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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > FRANCE: South & South-West: Reds

Winner Details

France: South & South-West, including Savoie - Red

2017 Gold: 4 Silver: 9 Bronze: 7 Commended: 11
2016 Gold: 6 Silver: 6 Bronze: 5 Commended: 8

Considering how many entries we get in this part of the competition, it’s amazing how often the same names keep picking up Gold. Or maybe it isn’t. Quality rises after all.

Either way, this was the third year on the trot that Gérard Bertrand has picked up a Gold (with three different wines); the second consecutive year for La Croix de St Jean, and the second Gold in three years for Domaine de la Baume. Congratulations to all!

With the exception of the latter, our top medals here were notably more expensive than for the whites, suggesting (perhaps oddly) that this region finds it harder to produce really good quaffable wine under the £10 price point. It shouldn’t, logically… but it does; fruit ripeness all too often tipping over into baked, drying flavours, tannins coarse and clumsy.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a real steal, can we draw your attention to the Barton & Guestier Grenache. Tasters in the first round raved about it, so we were surprised it only ended up with a Bronze. Worth a look for some of you…

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘In the Languedoc you can find all the complexity of the southern Rhône, but for £15 rather than £50. I use Languedoc reds instead of Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Cornas on pairing menus.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘For us at Hakkassan wines like these are a challenge; with those grippy tannins they are very difficult to match with our cuisine.’ Diana Rollan, Hakkassan Group

‘Very nice, especially for the price. People really enjoy them.’  Andrea Cotichella, Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

‘These wines had a very savoury character – I found a saltiness in most of them which is good for food.’ Gabriel Liotta, Hakkasan Hanway Place

‘The Malbecs here have a certain style that customers might not be expecting, they’re styles that customers need to be educated about.’ Scott Levy, Smith & Wollensky

 

‘I was pleased with some of the entry-level wines. They were good value and would be good for pub lists in particular.’ Yohann Pinol, Wiltons

Award winners

Found 32 wines

France: South & South-West, Red

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

Gold medal winner

A friendly, fruit-filled character propelled this straight to Gold. Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair enjoyed its ‘cherry and prune fruit complexity on the nose, lovely, approachable palate with lively tannin and good length’, while team leader Lionel Periner noted ‘red fruit and berries, smooth tannin and light body with a juicy finish’. Vinoteca’s Charlie Young identified ‘black fruit and black pepper, with good freshness, texture and spice – drink with anything barbecue’.

£6.85 Carlsberg UK

Château Lagrézette, Chevaliers du Château Lagrézette, Cahors 2015, South West France, France

Gold medal winner

This fruit-forward Gold winner was full of ‘red berries, toasty, fresh and fruity aromas’ for Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan, who also found ‘plenty of fruit, richer notes of black olive and earth, big tannins and fleshy black fruit on the finish’. ‘Structured, full-bodied wine, needs time,’ added team leader Laurent Richet MS, while Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London described this as ‘modern and well made, with tannins framed by sweet oak notes’.

£13.89 Top Selection Ltd

La Croix de St Jean, Lo Paire, Minervois 2013, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot enjoyed this Gold winner’s ‘lifted, opulent fruit, sweet liquorice spice and a good fresh line of acidity running through’, while Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel appreciated ‘spicy, sweet red fruit with firm, velvet tannins and an elegant, lingering finish’. James Hocking of The Vineyard Group noted its ‘deep, dark, dense fruit on the nose, with a core of earthy spice on the palate, which would go well with game or various dark meats’.

£16.04 Liberty Wines

Gérard Bertrand, Château La Sauvageonne, Grand Vin, Coteaux du Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac 2013, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

‘Rich dark-fruit aromas, leading to cherries on the palate, with velvety texture and soft tannin,’ began Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair in praise of this Gold winner, while team leader Lionel Periner noted ‘dark fruit, spices, coffee and toast notes on an elegant nose, and a dry and complex palate, well balanced and spicy with a full, long finish’. Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel liked ‘pronounced red and black fruit combined with sweet spices and black pepper, velvet tannins and a long, savoury finish’, making this perfect, he thought, for ‘lamb shoulder or venison’.

£19.34 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Abbotts & Delaunay, Boreas, Faugères 2015, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Quite developed on the nose, with some stewed red and black fruit notes,’ began Charles Ashby-Taylor of Dabbous, while Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair felt it had ‘velvety, rich soft tannins and good structure’. ‘Mint, dark fruit and cacao, berries and oak with floral hints,’ added team leader Lionel Periner.

£15.65 Matthew Clark

Château Coupe-Roses, La Bastide, Minervois 2015, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Charles Ashby-Taylor of Dabbous was impressed with its ‘earthy and natural style, with sour cherry and black raspberry on the nose, pleasantly green tannin background with more juicy cherry fruit’, while team leader Lionel Periner highlighted ‘berry fruit and classic Garrigue herbal notes’.

£8.14 Bibendum

Producteurs Plaimont, Château de Sabazan, St Mont Rouge 2012, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘Red fruits, perfumed rose notes and peppermint with smoke on the nose,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, who found ‘salty mineral, meaty characters, plum and black cherry fruit and high tannin’ on the palate. ‘Quite elegant with nice sour red fruit, good structure and balance,’ added Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky.

£14.58 Bibendum

Château Baulieu, Villa Baulieu, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rouge 2013, Provence, France

Silver medal winner

‘Cassis and bell pepper on the nose, and a palate full of black and white pepper character,’ said Charles Ashby-Taylor of Dabbous, adding that this wine will benefit from further cellaring or decanting to be drunk now. Team leader Lionel Periner found ‘red berry and floral notes, velvet tannins and a dry, spicy finish’.

