Posts Tagged ‘languedoc’

Domaine de Nizas Le Mas 2007

July 28, 2010

What an exceptional wine. Twenty dollars worth of a wild herb, pine, stone -garrigue- nose floating over a full body, soft tannin, brooding palate rendered by a most unlikely blend for a typically Languedoc appellation. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot form this winning triumvirate. Lovely on the nose, ditto en bouche and excellent finale. No wonder why this wine merited a bronze medal by Decanter magazine. Make sure you get your hands on this wine before it disappears. You know, LDB, unpredictable. Products in, success, out. That is one of the shames of having a monopoly on alcohol.

ps. sorry for the picture. its a 2004. couldnt get anything closer to 2007. but it looks very much the same.


Blanquette de Limoux Antech 2008

July 20, 2010

The Languedoc wine tasting was a success, with the Chez Meme Baguette Bistro completely full. The food was delicious and people had a great, festive time. I am glad for my choices of wine, all seven in the flight were greatly enjoyed by all. Of course there were favorites and below I will leave a few notes on each. Looking forward to the next event in August!

Antech Blanquette de Limoux 2008.This sparkling wine came as a great surprise to all attendees. They loved the chalky nose, witness to the limestone/gravel soils of Limoux. Mostly Mauzac grapes, this Blanquette is made in the traditional method, with double fermentaion. The biscuity flavors take the passenger seat and let the lemon stone fruit flavors drive the dry, fun palate saturated with fine, lazy bubbles. Drinks great on its own but will embellish salads, cheese, scallops and other shellfish.

Brought to BC by Terrarosa Imports, this wine should not be missed this summer. Available at Marquis Wine Cellars, Kits Wine Cellar, Everything Wine, Libations, Liberty Wine Merchants and Steamworks for $25.99.

Languedoc Wine Tasting in Burnaby Heights / SOLD OUT. Thank You All!

June 30, 2010

Chez Meme Baguette Bistro and wine apassionado Ivan Loyola (winecouver) announce a soiree of French wine, food and fun.

When: Thursday, July 15, 2010

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Where: Chez Meme Baguette Bistro

4016 Hastings Street Burnaby, BC V5C (Hastings and Gilmore)

Burnaby, BC

Contact: Tel. 778 322 7701 or 604 299 1141

Languedoc, in Southern France, is one of the most exciting appellations for great wine of distinct character and good value. Come join us to explore whites, reds and roses paired with a sampler of French dishes. Wine apassionado Ivan Loyola will guide you through the regions and wines, while the Bistro staff will give insights into French cuisine. There will be a draw to win a French chef knife and a bottle of wine. Tickets $35. Please RSVP as seats are limited.


Sliced baguette with brie, poached pears and toasted walnuts

Smoked salmon with dill cream cheese wrapped in crepe

Albacore seared tuna with lemon caper mayo light grenache

ratatouille mousse

Confit de Canard (duck)

Lamb shanks sliders

Chocolate dessert


Blanquette de Limoux Sparkling

Chateau de la Galiniere Rose

Lulu B Chardonnay

Domaine de Nizas Rouge

Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Grenache Syrah

Chateau de Camplezans Syrah

Chapoutier Banyuls

To buy tickets visit the Bistro (604 299 1141) or buy online at

Laurent Miquel Bardou 2005 Syrah

March 15, 2010

From the St. Chinian appellation, one of the least known of the French Languedoc region, comes this delicious offering by young winemaker Laurent Miquel. The Languedoc wine wizard has us used to excellent quality vs price wines, all the way from his entry level syrah grenache and chardonnay viognier (both 11.99 in Vancouver) passing through his rich, ripe fruited Nord Sud Viognier (24.99) to this intriguing Bardou, which, besides the wine itself, comes in a beautiful, elegant, classic style packaging.

This Syrah starts with a textbook Languedoc nose, that is, the scents of the Garrigue scrubland that so well define the area. St. Chinian may be said to be no more than a slope covered with vineyards; the appellation is small and the wineries there established, crank out the good stuff. Herbal and wild flower fragrances come off the glass. Lavender, rosemary, mint, pine, rock, muddy stream shore. This is not a monster body Syrah but rather an elegant, sober medium body beauty. Coffeeish notes from the new oak are enmeshed with the full-flavored, dark fruit and closed up by a lingering finish. Tannins are abundant and soft. A lovely Syrah and surprisingly, its price varies wildly in Vancouver. At some locations I found it for 28 dollars; in others you have to pay up to 40. I paid the former. Grin. *_*

My wine mate was making a seafood cioppino. After sipping the first glass we figured the Bardou needed something with more meat -figuratively speaking- so we turned the cioppino into a clam tomato sauce linguini*. It paired beautifully with the wine, each enhancing the other. Another great wine from beautiful Languedoc.


*enrich it with anchovy paste….

Ivan Alfonso

ps. Photos, Le Guide de Sud France, Laurent Miquel website

Say Oc to Languedoc

December 17, 2009

Languedoc Wine Conference Dinner November 23rd, 2009, C Restaurant Vancouver

Decidedly French and charmingly candid, Regional Representative Christine Molines (that would be, Christine Windmills) can be very passionate when the subject is the wines of Languedoc. Last month, at a wonderfully well put together tasting at C Restaurant on False Creek, she walked a delighted audience through the regions of the Southern France wine powerhouse (it has more vineyard area than Australia) and through a flight of eight products that did not disappoint.

