ome truly great wine is now being made in the Languedoc. Most but by no means all of this is produced under a number of different appellations. For reasons of practicality and location a number of splendid new-wave wines, particularly red, are being produced as IGP. A number are IGP d’Oc but IGP de l’Hérault also features, including two of the greatest properties in the Languedoc, Mas de Daumas Gassac and Domaine de La Grange des Pères.

To the west of the Costières de Nîmes (see Rhône Valley) is the giant spread of the Languedoc AC. This was formerly known as the Côteaux du Languedoc and the appellation umbrella also now includes appellation vineyards in the Roussillon as well. Vast and sprawling, it stretches from Nîmes in the east around the coastline south now to the Roussillon. In general though most wines which took the Côteaux du Languedoc classification will now be Languedoc. There are fourteen communes which are allowed to add their village names as crus and these include La Clape, Pézenas, Cabrières, Montpeyroux, Pic-Saint-Loup and Saint-Drézéry. At best there are some splendid wines, generally blends of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre for the reds with whites from a host of varieties including Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Clairette. Sadly, you are also likely to encounter a great many moderate to average bottles, so always try to buy from a good source.

Just to the north of Béziers and to the west of the old Languedoc are the small appellations of Faugères and Saint-Chinian. Some very fine small properties are now producing great reds, the most important variety being Syrah (which performs superbly in the schistous soils of Faugères) although Grenache, Mourvèdre and old-vine Carignan all play an important role in the local viticulture. There are a number of Muscat-based vins doux naturels as well but few are comparable to their peers from Muscat de Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. They include Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Mireval and Muscat de Lunel. To the west of Béziers, just inland from the coast, crisp and economically priced whites are made at Picpoul de Pinet.

Old vines at Faugères

South of Narbonne and stretching down to the hills of the Roussillon are a number of key appellations. Minervois, Corbières and Fitou had for a long time been regarded as little more than Midi workhorse wines, vinified by unambitious local co-ops or volume négociants. This has to a large extent changed for the better. The wines of Minervois have shown the most potential and within that appellation is the new cru sub-zone of La Livinière, the source of generally the densest and most substantial wines of the AC. Old-vine Carignan plays an important role here although plantings of the Rhône cépages améliorateurs continue apace with some vineyards now possessing some increasingly old Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Carbonic maceration is widely used for Carignan, particularly in Corbières.

To the west of Minervois, the smaller new AC of Cabardès has real potential and the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are important here. The biggest disappointment over recent decades has been the performance of Fitou, one of the first ACs established in the region. The co-op at Mont-Tauch has always been a solid source but other promising new producers are emerging.

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A to Z of producers by appellation

Ch. de Pennautier
La Regalona
Ch. La Baronne
Ch. La Voulte-Gasparets
Ch. Mansenoble
Clos de L’Anhel
Dom. du Grand Arc
Les Clos Perdus
Dom. Sainte Croix
Jean-Michel Alquier
Dom. Léon Barral
Dom. de Cébène
Ch. des Estanilles
Chevalier Vins
Mas Gabinèle
Dom. du Méteore
Dom. Bertrand-Bergé
Ch. des Erles
Clos de Camuzeilles
Dom. Maria Fita
Dom. de l’Aiguelière
Dom. d’Aupilhac
Dom. Les Aurelles
Dom.Alain Chabanon
Ch. d’Angles
Ch. Capion
Ch. Capitoul
Dom. Causse d’Arboras
Ch. de Cazeneuve
Ch. des Cres Ricards
Ch. de L’Engarran
Ch. L’Euzière
Ch. Grès Saint-Paul
Ch. de Jonquières
Ch. La Liquière
Ch. de Lascaux
Ch. Le Thou
Ch. de Montpezat
Ch. de La Négly
Ch. Puech-Haut
Dom. Clavel
Clos Marie
Dom. Lacroix-Vanel
Dom. de L’Hortus
Dom.Virgile Joly
Dom. La Grange
La Peira
La Sauvageonne
Dom. Le Conte de Floris
Dom. Les Grandes Costes
Dom. de La Marfée
Mas des Brousses
Mas Bruguière
Mas Cal Demoura
Mas Conscience
Mas de L’Ecriture
Mas Foulaquier
Mas de Fournel
Mas Haut Buis
Mas Jullien
Mas Lumen
Mas de Mortiès
Mas Mouries
Mas du Soleilla
Dom. de Montcalmes
Dom. de Nizas
Dom. de Peyre Rose
Dom. du Poujol
Plan de L’Homme
Prieuré de St-Jean-de-Bébian
Roc d’Anglade
Dom. d’Antugnac
Baron Arques
Ch. Rives-Blanques
Sieur d’Arques
Dom. des Aires Hautes
Dom. de La Borie Blanche
Dom. Borie de Maurel
Dom. de Barroubio
Ch. d’Agel
Ch. Coupe-Roses
Ch. Maris
Ch. Massamier la Mignarde
Ch. Sainte-Eulalie
Ch. Saint-Jacques d’Albas
Clos Centeilles
Dom. de Courbissac
Dom. A. Gros & J-P. Tollot
Dom. La Tour Boisée
Dom. de L’Oustal-Blanc
Dom. J-B. Senat
Muscat de Lunel
Dom. Lacoste
Dom. Borie La Vitarèle
Dom. Canet-Valette
Ch. Cazal Viel
Ch. de Ciffre
Ch. La Dournie
Clos Bagatelle
Dom. des Jougla
Dom. La Madura
Dom. La Maurerie
Mas Champart
Mas de Cynanque
Laurent Miquel
Dom. Guy Moulinier
Dom.Thierry Navarre
Dom. Rimbert
Dom. de Tabatau
IGP de Côteaux de Murviel
Dom. des Ravanes
IGP des Côtes de Thongue
Dom. de La Croix-Belle
IGP de l’Hérault
Dom. de La Garance
Dom. de La Grange des Pères
Dom La Terrasse d’Elise
Dom. Les Creisses
Mas de Daumas Gassac
Mas de Jacquet
IGP d’Oc
Dom. Jean-Louis Denois
La Grange de Quatre Sous
Mas d’Espanet
Dom. Terre Inconnue
Val d’Orbieu


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