Boutique producer Château de la Négly is located in La Clape, an illustrious subregion of the Côteaux du Languedoc appellation. Meaning “pile of stones” in the old Occitan tongue, La Clape is a World Heritage site that was until the Gallo-Roman period an island.
Since becoming Négly’s estate manager in 1992, Jean Paux-Rosset has been on a relentless crusade to raise quality to previously-unimaginable levels, in the process growing the reputation of the entire Languedoc region. One of the first things he did was pull out low-grade Aramon, Terret and Carignan Blanc vines and replace them with southern France’s “improver varieties”, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.
A phenomenal amount of TLC is lavished on the grapes, with strict control of yields, crop thinning, an obsessive approach to fruit ripening, hand harvesting and meticulous sorting all important factors in the ultimate quality of these small-batch, artisinal wines.
“Plush, polished and heady, these wines make voluminous statements”, is how the Wine Buyer’s Guide enthusiastically describes Négly’s products, an estate that it rates as “Outstanding”.
The Wines …
Domaine Baptiste Boutes Merlot 2010 – INTRO PRICE €9.99 (RRP €11.99): Expect lush, jammy flavours of raspberry compote, spiced plum, blueberry and cocoa, with good weight, intensity of flavour and length.
Domaine Ferri Arnaud Blanc 2011 – INTRO PRICE €10.99 (RRP €12.99): Plump, broad style that shows appealing weight alongside succulent flavours of white peach, pear salad, briny minerals and fennel.
Domaine la Négly L’Oppidum Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – INTRO PRICE €10.99 (RRP €12.99): This stainless steel, cool fermented, 100% Sauvignon makes an absolutely glorious summer aperitif with its light body and exotic, fine nose of pink grapefruit, lychee and freshly-cut dill.
Domaine de Boede Le Pavillon 2012 – INTRO PRICE €10.99 (RRP €12.99): Boasting a striking deep-ruby colour with a glossy purple sheen, this sexy blend of four parts Cinsault to one part Syrah shows silky tannins and delectable flavours of liquorice, cracked pepper, cassis and cinnamon.
Château Rigaud Faugeres 2011 – INTRO PRICE €11.99 (RRP €13.99): Big stuff here as low yields, late harvesting and south-facing hills combine to give a wine of unusual power and ripeness!
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