Back in 2009, Eric Asimov wrote about the overall improvement of Languedoc wines over the last 25 years or so, stating that "In a tasting... of 20 bottles of red from the Languedoc, the wine panel found them still to be all over the place stylistically. But the level of high quality in the winemaking was unexpectedly consistent." After tasting well over 100 wines in the course of a week on a recent tour through the region by the Le Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (check out this post for some snapshots and highlights), I can wholeheartedly agree with him, though I did manage to pick out some personal favorites.
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Last month I went on a whirlwind wine tasting trip in Languedoc, the Southeastern section of France that hugs the Mediterranean. Before the trip, if I were to have judged from the amount of Languedoc wines I see in the U.S., I would have guessed Languedoc to be, say, around 4 to 5% of the total wine production of France. I would have been wrong. Indeed, coming in at a full 30% of France's production, Languedoc is the most prolific wine-producing region not just in France, but in the entire world.