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on 5 March 2017
Book great, but a bit tatty for 'good condition '
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on 19 September 2004
Before venturing into trying the wines of this area, you are well advised to read Paul Strang's book which will repay the cost and time spent many times over. There are so many wines, especially in the Corbieres and Minervois areas, that without a book of this quality you would have to take pot luck. Paul Strang, not only reliably directs you to the better wines, but also gives you some background information on the winemakers which is useful when visiting them at the winery. Life is too short to drink poor wine and Paul makes sure that this never happens in Languedoc Roussillon. Although it was published in 2002, it is written in a way which has kept it useful and reasonably up-to-date although there are now wineries which have earned their place in the next edition.
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on 9 January 2006
My parents-in-law have bought a place near Beziers and I now visit the area about once a year, and buy wine at some point during the visit, so Strang's book is invaluable.
It is also addictive to read, and beautifully illustrated with photographs. He knows the area unbelievably well and his views are invariably based not just on tastings, but on visits and long discussions with the vignerons.
These lead to great vignettes: there's the Communist grower whose family has been insisting on organic techniques long before 'organic' entered the vocabulary, the glamorous middle-aged woman (with whom Strang falls slightly in love) who gave up her bigshot career in the city to follow the dream of growing wine on some family land...
Yet whilst Strang writes fluently and his taste buds are faultless, it's quite a hard book to use. Actually tracking down a vineyard he has recommended is far from intuitive and there's no index of vineyards either. This would come into its own for when you driving around the various country roads and pass a vineyard: then, you could see whether it's listed and, if so, how Strang rated it. As it is, you end up thumbing around trying to remember where you saw a vineyard listed.
Of course, it is still possible to find vineyards he has recommended, but it's not always easy, and there are, inevitably, quite a few great places that he doesn't list.
Still, great fun.
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on 29 December 2006
This is one of the best books about wine and winemakers I've read, and undoubtedly THE guide to Languedoc-Roussillon. I've used it during 3 trips to the region and found it accurate and easy to use as it is broken down into quite small geographical areas. I do agree with the reviewer who criticised the index, which includes all the wineries covered in detail in the text but none of the many "other good growers" in each area. Also with the emphasis on winemakers, the many excellent co-operatives get scarcely a mention. Roll on a new edition. Meanwhile the existing one should be the first item packed for any wine-lover visiting the region.
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on 29 March 2010
I originally purchased Strang's South-West Wines which is beautifully laid out, excellent photos, glossy and inviting! I was therefore a little disappointed by the appearance of this book; it shows that its a few years older. Having said that, it is a reference book and again, well-laid out, clear and concise with lots of pointers but it can't cover all the vineyards and products and as it is about 8 years old its not up to date. For example we've found several vineyards that have closed etc etc BUT I'm not sure quite how we would have ever set out amongst the winegrowers of Languedoc with any level of confidence if we hadn't had this tucked under our arm!
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on 8 March 2007
Strang has done a remarkable job of describing this beguiling region. Highly recommended reading, and essential for anyone looking to tour through wine country. Bravo.
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