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Wine from Provence-


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I recently learnt that wine produced in Bandol, Provence- Domaine Tempier for example, produces a lovely red from the Mourvedre grape. Has anyone had any experience with reds from Provence? (and from this particular grape?)

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I recently learnt that wine produced in Bandol, Provence- Domaine Tempier for example, produces a lovely red from the Mourvedre grape. Has anyone had any experience with reds from Provence? (and from this particular grape?)

Mas de Gourgonnier is from Les Baux de Provence. It has some Syrah, but it's mostly Grenache. It often appears on Best Values lists. If you're looking for a $10 red, it's worth a try.

Personally, I prefer Cotes du Rhones in that price range (or occasionally a Languedoc wine like Mas de Guiot).

beachfan

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chateau routas makes a wine called "agrippa" which is mostly mourvedre, i believe. it's a little hot, but it's fun and comes in magnums. they're rose, though, is a good value. also, they make a wine called "coquelicot", a cuvee that is half chardonnay & viognier. it's got nice aromatics.

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Mourvedre 101:

Few, if any Bandol wines (such as Tempier's) are 100% Mourvedre. By law, they must be at least 50% Mourvedre.

Mourvedre is also one of the grapes used in Cote du Rhone and CDP (blended with Grenache and Syrah). It is also cultivated (sometimes in pure varietal bottlings) in Australia (d'Arenberg, notably) and California (Bonny Doon), but the country with the most Mourvedre in production is . . . . Spain, where it is known as Monastrell.

If you like Bandol, I would also recommend bottlings by Gros' Nore, Pibarnon and Lafran Veyrolles.

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Mourvedre is used much more prominently in Provence and Languedoc than it is in wines of the southern Rhone valley such as Cote du Rhone, which are primarily grenache and maybe some syrah. I commend you on your appreciation of Mourvedre. Some are put off by its tendency to have a robust and somewhat barnyardy nose reminiscent of brettanomyces infection. However, I find the "funky" aspect of this grape quite charming and rustic. It has been my experience that barnyard or animal smells from Languedoc wines are more correctly traced to the high percentage of mourvedre in the blend than the actual presence of brett.

I realize that you asked for recommendations specifically from Provence, but I recommend that you broaden the search to include Languedoc. There you will find that mourvedre dominates many of the wines and is often blended with grenache and syrah resulting in a tremendous wine. Even better, most of these wines are extremely affordable. I would look for wines from Corbieres and Fougeres, especially those imported by Kermit Lynch.

As an aside, I feel that the last few vintages of Domaine Tempier have been rather uninspiring. Tempier has also seen fit to raise its prices substantially over the last five years. Pibarnon produces and equal Bandol to Tempier at almost half the price.

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Mas de Gourgonnier is from Les Baux de Provence.  It has some Syrah, but it's mostly Grenache.  It often appears on Best Values lists.  If you're looking for a $10 red, it's worth a try.

Les Baux is a great region. As well as Mas de Gourgonnier, try:

Mas de la Dame (good olive oil also)

Domaine Hauvette (white and red)

Domaine de Trevallon (VdP but delibrately so; expensive but rated highly).

I also commend the Languedoc region to you. Holidayed in Minervois last year (try Domaine Piccinini La Liviniere) and Coteau Languedoc this year (try Domaine d'Aupilac and Mas Daumas Gassac).

Great value wines from France's "New World".

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Ron and Winot- thanks for the information about Languedoc, I didn't know they used Mourvedre in their wines.

I find Domaine Tempier to be quite overpriced. I think most of the wines from Bandol unfortunately are now. The wines I look for from Bandol, are indeed, imported by Kermit Kynch.

I always like to experiment with wines made from different grape varietals. These days I have been having wines from Madiran, in Bergerac, they apparently use the Tannat grape. Has anyone tried the wines from there?

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I quite like the wines of Madiran which I believe are mainly dependent on Tannat.

Had a bottle of Ch. Bouscasse (Alain Brumont makes it I believe).

Had a kind of burnished quality and depth of flavour.

But not much in terms of fruit quality say. So not much at the front of the palate but fills back of mouth.

I think the levels of Tannin mean food often assists the integration of the wine - so if you're drinking the wine on its own one can end up with a rather furred up tongue - not that that isn't good in the right context.

I think a more general discussion about the wines of the South of France - in particular the less favoured grapes you instance would be interesting.

Wilma squawks no more

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Tanins are important to give a wine structure and length, but too much tannic acid will throw a wine completely out of balance. While food merely masks the presence of tannins (particularly those foods with a negative pH such as cheese), decanting the bottle in well in advance of drinking will "soften" the tannins significantly. I find that I decant most of the red wine I have at home these days for this very reason (and I am generally drinking wines from the south of France that are in current release).

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I also commend the Languedoc region to you.  Holidayed in Minervois last year (try Domaine Piccinini La Liviniere) and Coteau Languedoc this year (try Domaine d'Aupilac and Mas Daumas Gassac).

Any tips on where I can find these particular Languedoc wines in the LA area?

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Speaking of wines from the South of France, I found a Madiran from Chateau Montus, 1995, the Cuvee Prestige for $36 dollars. Any thoughts? I assume that this will need to be cellared for a good five years at least for the tannins to soften up. Food pairing? etc?

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On the subject of Bandol, my favourite producer is Domaine la Suffrene. The regular cuvee is I think about 60% mourvedre, with the remainder being grenache and cinsault. It is quite a tannic wine, with aromas of spice, leather and tobacco. The Cuvee les Lauves is almost 100% mourvedre, from old vines, and is similar to its brother, but just that bit deeper, richer and more structured. They are both relatively inexpensive here in the UK, but I think the most romantic place to try and buy them (and other Bandols) is at the co-operative shop overlooking the beach in Bandol itself.

Outside France, one of the very best mourvedres I have sampled was the 1996 Jade Mountain from California.

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I also commend the Languedoc region to you.  Holidayed in Minervois last year (try Domaine Piccinini La Liviniere) and Coteau Languedoc this year (try Domaine d'Aupilac and Mas Daumas Gassac).

Any tips on where I can find these particular Languedoc wines in the LA area?

Sorry -- I'm London based so haven't got a clue. However, Parker has a section on Languedoc-Roussillon wines and I recall that he lists US importers.

Hope that helps.

W.

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