On the road … looking for wines in Pic-Saint-Loup, Languedoc

But let’s start with the Languedoc and review some wines from Mas de Figuier in the Pic-Saint-Loup appellation. Here the weather is cooler and wetter than in most of the Languedoc, with large temperature variations from day to night, and the wines made here combine ripe, sun-filled fruit with freshness and elegance. Mas de Figuier has been managed by the Pagès family for four generations, and their 22 hectares of vineyards are all organically farmed. The aim of their artisanal winemaking approach is to express their unique terroir through straightforward, highly drinkable wines.

Their ‘Seigneur de Leuze’ Languedoc AOP 2017 ($37) represents a typical blend of the southern French varieties Roussanne (best known for Rhône blends with Marsanne) and Grenache (in its light-coloured variant). Luminous pale gold in colour, on the nose it displays white flower and white peach aromas with citrus notes – a lively wine balancing very effectively fruitiness and freshness. It can be drunk over the next few years and is a great aperitif wine, but works equally well with seafood and fish or white meats. As it ticks both the boxes of sweet fruit aromatics and refreshing acidity, it is also a savvy match with most Asian food.

Few wine regions can boast such a diversity of varieties and styles as the Languedoc. Alongside its “native” grapes, “international” varieties play an important role too, and are the source of some of region’s most distinguished wines (as for example Mas de Daumas Gassac). Mas de Figuier’s Cabernet Pays d’Oc IGP 2017 ($35) is a beautifully uncomplicated and joyful “pure” Cabernet Sauvignon, and you will recognize the ripe black berries, leather and spice perfumes, as well as its round and elegant character, with fine tannins. The cooling influence of the hills in the north and the elevated day-night temperature differences make sure bright freshness is maintained. Another fantastic everyday wine to drink now or over the next few years, when it will show some further flavour development. To be enjoyed on its own or with a wide range of nourishing and flavourful dishes: cold cuts and grilled meats, lasagne, grilled vegetables. 

The ‘Roman’ Languedoc AOP 2017 ($36) instead can be called an emblematic blend of one of the quintessential southern French grape varieties, Cinsaut (40% of the total) and the ‘GSM’ trio of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, found all over the Languedoc and the nearby Rhône.

The wine has a beautiful dark ruby color, with some purple glints.  It shows a generous fruity attack on the nose, very expressive of the varietal mix, followed by the emergence of subtle red berry, plum and spice notes. Balanced on the palate, with a nice interplay of ripe, juicy fruit and fine, evolved tannins. Great for drinking now, it will keep for the next five or six years. As a very versatile everyday wine, you can sip this on its own (even slightly chilled for additional refreshment). It will equally go well with all Mediterranean-influenced or generously flavoured cuisine, including grilled meats and cheese. North Indian and northern Chinese dishes offer interesting pairing opportunities.

Finally, Mas de Figuier’s ‘Jean’ Pic Saint Loup AOP 2017 ($49) is one of the two cuvees of Pic-Saint-Loup bottled by the domaine, and very representative of the appellation. It is a GSM blend of brilliant ruby color. A generous, complex nose of red fruit and black berries is framed by enticing spicy notes. We find the same aromatic breadth on the palate,  its ripe and voluptuous fruit framed by notes of pepper and dried herbs, with the Syrah contributing round and silky tannins. Excellent to drink now, it will keep for several more years. As a very Mediterranean wine, this Pic-Saint-Loup is a great companion to a broad range of flavours and textures, from ratatouilles and paellas to grilled lamb chops or skewers with cumin and ripe cheeses. But you can also venture further east: why not try Chinese roast duck, satay skewers or Singapore-style grilled chicken wings?

The wines of Mas de Figuier

Seigneur de Leuze’ Languedoc AOP 2017  

‘Roman’ Languedoc AOP 2017 

Cabernet Pays d’Oc IGP 2017

‘Jean’ Pic Saint Loup AOP 2017 

All wines are directly imported and exclusively distributed in Singapore by Wine & Philosophy. Prices are net and in Singapore Dollars. Terms & Conditions apply. The wines can be ordered online or by completing an order form.