Languedoc-Roussillon wine region
These two vast Mediterranean areas have been a hotbed of experimentation and innovation for French wines.
Roussillon is the smaller, western region bordering Spain. The vineyards are very hot and dry and Grenache thrives in these arid conditions. It is especially famous for fortified Vin Doux Naturels like Rivesaltes, Maury and Banyuls, made mostly from that grape. Unfortified wines from the area are called Collioure, made from Grenache but with plenty of Syrah and Mourvèdre added to the mix. Côtes de Roussillon wine is made with Carignan and Cinsault as well as Syrah and Mourvèdre. Côtes de Roussillon Villages is a step up and Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres is even more so.
The Languedoc, to the east, is split into several significant sub-regions according to climatic and geographical influences. The reds of Minervois, Corbières and Fitou are good quality and value for money. Limoux is a region gaining a reputation for its sparkling wines made from Mauzac, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Where Languedoc meets the Rhône river, the Côteaux du Languedoc is an important appellation, as too are St Chinian, Faugères, Clairette de Languedoc and Picpoul de Pinet.
But it is the various IGTs (formerly Vins de Pays) that have really driven innovation. Their more relaxed regulation of grape varieties and production methods have allowed winemakers freedom to experiment, making this the most New World of French wine regions.
Decanting Club wines from: Languedoc-Roussillon
Château Mignan, Cuvée Pech-Quisou, Minervois
Élevé Carignan, Vieilles Vignes
Rare Vineyards, Marsanne-Viognier
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