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Soft, round and very easy on the palate, this is a full-flavoured Mediterranean white redolent of citrus and herbs to be enjoyed with or without food.
Product Code: FC36391
View all products by Domaine du Bosc
Situated in the Hérault department in southern France’s Languedoc region, Domaine du Bosc is not far from the beautiful seaside resort Cap d’Agde. It is a winemaking region steeped in history: Agde has actually been home to vines since the 5th century BC. This long winemaking history has been attributed to Agde’s port, which meant that, unlike those in many areas of France, growers were able to export their wines to various Mediterranean countries from very early on.Their proximity to the sea provides the vines with a wonderful Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, sometimes wet autumns and winters. This part of the Languedoc sits on ancient lava flows that are very positive for the wines, allowing them to retain a good deal of freshness. The Besinet family were vine growers for many generations, originally owning vineyards in Montpellier. Pierre Besinet had trained as a chemical engineer and for many years worked in the north of France, far away from any vines. He returned on the death of his father, but very quickly decided to sell up and start somewhere else.Pierre became attracted to the volcanic soils around Agde and that is where he settled, creating Domaine du Bosc. At the time, the vineyard was planted with all manner of red grapes, and geared up for mass production; however, Pierre had the vision to start from scratch and planted other varieties. Starting with cabernet sauvignon and merlot, he was among the first to plant Bordeaux grapes, and then also planted grenache blanc. In time, he would add many more varieties, and to this day is still experimenting: recent additions have included petit verdot and petit manseng.Pierre made his reputation on fresh, clean-tasting, fruity wines. His background helped him make some quite radical changes, especially in the cellar, which was one of the first in the Languedoc to be thermo-regulated. He was also one of the first to adopt night time harvesting, especially for white grapes as a way of preserving fruit flavours and freshness.Today he is helped by winemaker Jean-Etienne Cros, a good friend of the Wine Society who used to manage his family’s estate in Gaillac. The day to day running of the business is in the hands of Pierre’s daughter Dominique – though Pierre now well into his 80’s, still looks in.
Where do we start in a region so huge? With production nearly three times that of Bordeaux, or more than the whole of Australia, the Languedoc-Roussillon accounts for about a third of all French wine made. The sheer scale of production and the intense competition to channel such volumes through to the market means that in most years supply is greater than demand so prices are kept in check. It is not for nothing that wines from the South of France offer such great value for money. Here you get what you pay for. The trick is to get beyond the gain line and tap into a rich vein of almost endless vinous pleasure. Appellation Contrôlée and Vin de Pays (also known as IGP – Indication Geographique Protegée) - officially, these are two quite different wine worlds that live side by side almost, seemingly, in complete ignorance of each other's existence. Luckily, reality is different and most producers see no conflict between the two and many produce wines under both codes. Nor is one necessarily better than the other. Indeed many of Languedoc's most iconic wines, such as Mas de Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères, are Vin de Pays. So why the difference? The status of Appellation Contrôlée was gradually conferred to the historic heartlands of Languedoc-Roussillon, in other words those sites in the foothills of the Massif Central and Pyrenees where viticulture has existed since the Romans. Appellation status is also about taste and about wine made from a narrow selection of mostly Mediterranean grape varieties.Vin de Pays (IGP) was introduced to improve the quality of what was then the mass of 'vins ordinaries'. It confers an identity to wines coming from those areas that were planted during the big periods of expansion, mostly in the plain between Narbonne and Pézenas. It allows for higher yields than AC, and, more importantly, allows a much wider palette of grape varieties for the growers to choose from.In terms of grape varieties Languedoc-Roussillon is France's answer to the New World. In the duality of Appellation Contrôlée and Vin de Pays, the conformism of Parisian bureaucracy goes hand in hand with the creative spirit of pure liberalism. So in terms of grape variety, almost anything goes! Native Languedoc and Roussillon varieties are at the heart of all appellation wines. With a changing climate and a tendency to extremes of weather, these ancient varieties are gaining favour.Carignan is the workhorse of Languedoc especially in the drier west. At its best, it produces a wine that is deeply coloured, quite tannic, sappy with brambly fruit. Many producers have woken up to the qualities of carignan if it is treated with respect and low yields are achieved.Grenache produces round tasting wines, often with low tannin and high alcohol and is rarely to be found on its own except in the fortified reds of Roussillon.Cinsault belongs in the heat of North Africa. In the South of France, it is widely grown and can add fragrance and lightness of touch to big brawny reds, but more often it is made into rosé.Like carignan, the native whites are more obviously associated with high production but with careful handling can produce wines of real interest. There is maccabeu and grenache blanc, grown mostly in Corbières and Roussillon. Clairette, grown mostly in the east, closer to the Rhône. Terret is grown extensively around Marsseillan, home of French vermouth. Maybe the best of all is the piquepoul which east of