The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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80 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014/2015 { pairing & tasting } IF FRANCE—LIKE MANY OLD WORLD wine countries—had its Cinderella region, it is Languedoc, long considered the less glamor- ous bumpkin that never manages to have quite the right gown for the party. Not anymore. Languedoc has had a steady makeover and is now stepping out as a done- over darling in the world of French wine. While you'll find many traditional producers here, a new generation of modern, globally educated producers now wave Languedoc's banner with equal pride of place. The make - over is most apparent in the revision and clarification of the region's AOPs, bringing a guarantee of quality and traceability that rivals that of other great French wine regions. For the first time, "terroir" is a buzzword. Moreover, wines from here show skilled blending, accompanied by creative packaging and increasingly sophis - ticated marketing to a global audience. The largest wine-producing region in France, hugging the Mediterranean Sea from the Spanish border to the ancient Roman- era city of Nîmes, Languedoc produces the same varieties as its sister Rhône appellations: the reds Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan, and whites Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. On the cusp of great things, while still maintaining its rustic charms, Languedoc is on the rise from the cinders, a simple maiden no more. On the Cusp of Great Things A SAMPLING FROM LANGUEDOC PROVIDES A GLIMPSE OF GREATNESS AS THE REGION STEPS OUT AS THE DARLING OF THE FRENCH WINE WORLD photos by Adam James Taylor Parsons, Wine Director of République, tasted with us. 500 500 2000 2000 2000 4000 4000 4000 4000 2000 2000 4000 4000 4000 6000 8000 6000 4000 2000 2000 2000 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 Avignon Montelimar Nîmes Alès Montpellier Agde Béziers Lézignan- Corbières Narbonne Perpignan Carcassonne Albi Rodez Cahors Millau Toulouse Carpentras Arles Martigues Marseille Valence S P A I N G o l f e d u L i o n Rhône Hérault Tarn Agout Agout Ariège Têt Aude C a m a r g u e C a v e n n e s A9 A75 A75 A75 A7 A7 A54 A55 A9 A61 D117 N116 N115 A61 A66 D118 A68 A9 N568 D94 D104 D86 D981 D999 D999 D911 D612 N106 PROVENCE-ALPES- CÔTE D'AZUR L A N G U E D O C - R O U S S I L L O N M I D I - P Y R É N É E S R H Ô N E - A L P E S CABARDÈS CORBIÈRES MINERVOIS FITOU La Clape CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES Pic St Loup COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES MALEPÈRE LIMOUX Paris Contours (heights in feet) 0 0 40 kilometers 40 miles 2000 LANGUEDOC Historically associated with neighboring Roussillon, Languedoc is now stressing its own identity. For more on Roussillon, see page 60. Jambon-buerre, house-cured ham with French butter, brings out the savory as well as the wild fruit, from a stellar red blend, Domaine Pas de L'Escalette 2013 "Les Petits Pas," Languedoc.

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