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Savouring Languedoc- Top French Wines to Relive a Dreamy South of France Holiday

I have recently returned from a dreamy two-week holiday in the South of France, splitting my time between the stunning Côte d’Azur, specifically the beach town of Fréjus, and the alpine region of Ardèche. There are many things I miss already—the lavender fields and edelweiss of Ardèche, and the palm and fig trees of the Riviera. Not to mention the temperatures in the high 20s with a perfect coastal breeze.

However, what I am pining for the most is the food and wine: delicious cheese, incredible coffee, and perfect wine. My favorite French wine is Languedoc Sauvignon Blanc.

The Languedoc-Roussillon region runs from the Rhône Valley to the Spanish border. There are almost twenty distinct growing regions, with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Picpoul typical for white grapes, and Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre common for reds.

I’ve rounded up two of the best Languedoc whites to buy in Ireland, with differing price points, and I look forward to sipping some this weekend, possibly with my eyes closed to ignore the rainy Irish summer and enjoy memories of the South of France. I’ve also included a Languedoc red made of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah grapes for red wine lovers.

All these bottles are available in O’Briens Wine Shops nationwide:

Gérard Bertrand Cigalus White – Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 2022

Blow the budget: €39.95

Description: French rugby star, Gérard Bertrand’s flagship white wine is an intriguing blend of biodynamic and organically-grown Chardonnay, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The blend works like a dream, with an enticing mix of nut, pear, grapefruit, peach, and cream.

A multi-award winner, Gérard was named Master Winemaker of the Year in The Drinks Business Magazine’s The Master Winemaker 100 (2023), which celebrates the very best of the wine world.

Tasting Note: Aromas of citrus fruits combined with peach, apricot, and honey lead to a lush, opulent, and smooth palate. This wine is fresh and crisp with hints of subtle vanilla, light toasty and hazelnut oak, and very aromatic tropical fruits. The long finish is lively and fresh.

Gloriettes Belle Eaux Sauvignon – Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 2022

Middle of the road: €14.95

Description: This South of France Sauvignon Blanc is very popular and offers incredible value. Well-balanced and refreshing with notes of white flowers, tropical fruits, and mineral tones, it’s a fabulous white to have on standby when friends call round.

Tasting Note: An expressive Sauvignon Blanc with notes of white flowers, pineapple, tropical fruit, and mineral tones. The palate is round and pleasing with notes of lemon and grapefruit. Enjoy with seafood and white meats.

Borie de Maurel la Féline – Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 2021

The Red: €22.95

Description: Borie de Maurel is a family-run estate in La Livinière, and owner Michel Escande is dedicated to farming his land biodynamically. Rich and full-bodied, this wine features perfumed red and black berried fruit intertwined with subtle thyme and black pepper aromas, finishing with mouth-watering freshness.

Tasting Note: A serious fine wine that has all the hallmarks of Borie: intense black fruit and mouth-watering minerality.

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