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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > FRANCE: South & South-West: Reds

Winner Details

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

2018 Gold 2        Silver 8                 Bronze 8             Commended 12
2017 Gold 4        Silver 9                 Bronze 7             Commended 11

The one thing you want from wines from this part of France is value for money. Yes, you want ripe fruit and a little Mediterranean exuberance as well, of course you do. But if it’s on a list at £70, who’s going to buy it?

It was a problem that our tasters wrestled with throughout the judging. The cheap wines were decent, rather than ‘must-list good’, while the good wines mostly didn’t come in at a price to make them an easy sell. It’s the sommelier’s equivalent of the chicken and the egg…

By way of breaking the infinite circle, we would like to offer special congratulations to Château Maris, for following up its white Gold with a red here as well.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I was really impressed by the character and warmth of the wines here – a nice range of prices and some really exceptional quality across those price points. They’re wines of a style, with that typical sunshine of southwest France really standing out.’ Piers Gibson-Birch, Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

‘It was a good balance between good value and top-shelf wines. Some you might struggle to sell at the full GP but still worth it – a challenge!’ Mattia Mazzi, Lutyens Bar & Restaurants

‘I didn’t get as excited as I hoped I would. There were some very heavy bottles – I hoped we’d gotten over that by now. Even at under £8 – it just seems a bit silly.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘Low quality at the low price levels. In the middle-to-high price bracket they were more integrated with more complexity.’ Gabriele Galuppo, Theo Randall at the InterContinental

‘Some of the entry-level ones were big and extracted but there was a bit more balance once we were over £10.’ Yohann Pinol, Wiltons

Award winners

Found 30 wines

France: South & South-West, Red

Château Maris, La Touge, Syrah/Grenache, Minervois La Livinière 2014, Languedoc, France

Gold medal winner

‘Wild and full of character’ was Hamish Anderson of Tate Catering’s appraisal of this intriguing Gold medallist, finding ‘mint and red fruits’ on the nose, and a palate that was ‘gravelly, with minerals, bacon and herbs’. ‘A well-structured wine with lovely ripe berry character and a long finish,’ thought Yohann Pinol of Wiltons, while The Connaught’s Aurel Istrate added praise for this ‘complex wine with some well-structured oak’.

£13.74 Bibendum

Domaine Lafage, Bastide Sobirana, Rouge 2015, Roussillon, France

Gold medal winner

An inevitable Gold to hear our judges speak of it, with Mediterroenean – Wines of the Mediterranean’s Leonie Loudon enamoured with its ‘pure, vivid nose with blackberry and plum, and a very attractive and juicy palate that’s all about the fruit, cut by some spice and dried herbs’. Team leader Angela Reddin was impressed by ‘smoky hints and herbal lift with good length’, while The Don’s Carlos Ferreira very much enjoyed its ‘black fruits and white pepper on an elegant palate that’s fruity and juicy with very well-balanced tannins’.

£9.35 Matthew Clark

Château Maris, Les Anciens, Carignan, Minervois La Livinière 2014, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Elegant, structured and balanced’ was Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurant’s first impression of this Carignan, with team leader Laurent Richet MS further describing a wine with ‘lovely structure and balance, with dark fruit, as well as some vanilla notes’.

£21.35 Bibendum

Gérard Bertrand, Château La Sauvageonne, Pica Broca, Terrasses du Larzac 2014, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘A fruit-driven wine balanced by some velvet tannins, and with a toasty note, too,’ summarised Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, with Aurel Istrate of The Connaught describing ‘pleasant red fruit, good oak and vanilla notes, and an excellent finish’.

£16.02 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Rigal, Le Vin Noir, Cahors 2015, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

‘A big, ambitious wine that’s packed with ripe bramble fruit – complex, and with a long finish,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with fellow team leader Laura Rhys MS describing it as ‘meaty and gamey, with dark fruits and lovely spice notes’.

£21.00 SH Jones

Domaine Condamine Bertrand, Pézenas 2016, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe black cherry fruit, as well as plums, and some grippy tannins,’ was Adam Michocki of Glasshouse’s description of this wine, with team leader Laurent Richet MS finding ‘good balance, with fruit and spices, and some chocolate notes, too’.

£12.90 De Burgh

Domaine of the Bee, Côtes Catalanes 2015, Roussillon, France

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely red bramble fruit with fresh acidity, cedar and spice on the finish,’ thought team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine found it to be a ‘smooth, complex and balanced wine, with good length, and good balance of tannin too’.

£16.00 Domaine of the Bee

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

Silver medal winner

‘An oaky, rich wine that’s fruity and juicy on the nose, leading to a rich and full-bodied palate with dark fruit, sweet spices and juicy tannins,’ thought Erik Simonics of La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons, adding: ‘A well-balanced wine, with a long finish.’

