SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $136.00
(a 20% discount)
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The most beautiful and interesting region of France you have never visited is probably the Languedoc-Roussillon, the wide swath of south-ern Mediterranean France that stretches from the Roman settlement of Nîmes in the east (near Avignon) all the way to the Spanish border. Full of surprises, far more diverse than you would imagine, the region has known the vine since long before Roman times. Wine country here straddles a series of hills and plateaus that are conveniently situated between the mountains and the sea, which explains the freshness you might not expect in the wines from this area. Additionally, the myriad soil and stone types and grape varieties give these vignerons quite the palette of options to work with. Nobody in our portfolio epitomizes the magic of this special region more than Sylvain Fadat, a blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth vigneron turned artist of the vine and organic agricultural leader in the rustic mountain village of Montpeyroux. Sylvain makes wines with no artifice, raw interpretations of this rugged land refined with skill and steady observation over many years. This sampler offers what we think is truly the best possible introduction to the Languedoc-Roussillon for the uninitiated. I think it is equally compelling to the seasoned connoisseur. Sylvain’s wines can and should be appreciated both young and old.
2017 Languedoc Blanc “Les Cocalières” • Domaine d’Aupilhac $35.00 Unique four-grape blend, seamlessly combining fruit, flowers, and herbs.
2017 Languedoc Rosé “Lou Maset” • Domaine d’Aupilhac $18.00 One of the year’s most delicious rosés. Smooth and refreshing.
2017 Languedoc Rouge “Lou Maset” • Domaine d’Aupilhac $18.00 Younger-vine Grenache and Cinsault made in a light, easy-to-drink style.
2015 Languedoc Montpeyroux Rouge “Cuvée Aupilhac” • Domaine d’Aupilhac $26.00 Deep and powerful, the signature wine from the domaine’s blue marl soils.
2016 Vin de France “Le Carignan” • Domaine d’Aupilhac $38.00 One of the world’s best examples of this grape. Great ager.
2016 Languedoc Montpeyroux Rouge “Les Cocalières” • Domaine d’Aupilhac $35.00 High-altitude mountain red from volcanic basalt and limestone. Brighter and softer than the two reds above.
SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $136.00
(a 20% discount)
Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.
While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s checkered history, the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with an emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.
Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, the region boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
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