I always enjoy the Montpeyroux open cellars day but once again, sadly, the weather was not too good, and really not conducive to open air tasting. And we also had to take a friend to the airport, so our visit was quite short and focused on a few favourites. I don’t think that there were any new estates this year.
A brief hallo to Jo and André at Villa Dondona. Jo was enthusing about the ageability of her whites, and showing 2012 Espérel, with some leafy honeyed fruit on the nose, and more herbal notes on the palate, with a good balance of acidity. And the 2010 Espérel has evolved beautifully, proving Jo's point, with dry herbal notes on the nose, and rounded leafy honeyed fruit on the palate. It had developed a lovely depth after a couple of years more bottle age.
And her 2010 Montpeyroux was rich and satisfying, with some oak on the nose and some wonderfully rounded ripe black fruit and tapenade on the palate, with balancing freshness of acidity on the finish. Another lovely glass of wine.
Then we popped in to see Amélie d’Hurlaborde of Mas d'Amile. Her stand is always very popular, so it was quite difficult to taste in the crush. 2015 Terret Blanc was rich and nutty with firm acidity. 2014 Vieux Carignan was rounded and smoky with some red fruit and a fresh finish, showing just why Carignan deserves its revival in the Languedoc. 2014 Montpeyroux was firm and smoky with youthful fruit and some dry spice on the finish.
I always enjoy Alain Chabanon’s white wines and this year was no exception. 2015 Petit Trelans, was dry and herbal, fresh and sappy, with a slightly dusty note on the finish, and 2012 Trelans, which spends a year in large barrel as well as two in vat, with more Chenin blanc than Vermentino, was beautifully rounded with dry honey, and ripe fruit, and nicely balanced finish.
His 2014 Montpeyroux Campredon was drinking well too, with fresh ripe fruit and a touch of spice, making for some good easy drinking.
And we finished up in Sylvain Fadat’s cellar for 2015 Aupilhac Blanc, with lovely herbal notes and fresh citrus acidity. 2014 Cocalières was rounded, stony and mineral, tight knit with more weight than the Aupilhac.
2015 les Servières Cinsaut was a great expression of that variety, which is becoming increasingly popular for red wine. This was fresh and perfumed on the nose, and on the palate, ripe and fresh and rounded.
2012 Le Carignan was firm and structured with good fruit, and some rustic charm. And to show how well Carignan ages, Sylvain had opened three older vintages. 2004 had a surprisingly youthful nose, given its age, and was ripe and rounded with balancing acidity and tannin. 2002 was firm and smoky, with more supple, soyeux, silky tannins, while the 1998 has some mushroomy sous bois notes on the nose, and elegant fruit on the palate with some acidity and supple tannins. It was drinking very well, and far from fading.
And the occasion would be incomplete without musicians.