• 94 pts Gary Walsh - "Delicious"
  • Languedoc - the home of value.
  • "aromatic dried herb and pepper, black and blue fruit"
  • Single Bottle
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  • Gary Walsh
    94 points
  • Jeremy Pringle
    94 points

Editors notes


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
  • Palate

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Gary Walsh

    "Hey! You can laugh and scoff, as some of the cognoscenti do about wines from the Languedoc, but when you've seen the old vines, and tasted their fruit with an open mind, the best wines express their terroirs better than most, with the bonus of being (still) ridiculously under-valued. So go now. Make hay. Syrah, Carignan, Grenache. Importer: Fourth Wave Wine Lavender, aromatic dried herb and pepper, black and blue fruit. Minimal oak influence. Medium bodied, almost juicy, firm grainy tannin, bit of black jellybean richness, graphite and super length. Delicious. Ash on the finish. So much character and reflection of terroir here. Crazy price. The best of the three 2011 Reserve wines for my tastes, though it's largely a decision of preference over quality."
  • Jeremy Pringle

    "Smells fantastic. Black brambly fruit with a subtle raspberry lining, potpourri, licorice root and bouquet garni. Sits just above medium bodied. Juicy but structured with tannin you can sink your teeth into. Schisty minerality with oak (20% new) in the wings."

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.

Languedoc Roussillon

Languedoc-Roussillon is oft called by the abbreviated 'Languedoc' - It's the coastal region of southern France from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and borders with Spain. With over 3 times the amount of vines than the entire of Bordeaux it's a vast region that produces a lot of wine. Vin de Pays d'Oc and sparkling Crémant de Limoux are two of its most famous exports.

The regions history when it comes to wine is a long a rich one, however it is also home to some of the newest AUC appellations in France, like Cabardès, which was only officially recognised in 1999. The region is a haven for enthusiasts of wine on a budget, for it is here you can find some remarkably high-quality wines without breaking the bank. Given the higher amount of sun hours experienced in the South of France, the wines coming from there are more full bodied and rich than from other more prestigious regions.

In the recent past (1970's) Languedoc region was known to produce vast amounts of cheap wine that didn't help its reputation region at all, however a steady improvement now sees it responsible for producing some great value wines that are generally blends, though not entirely so. Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Chardonnay, Carmenere, Cinsault and Picpoul are some of the most common widely planted varietals. Grower cooperatives produce some remarkable wines alongside their more traditional winery neighbours.

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About the brand Abbotts Delaunay

A collaboration between Burgundian winemaker Laurent Delaunay and Australian-born Nerida Abbott, Abbotts & Delaunay's roots stem from Nerida's interest in the Languedoc region and her efforts to create premium wines from this underrated region of southern France.

Located at a crossroads between the Languedoc's most impressive regions: Limoux, Corbieres and Minervois, Abbots & Delaunay centers itself in Marseillette, on land cultivated under vine since the early 19th century. Joined by Vincent Charleux, another winemaker whom since an early age, had a penchant for making wine, Abbots & Delaunay produces fine Syrah, Grenache and Carignan blends from the heart of the region where the blistering Mediterranean sun creates ripe, fruit-driven wines with a rustic charm. Here, tiny parcels of hand-selected old vines thrive in a plethora of soil types, each imprinting its characteristic qualities on the vines grown within.

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