Ten days in the Languedoc, and not one cellar visit ....... but some highlights around a table. Vigneron friends came to dinner, but mainly English with a thirst for New Zealand. And French friends were introduced to the delights of English bubbles. Ridgeview’s Grosvenor came up trumps.
Dinner with my tasting buddy Lits, who produced both red and white from Finca Narraza in St. Paul de Fenouillet - new name for me, and definitely worth exploring further.
The 2006 white is a blend of Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Macabeo, Camps del Roi, Côtes Catalanes. A light amber colour, with a rich nutty nose and palate. Initially it might seem oxidised, but it is most definitely not. A wine with great depth, character, richness and length. Very good acidity.
The red was also from the 2006 vintage, les Cigales, Côtes du Roussillon Villages a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. Deep young colour. Quite rich and intense on the nose, with ripe fruit on the palate. Quite tannic with a mineral streak. Again very intriguing with length and depth.
Friends from the village came to dinner and Françoise Ollier’s 2010 les Collines slipped own a treat – sunshine in a glass; with ripe spicy fruit. And Lizzie came bearing a bottle of 2004 No 7 from Domaine la Croix Belle. I admit to my shame that I omitted to write a tasting note sat the time, but from memory, it was drinking beautifully; any oak had long since integrated leaving a wonderful complete, harmonious glass of wine.
And the next evening a friend generously opened bottles of 2007 Mas de Daumas Gassac. It was sound, with firm tannins and firm fruit, but it simply did not sing, and I did not feel that it was going anywhere either. A bottle of the 2000 vintage drunk in London last autumn was so much better.
Dinner with Anne and Christian at Domaine de Monplézy, with fellow guests Deborah and Peter from Mas Gabriel, confirmed just how much I enjoy the wines from both estates – see earlier postings. And Christian is a dab hand with barbecued gigot d’agneau.
And before we rushed to the airport we checked out the new restaurant in our village, Le Petit Péché. It has to be said that the wine list needs a bit of work, but it did produce a cheerful 2010 Muscat Sec, Côtes de Thongue from Domaine Bonian. Light colour; ripe, grapey, pithy Muscat fruit, and fresh varietal character on the palate, with a sweet touch of grapy fruit and a slightly bitter Muscat finish. Very Muscat.
And the red wine was 2010 l’Ambrin Vin de la Grange, Languedoc, a blend of Syrah and Grenache – see my earlier posting about Eric Morot’s wines. This was quite solid on the nose, with rustic peppery black fruit on the palate. And went deliciously with a confit de canard.
And now I am off to taste some 2010 Chablis for a complete change of flavours.