The Languedoc’s reputation as source of bargain reds for everyday enjoyment is well-merited, but what about its more serious, cellar-worthy wines? With an abundance of esteemed terroirs such as Pic Saint Loup, Montpeyroux, and Faugères, there is no shortage of fine wine capable of going the distance from this large, undervalued region. Such appellations’ relative lack of prestige, while unfair, is in fact an advantage for wine lovers: these wines are consequently much more affordable that wines of similar quality produced in illustrious regions like Bordeaux or the Rhône.
The Languedoc’s sweet spot primarily lies in a crescent-shaped belt of land inland from the Mediterranean, where foothills provide the perfect climate in addition to a notable variety of soil types for viticulture to thrive. The warm, arid conditions of the midi are buffered by marine influence and the freshness found at altitude that create an excellent environment in which to craft balanced, ageable whites and reds.
For example, a 2002 Cocalières blanc from Domaine d’Aupilhac tasted recently caused a real sensation: with hints of honey, wild fennel, and what could only be described as liquid stone, it proved deliciously refreshing and complex. A 1999 old-vine Mourvèdre from Château La Roque held its ground alongside a great Bandol red, expressing spicy garrigue and game with chewy tannins and plenty of vigor.
Here we’ve assembled some of our best Languedoc wines for aging. Browse around and stock your cellar—years from now, you’ll be happy you did.