Never one to stand still for long, Graham has returned from yet another arduous wine safari to bring another round of new wines to our shelves in Heswall and Frodsham, as well as being available online here! This time we're looking at three French wine producers, Domain Les Yeuses on the Mediterranean coast just south of Montpellier, Domaine Morin Langaran from just a little further south again and La Ferme du Mont in the Rhone.
Domaine Les Yeuses
This domaine has been owned by the Dardé family for over 30 years. The vineyard is 80 hectares and responsibilities here and in the winery are shared between brothers Jean Paul and Michel Dardé. With a view of the Mediterranean sea from low hillsides and limestone-clay soils, the vines enjoy a great aspect, cool temperatures and all round good terroir to maintain characteristics for each of the grape varieties, producing some superb wine.
The St Felix range from Domaine Les Yeuses is specifically produced for it’s UK supplier, and friend of Whitmore & White, Morgan Edwards. This wine is a Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino blend is fresh and floral on the nose, with notes of pears and Granny Smith apples on the palate.
Made from a blend of Grenache and Cinsault, two Southern French stalwarts, this gives many a Provence rosé a run for it’s money. Pale salmon in colour, with subtle notes of redcurrant and strawberry fruit on the nose and a definite summer fruit salad thing going on with the palate.
A step above the standard Southern French rosés, this is slightly deeper and slightly richer. It’s by no means a Clairette, but it’s no withering flower either. Dry, but with lush strawberry compote notes underneath and a hint of wild herbs and toasted almonds in the background. Very much a food rosé.
This is a BIG Southern French red. Deep wells of blackcurrant, blackberry, wild thyme and mint combine with firm, but smooth tannins, balancing acidity and spicy fruit notes on the palate.
Domaine Morin Langaran
Located over the Bassin of Thau and all along the Via Domitia, the Vineyard was created in 1330. It was the property of a religious order: the Holy-Spirit order. In 1966, the Morin family (winegrowers from father to son since 1830) became the vineyard’s owner under Albert Morin’s authority. Nowadays, the vineyard stretches over 58 hectares, 36 devoted to white grapes and 22 to red grapes, and it is totally under the AOP Picpoul de Pinet.
The estate is located on a calcareous plateau covered with very small stones and fine sand. Near the Bassin of Thau, the vines face the Morning sun. The Tramontane, dominant, dry and cold wind blows the clouds and dries out the soils. This lack of water is partially balanced by the sea sprays coming from the Bassin of Thau.
From a vineyard dating back to the 14th Century and under ownership of the Morin family for over 50 years, this stunningly fresh Picpoul is a bit richer than some of its peers due to lees ageing before bottling. This leads to heady aromas of honeysuckle, acacia and citrus and a palate with good mineral character, slightly fuller in body but no less fresh and vibrant as expected with Picpoul wines.
La Ferme du Mont
This is an independent family business run by winemaker Stépahne Vedeau. Using grapes from vines grown in a completely natural environment and in harmony with Mother Nature, the sole aim is to produce top quality fruit for their wines. And we think they are doing pretty well. Harmony is very much a key word for this property.
This is a classic GSM blend with 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. Classic earthy, bramble fruited Côtes du Rhone, with firm, grippy tannins, fresh acidity and crunchy blackberry fruit on the palate with a subtle hint of spice and wild herbs.
So there you have it - some lovely additions to our range of French wines, all of which offer outstanding value for money! Pick up in store or buy online with quantity discounts available and free delivery when you spend over £100.
Until Next Time
Graham Simpson. Wine & Spirits Buyer