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The wines of Domaine Font Caude, Montpeyroux, Languedoc

Alain Chabanon’s Domaine Font Caude is now one of the leading lights in the Languedoc. He owns 18 ha of vines in the commune of Montpeyroux, and has just moved to a new purpose built winery. Before setting up his own domaine he worked for Alain Brumont in Madiran. These are impressive wines showing great concentration in a lush, attractive mould, although I wasn’t that convinced by the Merlot. Why grow Merlot in the Languedoc? Prices are from La Vigneronne, who hosted this tasting.

Le Merle aux Alouettes 1999, Vin de Pays d’Oc
A new cuvee made from Merlot, with a long maceration followed by 24 months in barrique. Deep, vivid red colour. Rich, spicy, dusty nose is distinctively southern. Quite a chunky, spicy palate with rich fruit and dusty tannins. Very rich and savoury, but a little austere on the finish. Perhaps this spent too long in barrel? Very good (£16.25)

Les Boissières 1998 Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
This is 90% Grenache/10% Syrah; it wasn’t made in 1999 because Alain decided to use the Grenache as a blending component for the Cuvée Tradition (not tasted here). The lovely rich, sweet herby liquoricey nose is very striking. Lush, sweet palate is quite herby and fruity, with some tannic structure. This is an unusual wine; quite a low acid style. Very good/excellent (£20)

L’Esprit de Font Caude 1999 Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
70% Syrah/30% Mourvèdre; long maceration and 24 months in barrique. Seductive herby, liquoricey nose with some sweet fruit and a bit of spiciness and earthy complexity. Chunky palate is quite tannic, in a rich savoury style. Quite a big wine with a touch of alcohol on the finish. The Mourvèdre component asserts itself with dry, dusty tannins: this is quite a serious wine that needs some time. Very good/excellent  (£17.50)

L’Esprit de Font Caude 1998 Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux
90% Syrah, 10% Grenache. Very deep red/purple colour. Sweet, spicy nose with liquoricey, tarry complexity and a warm southern character. The palate is chunky and tannic with a dusty finish. Savoury and concentrated this is quite tight at the moment. Needs time. Very good/excellent (£20)

Tasting at La Vigneronne, April 2002

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