On Saturday we braved the wet weather to go to the Salon Epicuvin in Montpellier. The last time Mary and I visited the Château de Flaugèrgues was to rehearse Bach - it is also a domaine viticole but we've never tried their wines. This time we were there primarily to say hello to Benoit Viot whose Chemin des Rêves has figured before in this blog. We know their wines well - the white, like that of Richard Maby, bas figured in recent Guides Hachette - but this time it was to taste his new cuvée La Soie, of which he has only made 600 bottles. After tasting this blend of mostly syrah with a little grenache (because the grapes grow in the same vineyard, apparently), we instantly bought 1% of his production. At 25€ a bottle this is on a par with the Syrhus of Ch. Grès Saint Paul which we know well, but La Soie has a wonderful elegance - no wonder Benoit calls some of his other wines 'Abracadabra'. Magic!
While we were at the Salon we did some serious shopping for Christmas food - excellent cheese, charcuterie and foie gras alongside the 30 or so winemakers there - and revisited a couple of old favourites among winemakers and discovered at least two new interesting ones. The first is a really quirky small producer from the little village of Saint Sériès just north of Lunel. No website for Terre Inconnue, but several blogs - I think Vimpressionistes gives the best flavour. We tasted several wines, but Léonie was the better for us of the 2 carignans we tried, and we were served by the eponymous Léonie, daughter of part-time winemaker Robert Creus. The second - Swiss vigneronne Verena Wyss from Gabian near Pézénas. Her unoaked viognier was the best of the whites we tasted but we didn't try the reds. Too much to see in one short visit, but an interesting weekend with special events - we must look out for it next year.