Côtes de Thongue Wine

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Côtes de Thongue Wine

For reasons that are now lost in the sands of time, we identified the Thongue river valley as an up-and-coming enclave of viticulture early in the 2000s. We then requested samples from all the independent wine makers that we could identify and a comprehensive 'blind' tasting was organised at our HQ. Interestingly, our 'in house' panel unanimously agreed on our preferred wine – the Côtes de Thongue 'Tradition' from Domaine Les Filles de Septembre. Happily, the Gérauds' prices were reasonable and availability of the wine was good so we were able to place our inaugural order right away. It is made from a blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir and Merlot - in roughly equal volumes - and is deliberately vinified to drink well on its youthful fruit. Redolent of ripe hedgerow berries with a plummy palate with peppery undertones and gentle tannins, it makes a fine accompaniment to charcuterie or Toulouse sausages and can be cellared for 2 to 3 years.

A more recent addition is the Géraud family's Thongue rosé wine. Blended from equal parts of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Grenache Noir and Cinsault, its attractive coral-pink colour, raspberry and redcurrant aromas and a palate of soft red fruit offset by fresh acidity make it ideal for al fresco imbibing as an aperitif or with shellfish.

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Côtes De Thongue Wine Region

Located around the historic town of Pézenas in the Hérault, the Vin de Pays (IGP) Côtes de Thongue covers some 23 villages and varied limestone-based soils covered with the Rhône's famous pudding stones (galets roulés). Gently undulating landscapes and rolling hills with glimpses of the distant coast allow 65 growers and 6 co-ops to plant a huge range of 100+ varieties that are made into 30% each white and rosé and 40% red. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier dominate white production with Merlot, Syrah and Grenache for reds and pinks. With rare grapes such as Aramon planted alongside outsiders Zinfandel and Pinotage, it's a panoply of styles that come together when making blends. With 80% vineyards certified organic, biodynamic and Haute Valeur Environnementale, efforts for sustainable production are increasing.