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UK trade paper OLN (Off-Licence News) has just published the results of the 2nd Top 100 Vins de Pays Wines tasting competition. Headed by Tim Atkin MW a small group of tasters slurped their way through 1,022 entries to arrive at the top 100.

Sadly no stockist details are supplied or retail prices but the wines will be available for tasting at the May London Wine and Spirits Fair so I will try and find more details, and sample them, then.

Over the last couple of years I have noted that I increasingly drink wines from the Languedoc-Rousillon - the main vin de pays area - finding them excellent value and eminently drinkable. But there are many VdP regions across France and not just in the south. In his write up Atkins name that Syrah, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc most impressed. Pinot Noir was disappointing while red blends and the pinks were 'not quite as good as last year either and did not win a trophy'. Rather than list all 100 wines those detailed below are the trophy winners. Atkins points to three wines specifically - all from the Vins de Pays d'Oc. Extra notes are given against these three wines.

What I am most impressed about though is one of my discoveries - the 3 Poules Cabernet Franc won a trophy! If you were at any of the three consumer fairs late last year you would have had a chance to try this. Have a look at the 3 Poules website for details of visiting the vineyard.
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  • Viognier Trophy and Best White of Show
    Laurent Miquel Viognier Nord Sud, 2003, Vin de Pays d'Oc.
    "Anyone who thinks that great French Viognier can only be produced in Condrieu should buy a bottle of this remarkable wine."
  • Vermentio Trophy
    Domaine des Lauriers Vermentino, 2004, Vin de Pays d'Oc.
  • Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
    French Connection Sauvignon Blanc, Vignobles Du Peloux, 2004, Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne.
  • Chardonnay Trophy
    Domaine de Corneille, Le Cite de Foncalieu Grand Reserve, Vin de Pays d'Oc.
  • Chardonnay Blend Trophy
    Domaine Caillaubert Chardonnay/Semillon, 2003, Vin de Pays des Cotres de Gascogne.
  • Other White Blends Trophy
    Domaine de Pallehaut, 2004, Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne.
  • Syrah Trophy and Best Red of Show
    Domaine Camplazens Syrah, 2004, Vin de Pays d'Oc.
    "was the kind of wine that brings a smile to a taster's face. Or, where this particular wine was concerned, to 13 taster's faces. It could easily fight its corner against all but the very best northern Rhone wines."
  • Pinot Noir Trophy
    Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes, 2003, Vin de Pays de Franche Comte.
  • Cabernet France trophy
    Baronnie de Bourgade Les 3 Poules Cabernet Franc, 2004, Vin de Pays des Cotes de Thongue.
  • Grenache Trophy
    Maison Galhaud Grenache 2004, Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes.
  • Merlot Trophy
    Domaine Paul Mas Le Forge Estate Merlot, 2004, Vin de Pays d'Oc.
    "This is a wine that proves Merlot from the Languedoc can deliver flavour, complexity and value for money, as well as the capacity to age."
  • Cabernet Sauvigon Trophy
    Gerard Bertrand Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003, Vin de Pays d'Oc.

There were several other categories but none were awarded a trophy.

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