Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France stretches from the Rhône valley in the east to the Spanish border in the southwest. It is dominated by 300,000 hectares of vineyards, making it France's largest wine producing region. Languedoc has been an important winemaking centre for several centuries, with the port of Sete and the link to the Atlantic via the 17th Century Canal du Midi providing key trading routes. Going further back, there is evidence of Roman winemaking in the area. The ruins of a first century AD winery lies near Clermont l’Herault west of Montpellier. The Mediterranean climate and plentiful land with soil ranging from rocky sand to thick clay has long been considered very suitable for the production of wine. However, Languedoc-Roussillon’s heritage has often been overlooked in the modern era because the region gained a reputation for producing quantity over quality. In the 20th Century, very little wine in the region was classified as appellation contrôlée until the 1980s, when a new focus on quality began to emerge.
Domaine Lafage, Côtes Catalanes Carignan Tessellae Vieilles Vignes 2017
Moving to the reds, the 2017 Côtes Catalanes Tessellae Carignan (100% Carignan) comes from the Agly Valley and was brought up all in tank. Blackberries, leather, dried herbs, and licorice notes all emerge from this spicy, medium-bodied, silky Carignan that has terrific purity and elegance. It’s another wine from Jean-Marc that over-delivers. Drink it over the coming couple of years.
91 pts. Jeb Dunnuck