Languedoc-Roussillon Wine - Buyers Guide
With over 750,000 acres of vineyards, the appellations of the region are famous for their diversity and creativity which is admirably reflected in their wines. Occitanie refers to the historical southern European name of the broader region, Occitania with 'Oc' meaning 'yes' in Occitan. Occitania has been a noted historical region since the middle ages and many people of the region today still speak the Occitan language, particularly in Catalonia. The larger region’s IGP Pays d’Oc with its slogan ‘Liberty of Style’ covers almost all of Languedoc-Roussillon and provides for some of the most diverse wine styles of any region in the Country. The IGP Côtes Catalanes covers much of the Pyrénées-Orientales.
With production nearly three times that of Bordeaux, and its admirable evolution to include grape varieties known for quality rather than quantity, some have argued the region is France's answer to the 'New World', producing wines as diverse as the region; powerful premium jammy reds, whites that trap the sunshine, and of course their increasingly celebrated sweet wines. The region's wines are increasingly known by sommeliers and wine lovers alike who are seeking to balance quality with exceptional value.
History of Languedoc Wine
Languedoc has an incredibly rich history both as a region, and in respect of its long lived wine production. It is also a stunning region to visit as it is uniquely Mediterranean towards the west, in both its climate and culture with Spain just across the border. The Languedoc was one of the first and oldest regions of France to be planted with vines by Greeks in 5th Century BC and expanded upon by the Romans. Wine production thrived and indeed was known for making exceptionally good quality wines by Paris. However with the advent of the Canal du Midi, and the incorporation of Railway systems, the wine industry boomed leading to quantity rather than quality being the focus of production; the region later being a large contributor to the famous surplus ‘Wine Lake’ of Europe. As a result of issues with quality, the wine region underwent an overhaul; standards were implemented, changes were made and the first appellation (AOC) of the region, and indeed one of the earliest for France, was granted to the world famous Blanquette de Limoux in 1938.
Since then, the region has gone from strength to strength, with now over 23 appellations within the Languedoc appellation structure and around 19 Sud de France IGPs noted by their historical or geographical connections such as Cité de Carcassonne. The wine making region has continued to evolve into what is now arguably one of the most exciting wine regions to invest in due to the diversity in its terroir, ability to create wines to meet every taste, and its aim to offer passion in its craft whilst balancing quality with value.
Appellations & Sub-regions of Languedoc Wine
Languedoc AOC (Coteaux du Languedoc)
The regional heart of the appellation structure is Languedoc AOC (previously known as Coteaux du Languedoc). These wines can be in all styles ranging from bold reds to lighter aromatic white wines. They are also made up of wine growing covering the full Languedoc and Roussillon regions. They are known for being some of the best valued wines in the world.
An example of an incredible value, superb quality Languedoc white wine can be found in our Languedoc: Villa Dondona Esperel White.
With a beautiful blend of Vermentino, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc, this aromatic wine perfectly balances notes of white stone fruit and floral white blossom. It’s deliciously refreshing and most admirably produced to biodynamic principles.
As the land rises up towards the south of the Massif Central, the shelter and rugged terroir allows for the earth to heat up and ripen the grapes with a depth second to none. This area is increasingly known for deep, rich red wines.
Domaine Pierre Cros ‘Les Aspres’ is an example of a rich, intense red wine of the region made from 100% Syrah grapes.
Aged in new oak and made with low yield to produce year after year a complex and powerful wine. This wine offers a rich, dark fruit and spiced palate that appears to have an unending finish!
With a classically Mediterranean climate, Faugères is known for its production of white and rosé wines however their red wines are the style that is celebrated within the region. The balance of terroir and climate makes it a prime appellation for the production of rich red wines with supple tannins.
For a Faugères red wine, try Chateau Fardel Laurens. An Expressive nose, complex aromas, red fruit, raspberry and blackcurrant with a subtle spicy and peppery finish.
Supple, harmonious and wonderfully balanced with an elegant structure, supported by ripe, silky and smooth tannins.
