amarchinthevines

Learning about wine, vines and vignerons whilst living in the Languedoc

Millésime Bio – salon

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2015-01-26 15.08.37

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The main salon of Millésime Bio took place in Montpellier from January 26 to 28th. It was a fun event with a huge range of winemakers. I had long lists of the I hoped to taste from but sadly didn’t get near completing it. I took the opportunity to try wines from outside the Languedoc Roussillon though I tasted many of those too. It was good to renew my love of Alsace and Burgundy, to remember why Champagne is very much the best sparkling wine and to enjoy delicious white wines and, especially, sweet wines from the Loire. I hadn’t expected Italy to provide some of my highlights but you will see that it did indeed, I must visit more Italian wines and the vineyards themselves!

A personal highlight was seeing Mas Gabriel win a Gold medal for Clos Des Lievres 2012, Peter and Deborah Core make lovely, rich, fruity wines and it is a range which gets better and better as their work on the land shows through increasingly. A new Grenache Gris white wine was a worthy addition. Congratulations.

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What follows is a list of producers I particularly enjoyed visiting. There were many other individual wines but they would make this post even longer. I heartily recommend these producers and if you get the chance try their wines.

Italy

Az Ag Le Carline (Venezia) I have to say that this was my favourite tasting of the whole event. I knew nothing about Daniele Piccinin’s Azienda beforehand other than reading a little in Isabelle Legeron’s book. Daniele was helpful, enthusiastic and is a top class winemaker.

Daniele explaining his terrific wines

Daniele explaining his terrific wines

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There were lots of wines on offer but the highlights for me were

  • Pinot Grigio, clear direct and flavoursome

  • Lison, a new grape to me and a lovely, refreshing but full white

  • Amicitia, Chardonnay aged for 6 months in barrel and a rich but clean wine,certainly a Burgundy rival, 2008 but still felt very young and expressive

  • Lison Pramaggiore, no sulphites and this was a full wine, lots of fruit with a clean, refreshing edge

  • Merlot, no sulphites. I am not particularly a fan of the grape but this was rich,, expressive red fruit and lovely to drink

  • Refosco, another new variety to me and I loved it. It carries fruit and rich flavours but with a classic Italian acidity to refresh

  • Cabernet Franc, now if there is a grape I find hard to like it is this. But this was lively, clean and full not the lean, green wines I am used to from CF. Aged 2 months in oak and then 2 years in barrel but felt freshness

  • Carline Rosso, a stunning wine. Cabernet, Merlot and Refosco, aged for 3 years in barrel but so clean, lively and beautifully balanced totally delicious

You had no reason to look worried Daniele, everything I wrote was complimentary

You had no reason to look worried Daniele, everything I wrote was complimentary

Cascina Zerbetta (Piemonte)

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  • Quattrocento Sauvignon Blanc was classic but there was a version which had been macerated on skins and had lovely apricotty aromas and flavours, lovely

  • Barbera del Monferrato 13 – rich classic barbera with dark fruits, lively acidity and very enjoyable fruit

  • Piangalardo 09 -Rich stewed dark fruits with refreshing acidity, felt like a very young wine. Excellent

Champagne Leclerc Briant – another good champagne range especially the vintage 06 clean and refreshing and the special cuvée Les Chèvres Pierreuses which was deep, biscuity and very fine

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Rhone

Montirius – some lovely wines made with a natural style

  • Cotes du Rhone La Muse Papilles in white and red

  • Minéral Vacqueyras Blanc (Bourboulenc 50%) and the Vacqueyras Garrigues

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Vincent Achard – I hadn’t expected Clairette De Die to figure amongst my favourites but these were lovely, refreshing and fruity sparkling wines especially

  • Bio Sûre which grew in flavour in the mouth and lasted long

  • P’tite Gaby a sulphite free version which had lots of fruity, floral pleasures and a great balance of sweetness and dry finish.

Austria

Sepp Moser – after the excellent Austrian wines tasted at offlines here was another this time from Kremstal. A very ripe Zweigelt Reserve 2011 which was all red fruits and refreshment. It was the whites which shone bright though

  • Grüner Veltliner von den Terrassen 13 – good, mineral and refreshing

  • Grüner Veltliner Gebling Erste Lage 13 – clean, direct and mineral

  • Grüner Veltliner Breiter Rain Erste Lage 12 – richer, oak aged and even drier

  • Grüner Veltliner Schnabel Erste Lage 12 – good, refreshing and long

  • Riesling Gebling Erste Lage 13 – Very clean, dry and mineral. Lovely.

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Languedoc

Grand Guilhem – some nice clean white and rosé wine but the reds stood out

  • Fitou 13 was rich and dark,needing time but very deep fruit

  • Angels 13 with its Carignan majority was deep and dark but red fruits were clear and enjoyable

  • Le Pointilliste is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Maccabeu which is aged in concrete eggs. Very complex and rich in flavours, hugely interesting

Deux Ânes (Corbières) A domaine situated near the sea and I am sure it is a coincidence but there is a refreshing, cleaning finish to these wines like a sea breeze blowing through them.

