Three colours: organic wines from the AOP Languedoc
This year marks the 15th anniversary of AOP Languedoc becoming a regional appellation. To mark the event, we have chosen three excellent organic wines from the region to try – a white, a rosé, and a red.
AS AOP Languedoc celebrates 15 years since it became a regional appellation in 2007, we consider the strengths of the region, with a particular focus on its environmental credentials.
This area of France, which covers the large and diverse lands between Nîmes and Perpignan, has become an exciting source of authentic and sustainable wines, as it benefits from a dry, windy climate; rocky, free-draining vineyard sites; hardy Mediterranean grapes, and eco-minded winemakers, many of them from a younger generation.
So ripe is the area for ecologically-sensitive wine production, it is estimated that more than one third of this appellation’s output is organic, boosted by biodynamic advocate Gérard Bertrand, among others who are increasingly choosing farming methods that do away with synthetic inputs.
Such a green approach adds an extra layer of appeal for an AOP that is already enticing. After all, this is a place with a wealth of ripe, balanced wines of all colours that offer excellent value relative to the competition, be it within France or beyond its borders.
Working with wonderful grapes such as Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Rolle, and Viognier for its whites, and Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault for its reds and rosés, AOP Languedoc is home to a distinctive set of wines, made delicious by the fact they use a blend of varieties, grown in ideal viticultural conditions.
For those producers who have gone down the organic route, it’s not just about the environmental benefits. They are recording better results in the vineyard too. That’s because a healthy, balanced vine will yield berries with similarly positive traits.
As Jean-Benoit Cavalier, president of the AOP Languedoc and owner of Château Lascaux says: “There are three reasons we went to organics: for the environment, for the health of the workers, and for the quality of the wines.”
In keeping with Cavalier ’s persuasive triumvirate of motivating forces to manage his vines organically, we have selected three organic wines to try, chosen for their combination of quality and value.
DOMAINE DE ROQUEMALE, LES ROCS BLANCS, AOP LANGUEDOC, 2021
A refreshing white from the organic Domaine de Roquemale that’s made from a ‘field blend’ of six varieties – Grenache, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and Rolle. Planted, picked and fermented together, these grapes create a delicious drop. featuring layers of flavours, from peach to pear, grapefruit and bitter lemon, with a gently salty character to the finish.
SOURCE OF JOY ORGANIC ROSÉ, AOP LANGUEDOC, 2021
This delicious and refreshing pink wine from Gérard Bertrand employs organically grown Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, and comes packed with ripe peach and crunchy cranberry flavours, along with a subtle hint of creamy vanilla – a proportion of this wine is aged in barriques.
COSTEPLANE, PIOCH DE L’OULE, AOP LANGUEDOC, 2018
Comprising Syrah and Grenache, Costeplane’s Pioch de l’Oule rouge is a brilliant biodynamic wine with plenty of fruit and freshness. The red is rich in dark berry and cherry flavours, along with cracked pepper and black olive notes, and then a subtle herbal note, followed by some vanilla from barrel ageing, and a long, mouth-watering finish, revealing dry, chalky-textured tannins.