Nestled between Minervois and Faugères, the appellation of Saint-Chinian AOC adopts a similar Mediterranean climate well suited to big, bold red wines however Saint-Chinian red wines tend to polarise on the Carignan grape, well suited to the warmth and terroir of the region. The best of the wines are from those wines grown at higher altitude to capture the most sun and warmth.
The wines of this region are a delight, being known for its increasing number of impassioned wine growers, the red wines in particular are noted for their dry, rich, herby notes akin to its terroir. The more concentrated reds are also excellent for ageing.
|Our Corbières: Chateau Reulet is an excellent example of the larger regions continued reputation for making excellent wines at a phenomenal value. Made from a wonderful harmony of 30% Grenache Noir, 40% Syrah, 30% Carignan, this wine is fruity, balanced and an easy drinking wine with added complexity.|
The region is famed for its red and rosé wines. Our Malepère: Château De Cointes Clemence made from 50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Grenache Noir offers a deep garnet dress and a complex, pronounced nose of ripe, jammy cooked black fruits with an earthy finish. With smooth tannins and a long finish, this is a most enjoyable wine suitable for ageing- if you can wait!
This appellation produces exciting and unique white wines made from the Piquepoul (also known as the Picpoul) grape variety. These wines are high acidity, meaning they will be incredibly refreshing, and offer lemony, zesty notes, with a raw honey undertone and a minerality to finish. Try the Domaine de Campaucels Jean le Blanc, which is a classic Picpoul de Pinet dry, white wine made from 100% Piquepoul.
The Pic Saint-Loup produces some lovely quality, well balanced red and rosé wines for exceptional value. Our Pic Saint-Loup: Mas De Farjou Clos Des Jean De Farjou is a testament to the region, made from the larger regions classic varietals of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache Noir. This wine is notably rich yet delicate with developing aromas of blackberry, white truffle, balsamic notes and eucalyptus.
A region north of Carcassonne polarising on dry, robust red wines and a limited rosé wine production.
Clairette du Languedoc AOC
This region heralds white wines as King, and are made solely from the Clairette grapes.
Terrasses du Larzac AOC
This region's viticulture is tailored to its climate of long hot days and cool nights, providing for very well balanced red wines.
Limoux AOC (Still Wines)
Historically Limoux was better known for its sparkling wines (more recently granted their own appellation titles) however under the AOC Limoux appellation, 50% merlot based red wines and white wine made from Mauzac, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are produced and sought after.
As with many regions of France, there are also village appellations granted their own appellation status, all of which produce wines of notable uniqueness from their wider appellation counterpart:
Known for their robust reds and spritely rosé, the village region is also lesser known for its production of ‘Eau de Vie de Faugeres’.With a classically Mediterranean climate, Faugères is known for its production of white and rosé wines but their red wines are the style that is celebrated within the region. The balance of terroir and climate makes it a prime appellation for the production of rich red wines with supple tannins. Try our Faugères: Chateau Fardel Laurens which offers an expressively complex nose, pronounced red fruit, raspberry and blackcurrant with a subtle spicy and peppery finish. This delectable red wine is wonderfully balanced, offering an elegant structure, supported by ripe, silky and smooth tannins.
2. La Clape AOC
Red wines and, to a lesser extent, white wines are most notable from this appellation although some rosé is also produced with increasing popularity.For a succulent and aromatic La Clape white wine, try our La Clape: Château D'Angles Grand Vin White. This wine is a triumph to the region, made from an aromatic blend of 40% Bourboulenc, 20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne, 20% Marsanne, it offers a nose of rich white fruits and floral notes, with sweet and spice undertones, whilst remaining dry and uniquely palatable.
Corbières Boutenac AOC
This is a particular catchment area that falls within Corbières and centres on the village of Boutenac. This appellation produces particularly good red wines made from majority Carignan grape varietal.
Minervois la Livinière AOC
La Livinière is a commune within the Minervois region with a distinctly unique terroir from the rest of Minervois, most notably for its landscape of dry soils articulated with herby bushes such as Rosemary, wild thyme and lavender. The village appellation is noted for its dry, red wines that appear to translate these herbaceous notes into the wines entirely uniquely from wines of the general Minervois region.
