We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2017 > FRANCE: South & South West: Whites

Winner Details

France: South & South-West – White

2017 Gold: 5 Silver: 8 Bronze: 5 Commended: 11
2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 5 Bronze: 1 Commended: 7

On cold winter nights in the Languedoc, vignerons probably scare their children with stories of the dark days of the Sommelier Wine Awards 2013 and 2014 when the region’s whites managed not a single Gold medal. So this record haul of five was heartening indeed.

On the downside, quality in the region still varies wildly – our tasters had to do a lot of weeding out to get to the 18 medals that we see here. But the plus is that this is one of the few areas on the planet still able to make our panel’s eyebrows shoot northwards (for the right reasons) when they see the price. All but four of our medal winners were under £10, and more than half were under £8, which is astonishing these days.

Generally, our tasters preferred the richer wines (Viognier, in particular, seems to have liked the last two vintages) and were less keen on the Picpouls.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘There was a wide range of flavours, bouquets and prices here. Up to £10 they can be sold as “sommelier’s pick” wines or by the glass; after that it’s more for connoisseurs.’ Alessandro de Angelis, Jamavar

‘The wines that we all enjoyed tended to be fruit-forward… and that came out even at the lower prices. The ones we didn’t like tended to be trying too hard, or were a bit clumsy or hot.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘Even on a blind tasting we knew where we were with these wines. Oily, creamy and rich – these are wines that are really easy to pair with food, without paying big money.’ Carlos Ferreira, The Sign of the Don

‘With white wines from this region you’re hoping for fresh citrus fruit, some more complex baked apple notes and a bit of viscosity on the palate.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘I struggle a bit with Viognier, but there are people who really get behind this. There’s definitely a market for them.’ J Casey Evans, St Swithins Wine Shippers

‘Ours was a pretty bad flight. Some bitterness… a lot were just flavoured water.’ Harry Crowther, M Wine Store

Award winners

Found 29 wines

France: South & South-West, White

Barton & Guestier, Réserve, Viognier, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

A great wine at a great price, and undoubtedly worthy of Gold. ‘Light peachy aromas with some floral and peachy spice notes on the palate, bits of violet popping up and added texture and tannin from skin contact,’ said team leader Tom Forrest. ‘Refreshing lemon and light acacia notes – a great wine for the price,’ added J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW thought this a great match for soft cheeses.

£4.20 Kingsland

Jeanjean, Mas Neuf, Muscat Sec, Pays d'Oc 2016, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

Mike Best of the WSET was unequivocal in his praise of this Gold winner: ‘Totally delicious. Brilliant apricot character, fresh acidity, vibrant and approachable with good length.’ ‘Floral spice and stone fruit flavours, great value,’ added team leader Laura Rhys MS. Team leader Martin Lam found it to have a typical ‘Muscat nose, then bone dry and saline on the palate. Delicious.’

£6.15 Molson Coors

Lorgeril, Les Coteaux, Chardonnay, Pays d'Oc 2014, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

Led to the Gold podium for its fascinating blend of fruit, herbs and spice, this had ‘lemon blossom aromas with notes of ginger and a touch of hay’, according to an impressed Alessandro de Angelis of Jamavar, who continued: ‘The palate is just as complex and pleasing as the nose, with a crispy fresh and lively finish.’ Vinoteca’s Charlie Young praised this for being ‘rich and quite peppery, with melon and pear, and an elegant, fresh finish. Give me some white fish or vitello tonnato!’

£7.73 Majestic Commercial

Domaine Laguilhon, Jurançon Sec 2015, South West France, France

Gold medal winner

Delicate and gentle, but with no shortage of fruit, judges elevated this to Gold. ‘Subtle nose of elderflower, elegant and refreshing on the palate with citrus notes and soft oak spice,’ began Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot, while Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club enjoyed its ‘fresh Cox apple with gentle fennel notes, citrus and white spices on the palate and elegance and freshness on the finish’.

£9.19 Liberty Wines

Château de Campuget, 1753, Viognier, Pays du Gard 2016, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister was identified as ‘an easy-drinking everyday wine’, by Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski, who continued: ‘Quite elegant, round with fresh apricot and peach, white pepper and ginger notes, then pineapple and camomile tea on the palate. Good for a hot day by the seaside.’ Thinking along similar lines, J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers found ‘nice salinity – a well-balanced and concentrated wine, great for brie and apple with grilled chicken’.

£10.46 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

GCF Exclusif, Domaine de la Baume, Viognier, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates enjoyed this wine’s ‘bright and fruity nose, showing floral character’, also highlighting its ‘rich, full mouthfeel, fresh apricot and toasted pineapple fruit with ginger spice notes and good length’.

£6.85 Carlsberg UK

Boutinot, Cuveé Jean-Paul, Gascogne Blanc de Blancs Demi-Sec, Côtes de Gascogne 2015, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘Baked apricot, citrus and honey aromas, some viscosity on the palate with hints of sweetness, a nice wine,’ began James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, while Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club highlighted ‘sweet white plums and light florals, apple and sweet asparagus notes with a beautiful fresh finish’.

