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Pic Wines: an online retailer specializing in the Languedoc

I’ve always had a soft spot for the wines from the Languedoc commune of Pic St Loup (above), ever since I first discovered them while I was camping at a small village called St Martin de Londres, bang in the middle of the region. It’s mainly red wine territory, and over the last several years wines from this area have established a growing reputation for quality. (see my report here)

New-ish retailer Pic Wines is named after the region, but as well as offering bottles from Pic St Loup itself they also do a good coverage of many of the top sub-regions of the Languedoc. The company is run by two ex-pat Brits, Helen and Julie, who met at University (no lesser educational establishment than Oxford, so they are smart…) and who are now living in the region. Their business model is quite interesting: rather than hold stock, they effectively act as brokers between the small growers who they list and their customers.

They know their stuff: their list is crammed with some top producers, and many of the wines available here aren’t otherwise on sale in the UK. They sent me three to try, and my notes are below. [Rather embarrassingly, I scored them all the same. It’s just coincidence.] Pic Wines is a valuable addition to the roster of independents who specialize in the Languedoc, currently one of France’s most exciting wine regions.

Mas Domergue Font d’Armand 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc
Hmm, this has a lovely, typically southern French nose: open, perfumed and with dark meaty, spicy black olive and herb character. It’s intensely savoury. The palate is savoury, tight and spicy with a nice fresh fruit character. The dominant feature, though, is the meatiness. There’s a hint of Burgundy here in the flavour profile on the palate, while the nose is all Rhône.
Very good+ 89/100 (£9.50 Pic Wines) 09/05

Château de Valflaunès Hardiesse 2002 Pic St Loup, Coteaux du Languedoc
Quite deep coloured. Smooth, sweet dark fruits nose with a subtly meaty, spicy nose. The palate is quite lush with smooth textured savoury dark fruits and an earthy, slightly bitter finish. Overall, quite an interesting food-friendly wine.
Very good+ 89/100 (£11.55 Pic Wines) 10/05

Château des Crès Ricards ‘Oenothera’ 2003 Coteaux du Languedoc
Distinctly 2003!
Smooth, pure, sweet red fruits nose with some nice earthy/spicy definition. Quite alcoholic; tight and savoury. The palate shows smooth primary red fruits with quite high alcohol and dusty, earthy tannins. The combination of the slightly bitter yet sweet alcohol, and the firm, earthy tannins, plus pure ripe fruit, makes this a challenging wine. But it flirts with elegance and there’s a nice purity to the fruit. Very good+ 89/100 (Pic Wines) 09/05

Contact details:

Pic Wines (SARL) 
3, rue Basse 
34380 Viols le Fort 
Email: contact@picwines.co.uk
Tel: 00 33 499 62 09 27 
Tel/fax : 00 33 467 55 81 28