Showing posts with label Minervois. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minervois. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Languedoc Strongholds: Corbieres, Minervois, St Chinian

Languedoc Strongholds: Corbieres, Minervois, St Chinian.
Top Notch Reds. And White!


“Down here, they speak the language differently”, I had mentioned to my companion as we came down from Peyrepertuse (left), a high Cathar fort in the Languedoc, south of Carcassonne. Workmen stopped to allow the string of tourists reach the car park. The digger-driver was instantly on his mobile and soon he illustrated my language point as one “Whay” after another boomed out. No gentle “Oui” for him!


They make wine differently too in the rocky hills of the western Languedoc. And they make it very well indeed.



Le Moulin des Nonnes, Cuvée Inés blanc 2012, Minervois, 13.5%, €12.00 in SuperValu French Wine sale from 12th Feb.

This Vin Biologique, produced by the Andrieu brothers, is a blend of Roussanne (50%), Grenache Blanc (40) and Muscat petit grains (10) and is Very Highly Recommended. Colour is a bright gold and it has beautiful floral notes. Nice fruity notes on the palate too, some gorgeous spice too. This elegant organic white, with its fruit and finesse, surprised me. Apparently, less than ten per cent of Minervois wine is blanc. Perhaps we should encourage them to make more! “Whay, whay, si vous plais!”

Les Secrets Saint Chinian rouge 2012, 13.5%, €10.00 in SuperValu French Wine sale.

This red, a brilliant blend of Grenache and Syrah, is Very Highly Recommended. There is a superb introduction on the palate, excellent fruit, spice galore, but nothing extreme, all well balanced. Quite an elegant medium-bodied performer with a silky smooth lingering finish.

St Laurent Corbieres rouge 2012, 14%, €10.00 in SuperValu French Wine sale.

The palate on our second red is slightly more reserved and none the worse for that, fruit and spice again in evidence but slightly more rounded. The Corbieres, bottled by the same co-op in Saint Chinian, is more full bodied, possibly a bit better as a food wine. Grilled meats and cheese are recommended. Indeed, I think the Corbieres is marginally the better wine but I have a small preference for the Saint Chinian. Both though are Very Highly Recommended.

*   French wines are extremely popular in SuperValu and all three above are part of their French sale that begins on February 12th. These three would be a good start and I also note that the Minervois blanc is part of a trio that may be had for €25.00, the others being Coteaux de Giennois (Loire Sauvignon blanc) and Domaine Cristia Grenache. There is more from the Languedoc and big name areas, such as Bordeaux and the Rhone, are also well represented.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Wine and Rhyme. She had a beautiful body

Wine and Rhyme

beautiful body, well balanced

Screenshot: Sainte-Eulalie, western Languedoc.

“Eulalie was a good girl
She had a beautiful body, a soul more beautiful still.
The enemies of God wanted to overcome her,
They wanted to make her serve the devil.”


From the heart of the Minervois, from an area called La Liviniere, Karwig Wines in Carrigaline bring you this superb red, a blend of Syrah (55%), Grenache (30) and Carignan (15). La Cantilene (881 AD) is the first romanesque poetic work, stanza above.

Close to Canal du Midi, north east of Carcassonne, north west of Beziers, Laurent and Isabelle Coustal run “an outstanding estate” and are one of the leading producers. This Very Highly Recommended wine underlines their reputation.

Dark fruity aromas greet you. On the palate, it is fruity; there is a dash of spice, some tannins also but this full bodied wine is so well balanced you don't notice the hefty alcohol and you will enjoy a deep finalé. Recommended for game, grilled red meat and cheese.





Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bordeaux tops the Euro Red Contest

Bordeaux tops the Euro Red Contest
Beautiful wine from a very good year

I was in a really comfortable zone with the last glass of Caldora Yume Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2008. I reached out for the next bottle and was totally ambushed, in the nicest possible way, by this 2009 from Bordeaux.

Chateau Beaulieu Comtes de Tastes, Bordeaux Superieur 2009, 13.7%, 20.30 Karwig Wines 
This blend of Merlot (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) and Cabernet Franc, is a delight from a year of delight in the region. It has everything going for it: silky, fruity for sure but so well balanced and, of course, a long finish.

The producer’s description: A round and exuberant wine, very enjoyable in its youth, yet with a complexity and elegance one expects of prestigious Bordeaux. This wine will be enjoyed from its second year and beyond.
Very Highly Recommended.
Chateau du Donjon, La Pujade, Minervois 2010, 14.5%, €15.25, Karwig Wines

The vineyards of the "Château du Donjon", Panis family property since the 16th century, stretch out over the rural district of Bagnoles, the western part of the Minervois region. It is divided into two large parts, one for A.O.C. Minervois, and the other for "Vin de Pays". The grapes for this are from a vineyard that is over 100 years old, planted mainly with Grenache Noir vines.

There is a magnificent concentration of aromas in this dark red wine. Beautiful juicy black fruit flavours on the palate and also a little spice. Totally luscious then before this well balanced wine produces an excellent finish.
Needs to be decanted. Highly Recommended.

Messias Grande Escolha, Douro 2011, 13.5%, €15.40, Karwig Wines
Continued the very enjoyable Euro red sequence with this beauty from Portugal’s Douro, another with an intense aroma and then a smooth mouthfeel, a supple fruitiness on the palate followed by a terrific finish.

Grape Varieties used in this blend are all local: Touriga Franca; Touriga Nacional; Tinta Roriz; Tinta Barroca.

A big wine for the price and Highly Recommended. Unfiltered - Decanting advised.

Must say this was one of the best sets of reds that I’ve come across recently but the Italian, the Portuguese and the languedocien will have to take a place behind that superb Bordeaux. Of course, if you are having a group in, start them off with the other three before springing the Bordeaux. A perfect ambush. Of the nicest possible kind.

* Prices quoted all before recent tax ambush!