In the heart of Languedoc you can find Fitou, a red wine appellation, with wines produced in the similar style to those of Corbières. The best examples are produced from low yield vines grown at higher altitudes. Historically this region was known to be dominated by cooperatives however this is rapidly changing with the rise of passionate, artisan wine growers gaining notoriety.
The region has three specific sparkling wine regions, all of which used to fall under the appellation of Limoux however have more recently been granted their own title:
Blanquette de Limoux AOC & Blanquette de Limoux Méthode Ancestrale AOC
A delicate, sparkling wine, made from the Blanquette grape (also known as Mauzac of Gaillac). Every sip offers a slice of history with wine historians purporting Blanquette de Limoux as being one of the first sparkling wines ever invented in 1531, by the monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire. Whilst this would pre-date Champagne, unfortunately, as with much of history, it can be hard to prove. Visitors flock each year to the Abbey, still present to this day, to learn of the history of the reported creation of this wine. ‘Blanquette’ means small white in the Occitan historical language of the region and whilst Mauzac grapes are used, the Blanquette de Limoux appellation does allow for 10% usage of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Blanquette de Limoux Méthode Ancestrale AOC however must be made from 100% Mauzac and is produced via the traditional method of sparkling wine production- the same method as Champagne!
Crémant de Limoux AOC
One of the eight regions of France to be able to produce the French sparkling, Champagne alternative, Crémant. Crémant de Limoux is a refreshing, increasingly fashionable sparkling wine made from predominantly Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Although the blend can include the Mauzac grape, many producers are choosing to exclude it in an attempt to modernise its style, differentiating it from Blanquette de Limoux. These Sparkling wines are a fantastic, cost effective alternative to Champagne.
The region is also celebrated for its sweet wines known as ‘Vins Doux Naturels’. Whilst many are produced under the wider IGP appellations in a variety of styles to serve both the more traditional market and the modern, there are specific appellations that specialise in sweet wines: Muscat de Mireval AOC, Muscat de Lunel AOC, Muscat de Frontignan AOC, and Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois AOC.
These wines are usually white in style, with a few exceptions and their alcohol content is slightly higher than dry wines, standing at 15- 18 abv, having been made with extensively ripened, predominantly, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grapes. On the palate, they are simply decadent and delicious, with floral and honey notes, and can be enjoyed as an aperitif or a digestif.
Other appellations such as Muscat de Rivesaltes, Rivesaltes, Banyuls, Maury and Rasteau also produce sweet wines alongside their dry wine production, and have celebrated notoriety in themselves. They are produced in a range of styles from white, to red and Ambre, and some of the best examples can age quite exceptionally. All sweet wines of the region, more often than not, lack the heady, syrupy sweetness of those of Sauternes-Bordeaux, allowing for a freshness that Sauternes lacks.
They also lack the big price tags that Sauternes carries making them a marvellous, cost effective yet delicious alternative. To quick start your exploration of sweet wines of the region, start with the Muscat De Rivesaltes from Domaine Boudau - A splendid, sweet white wine.
To take your exploration further, try our Banyuls: Pierre Gaillard Cirera Red, a red sweet wine, made from Grenache Noir, from the Banyuls appellation. This sweet, yet well balanced dessert wine offers an explosion of cherry and cassis, whilst offering a rich and round palate with coated tannins.
IGPs of Sud de France / Pays D’Oc
IGPs are a designated wine growing appellation that does not have the title of an AOC/AOP but is still subject to growing rules and restrictions. IGP’s tend to cover a larger area than specific AOC appellations with less growing restrictions on styles than that of AOCs. This allows for a level of creative freedom that could not be afforded to a wine producer bound by the stringent rules of an AOC appellation which determine which grape varietals can be used.
There are some fantastic examples of wine producers expressing their creative freedom in the Languedoc- Roussillon/Occitanie region. Hence, the region has been dubbed France’s answer to the New World, which has equally been noted for its creative freedom.