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  • Premiers Pas – Carignan dominant, excellent balance of freshness and rich spicy fruit

  • Fontanilles – the wine which first got me interested in 2 Anes, more Gren / Syrah but still Carignan domainant. Lovely

  • L’Enclos – Grenache led and extra warmth and spice but still fresh and balanced

  • Les Cabrioles – Mourvedre / Carignan and all the depth that implies with a hint of sweet ripeness cleansed by the freshness

Chateau Maris All good especially
Minervois13 – classic clear
Le Carignan 13. – really good balanced and long
La Touge – lovely clear expression of syrah fruity but serious
Planels – oak aged syrah should be heavier than Touge but actually delivered a strawberry and cream lick with power behind
Anciens – mainly Carignan and the dark fruits were there but with really smooth, creamy delivery. Lovely

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Vignerons d’ Estézargues – an innovative co-operative in the east of the Languedoc where local producers’ wines are made separately (as well as some joint blends) according to their wishes, but often in a natural style.

  • Domaine Fées – rich Grenache/Syrah, ripe and good

  • Bacchantes – Syrah / Grenache – good

  • Sarrelon – Grenache dominated with some striking red fruits and strawberry notes, lovely

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La Baronne Corbières, yet another interesting Corbières estate. Interesting and fresh white wines especially the pure Grenache Gris which is partly macerated on skins and very expressive.

  • Las Vals pure Mourvèdre was lovely with classic leather and dark fruit

  • Les Chemins was a classic Languedoc blend, restrained and refreshing dark fruits

  • Les Chemins De Traverse waspure Cinsault with no sulphites and a lovely, red fruit and refreshing wine

Mas des Chimères – a long time favourite of mine for its cuvée L’Oeillade a great summer red

  • L’Oeillade 14 – sampled from tank but already rich, round and refreshing. I love this cuvée.

  • Terrasses de Larzac Nuit Grave 13 – such a great balance between rich, ripe and refreshing

  • Terrasses De Larzac Caminarèm 13 – an equal blend of 5 grapes and a lovely wine

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Terre des Chardons from eastern Languedoc, a range I know from Leon Stolarski. I have always liked the freshness of these wines, they are rich but so well made they leave you always wanting more

  • Bien Luné 14 – often my favourite in the range and this from tank was up to the usual high standard

  • Marginal 13 – lovely ripe fruit, dense and still that refreshing balance

  • Chardon Marie 12 – rich and dense but lovely again

Domaine Réveille (Roussillon)a natural style of winemaking and full of wild, exciting flavours

  • The rosé Herbes Folles 14 is Cab Sauvignon first press with no sulphites, bright, floral and dry, a food wine

  • Herbes Folles 13 was more settled and excellent, probably my favourite rosé of the salon

  • Peau Rouge 12 Syrah and Carignan was wild in aromas, amazing aromas. Dry, steely but fruit balanced. Lovely. The 13 was darker and more acid but nice.

  • Ultra Violet is a pure Syrah. The 12 was a little too wild and animal but the 13 was amazing. Tannic yes but fruit aromas and flavours leapt out of the glass and in the mouth these just exploded into something exciting

Mas Des Agrunelles – an isolated domaine allowing real control of their land and organic grapes.I only tasted the whites and they were very good, even a 100% viognier was fresh and clean. I must taste the reds soon.

  • La Fleur Blanche 13 was lovely, a blend of Chardonnay and Roussanne with length and citrussy flavours. Good

Zélige – Caravent

  • Ikabena – a lovely Cinsault dominated wine, full ripe and enjoyable

Burgundy

Moreau – a clear reminder of how Chablis is such a great white wine area with richness and fruit bit always that clean, refreshing balance and, yes, minerality. Tasting took off beyond the merely good at the 1er and Grand Cru levels.

  • Vaillons 1er Cru 13 – some grapes oak aged adding hints of richness to a delicious, clean and mineral wine

  • Vaudésir grand Cru 12 – more oak but so well judged to add richness but allow the refreshing mineral acidity to cleansed

  • Valmur Grand Cru 12 – my favourite, clean, direct and refreshing

  • Les Clos Grand Cru 12 – slightly more rich and less mineral but still lovely

Domaine d’ Ardhuy – a big range of wines on offer, some average but really enjoyed these

  • Ladoix Le Rognet 1er Cru Blanc 12 – open with lovely oak and refreshing clean fruit

  • Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 12 – wonderful already with long flavours but there is a restraint here suggesting a full life ahead

  • Corton Clos Du Roi Grand Cru 12 – still closed and tannic but the fruit does open up and there is such beautiful Pinot power and elegance. I can only imagine how lovely this will turn into

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Michel Magnien -nice range but gets really interesting above village level. All 2012. Great balance between freshness and rich Pinot fruit. Lively aromas too.

