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Monday, 20 February 2012


We've enjoyed the first day of Vinisud with friends Per and Lilli - already bustling with buyers (including a couple of their Danish friends) at 1030 on Monday morning!  We began outside France (see below) but then had pleasure in saying hello to some of our favourite vignerons:
  • The Lemarié family at the Corbières domaine Ch Aiguilloux -, whose range of 4 wines continues to impress - above all the reds - Les Trois Seigneurs and Cuvée Anne-Georges (named after their two now adult children).
  • Ch Sainte Eulalie - Isabelle Coustal's range of wines has extended slightly to satisfy different markets, but her range of 4 'originals' are as always excellent - the white single-variety sauvignon blanc, the rosé Printemps d'Eulalie, the easy-drinking red Plaisir d'Eulalie and the serious and longlasting La Cantilène.
  • The Chemin de Rèves in St Gély du Fesc.  Benoit Viot and his wife Servane were surrounded by appreciative clients when we called by, and it's not surprising since he is recognised widely as one of the up-and-coming young winemakers of France.
  • The Mas du Jon.  We discovered this Pic St Loup domaine when it was just setting up in 2007, at a market stall in Aigues Mortes.  Obviously, sharing my name, it appealed to us and so, it proved, did the wines.  They still do.  The Gravegeals, brother and sister, have developed a successful operation with their white from the single variety Marsanne, as good as Mary remembered it, and 2 good red Pic St Loup AOCs.
In addition, Lilli and Per introduced us to a new maker (to us) in the Pic St Loup area - Fabienne Bruguière at the Mas Thélème -   Not only are her wines excellent, but she's part of a collective of women winemakers in the Langeudoc, so fits in with our long-term interest in women winemakers.

We also visited two Italian makers (from Piedmont) - Sebastiano Ramello where we tasted some nice Barolos, and the Azienda Agricola Morando Silvio whose Barbera d'Asti wines were very good.

But when we first arrived we were fortunate to pick out two interesting Spanish producers - the Bodegas Covila in Rioja, whose range of Riojas from the young entry-level wine through Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva showed perfectly the range possible in a traditional style - beautiful wines.

Our first discovery was a couple, the Bolets, who are just off the motorway between Barcelona and Tarragona.  They had only gained entry to Vinisud, and a display stand, at the last moment, but whose wines seemed really good - we enjoyed a dry and fresh muscat/gewurztraminer, and also two reds, a 100% Merlot Criança, and a DO Penedès, 40/60 merlot/cab sauv.

A good day out.  Vinisud runs until Wed - more on -