An example of a wine producer celebrating creative freedom can be found in our Vin De France: Domaine Pierre Cros La Liberte Touriga Nacional. From producer Domaine Pierre Cros, and aptly named ‘La Liberte’, this wine has been made using 100% Touriga Nacional, the grape used to make Vintage Port! This wine is an absolute triumph to the freedom and creativity exercised by some producers in the region. Many IGP regions of Sud de France/Vin de France/Pay d’Oc have been named for their specific historical heritage such as Cité de Carcassonne IGP of the famed fortified city of Carcassonne.
We offer both a red and white wine from this area, both of which are highly rated by our buyers and a must to try: Cité De Carcassonne: Les Hauts De Lalande Red & Cité De Carcassonne: Les Hauts De Lalande White.Other historically connected IGPs are IGP Coteaux de Peyriac which displays the creative diversity of wine producers that are often utilising grate varietals prohibited under the Minervois AOC. An excellent example of this can be seen from the range of wines from wine producer Domaine Villepeyroux Forest.
We offer a number of their single grape variety wines, each displaying their own style, creative freedom and exceptional wine making. Try our: Coteaux De Peyriac: Domaine Villepeyroux Forest Marsanne, made from 100% Marsanne grape. This fragrant, medium bodied wine, offers a big bold nose of candied fruit, lemon peel mingling with some decadent spice that makes this wine deeply enjoyable, refreshing and perfect with slightly heavier chicken dishes.
Côtes de Thongue IGP are wines produced to styles that differ from those of the Languedoc AOC or its nearest AOC, Faugeres. Styles can range due to the IGPs diverse terroir and can include big, bold, New World styled white wines such as our Côtes De Thongue: Domaine Coste Rousse Grande Cuvée White, made from a blend of Chardonnay and the aromatic Viognier grapes. This wine has been aged for 12 months in new oak barrels making this a most opulently, complex white wine ideal to be paired with richer cheeses or denser fish dishes.
Other IGPs can be categorised with its links to historical sites, natural reserves and larger regional departments:
- Aude IGP·
- Coteaux de Narbonne IGP·
- Pays Cathare IGP·
- Saint Guilhem Le Désert IGP·
- Cévennes IGP·
- Haute Vallée de l’Aude IGP·
- Vicomté d’Aumelas IGP·
- Pays d’Hérault· Gard IGP·
- Vallée du Paradis IGP·
- Côtes de Thau IGP·
- Coteaux de Béziers IGP·
- Coteaux d’Ensérune IGP·
- Vallée du Torgan IGP·
- Haute Vallée de l’Orb IGP·
- Coteaux du Pont du Gard IGP
Officially Recognised Appellation Sub-Region Terroirs
The region of Languedoc-Roussillon/Occitanie, is growing from strength to strength, evolving into a wine region increasingly known for its quality wines, diversity of styles and creative freedom. With that being said, it is no wonder that an increasing number of existing sub-regions are seeking to be granted their own individual appellation status.
At present, there are 14 sub regions that are recognised as officially recognised terroir of Languedoc AOC seeking recognition for their own wine production style and quality, to be recognised in their own right. The most notable of those are:
Saint Saturnin - wine production focuses around its village of the same name located in the foothills of the Massif Central which creates a cooling amphitheatre. This allows for red wines to carry an exceptional balance of sugar and acidity, with less bulldozing power, and a little more balanced finesse than its counterparts.
Grés de Montpellier- Encased by Montpellier, Narbonne and Nimes, the wines produced are bold red wines, made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and to a lesser extent Carignan and Cinsaut.
Quatourze - nestled between La Clape and Narbonne, this small sub region is noted for its red wines with maritime notes and minerality.
Cabrières – Red and rose wines made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre planted on the south facing slopes of the eastern Montagne Noire.
La Méjanelle – wine production in this subregion is reserved for red and rose wines expressing the sub regions individual terroir. Montpeyroux – located in Terrasses du Larzac on hillier terroir, the red wines produced here are incredible, offering depth, complexity and the best suited to ageing.
Sommières- specialising in red wines produced from a small pocket of villages surrounding the village of its namesake Sommières, this subregion has a slightly Rhone Valley’esq quality to it both in terms of its wine style and its climate.
Saint-Christol & Saint-Drézéry – both sub regions known for their views of endless vines and are noted for their red wines made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.
