Zelige-Caravent Ellipse 2010 Languedoc, France
The Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest vineyard in France, for a long time it was the pichet (jug) of France. Masses of wine was produced to satisfy the demand in the capital (Paris) and North of France of easy, cheap drinking wine. For long the region did not received any merit for excellent wine producing. But the Languedoc-Roussillon with Provence are the oldest wine regions in France. In the fifth century before Christ the Greeks had already planted vines around the town of d'Agde. Then the Romains took over and exported the wines from the south to Rome and Germany, but when the Empire crumbled (they all do one day) the wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon lost the international reputation. From the ninth century many monasteries produced and distributed their wines but they for most stayed only consumed regionally. It's only in the seventeenth century thanks to the construction of the port of Sete and the Canal du Midi that the wines retook a flurry of life outside the region. The Languedoc-Roussillon was then 460,000 hectares of wine and proclaimed as the biggest wine region in the world and it still holds this titles but the size has been reduced to 246,000 hectares.
The region (only Languedoc) produces all grapes combined about 12,7 million hectolitres and of that 1,245,000 hectolitres in AOC Languedoc.
The styles of wine are majority red wine but also dry whites, rose, sparkling (Limoux) and sweet wines (muscats)
Principal Grape Varieties
Red: (AOC) Grenache noir, Syrah, Carignan, Mouvedre, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon.
White: Grenache Gris and Blanc, Macabeu, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Vermentino (Rolle), Muscat a petits grains, Muscat d'Alexandrie, Marsanne, Roussanne, Piquepoul, Chardonnay, Mauzac, Chenin, Ugni Blanc.
So far the potential ageing of the Languedoc wines are about 8 years plus, but there has been wines from that region been consumed much older and were still in good conditions. So I keep my judgement open for now as this is after all the new world region in the old world.
Languedoc Visual: the wines are in general dressed with a violet, carmine red and sometimes even darker when the maceration has been long. The Rose's have a dress pale pink and shiny. The whites appear in a colour straw yellow, green, transparent for the dry whites to a golden colour for the sweet wines.
Languedoc Nose: Aromas of red fruits (raspberry, blackcurrant) dominate on the young wines. The association of spices and peppers when the Carignan and Syrah grape have been matured in carbonic maceration process. After five to six years the wine evolves towards leather like and dry fruits, grilled almonds flavours. When the vines finds themselves close to the garrigues then bay leaves take over. The Rose wines a very distinctive due to their very intense floral notes (acacia) and red fruits as well (cherries). On the nose the whites offer the aromas of apricot, citrus, infusion of garrigues, spice and honey.
Languedoc palate: The red wines show power and discreet aromas in their young stage of their life but later on the develop into wonderful and complex beautiful structured wines. The gravel based wines offer more mineral aromas and softer tannins. A soft, round and ample wine for the rose as for the whites it's a flavoursome, fresh approach with a dominant aspect of structure and depth.
The AOC of the Languedoc:
Red and Rose wine,
In the Aude: La Clape, Quatrourze
In the L'Herault: Corbieres, Coteaux de la Mejanelle, Gres de Montpellier (only red), Montpeyroux, Pezenas, Pic-Saint-Loup, Saint-Christol, Saint-Drezery, Saint Georges-d'Orques, Saint-Saturnin, Terrasses du Larzac, Coteaux de Verargues.
In the Aude: La Clape
In the L'Herault: Picpoul-de-Pinet
(rating references 14/20 acceptable, 15-15.5/20 average wine, 16-16.5/20 good wine, 17-18/20 very good wine, 18.5-19.5/20 excellent wine, 20/20 perfection)
Zelige-Caravent Ellipse 2010 Languedoc,
(truly a must to discover and a huge up and coming talent.)
This winery is truly remarkable and special, even so it is hard to stay biased as it is here i started my practical work for my studies. But i am proud and happy, as many high profile critics agree with me. Luc-Marie Michel and Marie Michel are truly a couple with ambition, vision and talent. They have been working hard and with conviction and the result pays off, their wines are in many high end restaurants around the world. Here in the UK they are exposed in one of my favourite wine shops here in London, Roberson on High street Kensington. www.roberson.com
The winery is set in the picturesque village of Corconne http://mairie.corconne.free.fr/, they have now 12 hectares of vines, planted in plots all around the area. Luc Marie and Marie, selected in reds: Alicante, Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah as to their believe that's what the soil requires to produce the perfect product. The whites are Chasan and Roussane.
Zelige Caravent is a name surely to remember and if you can to try and taste, there is art and creativity in their wines, there is joy and professionalism, substance and identity. By many said over here in the UK, a new rising star in winemaking. I am proud to call them my friends.
Grape Variety: Syrah (shiraz) 50%, Carignan 40% and Cinsault 10%
Bought: Roberson wine
Visual: Dark ruby red with a very clean and neat appearance. The legs are heavy so indicating a high content of Alcohol (14%). Looks fresh, young and energetic
Nose: A burst of fruits and with blackcurrant as the main drive, so a totally fruity based wine, very typical of the region. When you let it breath for awhile then you have Chocolate flavours and a slightly eucalyptus hint once you add some air to it. The wine show a good balance in aromas and regardless of the high content of alcohol it does not overwhelm you.
Palate: The fruits keep on coming and invade the palate with kindness and structure. It warms the palate gently and the fruit stay extremely fresh. The Tannins are light and the acidity is balanced. The middle is straight and not lazy and it holds fairly well at the end. This wine is absolutely light to medium and holds well together, a strong leadership of construction if this wine is truly apparent and marks clearly the identity of the terroir and the wine makers.
Conclusion: I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to keep track now of this up coming domain. This is one of 8 of the family (pretty substantial) and I see why people love this wine. It has all the elements and tools to become one of the star players of the region and I believe they will. Their wines are snatched up left right and centre all over. Very well made and a just price according to what is produced. Truly remarkable.
So till next time please drink responsibly.
So till next time please drink responsibly.