Wine and Food Diary of Giles MacDonogh BLOGS/CORRESPONDENTS

The Return of the Sun

Written by Giles MacDonogh

The Return of the Sun

Posted: 3rd May 2022

The wine trade has been stretching its limbs after Covid. Some tastings are still online while others have returned to the traditional form, with producers or importers standing behind tables showing their wares. Back on the first spring-like day, 10 March, there was an Occitan wine tasting in the Royal College of Surgeons: a change from the collection of pickled foetuses and two-headed horses  stashed away downstairs.

I liked the organic wines from the Domaine de la Grange, a crisp white in the 2020 Terre de Tramontane range and even better, a juicy red made from the winning combination of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. It seemed to be an excellent food wine. Interesting was the 2020 Rondeur Apassimento made from dried Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache grapes. It was naturally quite sweet. The estate manager Nicolas de Saint-Exupéry recommended it as an aperitif. The ‘Tradition’ range from the Côte de Thongue was top notch: 2020 Prat Bibal (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre), 2021 Combelle (Syrah and Cinsault) with a proper tarry Syrah taste, and 2020 Selection Sabatier (Carignan and Syrah).

Another excellent organic estate was the Domaine de Pech Ménel: a good 2021 white leads on Rolle; a 2017 Saint Chinian with a dominant Mourvèdre and impressive length; and four vintages of Château Pech Ménel – 2015, 2013, 2010 and 2009 to demonstrate how well it aged.

Château Canet in Minervois uses a special protective yeast on picked grapes that delays the onset of fermentation for a week. Two reds impressed me: the sappy 2020 with its obvious Syrah character and the 2018 Les Evangiles:  90% Syrah and a much bigger proposition.

The Domaine F Jaubert in the Roussillon makes a slightly sweet Syrah-dominated red (it’s 14.8% – if all the sugar had fermented out it would be 16%) with the lyrical name of Hexaplex Trunculus, but I was even happier with the fortified VDN 2002 Or du Temps, a blend of red and white Grenache made in concrete vats – old wines to sip on their own.

About the author

Giles MacDonogh

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

error: Content is protected !!