Saint-Georges-d’Orques- produces red and rose wines with rich ripe flavours attributable to the warmth retained within its sandstone soils.
Grape Types & Varieties
The climate of Languedoc-Roussillon/ Occitanie is distinctly Mediterranean with its intense sunshine filled days, cool to moderate nights and uniquely the least annual rainfall of any region in France. This makes the region well suited to thick skinned red grape varietals and aromatic white grape varietals.
It also makes it prime climate and terroir for growing other varietals not necessarily common to South France, however internationally recognised, and can produce some exciting, diverse wines under the looser grape varietal restrictions of IGP appellations.
Red wines of the region use a diverse variety of red grapes however the kings of the region’s appellations, akin to the Rhone Valley, are Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. Often blends also include Carignan and Cinsault, particularly in Minervois and its neighbouring sub regions. Some of the oldest vines in France are those of the Carignan varietal of Languedoc-Roussillon. Varietals lessor known to the region but still grown, often under IGP appellations, are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Known as Shiraz in the New World- this grape offers notes of blueberry, plum and cracked pepper. Côtes De Prouilhe: Chateau De Cointes Syrah is an exemplary 100% Syrah dry red wine, with vibrant notes of dark juicy fruits, chocolate and spice.
Pronounced ‘More-ved’ and known as Monastrall in Spain- this grape offers notes of black plum, roasted meats and herbs de Provence. Our La Clape: Chateau D'Angles Grand Vin Red is made from 50% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5% Carignan. Stylistically, a classic La Clape regional dry red wine, with bold notes of black plum, spice, liquorice, tobacco and balsam. A well balanced, long finish dry red wine.
Often forming part of a blend in red wines, this grape offers wines an added minerality with notes of crushed gravel, balancing its overtones of grilled plum, raspberry coulis and tannic black tea. Our Corbières: Chateau Reulet is made from a harmonious blend of 30% Grenache Noir, 40% Syrah, 30% Carignan where the Grenache varietal shines through adding to this enjoyable dry red wine notes of ripe cooked dark berries, fruitiness and minerality. A single variety Grenache red wine can be enjoyed in our Vin De France: Domaine Villepeyroux Forest Grenache.
This grape is incredibly versatile when it comes to food pairings due to its low tannins. It offers notes of raspberries, sour cherries, violets and black tea. Unusually made, with 100% Cinsault, our Coteaux De Peyriac: Domaine Villepeyroux Forest Cinsault is a marvel if you have not ever tasted a single varietal Cinsault wine. This wine hits you with a fruity dose of tart cherries, violets and will be a joy to those that love the delicacy of a Pinot Noir or Gamay based wine.
The oldest of the grape varieties of the region, hardy, drought resistant and perfectly suited to the terroir of the region, this grape offers notes of dried red berries and baking spices. To truly experience this grape varietal try our Vin De France: Domaine Villepeyroux Forest Carignan. A beautiful cherry wine with hints of violet, a nose of spices and deep forest, and offering a fine balance in the mouth between acidity and tannins.
A staggering variety of white grapes are planted for use as either blends, single variety or for single purpose use such as for sparkling wines or sweet wines.
Known for its integral use in more northern regions of France, in Languedoc Roussillon the grape variety is often utilised as a balancing blend, as an integral role in its sparkling wines and more rarely as a single variety wine taking on ripe, full flavours reflecting the warmth of the region’s climate.
Whereas, should you wish to compare a single variety Chardonnay to that of more northern regions or indeed the New World styles, try our Côtes de Thongue: Domaine Coste Rousse Chardonnay Tradition. A wine of excellent value, tasting notes include expressive brioche and white fruits with a vivacious and round taste, ending on dried fruit aromas and a refreshing acidity.
The white grape King of Languedoc-Roussillon, this grape offers a wine medium body, and notes of yellow plum, pear and lemon zest with floral undertones.An exceptionally valued, 100% Grenache Blanc, can be enjoyed in our Côtes De Prouilhe: Château De Cointes Grenache.