£16.10 Bibendum

Abbotts & Delauney, Boréas, Faugères 2013, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

This Languedoc red was ‘traditional in style, with ripe tannins and good acidity’ thought Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants, while team leader Laurent Richet MS described it as ‘a ripe, velvety wine, with chocolate, tobacco and prune notes’.

£16.83 Matthew Clark

Château Labastide-Haute, Cahors 2015, South West France, France

Silver medal winner

Dominique Raclin of Loire Vélo Nature felt this had ‘an excellent attack, with good length, and some minerality, too’, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW found ‘attractive black and red bramble fruit on the nose, which follows through on to the palate’.

£8.65 Matthew Clark

Gérard Bertrand, La Forge, Corbières-Boutenac 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

This was ‘charming, velvety and elegant’, according to Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants, while Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki found it to be a complex blend of ‘ripe black cherries, cassis and menthol, with ripe tannins and a long finish’. ‘A very scented and smoky wine’ that would be a good match for cassoulet, thought team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£45.34 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Rigal, Château Bovila, Cahors 2016, South West France, France

Bronze medal winner

‘Juicy and easy drinking,’ began Erik Simonics of La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons, going on to describe a wine that is ‘subtle and balanced’. Piers Gibson-Birch of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa enjoyed ‘bramble character with a pleasing richness, as well as balanced oak and acidity’.

£10.12 Enotria&Coe

Famille Helfrich, Mas Belles Eaux, Petit Verdot 2016, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

While this was ‘very young’, according to team leader Laurent Richet MS, it nevertheless had ‘lovely fruit, like red and black cherries, as well as cranberries, plums, and vanilla, too’. Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki described it as ‘a concentrated wine, with smooth, ripe tannins’.

£8.68 Carlsberg UK

Bonfils, Château l'Esparrou, Mas Grand, Côtes du Roussillon 2013, Roussillon, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A fun and fruity wine that nevertheless has some drying tannins,’ thought team leader Jade Koch, who described ‘plum and bramble fruit before a clean, refreshing finish that has some pepper notes, too’, while Yohann Pinol of Wiltons found ‘complex aromas of ripe fruit, leather and smoke, with a rich and well-balanced palate’.

£8.73 Barwell & Jones

Château du Donjon, Grande Tradition, Minervois 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A very complex nose, with redcurrants and ripe berries,’ began Yohann Pinol of Wiltons, continuing: ‘Very elegant on the palate, with silky tannins and all of the fruit we had on the nose, as well as good length.’

£8.66 Enotria&Coe

Abbotts & Delaunay, Alto Stratus, Carignan 2013, Vin de France, France

Bronze medal winner

‘A good example of Languedoc,’ began team leader Jade Koch, while Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental spoke of a nose that was ‘nice and complex, with some toasty notes’ and led to ‘a fruit-driven palate, with secondary and tertiary flavours’.

£16.83 Matthew Clark

Boutinot, Savoir-Faire d'Autrefois, Mourvèdre, Pays d'Oc 2015, Languedoc, France

Bronze medal winner

This Mourvèdre opened with ‘juicy black cherries and plums, according to Adam Michocki of Glasshouse, who described a palate that was ‘ripe, juicy and concentrated, with good structure – outstanding value!’ ‘A big wine for the price,’ summarised team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£6.48 Boutinot

Lionel Osmin, Domaine Berthoumieu, Charles de Batz, Madiran 2013, South West France, France

Bronze medal winner

Dominique Raclin of Loire Vélo Nature thought this had ‘character typical of southern France’, while Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine described it as having ‘good fruit, like redcurrants and blackberries, and powerful tannins that will soften with age’.

£11.85 Boutinot

Vignerons de la Vicomté, Le Farniente, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Domaine Sainte Rose, Les Derniers Cépages, Petit Verdot/Mourvèdre 2012, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£10.61 Bibendum

Premier Rendez-Vous, Malbec 2017, Languedoc-Rousillon, France

Commended medal winner

£7.66 Bibendum

LGI-Wines, King Rabbit, Merlot 2016, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

Famille Helfrich, Domaine de la Baume, Syrah 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£7.93 Carlsberg UK

Rigal, Château Chambert, Cahors 2012, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

£17.20 Liberty Wines

Château Lagrézette, Seigneur, Cahors 2016, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

Château Lagrézette, Chevaliers, Cahors 2016, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

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

Commended medal winner

£8.08 Enotria&Coe

Bruno Andreu, Elixir, Red 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£10.85 De Burgh

Bruno Andreu, Pure, Grenache 2016, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£16.70 De Burgh

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

Commended medal winner

£6.25 Molson Coors

 

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