Côtes de Thongue Wine
The river Thongue, which runs through the Hérault between the towns of Pézenas and Béziers, gives its name to the surrounding 'IGP' appellation of Côtes de Thongue, which is a terrific source of well-made and keenly-priced wines. It is a perfect example of why the Languedoc is the 'go to' wine region for those seeking value for money and is home to more than 50 independent wineries and encompasses more than 1,500 hectares of vines.
We first explored the area over a decade ago, which gave us the jump on the competition when it came to signing up talent. Extensive comparative tastings led us to the cellar door of the Géraud family at 3pm on 12th February 2008, thereafter placing our inaugural order on the strength of a handshake. Little did we then realise the significance of that visit, as, over the ensuing 12 years, their wines have engendered a loyal following here and are now firmly ensconced as 'bestsellers'.
Their Côtes de Thongue rosé is made from a blend of Cabernet Franc, Grenache Noir, Syrah and Cinsault that is bottled early in the spring to conserve its youthful fruit. With an attractive coral-pink hue, an inviting 'crushed berry' bouquet and zesty redcurrant palate, it is ideally suited to relaxed al fresco imbibing.
A sibling red is made from 50% Merlot and 25% each of Carignan and Grenache Noir. The Daily Mail's long-serving wine columnist Matthew Jukes likens it to: 'A flavour collision between a classic Bordeaux red and a sun-kissed Languedoc wine' adding that 'Year in and year out this wine blows me away.' Ready to drink from release on its bright garrigue berry fruit and supple tannins, it makes a fine partner to grilled red meat or mushroom dishes.