Pronounced ‘Vee-own-yay’, and grown in the Rhone Valley with equal success, this grape provides a richness to white wines with its distinctive orange blossom, clementine, peach and rose notes.Viognier often appears in a blend to add depth and complexity.
Our Côtes De Thongue: Domaine Coste Rousse Grande Cuvée White blends Viognier with Chardonnay, giving the wine fruit and floral characteristics. A refreshing dry white wine with sufficient depth to enable it to be paired with blue cheese, or heavier creamy dishes.
Also known as ‘Picpoul’ which translates to ‘Sting the lip’. This grape offers wine zingy zesty characteristics, with a maritime finish. Domaine de Campaucels Jean le Blanc from the appellation Picpoul de Pinet, offers aromas of grapefruit zest, acacia and pear; Nice salinity and fresh on the palate, with good length and volume.
A lesser known grape often appearing in regional blends with Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Viognier. This grape offers body to white wines and notes of ripe lemons, nectarines, beeswax and chamomile. Our Languedoc Villa Dondona Esperel White is a classic Roussanne blend made up of Vermentino, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. Complex and refined. An aromatic, refreshing balance of fruit and white blossom.
An aromatic white grape that can be used to make white wines ranging from sweet, fortified to dry and off dry styles. This historic varietal offers notes of orange blossom, ripe lemons, cooked pears and honeysuckle. For a dry, white wine example, try our Côtes Catalanes: Domaine Boudau Muscat Sec. Dry on the palate, yet sweet on the nose with its aromatic heady blend of 50% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, 50% Muscat of Alexandria.
Muscat of Alexandria is the King of dessert wines in the Rivesaltes sub region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Whilst dessert wines are produced in a range of styles, the prevalent notes of this grape are mandarin, lychee, raw honey and white blossom flowers. Served chilled, our Muscat De Rivesaltes: Domaine Boudau is an exceptional, and classic, Muscat de Rivesaltes dessert wine. Sweet on the palate without being too heady or syrupy.
Rosé wines of Languedoc-Roussillon are classically made up of a blend of grape varietals, using any combination of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. Styles can range from marvellously pale pink akin to those famed in Provence, or much richer, darker, fuller bodied styles perfect as an aperitif or enjoyed in cooler weather due to their depth.
Produced from 80% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 10% Grenache Noir. This wine has a beautiful, delicate, pale pink robe and offers a pronounced nose of white blossom, summer fruits and a hint of citrus. It has a long and complex aromatic composition balanced by a mineral freshness that makes it a delight enjoyed on its own or paired with light, spring or summer salads. A bigger, bolder example of a Languedoc-Roussillon Rosé can be explored in our Minervois: Domaine Pierre Cros Minervois Rosé.
With its aromas of exotic fruit, and made from a blend 48% Grenache Noir, 32% Cinsault, 13% Mourvèdre, 7% Syrah, this wine is an example of the creative freedom available from this producer. To get the best out of this bold rosé, we recommend decanting as you would for a red wine, whereupon, an explosion of red fruits, and floral notes can be enjoyed.
Crémant de Limoux
One of the eight regions of France to be able to produce the French sparkling, Champagne alternative, Crémant. Crémant de Limoux is a refreshing, increasingly fashionable sparkling wine made from predominantly Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Although the blend can include the Mauzac grape, many producers are choosing to exclude it in an attempt to modernise its style, differentiating it from Blanquette de Limoux.
Languedoc Wine Producers
At Pierre Hourlier Wines, we have worked hard to carefully select wine-makers that are unique, passionate and expert artisans in their craft. Each has a story to tell - and all are united in producing some of the most superb, original and hard-to-find wines in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
The vineyards of Chateau de Cointes are situated south of the historic fortified city of Carcassonne in south-west France. Malepère: Chateau De Cointes Clemence has a delectable ruby robe, notes of ripe rich dark fruits and a complex, lengthy finish.
The Domaine is situated in the village of Malagas near Beziers in Cotes de Thongue and produces an extensive range of different styled wines, attributable to the wide variety of grape varietals at their disposal. Côtes De Thongue: Domaine Coste Rousse Grande Cuvee White is made from Chardonnay and Viognier grapes, and offers a complex, bold style of dry white wine, with aromatic notes, and a lingering finish. A perfect accompaniment to rich fish dishes or blue cheeses.
