Various white, rose, and red wines are produced from 8,255 hectares of vineyards between Nîmes and Narbonne. Certain of these French wines (St-Chinian and Paugeres reds and the white Clairette du Languedoc) are permitted to bear their own AC label.
The other French wines carry the Côteaux du Languedoc AC combined with the name of their terroir or just plain Coteaux du Languedoc AC.
Each terroir has its own added value and character but it is characteristic of all Coteaux du Languedoc wines to be fresh, lithe, pleasing, and friendly in their taste.
CÔTEAUX DE ST -CHRISTOL
CÔTEAUX DE VERARGUES
CÔTEAUX DE LA MEJANELLE
(All north of Lunel and Montpellier)
(North of Clermont-I'Hérault)
PICPOUL DE PINET (BLANC)
(North of Séte)
LA CLAPE (ROUGE & BLANC)
(South of Narbonne)
Try them all: each wine has something different to impart of sea, herbs, shrubs, the soil, the lakes, and the sun. The red wines are dominated by Syrah, either on its own or in company with Grenache, insault, Carignan and (increasingly) Mourvedre. The whites are made with Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Rolle, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Picpoul. This last grape variety gives its name to the well-known Picpoul de Pinet.
Drinking temperature: white French wines 10°C (50.0°F ), French rose 12°C (53.6°F), and French red at 14- 16°C (57.2- 60.8°F).
This is a relatively small appellation area (307 hectares) which produces an exceptionally fruity Muscat wine that is a vin doux nature!. The ground is strewn with boulders with a subsoil of red clay. The vineyards are situated on a ridge of hills around the town of Lunel, between Nîmes and Montpellier.
Only the very scented Muscat Petit Grains grapes are used to make this French wine. The characteristic nose of a Muscat de Lunel is of citrus fruit and floral scents, completed with notes of honey, preserved fruit, and raisins. The best Muscat de Lunel wines sometimes also have a pleasing bitter and peppery aftertaste. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6°C (42.8°F).
The wine area in the centre of France has three isolated areas of vineyards: the Sancerrrois (Gien, Sancerre, Bourges, and Vierzon), Chateaumeillant (above Montluçon) and the Haute-Auvergne (between St-Pounçain and Roanne).
The appellations of the Sancerrois are Pouilly sur Loire, Pouilly Pume, Sancerre, Menetou-Salon, Quincy en Reuilly, and C6teaux du Giennois VDQS.
This dry, sturdy wine is one of the best French white wines. The Chenin Blanc thrives at its best here in part due to the terroir of steep, rocky hills that are interspersed with slate and sand. The south to southeast siting is also ideal. Two exceptional French vineyards are permitted to carry their own name on the label: these are the Grand Crus of Savennieres-la-Couleede-Serrant and Savennieres-la-Roche-aux-Moines.
The first is special in being owned by just one person, Nicolas Joly, the guru of organic winegrowing in France. Savennieres wines are a perfect accompaniment to lobster, crab, crayfish, freshwater fish, or other shellfish. Drink temperature for this Savennieres French wine: 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).
A massive wine producing area running from Bergerac to the west of Bordeaux, and stretching south to the Spanish frontier and south east to the Mediterranean.