£6.53 Boutinot

Domaine Les Ronces, Picpoul de Pinet 2015, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Popular with all our tasting panel members, this showed ‘beautiful structure, floral and dry character with golden apple fruit and a touch of residual sugar’, according to Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted, and ‘would be well suited to Asian cuisine for a gastropub’. ‘Halva on the nose with herbal notes and chalk, the palate is great, fresh with depth and length,’ agreed team leader Angela Reddin.

£8.02 Bibendum

Lorgeril, Les Terrasses, Chardonnay/Viognier, Pays d'Oc 2016, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Street XO’s Raphael Thierry enjoyed this ‘classic style’, with its ‘peach and apricot fruit, good texture and lovely fresh finish’, while Alessandro de Angelis of Jamavar noted its ‘sunny and fresh nose, citrus notes and exotic finish’.

£5.80 Majestic Commercial

Domaine Jones, Grenache Gris, Côtes Catalanes 2014, Roussillon, France

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS found this ‘bright and interesting, with rich, ripe fruit on the nose, a tropical and stone fruit palate with candied citrus notes and well-integrated oak’, while WSET’s Mike Best found ‘lots of sunshine in this glass, with nutty, full-bodied, creamy and floral character’.

£12.00 Inverarity Morton

Château Lagrézette, Merveille, Gilbert Rocamadour, Côtes du Lot Blanc 2015, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot found ‘a complex nose of citrus and honeysuckle, with tropical notes and oak spice on the palate’, while Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club noted ‘apple and gentle basil notes on the nose, and hints of mushroom complexity on the palate’.

£26.42 Top Selection Ltd

La Croix Gratiot, Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc 2016, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted found ‘dusty pear aromas, great oily texture with peachy fruit on the palate, medium body and golden apple notes on the finish’, while team leader Angela Reddin highlighted ‘dried pineapple with a spiced apple kick, and a good palate with some length’.

£8.09 Liberty Wines

Gérard Bertrand, Cháteau l'Hospitalet, La Réserve Blanc, Coteaux du Languedoc, La Clape 2015, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

A ‘very well balanced wine’ for The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, who enjoyed its ‘fresh acidity and alcohol, crispy green and yellow apple fruit with good minerals and a beautiful finish’, while WSET’s Mike Best noted its ‘creamy, high quality oak, subtle but persistent concentration that will pair well with richer dishes’.

£17.16 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Domaine de Vedilhan, Serica, Viognier, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

Consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates found ‘fairly heavy oak on the nose, but lovely balance and flavours on the palate with good typicity and an oily finish’, with Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski noting ‘pear and apricot, and a lot of rosemary and thyme’.

£6.25 Boutinot

Producteurs Plaimont, Domaine de Cassaigne, Le Labyrinthe, Côtes de Gascogne Blanc 2015, South West France, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Waxy richness on the nose, and a nicely zesty and refreshing palate,’ began team leader Martin Lam, with Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club also finding ‘lemon flowers, light herbal chive notes and fresh green apple’.

£6.89 Bibendum

Cazes, Le Canon du Maréchal, Muscat/Viognier, Côtes Catalanes 2016, Roussillon, France

Bronze medal winner

Street XO’s Raphael Thierry enjoyed its ‘tropical nose with ripe peach and apricot, a fragrant and very aromatic style with good texture and freshness, but a pleasant touch of balancing bitterness on the finish’.

£8.19 Liberty Wines

Baron de Badassière, Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc 2016, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Floral, peachy character, a refreshing and commercial style,’ said Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted, with team leader Angela Reddin noting: ‘Quince and red apple on a clean palate, flavoursome, balanced and good length.’

£7.14 Liberty Wines

Monrouby, Grenache Blanc, Côtes de Thau 2016, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

While Giuseppe Longobardi of The 3A Pub Company found plenty of flavour, with its ‘apricot, peach, honey, yellow flowers and melon, with marzipan and a touch of bitterness on the finish’, The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira felt it was ‘a nice match with fish, with good fresh acidity and a slight vegetal note’.

£6.19 Liberty Wines

Badet Clément, La Cour des Dames, Pinot Gris, Pays d'Oc 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£5.01 Molson Coors

Le Champ des Etoiles, Chardonnay, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Cave de Pomerols, Mas Puech, Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux du Languedoc 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£7.19 Bibendum

Domaine Cauhapé, Chants des Vignes, Jurançon Sec 2015, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

£8.95 Bibendum

Domaine St-Lannes, Signature, Côtes de Gascogne 2016, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

£8.00 Liberty Wines

Producteurs Plaimont, Les Trois Chevaliers, St Mont Blanc 2014, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

£7.67 Bibendum

Ormarine, Plo de l'Isabelle, Picpoul de Pinet 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Domaine Jones, Les Perles, Macabeu 2014, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£16.42 Domaine Jones

Baron de Badassière, Viognier, Pays d'Oc 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£6.64 Liberty Wines

Laroche, Mas La Chevalière, L, Chardonnay 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£6.98 ADVINI

Laroche, Mas La Chevalière, L, Sauvignon 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£6.98 ADVINI

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.