Wine tasting notes: the best wines from Saint-Chinian

Date:14-01-2014 08:58:35 read:1

Wine tasting notes: the best wines from Saint-Chinian

Saint-Chinian in the Languedoc makes some of southern France’s best wines

Pick of the crop: Hamish Anderson's favourite wines from Saint Chinian 

2012 Saint-Chinian, Domaine Raynier £5.75, Wine Society

Minervois or Corbières may grab the Languedoc’s headlines but to my mind this small region to the north-west of Béziers makes some of southern France’s most serious wines. Serious this is not, but startling value it is. With black plum and an elegant dusting of spice, it’s one of the best-value reds out there for about a fiver.

2011 Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun, La Grange des Combes £9.99 (when buying two), Majestic

From the Roquebrun sub-region up in the hills, this is one of those lovely wines that manages to be dark, brambly and intense (just the kind of fare you want after a cold, dark winter’s day) and yet not heavy, with spice, smoke and a seam of tannin providing a counterpoint. Made for a slow-cooked stew.

2011 Saint-Chinian 'Le Clos de ma Mère’, Clos Bagatelle £14.95, Swig

White wines account for a tiny amount of the region’s production, but like many of the best southern French whites, Saint-Chinian’s are intriguing, distinct and, for a bottle of this quality, fine value. This has an exotic nose (all apricot and flowers), while the taste has savoury nuances of fennel, spice and herbs. Powerful stuff.

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