The Languedoc: character, style and soul

Taste April 2013 | by Jeff Cox, PCC Wine Guy

We weren’t the first to discover the Languedoc. Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Alamanni, Vandals, Saracens and Visigoths rose and fell in succession to the enchantment of its contrasts and contradictions. It’s a crossroads — of winds, Atlantic and Mediterranean; of climates, marine and arid; and languages, Occitan, Catalan and French. Its sturdy cuisine blends flavors and shades of Catalonia, Provence and France’s rugged Midi, with a bounty of fish, shellfish, beef, lamb, spices, olives, wheat and a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables as its pantry.

The Romans brought vines to the south of France, and by the mid-20th century, the region produced a third of Europe’s wine; a handful of large companies dominated the market with oceans of inexpensive table wine. By the 1990s, a renaissance was underway, with more and more small, independent growers sourcing grapes from vineyards in the hills, where poor soils and cooler temperatures contribute to produce fewer grapes but wines of astonishing character and quality.

Fortunately for us, the region’s former reputation for robust if unremarkable table wines means that most of those vibrant, terroir-driven, food-friendly wines remain amazingly affordable — and perfect for everyday enjoyment.

We’ve discovered six Languedoc producers whose wines exemplify that tremendous quality and value. We’re thrilled to offer them exclusively at PCC — look for the “Quite the Find” sticker.

 

6 to try

  • Antech Limoux
    All that sparkles
  • Château Maylandie
    Just plain delicious
  • Domaine la Madura
    Powerful and elegant
  • Domaine Félines Jourdan
    The best picpoul
  • Domaine la Provenquière
    Easy to drink, easy to buy
  • Château Ollieux Romanis
    Sturdy and stylish

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