Monday, 8 March 2010

In The Midi

First thing this morning I met up with Andrée at Domaine Lalande in Carcassonne to taste and check the new Marsanne and the Viognier with my good friend and winemaker Antonio.

I have been working with Antonio for 5 years now and today it was our last tasting together as he is moving back to his home country of Portugal. It was quite sad as we have worked on many extremely enjoyable and successful projects together. Antonio also shares a great passion for wine like me so I will miss him immensely but he is staying in the wine trade so we will be sure to cross paths professionally at some point.

Andrée and I then headed into the fantastic wine country of the Minervois and the village of Le Rieux where we tasted through a set of fabulous 2009 reds; I have never had so many 5 out of 5s on my tasting notes! Be sure to look out for the new Minervois when it is released, I'll be sure to remind you! Next stop was my first time at the legendary Cellier Lauran Cabaret.

We tasted some excellent Caladoc which is vine crossing of Grenache/Malbec and Marselen, a Grenache/Cabernet crossing. All very exciting but the pioneer was actually Mr Tony Laithwaite! It was this very same winery where Tony and JMS first sourced the groundbreaking Garage Red to make in Bordeaux and here's me doing the same thing for the Chai many years later!

I spent so much time tasting and being intrigued with the beautiful wines from here I did a very un-French thing and forgot about leaving time for lunch! Much to Andrée’s disappointment she was now following me (and hungry) heading towards our meeting in my wine home of Maury for a meeting with Thierry Cazach.

I arrived at the Maury about five minutes before Andrée and I was just wondering where she had got to. Sure enough, in true Andrée style, she arrived with a picnic! Ham, cheese, baguettes, butter and a bar of chocolate. We ate it in the sunshine, almond trees in bloom in the Tramontane wind, it always amazes me how such simple things are so enjoyable!

In the next tasting we checked the President XV 09' and Syrah de Folie but what I was really eager for was the Maury Vin Doux Naturel (fortified wines) that we had made. We tasted through all the styles and residual sugar levels and it’s absolutely amazing that's all I can say!

Andrée left for home in Beziers whist I stopped at the jolly JC's for a tasting of the Vent de Folie 09'. The more JC and I learn, the better this wine gets – I am already looking forward to 2010!


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