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!
Thursday, 11 July 2013
Sunday, 7 July 2013
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
Horses & calèche wait for their first passengers...
...us, 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
Music with the meal
View back to the chais from the path nearby
Another excursion returns in time for lunch
Barbecue in action
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