At the beginning of October I hosted a wine event at Farmyard restaurant in Norwich. This was the second wine evening we have done together and it was a sold out event which was fantastic. When we were broaching the idea of doing a second wine evening I wanted to put forward wines from a region that are fantastic but overlooked and to showcase what a great area Languedoc-Roussillon can be. We approached the wine dinner slightly differently and built the food around the wines.
As I have mentioned in a previous blog Languedoc-Roussillon is an area that is undervalued so having the chance to put forward some really good producers to customers of the restaurant was a great prospect for me. To share the passions of the producers as a merchant is a brilliant job.
The night was fantastic and went down well, the food was brilliant as always and paired fantastically with the wines. I like to mix things up and put in some quirky different wines for people to try and the orange wine from Trinités (in a previous blog) went down well. Below is a list of the wines that were shown on the night with a brief description.
Château Rives-Blanques, Blanquette de Limoux 2015 Limoux France
A small appellation that have a claim to the throne of being the first sparkling wine produced, Limoux have documentation stating that sparkling wine was being produced in 1542, thats over 150 years before Dom Perignons ‘drinking the stars’ in 1693. Blanquette de Limoux is produced from the Mauzac grape variety, it spends 12 months on the lees and the second fermentation is in the bottle. Zesty fresh apple skins with soft mousse and a crisp finish.
Domaine des Trinités, L’invite Viognier 2016 IGP Pays D’oc France
Produced in Faugères This is an i-.’orange wine’ which is a different concept of wine making to get your head around, with as little interception as possible from the winemaker. This Viognier is grown at 300 meters on schist soils from 50 year old vines, handpicked, wild fermented with no finning or filtration and no sulphites being added. The wine spends 3 weeks on the skins with one week prior to fermentation. A natural styled wine with yeasty, apple skins and delicate peach on the palate, but with on skin fermentation the wine also has structure and tannins.
Domaine des Soulanes, Kaya Blanc 2015 Côtes Catalanes France
A 91 point from Robert Parkers Wine Advocate that describes the wine as 'crushed rocks' and 'seaside / seabreeze’. A small run winery with 18 hectares and 15 hectare litres per hectare. Kaya blanc is a blend of Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Carignan Blanc and Carignan Gris. The vineyards are very rocky so the wine gets a real mineral edge, fresh clean yet focused and concentrated with part of the wine having a slight barrel ageing which underlays the concentration of the style.
Château D’Anglès, Grand Vin Rouge La Clape France.
Described as a 'sensational blend’ from Robert Parkers Wine Advocate awarding this 92 points. With ties to Lafite Rothschild this Château has fantastic pedigree with the current owners. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre from old vines with the Syrah and Mourvèdre spending ten months in oak, and the Grenache is steel aged to maintain the fruit. 50 days maturation slow ripening due to cool region. Intense dark fruits, black cherry, pepper, cedar are some of the flavours from this complex wine.
Domaine Treloar, Muscat de Rivesaltes 2012 France
Domaine Treloar have fascinating story of how they became to own a winery with 9/11 playing a big part. Muscat de Rivesaltes are produced by stopping the fermentation by adding grape spirit, so the wine is high in alcohol (at least 15% abv) but high in sugar as well from the left over natural grape juice that wasn’t fermented. This winery has 8 of their cuvées featuring in Jancis Robinsons top 15 Côtes de Roussillons.