The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks Languedoc is “Where the hell is that? What wines are made there?” The appellation does not have the resonance and prestige of Bordeaux, Burgundy, not even of the lesser known Loire or Alsace. Let’s start with the name. Languedoc -originally Langue d’Oc- translates as ‘language of Oc,’ this latter word meaning “yes”. The region stretches like an arc hugging the Mediterranean from the Pyrenees near the border with Spain, to the city of Nimes in the Gard, the latter an appellation that officially corresponds to the wine departements of the Southern Rhone. The Languedoc wine country is analogous to California because of its vast vineyard acreage, its sun baked hills and maritime influence. That is where the similarities stop.

Unlike its American cousin, the Languedoc’s landscape is dotted with castles, cathedrals and rocky outcrops on which the ruins of palaces and temples speak of a rich past, a hinge of cultures that from the time of the Greeks have recognized it as premier wine country. The appellation is fragmented in a number of sub-appellations, of which Coteaux du Languedoc, Corbieres and Minervois are the best known.  Still reds are the bulk of the production but Lunel and Frontignan’s dessert wines (Vin Doux Naturels) as well as exciting sparkling wines from Limoux are part of the region’s vinous arsenal.

The predominant black grapes are Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault. Often maligned and misunderstood, the last two can produce beautiful wines when grown to produce small crops on marginal, sloped, schist-predominant soils. In some areas, namely Cabardes and Malepere, Atlantic varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can be found blended with the Mediterranean ones. Piquepoul, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc predominate in white blends, which tend to be robust and aromatic. Delicious, floral, appley sparkling wines are made with those grapes and also with Mauzac, a variety rarely found outside the region.

With over a dozen sub-appellations and areas undergoing classification, diversity in the taste and character of the wines is to be expected. However, the terroir exercises its influence throughout the region, principally through the aromas of la garrigue. This is a quintessential Languedoc landscape, defined by scrubland perfumed by strong ocean, mineral and herbal scents. Lavender, thyme, rosemary, Aleppo pine and others mingle with the soils and the salty marine breeze, propping up the grapes’ aromas and flavors. This bouquet of wild vegetation and minerals is the olfactory hallmark of the appellation’s wines. In a subsequent post I will review the wines tasted at that memorable show (special thanks to Mireille Sauve of The Wine Umbrella who helped organize the event).

However, I feel I also owe a note to the region as a tourist destination. Enchanting cities, like Montpellier and fairy-tale like rural landscapes, as in Gassac, make this region a must see for the wine traveler. If the beauty, history and wine were not enough, there is the delicious food. Cassoulet, choucroute, bouillabaisse, goat cheese, the list goes on. Today’s Languedoc is a marriage between the land and the Mediterranean, enjoying a cultural tradition to which all, Greek and Phoenician, Roman and Visigoth, Arab and Franc have contributed and shaped. Say Oc to the wines of Languedoc.

Import Vintners & Spirits Association New Products Salon Part II

September 23, 2009

Import Vintners & Spirits Association
New Product Salon
4 Seasons Hotel
Vancouver, September 21, 2009
Part II
Let’s continue with more white wines that hit a good spot.

Mc William’s Pinot Grigio 2007, Australia. $15.99. A nice effort but at this price, and with the declining reputation of Australian wines, it might have a hard time getting off the shelves. Agent: NA.
Campagnola, Le Bine Soave. Garganega Trebbiano. Veneto. $19.49 Spec. Delicious, chalky, refreshing and with a wonderful long finish. Agent: Red Dog
Cantina Breganze. Terracrua Bianco (100% Friuliano). Veneto. $14.99 Spec. Low alcohol (10%) may be an attractive point for a decent Friuliano, lacking a bit in acidity but at the price point could move. Agent: Vinoallegro.
Sartori Marani Bianco Veronese 2007. Garganega. Veneto. $24.99. Spec. A soft, plump, refreshing Garganega. Agent: Pacific Wine & Spirits.
Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2008. New Zealand. $19.99 Specialty. A tasty, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with the quality that Marlborough wines always deliver. Agent: Calibrium.
Michel Torino Cuma Organic Torrontes 2006. Salta, Argentina. $13.99. A serious competitor in this class. Intense, fruity and organic. Agent: The Kirkwood Group.
Sileni Cellar’s Pinot Gris. Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. $19.99. Pear and citrus, ripe and with very good texture. Agent: The Kirkwood Group.
La Sauvageonne Sauvignon Blanc 2007. Les Ruffes, Languedoc, France. $22.99. Spec. Intense nose, good acidity and balance. Agent: Barbara Mills.

Bronzinelle, Rhone Style Blend

June 16, 2009

A French man told me once “we know something about winemaking that the rest of the world doesn’t”. bronxinelleAlthough it sounded arrogant at the time, many times I have pondered –holding a glass in my hand- if after all he was right. One of those times was tasting this juicy Rhone-style blend led by Syrah. Dark ruby red with a flash of purple, the nose brings licorice, dust, spice and “Grenachey” aromas of stewed, sweet red fruit. A lot of very fine tannins in this broth, coating the mouth with a drying –yet pleasing- sensation. Good body with red fruit, old wood and spice and a long, satisfying finish.

Product: Bronzinelle

Variety: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan


Winery: Chateau Saint Martin de la Garrigue

Origin: Languedoc, France

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price: 20.99 (Everything Wine)
Best in Class