Situated in the appellation of Corbières famed for their bold, enticing red wines.Corbières: Chateau Reulet, made from 30% Grenache Noir, 40% Syrah, 30% Carignan, this bold, dry red wine is a herald to the region and a fine example of an excellent dry red wine. Perfectly balanced, smooth tannins, ripe fruits and a medium to long finish.
Located in front of the iconic Canal du Midi, Domaine Lalande is rich in history. Indeed, the famous architect Paul Riquet used to live there when he drew up plans of Canal du Midi, transforming the face of the region and its wine production. Cité De Carcassonne: Les Hauts De Lalande Red is a tremendous dry red wine, and extremely popular with our buyers. Made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, this wine is beautiful, rich, elegant and smooth with lots of ripe fruit on the nose and palate.
Ex-rugby player, Pierre Cros is known as the ‘King of Concentration’ in the region. His wines are full-bodied, brimming with concentrated flavours, and sublimely lingering on the palate. This producer is also famed for his separate range of wines that perfectly embodies the creative freedom of the region, often using lesser utilised, but popular, grape varietals. Minervois: Domaine Pierre Cros Le Clos Red - is a stunning dry red wine, ample, fleshy with raisins and dry fruit on the palate. This wine can be enjoyed now or aged for several years due to its phenomenal intensity and character. Vin De France: Domaine Pierre Cros La Liberte Touriga Nacional is a fine example of the creativity expressed by winegrowers of the region. Made from 100% Touriga Nacional, the grape used to make Vintage Port, this wine is entirely unique, delicious and one to be experienced.
Between moors and pine forests, in the very heart of the Minervois region, just a few kilometres from the medieval city of Carcassonne, the wine producers of Domaine Villepeyroux Forest focuses on the authenticity of the land, with the wine made from the best plots on the estate, and left unfiltered to guarantee quality. Minervois: Domaine Villepeyroux Forest Villarperio Red is a special dry red wine made from Grenache Noir and Syrah, with limited production of only 6,670 bottles. The wine has a fine purple dress with a balanced nose of ripe fruits and oak with rich and powerful sweet tannins.
Domaine Sicard is made up of over 40 hectares, focused on sustainable winegrowing, admirably exhibiting a huge respect for their land and the natural ecosystems there.Vin De France: Domaine Sicard Viognier D'Arthur - a dry, white wine, with fresh minerality, floral and spicy notes and a round and very balanced body on the palate.
Brother and sister, Pierre and Veronique have carefully maximised the huge potential of their estate. Their wines are superb, and constantly gain more and more recognition from discerning wine lovers and critics. Côtes Du Roussillon Villages: Domaine Boudau Patrimoine offers a deep ruby dress, complex nose of red fruits and spices and on the palate, a very aromatic wine with notes of liquorice. Domaine Boudau also produce the celebrated dessert wines of the Rivesaltes sub-region. Rivesaltes: Domaine Boudau Rivesaltes Grenat Sur Grains is a sweet red dessert wine, dubbed as 'French Port' with its intense garnet colour, fruity nose and jammy notes of red fruit. On the palate, aromas of violets, black cherries and liquorice. A silky sweet wine, ample and pleasant.
Located in Babeau, 5km from Saint-Chinian on schist slopes, this family property has been created and maintained by generations of farmers. Saint Chinian: Vivien Roussignol Les Jalouses is a fine red wine made from 100% Carignan. An example of how winegrowers of the region are producing very fine wines. This intense, expressive red wine is brimming with ripe fruits, spice and complexity offering a lengthy finish.
Chateau Fardel Laurens
Chateau Fardel Laurens has produced a stunning red wine, worthy of showcasing as a fine example of the region's artisan wine production. Faugères: Chateau Fardel Laurens Faugeres, made from 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache Noir, 10% Mourvedre, this superb dry red wine, offers an expressive nose, complex aromas, red fruit, raspberry and blackcurrant with a subtle spicy and peppery finish. Supple, harmonious and wonderfully balanced. Elegant structure, supported by ripe, silky and smooth tannins makes this red wine a delight.
