Posted 15th February 2013        

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French wines can be very confusing even to those of us who are active in the wine trade and attend tastings on a weekly basis. Of course we all have a passing familiarity with the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, if only to the extent that we know they are famous French wine producing regions and can be old and expensive!

However, there are hundreds of appellations and thousands of producers, many of which never get the proper attention that they deserve. One such region is the Languedoc. The AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) Languedoc has over 1,000 hectares in production and produce 45,000 hectolitres of wine a year. The Languedoc is dominated by one particular appellation, the AOC Languedoc-La Clape. They have the lions share of production, covering 625 hectares and producing 30,ooo hectolitres a year.

The Languedoc produces red, white and rosé wines. I had the pleasure to try a white from the region which was a pure delight to drink. The grapes used in white wine production are bourboulenc, grenache blanc, roussane and marsanne. These grapes are known for their structure, ripe fruit and good acidity as well as having mineral notes.

I tried the Chateau d’Angles Classique blanc 2010 the other day. It is from the Languedoc La Clape AOC and a very good representative of the region. The wine is made from all four white grapes of the region with a predominance of Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc. What was interesting about this wine was that the producer originally set out to make red wines only and came upon the white varieties by accident. However, they liked what they found and soon began producing this delicious white wine.

I didn’t find it a particularly aromatic wine – hints of spices and ripe white fruit – but on the palate, it’s a real crowd pleaser. Fleshy white fruit with a pleasing creamy mouthfeel and very good length, the wine seemed to want to linger on my tongue. Despite that creaminess, it had a good structure to it, some even said a bit of tannin which is not uncommon with Bourboulenc. It certainly makes the wine more interesting. And, it was very tasty. We all liked this wine a lot. I suggest serving this with a prawn dish; it’s a very good match, the slight mineral notes in the wine, making a good contrast to the sweet flesh of prawns.

The Ch. d’Angles Classique blanc 2010 is available from the Wine Rack, for £9.99.


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Meet the Author:
Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter