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Thursday, 11 July 2013

2013 winners in the annual Concours des grands vins of the Languedoc Roussillon region

Just out, the results of a major regional competition held in Béziers in April.  A well-constructed, easy-to-search database including some of our favourite wines and makers, many other which we don't (yet) know, and surprising omissions!

Among those we have long known and valued are the husband-and-wife duo Cyril Marès (Mas des Bressades) and Nathalie Blanc-Marès (Mas Carlot) in the Costières de Nîmes, Domaine Bort and the Coop itself in Saint Christol, La Gravette de Corconne (major Coop for Pic Saint Loup), the Jullien family  of Ch de Mus and Dom Bachellery near Béziers (but only one Mus wine - they make a lot of other good ones), the Château Sainte Eulalie in La Livinière (Isabelle's Grand Vin and yet another accolade for La Cantilène) A new wine we have not tried from Aiguilloux in the Corbières, and several entries from Ch Mire L'Etang in La Clape which is one of our earliest discoveries in the Languedoc.

Surprising omissions - Benoit Viot's Dom de Chemin des Rêves (in fact there are only 4 Pic Saint Loup AOP wines in the mix) is not there, nor other makers from the Saint Christol group, nor the Domaine Félines Jourdan at Mèze which is a leading and respected producer of Picpoul de Pinet.  But these and other omissions in an interesting but patchy field only serve to demonstrate that the selection of winners in all competitions depends on who enters.  I've always assumed that if a maker can sell her or his wine sithout going in for competitions s/he will do so!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Portes ouvertes in La Livinière

Yesterday we were at the portes ouvertes  at the Château Sainte Eulalie in La Livinière.  I have written before of this excellent Minervois domaine, and you can look at the website to find details of Isabelle Coustal's always excellent wines, so this is a photo opportunity to show off the lovely countryside (with disant views of the Pyrenees, where the Tour de France and Chris Froome were toiling away as we left) and to share some photos of a great day out with our Swiss friend Ralph Néri.

La Livinière from the domaine

Our welcome

Horses & calèche wait for their first passengers..., that is!

Tour around the vineyards

 Views across the vines

Ralph thanks our horses

Isabelle offers tastings to Ralph and to me - he was really delighted with the wines

Apéro time

Music with the meal

View back to the chais from the path nearby

Another excursion returns in time for lunch

Barbecue in action

Music continues

Lunch under the trees

Isabelle announces the quiz winners

Ralph wins first prize!!

The desserts arrive

One of our Australian acqaintances wins the second prize, the splendid La Cantileène

Mirages on the journey home

Typical avenue of plane trees, though the ones on the Canal du Midi nearby are dying

Perched village among the vines