Another new tasting caveau, this time at Notre Dame de Mougères. And as well as wine, you can buy delicious local honeys and various other flavours of the region. The vineyards, 32 hectares, outside Caux, belong to the sisters of the Chartreuse and the wine estate is run by Nicolas de St. Exupéry whose family also own Domaine Pech Céleyran in La Clape. There are family connections with Toulouse Lautrec and with Antoine de St. Exupéry, the author of Le Petit Prince.
Unusually for a Languedoc estate, they produce more white than red wine, with six different whites. I’ve always like their fresh pithy Muscat, which is a favourite in our village, but sadly they were sold out, and of the Sauvignon too.
So we tasted:
2010 Vermentino, Pays d’Oc – 5.00€
Quite rounded with a bit of acidity, and some fruit, but lacks the vivacity I normally associate with Vermentino
2010 Macabeo, Pays d’Oc – 5.00€
Quite rounded and pithy with some fruit and body on the palate. Quite satisfying, with some weight. A pure Macabeo is pretty unusual; it is usually part of a blend, but apparently a pure Macabeo is traditional to the estate.
2010 Le Pèlerin, Vin de Pays de Caux – 4.00€
A blend of Sauvignon and Vermentino. Some pithy Sauvignon fruit on the nose, which also dominates the palate. A touch of residual sugar on the finish. I almost thought that there was a hint of Muscat in the wine, but I was told not.
2009 Clos de l’Abbaye blanc, Pays d’Oc – 9.00€
Vermentino vinified in vat and given twelve months ageing in oak. A touch of oak on the nose and more so on the palate. Quite buttery and with notes of bananas. Will the oak fade with time? Quite a long finish.
2010 le Pèlerin Rose Vin de Pays de Caux - 4.00€
Cinsaut and Grenache – pressed. Pretty delicate colour, dry fresh fruit on the nose. Quite a crisp palate with some hints of ripe strawberry fruit.
2009 Languedoc Pérennité Rosé - 6.00€
Pure Mourvèdre. Saigné and fermented in vat. Light colour. A firmer, more vinous palate. More rounded with good acidity. Fresher than I would have expected from a 2009.
2010 le Pèlerin rouge, Vin de Pays de Caux - 4.00€
A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Merlot. Medium colour; quite a stalky nose. And quite a firm palate, with some fruit. Fairly simple and one dimensional.
2009 Pérennité, Languedoc. 6.00€
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Medium colour; quite firm fruit, with a peppery note and some spice, and a tannic streak. Dry spice on the finish.
2009 Clos de l’Abbaye rouge – 9.00€
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and aged I oak. Quite a firm nose, and a touch of oak on the palate. Quite a rounded palate with fruit and tannins. Still quite youthful, but the oak is well-integrated. A winter wine, or more poetically in French, un vin du coin de la cheminée.
The church, which was built in 1794, is open to visitors – it has lovely simple lines in cool grey stone, and the sisters sing Vespers, that anyone may attend, usually at about 5.15 p.m. most afternoons.