Côtes de Thongue Wine
'Les frères Géraud', Hugues and Roland, are 5th generation wine growers who took over the family estate in 1995 and made the bold decision to stop selling their grapes 'en vrac' (in bulk) to local négociants but to produce and bottle their own wine. They therefore needed to name the estate for labelling purposes and settled upon 'Les Filles de Septembre' as both brothers have two daughters each and two of the four were born in September. Today they cultivate 40 hectares of vines on the clay and limestone soils of the Thongue river valley around the village of Abeilhan between Béziers and Pézenas. There are about 40 independent wine growers in the Côtes de Thongue which is an up-and-coming IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) vine area that is hoping (and deserves) to be upgraded to full AOC status.
New to these pages is a precocious, coral-pink Côtes de Thongue rosé that we sampled sur place last year and simply couldn't resist. It is made from an unusual but harmonious mixture of 25% each of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Grenache Noir and Cinsault that are blended and then spring-bottled to conserve their youthful fruit. It has with a bright bouquet of redcurrants and rosehips preceding a lovely, fresh, zesty palate with lots of crushed-raspberry fruit and a whistle-clean dry finish.
The Gérauds' principal red cuvée of their Côtes de Thongue 'Tradition' is now firmly established as one of our most popular and best-selling winess. Made from a base of 50% Merlot along with 25% each of Carignan and Grenache, it has appealing hedgerow berry scents and a juicy palate of blackcurrant fruit offset by hints of pepper and supple tannins. It a great kitchen table red that will go down equally well with a shepherd's pie or a Tourte de Colvert à l'Ancienne.