France is a synonym to many: culinary delights, literature, fashion epitomes, elegant wines, and much more. It has always been making consistent wines in their major regions like Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne. Best examples of these wines are today one of the most exquisite and expensive wines of all times. It is interesting to see how the lesser appreciated regions can surprise you too with good produces. Sud de France (South of France) is the biggest winemaking region in the world and is an excellent source for value-for-money wines. Diverse wine styles and an array of terroirs to play with.
Recently, a Delhi-based wine trading company DeVine under the captaincy of Mr. Kunal Mehta brought to India their first French wine selection. They’re sourced from southern France are and from two known houses of Domaine De La Ferrandiere from Languedoc-Roussilon and Saint Jacques d’ Albas of Minervois. The former produces clean crisp whites and heavy styled reds. While the latter’s wine-styles focuses on capturing the essence of the region’s offerings and the grape varieties grown. The combination of two is a perfect display of what the region can impress aficionados with.It was hard for the Wi-Not team to keep themselves away from spreading the good word about these drops once reviewed.Domaine De La Ferrandiere Chardonnay 2009 – WhiteYoung wine with fresh intense aromas of honeydew melon, citrus, stone, green apples, tad leafy, gooseberries, and overall refreshing. Dry palate with crisp acidity and balanced alcohol. Palate is appreciable and is filled with characteristics of green apples, lime, spices, and buttery mouthfeel. Great example of a hotter climate Chardonnay. Easy drinking summer wineDomaine De La Ferrandiere Viognier 2009 – WhiteYoung lemon hued appearance. Perfumed aromas, very appealing and fresh. Orange marmalade hinting towards a sweeter side. Dry creamy fruit forward palate with structure and substance. Interesting floral aftertaste with mild touch of almonds. Very balanced and expressive. Great value-for-money wine best to be served with creamy, juicy, white meat preparations.Clos de Garric Minervois – Syrah + Grenache 2008 – RedDeep ruby coloured wine with almost opaque core. Clean fresh nose, more fruits than spices. Dry palate with tannins being alluring, gripping, yet possessing a royalé sense. The wine is young but is developing complexity. The aftertaste is long sharp and pleasing. Great wine, tannins are a delight. ‘French take on an Aussie Syrah.’Domaine De La Ferrandiere Merlot 2009 – RedDeep colour ruby rims. Fruity attack on the nose with dark fruits, violet, and sweet spices. Fresh fruity punch on the palate, with hint of sweetness. Gripping tannins, coarse yet structured over silky a mouthfeel. Mildly oaky wine providing a sense of balance. Milky aftertaste with a touch of peppers and earth. Good relaxed wine, an easy sipping one.Domaine De La Ferrandiere Syrah 2009 – RedFading rim on a ruby core, showing signs of aging. Youthful fruity nose also displaying hints of grass, spices, chocolate, blueberries, and roses. Fruity palate with sweet spices, cherries, oak, and berry juice. Strong on alcohol, and acidity. Moderate dusty oak tannins. Needs food for sure. Can be laid down for another 2-3 yearsDomaine De La Ferrandiere Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – RedClean youthful nose with aromas of plums all the way with some floral hints. Dry on the palate, very smooth and pleasant with candied fruits’ dominance. Good grip on the palate with overall balance and refined aftertaste. A great sipper.Saint Jacques d’ Albas Minervois 2008 – RedGood deep colour. Clean stewed fruits aromas, berry sorbet, and mixed herbs. Dry light fruity palate with few spices and hint varnish. Tannins are gripping, young and just apt in quantity. Expressive wine, and shows typicity of a blend. Earthy finish with some sweet spices. A pleasant simple wine with not many experiments done to it.
The region is massive in its geographic capacity and local varieties dominate here. What one may expect from the area is a plethora of diversity. The region has not yet made a big mark on the Indian market with its expressive style. It’s only a wait-and-watch scenario before its dominance is felt on the local turf too.