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  • Morey Saint Denis Les |Millandes 1er Cru was full rich and just lovely

  • Morey Saint Denis Les Chaffots 1er Cru even richer, ripe and round, Lovely.

  • Gevrey Chambertin Les Seuvrées Vieilles Vignes was still closed, naturally, but ripe and rich

  • Chambolle Musigny Charmes 1er Cru was indeed charming and rich

  • Chambolle Musigny Bornigues 1er Cru – direct at first but then blossoms in the mouth

  • Clos De La Roche – just a terrific glass of wine even now but with such power and elegance that I can only imagine how it will develop beautifully over the years.

Loire

Domaine de Reuilly – Eastern Loire

  • Reuilly Les Fossiles 2012 – everything you want from Sauvignon Blanc, clean, green and fresh. Lovely.

I was also offered a Pinot Gris macerated longer on skins than usual, a vineyard in process of conversion to bio, and lovely it was too

Vincent Carème – I’m a big fan of Vouvray, my first real experience of French wine. These were lovely.

  • Peu Morier 13 – clean, direct full dry Vouvray

  • Le Clos 13 – rich, mouthfilling lots of fruit and lingering. Oaked but just hints showing.

  • L’Ancestrale – Pétillant, lovely, fresh mouth filling pleasure. My favourite non Champagne sparkling wine of the salon

Pithon Paillé – lovely Anjou dry wines, lovely sweet wines

  • The Anjou dry wines were clean, direct and full of lovely fruit especially Pierrebise 12 and Coteaux De Treilles 11. Nice Savennières too.

  • Coteaux Du Layon 13 was rich, with clean acidity to balance

  • Quarts De Chaume 13 was even better, with concentrated honey, rich flavours but a clean finish

Clos De la Briderie Nice whites including a Sauvignon Gris and restrained Sauvignon Blanc. However the reds shone brightest
1877 Gamay sans sulfites 13
a Gamay / Cot blend sans sulfites 14 rich and deep
Cot single variety again 2014 so young but fruity, ripe and lovely

Bordeaux

Clos Puy Arnaud – Bordeaux is not often my thing these days and I usually prefer left bank Cabernet Sauvignon to right bank Merlot yet these were lovely Merlot dominated wines, another prejudice blown away.

  • Pervenches 13 was enjoyable, a good food wine

  • Cuvée Bistrot 13 was made using natural methods and I liked the extra edge

  • Grand Vin 11 was rich, lively and lovely

New Zealand

Clos Henri – New Zealand and a different take to most wines on offer. No worse for that.

  • Sauvignon Blanc 13 – classic NZ full.

  • Bel Echo 13 Sauvignon Blanc – riper with passion fruit flavours, so rich and v enjoyable

  • Petit Clos Pinot Noir 13 – ripe fruit and rich sweet yet clean, nice

Alsace

Faller, Henri et Luc – an unsung domaine but a lovely range fro simple varietal wines to gorgeous sweet wines.

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  • Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes 12, rich, grapey and full from a variety which is not known for being so

  • Pinot Blanc, mineral and fine. The En Barrique version was lovely with rich flavours

  • Pinot Gris 13, restrained and delicate,lovely balance. En Barrique, full and rich yet still restrained and hints of things to come

  • Riesling 13, classic steely, minerally, young. The Vieilles Vignes Fruehmess 11 was lovely, complex and classy Riesling.

  • Muscat Vieilles Vignes and Gewurztraminer VV were both restrained and full of fresh fruity flavours rather than the blousy style we often see

  • Vendanges Tardives Cuvée Matthieu and VT Gewurz, both delicious, sweet but no stickiness, fruit, and a clean finish

  • Muscat Selection De Grains Nobles, fantastic. Sweet wines often get an easy ride but this really was special. A sweet, clean and fresh delight

Barmès Beucher – another good flight of wines

  • Rieslings shone, Clos Sand was classic Riesling, Leimenthal was richer and rounder but still restrained and fine. Hengst was lovely with classic mineral flavours hinting at sweet notes.

  • Gewurztraminer Steingrubler was a gorgeous wine with some typical flavours which were restrained with a dryness to balance

Jura

Champ Divin – I tasted a few Jura wines in the main salon and this was easily my favourite especially the whites wines though there was also a very fruity Pinot Noir

  • Champ d’ Etoiles 11 a mix of Chardonnay and Savaginin had classic fruit with oxidative notes adding to the complexity, lovely

  • Champ d’ Etoiles 12 was just as good but lighter

  • Champ d’ Etoiles 10 was better still with age adding richness and complexity

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Remember that there were even nore delicious wines at the offline events which, if you haven’t read before, are described here.

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Author: amarch34

I'm a recently retired (early!) teacher from County Durham in North east England. I am going to be spending most of the next year in the Languedoc leaarning about wines, vineyards and the people who care for both.

3 thoughts on “Millésime Bio – salon

  1. I really enjoyed the wines of les Vignerons d’ Estézargues at Rhône Wine Week in Dublin.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Exploring the 7Cs – Day 3 | amarchinthevines

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