best of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust added: ‘Impressively mouth-filling, balanced fruit and tannin, still youthful but dense and full of blackberry, damson, herbs, spice and tar notes. Needs decanting.' Luigi Buonanno of Bianco43 noted chocolate and liquorice notes, and suggested pork belly as the best match.

£19.75 Liberty Wines

GCF Exclusif, Domaine de la Baume, Merlot, Pays d'Oc 2014, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

With poise, richness and a herbaceous note adding complexity at this price, it was no wonder Domaine de la Baume scored Gold. ‘Pleasing plummy aromas, this is well balanced and versatile,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with Nigel Sutcliffe of Truffle Hunting adding: ‘Concentrated purple colour, ripe fruit and full tannin, but fresh in character.’ 'Fantastic wine by the glass – a steakhouse favourite!,' said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group.

£6.85 Matthew Clark, Wine Importers

Vieux Parc, La Sélection, Corbières 2011, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

An elegant balance between its herbaceous notes and the spicy dark fruit took Vieux Parc to the top. ‘Floral notes and nice freshness, with tannic grip on the palate, great red and black fruit notes,’ said Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant, with Lorenzo Abussi of Orrery noting: 'Intense note of vanilla, dark chocolate, dried rose and violet. Full and powerful. Match with terrine de foie gras, soups and cows' milk cheeses.'

£10.66 Enotria&Coe

Gérard Bertrand, Château La Sauvageonne, Terrasses du Larzac, Coteaux du Languedoc 2012, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘A main course red for roasted meats, particularly a Sunday roast,’ said Sarah Riddle of Sketch, adding: ‘Toasty, meaty style with notes of chocolate, spices and herbs with forest fruits.’ ‘Juicy red and black fruits with soft, cedary spice and grippy tannins, but freshness too,’ added team leader Tom Forrest.

£13.85 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château du Caillau, Malbec, Cahors 2012, South-West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘Crunchy red berry fruit, good spice and complexity, with intriguing aromatics,’ began the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Mike Best, continuing: ‘Fresh on the palate, balanced tannin and acidity. Delicious, and would be amazing with fatty food like duck or pork shoulder.’

£8.60 Bibendum

Château de Chambert, Malbec, Cahors 2009, South-West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘Good fruit integration balanced by ripe tannins and acidity,’ began consultant sommelier Maria Rodriguez, continuing: ‘Perfect food companion, with red fruit and floral tones, some minerality and a long, fruity aftertaste on a perfect, dry finish.’ ‘Sweet blueberry fruit, hearty and lush, with violets and damson, loads of oak but in balance,’ agreed team leader Simon Woods.

£12.75 Liberty Wines

Château Haut-Monplaisir, Tradition, Malbec, Cahors 2012, South-West France, France

Silver medal winner

Team leader Simon Woods commented: ‘Big, ripe, solid, sweet, almost nutty fruit, rounded and beefy, lively with good intensity. Tannins are there but tamed.’ ‘Spicy and fresh, well-made wine at great value,’ added James Hocking of The Vineyard Group.

£8.72 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Château Dalmeran, Les-Baux-de-Provence 2007, Provence, France

Silver medal winner

‘Good, lush, clean black fruits on the nose, with great balance between spice and tannin on the palate,’ began Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop, with an impressed Sarah Riddle of Sketch adding: ‘Tobacco box, fruit on the nose, perfumed and integrated tannins, with cherry and red apple aftertones. Wonderful value for money.’

£15.21 The Flying Corkscrew

Boutinot, Pierre Fine Grenat, Vieilles Vignes, Grenache Noir, Pays d'Oc 2012, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest found this example ‘nice and juicy’, highlighting: ‘Perfumed nose of violets and black fruits, very soft black fruits on the palate, with some notes of drying spices.’ ‘Easy fruit style with a quick flash of liquorice on the palate,’ added Sarah Riddle of Sketch.

£5.90 Boutinot

Prieuré St Jean de Bébian, Coteaux du Languedoc 2009, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant style, with floral notes of violets and rose petal followed by ripe blue and red fruits; nice length and some liquorice and cedar wood notes on a peppery finish,’ noted team leader Tom Forrest, with Sarah Riddle of Sketch adding: ‘There’s a market for it on a list, it’s versatile and sellable.’

£21.00 The Flying Corkscrew

Prieuré St Jean de Bébian, La Chapelle de Bébian, Coteaux du Languedoc 2011, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘A very inviting nose of red fruit, good freshness on the palate, with a touch of liquorice, fresh acidity and a warm finish,’ said Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Gilbert Scott. ‘Complex red with great balance and spicy black fruits,’ added Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop.

£11.50 The Flying Corkscrew

Domaine La Croix Belle, Syrah, Côtes de Thongue 2013, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Ready to drink now, with complex notes of cassis, cooking spices and earthiness. Great structure,’ said Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel. Team leader Angela Reddin said: ‘Pretty wine, soft and juicy berries with great acid structure, and appealingly ripe tannins.’

£7.95 Bibendum

Cazes, Ego, Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2012, Roussillon, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Very appealing aromas, with juicy, tangy cherry and plum character and lively acidity,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. ‘Rustic and savoury, with grainy tannin, liquorice and black fruit notes; long and full of southern spice and flavour,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£11.95 Liberty Wines

GCF Exclusif, Domaine de la Baume, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pays d'Oc 2014, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Mulberries and blackberries on the nose, nice ripe fruit weight on the palate, with good body, luscious fruit and nice soft tannins. Good length,’ said team leader Angela Reddin.

£6.85 Matthew Clark, Wine Importers

La Célestière, Organic Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2013, Vaucluse, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Medium weight, with fine tannins, pleasant and crowd-pleasing style, comparable to a simple Bordeaux,’ said Nigel Sutcliffe of Truffle Hunting, while La Petite Maison’s Andrea Fasan noted: ‘Garrigue herbs and wild berries on the nose.’

£6.91 The Flying Corkscrew

Fabre Gasparets, Corbières-Boutenac 2010, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A step up in quality here,’ began Sarah Riddle of Sketch, continuing: ‘Deep purple colour, oaking is used, showing spiced chocolate and fruits, and a chewy red apple finish. Young and unapologetic.’

£10.50 Boutinot

Anne de Joyeuse, Original, Malbec 2013, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Blackcurrant, with earthy, toasted aromas; still needs time but will drink now with red meats,’ said Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel, with Alejandro Icart of Fera at Claridge’s adding: ‘Nice cherry fruit, soft tannins and good fresh acidity.’

£7.00 The Flying Corkscrew

Gérard Bertrand, Naturalys, Syrah 2013, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Château Bovila, Malbec, Cahors 2012, South-West France, France

Commended medal winner

£9.06 Enotria&Coe

Château Dalmeran, Les-Baux-de-Provence 2009, Provence, France

Commended medal winner

Prieuré St Jean de Bébian, l'Autre Versant, Vin de France 2010, Languedoc , France

Commended medal winner

Quintessence de Rimauresq, Cru Classé Rouge, Côtes de Provence 2007, Provence , France

Commended medal winner

£17.00 Boutinot

Domaine Berthoumieu, Cuvée Charles de Batz, Madiran 2010, South-West France, France

Commended medal winner

£10.50 Boutinot


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