If you are intrigued by the treasures of the Languedoc to be found in today's account of staying in a Vinolodge and my tasting notes on Grange des Pères and Mas de Daumas Gassac, you might like to know that the first ever auction of some of the Languedoc's finest wines is coming up on Sunday 24 October near Montpellier.
Taking a leaf out of the book of the highly successful Toques et Clochers wine auctions in Limoux, themselves modelled on the ancient Hospices de Beaune charity auctions, the vintners of the Grand Pic St-Loup will be offering 30 barrels of some of the best young wines of the region, to be bottled after the auction. There will be a chance to decide whether the wines, whites as well as reds, go into magnums and double magnums as well as bottles.
The wines, from some of the Languedoc's best crus, were selected by a tasting committee from wines proposed by their makers prior to the auction. But the charity element here is fairly muted. I'm told simply that 'part of the
profits from the auction will be used to support and help those districts in the area affected by the fire in August 2010'. (Life is much tougher for Languedoc vintners than their counterparts on the Côte d'Or, after all.)
A week of festivities and events for wine lovers, Les Automnales, will take place in towns and villages around the Pic St-Loup, culminating in a wine market on the Sunday morning to be followed by the auction in the afternoon in the village of St-Jean de Cuculles.
The Grand Pic St-Loup area is about 30 km to the north of Montpellier and stretches from the foothills of the Cévennes to the Mediterranean, including the Terrasses du Larzac, Pic St-Loup and Grés de Monpellier. The most commonly planted vine varieties are Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache, and each of the three areas produces very different wines.
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