Beziers produces good quaffing dry picpoul de Pinet. Muscat used to be grown exclusively for vin doux naturel such as Saint Jean de Minervois and Rivesaltes but also produces full-flavoured dry wines of some interest.The biggest change in the South of France was the introduction of other grape varieties to help boost quality. For the reds, syrah was the most obvious import and is now widely planted and is usually part of a blend with grenache and/or carignan. Syrah is at its best where there is a little humidity such as in the east around Pic Saint Loup. Mourvèdre is much more complicated to grow but has a real future in areas close to the sea such as in parts of Fitou and Corbières.For the whites, roussanne and marsanne have also journeyed south from the Rhône to add finesse and flavour to Mediterranean blends. Increasingly, the Corsican vermentino, also known as rolle, can be found in blends where it often has a positive influence.Bordeaux has for long been an important connection for the Languedoc with the Canal du Midi there to prove the link. Not surprisingly, Languedoc producers were quick to introduce Bordeaux varieties in their vineyards. Merlot is the most widely planted and in some years has been very profitably exported in bulk to California or back to Bordeaux. The later ripening cabernets are probably better suited to the climate of the south and have great potential.Another revolution across the South of France has been in the quality of the whites. Before new standards of cellar hygiene and refrigeration were introduced, the concept of a fresh, dry and fruity Languedoc-Roussillon white wine was nigh impossible. Growers like Pierre Bésinet at Domaine du Bosc and Louis-Marie Teisserenc at Domaine de l'Arjolle were quick to spot the potential and successfully plant chardonnay, sauvignon and even the mysterious viognier.Regional StylesLanguedoc-Roussillon is such a large region that it is impossible to generalise about the entirety. It helps to divide it into three main sections: Eastern Languedoc, Western Languedoc, and Southern Lanuedoc. The east includes excellent appellations like Faugères, Côteaux du Languedoc, Pic saint Loup and Montpeyroux. The style of wine produced here is often Rhône-like: generous, thickly textured and often high in alcohol. Syrah is the outstanding grape variety and it blends well with grenache and sometimes mourvèdre. Nothing remains static in Languedoc and the old Côteaux du Languedoc is about to be replaced by a new appellation called simply Languedoc. Western Languedoc is more dramatic, mountainous, and much drier than the east, but it's also colder and the austerity of its climate and topography can be tasted in its wines. The carignan grape is often an essential element in many of the reds. Look out for saint-Chinian, Minervois and Saint Jean de Minervois (the latter for muscat based sweet vin doux naturel), Cabardès, Limoux (especially sparkling Crémant de Limoux).The south incorporates Corbières, Fitou and Roussillon. These are dry, hot regions surrounded by mountains which provide a majestic backdrop. Fitou is the oldest Appellation and confusingly comes in two parts. The best wines though come from in between in what is actually southern Corbières. Corbières is the largest single appellation in Languedoc, with myriad different styles from different soils and microclimates. This veritable chaos of crags, gorges, strewn with castles, wild herbs and abandoned abbeys encapsulates the heart of the Midi. The wines all have a little of that wildness and wonder.In Roussillon black schists on the north bank of the Agly make the best reds. These are typically fine and spicy with grenache and syrah. Traditionally the best-exposed sights near the village of Maury have produced sweet fortified wine. High mountains provide the opportunity to plant vines at higher altitudes and make fresher wines. Finally, this vast region ends in a narrow strip of land between mountain and the sea and with Spain on two sides. Twisting lanes and vertiginous vine terraces link the little ports of Collioure, Banyuls and Cerbère. The fortified wines are sold as Banyuls and are mostly Grenache-based with a little carignan. The Collioure appellation is for expressive, full-bodied and refined table wine which can be made from several grape varieties: carignan, syrah, grenache, mourvèdre and counoise for the reds and grenache, roussanne and vermentino for the whites.
"This is a true find! Great for just enjoying a glass or with a fish supper. After attending a Grenache only wine tasting, I am a convert of this versatile grape."
I would recommend this wine
There are no press reviews for this product.
"This is not a complex wine but it is very easy drinking and for the currently marked £5.75 it makes a fantastic everyday. Mildly dry while remaining refresh. "
Mr Tom Haynes (19-Nov-2018)
Mr Piers Beckley (19-Sep-2018)
"I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find decent white wines at this price (perhaps I shouldn't be surprised - but TWS still has very decent reds at this price c.f. the Society claret and the 3C) and this one was very disappointing. It had a taint of what I can only describe as nail varnish. Quite unpleasant when drunk on its own but, fortunately, better when taken alongside a prawn fried rice... It was only because of this that I've rated it 2 rather than 1 star."
Mr Johnny Holmes (03-Jul-2018)
"Colour: Pale golden green.
Aroma: Medium intensity, fresh apple, lemon, pear and a sweet floral note of honeysuckle.
Taste: Medium-full bodied, dry, medium acidtiy. This wine has a rounded full texture and a flavour I can only describe as banana mousse. Short finish.
Overall: Pleasantly surprised, a subtle, straightforward wine but for the price it delivers. Nice nose, texture and flavour. A great midweek wine, serve well chilled, don't expect too much and enjoy.
Mr Gabriel Higgins (23-May-2018)
"Pleasant and refreshing light white wine. Excellent for the £6.50 price tag and will definitely order this again."
