Languedoc: A region of icons and yet-to-be-discovered gems


Languedoc sits just above France’s south-western Mediterranean coast and the vines that grow here flourish under the warm sun and the cooling sea winds. It’s a region that some overlook either because they aren’t aware of its existence or for its image as a large rosé producer. In fact, it produces the third greatest volume of wine in France, and a number of iconic properties such as Grange des Peres, Mas Jullien and Domaine Peyre-Rose call it home. These signature names share the hillsides with gems that are yet to be discovered by the wider public.

Languedoc: A levelling playing field

In the world of fine wine, it always pays to be curious. In the current market, fine wine lovers are constantly on the lookout for the Next Big Thing. Languedoc appears to have it all, including superb terroirs boasting remarkable freshness, which can be unexpected given its southerly location. It has extremely talented winemakers, who surprise, delight, and excite collectors with a hugely diverse range of wines. They have set very high standards for themselves, with many making the move towards a more environmentally friendly operation. They are open to experimenting with new technology and methods, even if it means leaving the constraints of the appellation system.

Terrasses du Larzac and other hidden gems

The appellation of Terrasses du Larzac gained its Appellation d’Origine Protégée (Protected Designation of Origin) status in 2014 and has not looked back. Located northwest of Montpellier, it has become the latest success story in the region. In iDealwine’s 2023 auctions, the producer Montcalmès claimed 5th position in the rankings of the best-selling property and took home 11th place in the list of the highest priced bottles.

As for those hidden gems we keep mentioning, the following three estates performed well in 2023, seeing wine enthusiasts in the know fighting over their bottles. Mas Cal Demoura is actually located in Terrasses du Larzac appellation, and its wines are characterised by their fruit, depth, finesse and dynamism. Another name to keep an eye out for it Mazière. Situated in Corbières, it produces two red wines and one white that fall under the Vin de France label using organic agriculture. And last but not least, there is Divem, a 4.5-hectare property crafting two AOC Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux red wines along with a Vine de France and a liqueur.

2023 auction results in greater depth

Languedoc saw the quantity of its wine auctioned on iDealwine remain stable in 2023. 5,029 bottles (when scaled to 750ml) were auctioned last year, a rise of 1.3%. What we didn’t expect to see was a 17.3% drop in total auction value, as well as in the average bottle price, which fell from €111 in 2022 to just €90 in 2023. These figures shouldn’t be taken at face value though – they are misleading! Sometimes, there is a tree so great that it hides the whole forest, which is exactly what’s happening here with the Grange des Peres phenomenon.

In the tiny village of Aniane, near Montpellier in Languedoc lies the most famous vineyard in the region, that of Laurent Vaille (who sadly passed  away in 2021). In 2023, 959 Grange des Peres bottles were sold, continuing its no. 1 position in this region’s list of best-selling properties. This is a significant volume, but it marks a decline compared to 2022, when prices soared. Roughly a hundred fewer bottles were sold year-over-year, and the average price dropped from €359 to €286 (-20.2%).

The next best-known and best-selling producer is Mas Daumas Gassac. Auction volume for this property has risen by 5.2%, with 673 bottles sold, for a slightly lower average price of €51 (down 10.9%). The Emile Peynaud cuvee, named after the famous oenologist who worked for the family-owned estate, is the most sought-after among aficionados. The 2001 vintage went under the hammer for €326.

The rest of the top 20 best-selling properties in the Languedoc are a testament to the energy and drive in this highly appealing region. It’s not just appealing for its price but is nonetheless quite attractive in terms of value for money. When Grange des Peres is excluded, the average bottle price is only €44.

Something else to note is the amount of organic and biodynamic wine being produced in the region. Last year, 30.8% of Languedoc wines that were sold at iDealwine auctions were crafted using these methods. What is more, 3.2% of this region’s bottles were created using natural winemaking practices.

Languedoc is undeniably one of the most exciting wine regions to follow in the coming months.

See all Languedoc wines on iDealwine