£28.15 Liberty Wines

Château de Chambert, Grand Vin, Cahors 2012, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘A more Bordeaux style’, began team leader Laurent Richet MS, noting its ‘lovely leathery spices, cassis, cedar and slight green capsicum note’, while Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky enjoyed its ‘big, meaty character with underlying fruit, mineral hints and good concentration’.

£29.85 Liberty Wines

LGI-Wines, St Desir, Pinot Noir, Pays d'Oc 2016, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

A light, juicy, approachable red, which our judging panel found appealingly fruity with red cherry fruit, soft tannin support and easy-drinking freshness on the mid-palate.

£6.05 Majestic Commercial

Lorgeril, Les Pins, St-Chinian 2012, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot enjoyed its ‘wonderfully opulent nose, dark fruit medley and sandalwood, with fleshy opulence on a smooth palate’, and Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club noted ‘fresh raspberry fruit with light herbal aromas, jammy raspberry and cinnamon brûlée on the palate’.

£14.33 Majestic Commercial

Gérard Bertrand, Cigalus Rouge, Aude Hauterive 2014, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam found a ‘sappy, herbal, black olive nose, with a structured, perfumed, quite elegant palate’, and for Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia it was a ‘deep, brooding wine with structured dark fruit and soft, elegant wood spice notes’.

£22.16 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Château du Vieux Parc, La Sélection, Corbières 2014, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Very pleasant, ripe berry flavours, gourmand style that’s nicely balanced with a long finish,’ began Yohann Pinol of Wiltons, with Sushi Samba’s Maurizio Palomba highlighting ‘black olives and prune on the nose, with good intensity on the palate’.

£11.66 Enotria&Coe

Abbotts & Delaunay, Réserve, Côtes du Roussillon 2015, Roussillon, France

Bronze medal winner

Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair enjoyed its ‘beautiful nose of red berries and herbs, and a rich and soft palate with good length’, while team leader Lionel Periner noted ‘dark, cooked fruits, dry and complex palate with notes of cacao, juicy fruit and spice’.

£6.14 Molson Coors

Badet Clément, La Cour des Dames, Mourvèdre, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

Sushi Samba’s Maurizio Palomba noted its ‘sweet, spicy fruit character and full, weighty palate with ripe tannins and moreish acidity’, while Yohann Pinol of Wiltons also enjoyed its ‘good, fruity style and spicy balance’.

£5.01 Molson Coors

Abbotts & Delaunay, Domaine de la Métairie d'Alon, Solaire, Pinot Noir, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Red fruit nose, with fragrant notes of sour cherry and raspberry tart, light toasty oak touches on a rich palate with soft tannin and some darker tones,’ said Gaetano Giangaspero of Coya Mayfair. ‘Versatile character, but needs a little more time for the oak to integrate fully on the finish,’ added Charles Ashby-Taylor of Dabbous.

£17.11 Matthew Clark

Abbotts & Delaunay, Alto Stratus 2015, Vin de France, France

Bronze medal winner

Full of ‘delicate red fruit, good acidity and mineral balance with a salty character on the palate’, said Gabriel Liotta of Hakkasan Hanway Place, with team leader Jade Koch noting ‘bitter chocolate and blackcurrant notes, big and waxy style, could benefit from a little time’.

£15.65 Matthew Clark

GCF Exclusif, Entrecôte, Merlot/Cabernet, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Rich and ripe on the nose, followed by a toasty palate with silky tannins, well balanced and pleasant to drink,’ said Yohann Pinol of Wiltons.

£6.49 The Oxford Wine Company

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

Bronze medal winner

‘Crunchy red fruit, delicious juicy character and acidity, and extremely good value,’ said an impressed James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, while team leader Martin Lam found ‘lifted, bright fruit, fresh and simple style with a slightly dry finish’.

£4.20 Kingsland

Clos Troteligotte, K-lys, Malbec, Cahors 2012, South West France, France

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS admired its ‘lovely balance, with rich tannin structure and ripe fruit’, while Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky noted ‘redcurrants with hints of leather and perfumed notes, sharp sour cherry on the palate and bold tannins’.

£12.45 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Le Champ des Etoiles, Pinot Noir 2015, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

Clos Bagatelle, Sentiers de Bagatelle, Cuvée Donnadieu Rouge, St-Chinian 2013, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£9.13 Boutinot

Château Fabre Gasparets, Corbières-Boutenac 2013, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£11.54 Boutinot

Savoir-Faire d'Autrefois, Mourvèdre, Pays d'Oc 2013, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£6.39 Boutinot

Château Coupe-Roses, Les Plots, Minervois 2015, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£10.25 Bibendum

Domaine des Païssels, Le Banel, St-Chinian 2015, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£9.63 Bibendum

Mas des Capitelles, La Catiède, Faugères 2014, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£8.74 Bibendum

Producteurs Plaimont, Les Trois Chevaliers, St Mont Rouge 2012, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

£7.95 Bibendum

Cazes, Ego, Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2014, Roussillon, France

Commended medal winner

£12.70 Liberty Wines

Domaine Jones, Les Perles, Syrah 2014, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

£16.42 Domaine Jones

Château du Donjon, Grande Tradition, Minervois 2104, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£8.21 Enotria&Coe

Château du Donjon, La Galinière, Merlot 2015, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£7.69 Enotria&Coe

 

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