The ICC group tasted 6 Wines from Gard on Thursday October 4th.

Here are my – rather brief – notes and scores:

“LES ALBIZZIAS” BLANC (DOMAINE SAINT ETIENNE) 2011  –   13% – Leon Stolarski Fine Wines (LSFW) £10
This is a simple Côtes du Rhône from a winery midway between Avignon and Nimes, composed of 6 or 7 Grapes with Grenache Blanc leading the way. The nose is light with mineral and pear notes. Oily rich palate and a bitter lemon peel twist. Later as it warms a fruit element appears: apricot? A wine that needs food, quite understated despite its richness.
Quality:  14/20      Value: 16/20

LIRAC BLANC “LA FERMADE” (DOMAINE MABY) 2012  – 14½% – Wine Society  £10
This is mainly Clairette with some Granache Blanc, Viognier and Picpoul. Oily, alcoholic slightly volatile nose – hints of floral elements and apple. Palate is really very oily, with warm alcohol perceptible, and very big indeed for a white. A bit overblown IMO, but has the body to cope with quite strong flavoured food – which it needs, really.
Quality:  13/20        Value: 15/20

PRIEURÉ DE MONTÉZARGUES, TAVEL 2013 – 13½%  –     Tanners £15
Red fruit nose – raspberry! Quite a vinous character – acidity, even a little tannin – opening to red fruit. Cried out for food – with which (cheesy crackers) it has a supple earthy note. Rather good.
Quality:  16/20     Value: 15/20

This is a Costières de Nimes. Farmyard, then heavy floral aromas: Lilies? Violets?? Palate has a sweet damson and cherry fruit character and a line of herby acidity, good length and a chocolate texture at the finish. Complex, and surprisingly fresh and interesting.
Quality:  17/20     Value: 18/20

BEAUCHAMPS 2009 ( DOMAINE DES BOUZONS)  – 14% – La Bastide £12.50
This is a Côtes du Rhône Villages from just South of the CDRV Laudun area. Fruity nose – blackberry and coffee with hints of lily again – altogether rather a Syrah nose although this is ¾ Grenache. Round palate, with plum fruit rather than blackberry, garrigue herbs and a warm finish. Very typical, mature and pretty good. A favourite with the group on the night.
Quality:  16/20       Value: 17/20

This is a Côtes du Rhône Villages from in or near the relatively new (2012) CDRV Signargues area. The main grape is Syrah and this has a very typical Syrah nose of blackberry and salty notes. The palate has the same flavours – sweet black fruit (a little too sweet IMO), salt, spice, some woody character and quite strong grainy, coffee tannins. A touch young perhaps but very good example of the (more Northern Rhone) type.
Quality: 15/20       Value: 17/20

A very interesting tasting I thought. For me wines 3, 4 and 5 showed interest beyond comparable prices from Vaucluse bigger name wines – therefore good value and worth tracking down.

Until next time…..