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Robert Joseph spoke with us about the event and his introduction to the region.

“I’ve loved this untamed part of the Mediterranean coast since I first went there in 1973 at the age of 18, on the hunt for house wine for my parent’s restaurant. Fifteen years later, I remember smart Paris tastings where snobbish French wine critics cold-shouldered the region’s wines.”

Robert continues, “Over many, many trips, I’ve been alternately dazzled and frustrated. There have been wines of brilliance and disappointments galore, as this huge region has repeatedly exceeded and failed to live up to our expectations. If some of its wines could so easily eclipse the Rhône, why couldn’t Languedoc produce wines to compete with successful New World brands like Mondavi and Penfolds? In 2005, with a Bordeaux-based, partner, Hugh Ryman and the winemakers of the Jean d’Alibert cooperative in Rieux-Minervois, I decided to try for myself.”

Today, Le Grand Noir is one of France’s most successful brands, with sales of 3.5m bottles in 55 countries and listings in restaurants like the Savoy Grill, Mandarin Oriental and Bulgari Hotel. Expert Robert Joseph is going to present six of the 15 wines they produce, telling the honest story of how they (legally) broke all of the traditional rules to get where they are today – and try to offer some insight into where the Languedoc is going from here.

Wine Samples:

2019 Le Grand Noir Chardonnay-Viognier, IGP d’Oc
2019 Le Grand Noir Viognier, IGP d’Oc
2018 Le Grand Noir Cabernet-Syrah, IGP d’Oc
2019 Le Grand Noir GSM, IGP d’Oc
2019 Le Grand Noir Reserve AOC Languedoc Blanc
2018 Le Grand Noir Reserve AOC Languedoc Rouge