Ran by the mother-daughter duo, Simone and Virginie Gaujal, they are proud upholders of the Picpoul tradition (the name derived from the French 'lip stinger'). They constantly strive to make the truest and most expressive character of the Picpoul grape, in the Languedoc region. Picpoul De Pinet: Domaine Gaujal De St Bon Cuvee Dames Old Vines is an exciting and unusual white wine made from the Picpoul grape. The old vines selection produces a full, pronounced wine with lemony aromas, raw honey flavours on the palate, and even a nice little kick of mineral on the finish. Ideal with any seafood.
This passionate and skilled wine producer offers a decedent 100% Mourvedre dry red wine. Vin De Pays D'oc: Chateau Guery L'adoration Mourvedre. Delicious, full, supple tannins and lengthy finish makes this wine a must for anyone who is yet to experience a wine made from 100% Mourvedre. They also produce a rare and unique wine of the region made from 100% Petit Verdot. The grape, although originating from the South West, was historically used in Bordeaux to bring some spice to the wines. However, since it tended to mature too late it has now been discarded by many Chateaux, but here in this warmer part of France it can grow with exceptional success - Vin De Pays D'oc: Chateau Guery L'esprit D'eloi.
The Chateau is located in the heart of the La Clape appellation, and has been producing red, white and rose wine from the late 1700s. The estate was previously occupied by a royal garrison during the mid-19th Century, who were tasked with protecting the entrance to the Aude River, an important trading route. La Clape: Chateau D'Angles Grand Vin White is a very fine, Grand Vin, dry white wine, with a limpid, pale yellow and golden braided dress. This wine offers a rich and complex nose, with a blend of white fruits and floral notes with sweet spices, honey and nuts. A plentiful, structured and creamy mouth unveiling a lovely aromatic intensity with a long and fresh elegant finish.
The Mas de Farjou is steeped in history, with an annual intimate production of less than 10,000 bottles. The standout practice of Mas de Farjou are the ancient methods employed, which are still required in order to maintain traditional methodologies and the highest standards. Pic Saint-Loup: Mas De Farjou Clos Des Jean De Farjou, made from Syrah and Grenach Noir, is rich, fine, delicate and develops aromas of blackberry, white truffle with balsamic notes and eucalyptus.
On the magnificent hillside terraces above Montpeyroux, Villa Dondona is owned by a British artist and a French doctor transformed into winemakers. This 21 acre vineyard is known for its admirable organic growing methods. Languedoc: Villa Dondona Esperel White is a complex, refined and aromatic, dry white wine made from Vermentino, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. This wine is a seductive harmony of white fruit and white blossom.
This marvellous Domaine is owned by a gentleman from Burgundy. Based near Montpellier in the South of France, he uses Chardonnay grapes for the white wines in the style of those prized in Burgundy, using the same method, and with a wonderful result. Vin De Pays D'oc: Domaine Dupont-Fahn Chardonnay Futs Neufs is a must to experience. The aging process of ten months in 20% new oak barrels gives this wine its name.
The Pierre Gaillard Family own four vineyards across Rhone, Roussillon, and across southern France. They produce a tremendous example of a dessert wine from the Banyuls region, the region is famed for such. Banyuls: Pierre Gaillard Cirera Red, is made from 100% Grenache Noir. This intense, sweet red dessert wine offers an explosion of cherry and cassis, with pronounced concentration and a rich, round palate with coated tannins.
Buy Languedoc Wine from Hourlier Wines
We have an exceptional range of some truly superb examples of Occitanie/Languedoc-Roussillon wines that truly reflect the diversity and creative freedom passionately expressed by the region's artisan wine producers.
Our wine producers have been carefully sought by us, dealing directly with the vineyards, and we have tasted, sourced and brought the wines to you, to be purchased either directly from our store or from our website.
Should you have any queries on picking a Languedoc-Roussillon/Occitanie wine- from a classically styled wine of the region, to a bold vibrant creatively diverse selection- or should you require a personal recommendation, please feel free to contact us and we would be delighted to share our expertise, discussing your tastes and requirements with you.