Ms Kara McNutt (09-May-2018)
"Very dry. Grapefruit, orange pith, lemon peel. Rather harsh - was most acceptable with dinner but I'm not sure I would choose to drink this by itself. Would be good in a spritz perhaps, or a cocktail, but on its own it's a little lacking."
Mr Patrick Vickers (07-Apr-2018)
"For the money, this is an excellent wine. It is surprisingly full, plenty of flavour, would definitely recommend"
Mr Stuart Southworth (16-Jan-2018)
"Unassuming as it is, I liked this wine more as it went along; which must be a good sign. It's well made with clean and restrained citrus fruit and floral flavours with a nice round fullness to the body.
Mr Alan Kingsbury (24-Aug-2017)
"I agree with the previous reviewer that this wine may be a little austere for consumption alone, however it paired well with a stir fry and is a pleasant wine for under £6. Quite floral with medium alcohol and medium acidity, overall well balanced."
Mr Eoin Walshe (10-Jun-2016)
"I found this dry, herbaceous white to be a little restrained for my taste. I would have preferred a little more body and flavour although it was still pleasant enough on its own and with sea bass. Not a wine I will be re-ordering."
Dr Brian Carr (03-Apr-2016)
"In my experience Bosc wines never disappoint and this is no exception. This Grenache Blanc is great value and a good partner for any sort of fish, but also has enough character to drink on its own."
Mr Mark Jones (18-Dec-2015)
"Soft, round and clean. No trace of oxidation (despite being drunk late in the year). Good value."
Mr Edgar Bettridge (07-Dec-2015)
"Fresh, clean, great colour, more depth than you would expect for the price - great everyday drink"
Mrs Clare R Turner (21-Aug-2015)
"Great value. Instantly reminded me of walking through the Camargue a few years ago. Sea-breezy, floral and peachy with a lovely little mineral twang that's rare at this price."
Mr Daniel Lovedale (01-May-2015)
"I've developed a taste for Grenache Blanc. This wine is a perfect 'house wine' for those of us with modest budgets. I like the full flavour with the herby hint."
Mr Michael Krause (25-Feb-2015)
"I got this in a mixed box and am not keen on it. Hard to say why as I'm not a wine expert but it doesn't seem to smell of much and leaves a harsh taste at the back of my mouth. We opened a bottle yesterday for dinner and half of it is left (we will drink it though, it's not that bad but I won't buy it again)"
Dr Angela Dixon (26-Oct-2014)
"Refreshing and easy to drink. If you like Pinot Grigio, then this is along the same lines and if it were mid-summer, I'd be raving all the more. A lovely bottle at a lovely price. PS. Get a bottle of the Domaine's Viognier and do a direct comparison for a bit of fun."
Mr Nigel H D Green (12-Oct-2014)
"The Society has a long association with Pierre Besinet and with good reason. I've never been disappointed with any of the blends or varietals from this source, which, although not profound, can be relied upon to be fresh, versatile wines which can be enjoyed on their own but have enough depth to work with a wide range of foods. This Grenache/ Rousanne blend is no exception and I will be back for more."
Dr Robin W D Mitchell (17-Sep-2013)
"We enjoyed the 2011 version, still available. The nose this time suggests pear drops, honey, and after a decent interval bananas. The nose persists satisfyingly. The palate achieves some breadth. This is an enjoyable and by no means one-dimensional wine at a very good price."
Professor John L Moles (12-Apr-2013)
Absolutely Cracking Wines From France (23rd Sep 2013)
wine from the Languedoc has improved enormously. This has a touch of
Roussanne to fill out the palate a little. Lemony fresh nose and a rounded
palate that will go nicely with fish and chips.
The Times (29th Jun 2013)
"The once humdrum but now fashionably fruity grenache blanc grape was the first variety to be planted at this Languedoc vineyard half a century ago. Besinet’s bold, beautiful, nutty, stone fruit-charged 2012 has been beefed up with a dash of roussanne to add richness and roundness. A good spicy summer white. - Jane MacQuitty"
The Wine Gang (2nd May 2013)
"Blended with a little Roussanne, this is a lively party white with sufficient fleshy white peach flavour and subtle white blossom aromas to work with some lighter white meat or fishy fare. "
"A solid enough bottle of wine for £6 but don't expect anything too special. I'd agree with the comments about apple notes, but there is also a herbal/grassy undercurrent and it paired quite well with a green pesto dish. I think it needs food, don't think I'd want more than one glass otherwise."
Mr Ian Graham (05-Nov-2012)
"A dry enjoyable white wine of individual character. Good value and has the virtue of a screw cap."
Dr John Baston (14-Sep-2012)
"Green apples on nose and palate. Good acidity; some intensity and length. Very enjoyable and very good value."
Mr John L Moles (19-Jun-2012)
"My wife described this wine as "good." This is high praise indeed from someone who comes from a family where " not bad Ma," is about as good as it gets. I find a second glass almost impossible to resist though my friends think of me as a red wine man."
Dr John P Allen (29-Apr-2012)
"Tasted a bit disjointed on the first day, much better on the second. Good peachy fruits and richness but the slightly bitter mid-palate is off-putting."
Mr William Davies (13-Jan-2012)
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