by Michelle Kwan
The Languedoc-Roussillon region has been perfecting their winemaking and honing the quality of their craftsmanship for the last two decades. The varied terroir of the region, encompassing the border of Spain and extending to different sides of the Pyrenees along the Mediterranean Coast to the Rhône Valley and Provence, has enabled local growers to cultivate a variety of grapes to produce numerous combinations of reds, whites, roses, and fortified sweet wines. The Maison Languedoc Roussillon has brought together a collection of wines from Collioure, Côtes du Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France, and Maury among others to demonstrate the versatility that comprises this region with 13 AOCs/AOPs (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlées/Appellation d’Origine Protegées). Bottles like the 2011 Cotes du Roussillon, Les Vignes de Bila Haut red from Maison Chapoutier had good tannins and acidity while the white variety was light with balanced minerality.
At the Roussillon Wine Tasting held at the Maison de la Region Languedoc-Roussillon in New York City, we enjoyed Domaine de L’Edre’s versatile and full bodied 2009 Carrement Rouge from the Côtes du Roussillon Villages as well as a Le Cirque Rosé blend of 50 per cent Grenache Noir, 40 per cent Mourvèdre and 10 per cent Grenache Gris. Other houses included the Domaine de la Rectorie, presenting a 2009 Banyuls Leon Parcé red with overtones of chocolate and caramel. Domaine du Traginer showcased a particularly clean and fruity Collioure Blanc that was both refreshing and versatile.
Grasping the scope of the areas that comprise the wine producing regions of France can be a little intimidating; but given the quantity and quality of their varietals, it is well worth the undertaking.
You can click on each photo to enlarge. All photos by Charles Roussel.