Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Back in the Languedoc


Husband picked up at the airport and home to open a welcoming bottle or two.  

My friend Amélie d’Hurlaborde from Mas d’Amile in Montpeyroux made her very first white wine last year, a Terret Blanc,  IGP Mont Baudile, and I had a bottle to try.   It was delicious.  Terret Blanc is one of those grape varieties that used to be grown extensively in the Languedoc and then rather like Carignan was neglected and despised, and is now enjoying something of a comeback, especially if the vines are old, fifty years or more.  One of the reasons it works so well in the Languedoc is the high acidity level.  Amélie’s wine had a touch of peach on the nose and a delicate rounded palate, with a little peachy fruit and some refreshing acidity.  The flavours were understated, with a satisfying texture on the palate.  

And then we checked out our old favourite Vieux Carignan from Domaine de Nizas, which goes so well with barbecued sausages from our local butcher.  It was the 2009 vintage, which very sadly is the very last vintage of this wine.  The elderly Carignan vines have been pulled up in favour of Syrah.  And this was drinking as well as always, with some ripe berry fruit on the nose and palate.  There was a satisfying richness, with a touch of spice and a balancing streak of tannin.  Thank goodness we still have three more bottles left to enjoy, and then we shall transfer our allegiance to Les Trois Terres, the old Carignan from Mas Gabriel.

Asparagus is still in season so that was irresistible for dinner earlier in the week.  But then the question arises: what to drink with asparagus?  In the Languedoc  Muscat Sec is favoured, so that is what I opened, 2012 Muscat Sec from Domaine la Croix Belle in the Côtes de Thongue .    The combination of grapey flavours with a bitter pithiness and a touch of orange zest just seemed to compliment the asparagus, that I served very simply with a drizzle of local olive oil and a scattering of grated Vieux  Cantal. 

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