Southern French TDV 2019
14 tourists took part in our latest Tour du Vin visit to Languedoc and Rhone last week. We were pleased to welcome four first time tourists – who got into the swing of things straight away.
The group assembled at Domaine de Trevallon just after lunch on Wednesday for a tour of the estate and cellars with their Head Winemaker. Trevallon only make two wines; a premium red and a premium white and they were beautiful wines – a great start to the trip.
The next stop on our tour was to Michel Gassier in Costières de Nîmes where we were looked after by Sales Director Jérémy Gaudineau. We have previously listed their wines so was a treat to taste their Red and White Nostre Pais once again – as well as a selection of other wines from the Michel Gassier stable. (it was also the first chance to give the Waud Wine Club flag a run out!
Tourists were treated to a small lie in after an excellent evening out in Nîmes the night before – and we head West towards Montpellier for our first tasting of the day at Puech Haut. Once all of the tourists finally arrived – we had a stroll around the vineyards, then the cellars, before a simply stunning tasting of their full range of excellent wines. They have a Prestige range, plus their Tete de Belier range – and now some excellent wines from their vineyards in Pic Saint Loup. (we are looking to order most of their range up shortly!)
We then enjoyed our first tour lunch on the way to Mas de Daumas Gassac. We have listed Daumas Gassac for years and have sold their wines En Primeur for the last 7 years. Many thanks to Cecile for showing us around the magical estate in Aniane.
We left our hotel on the morning of Day 3 and head East to Southern Rhône for our first tasting in Vacqueyras at the fabulous Sang de Cailloux. We were looked after by Serge Férigoule, who comfortably has the best moustache in Southern France! They have been biodynamic for the last few years, though unfortunately have lost quite a lot of their recent crops due to mildew – and frost. Anyway, we enjoyed a number of vintages of Floretto, Doucinello, the headline act Lopy, as well as Oamage, that is only made in the finest years.
After lunch in Beaumes de Venise, we head to our final tasting of the tour in Chateauneuf du Pape – to Chateau de la Gardine. This is probably our most popular agency and the wines we sell the most of in the UK. Many thanks to Alban at Chateau de la Gardine for showing us around the vineyard, the cellars and for one of the greatest tastings we have ever been treated to on tour.
We tasted the Saint Roch range from Lirac – red, white and rose, followed by Gigondas and Rasteau from Gardine, followed by Chateauneuf in red and white, followed by a 100% roussanne that was stunningly good. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Alban treated us to 2 vintages of Gaston Phillippe Chateauneuf in 2 vintages – firstly 2016, then 2012. I would put them down as 2 of the best wines I have tasted in a long time.
Another great wine tour came to an end with another long dinner at our hotel Abbaye de Sainte Croix to celebrate Jose Drabwell’s birthday! Many thanks to all of the tourists for being involved, it was great fun from start to finish.
Next stop…Rioja in September! (sorry – already sold out!)
By Charles Waud