Possible mission !
The friends had sent me: you who know the wine, prepare us a weekend on the subject, with some nice visits ... Where you want!
For the originality and the variety of its terroirs, I chose the south-west, and Carcassonne quickly imposed itself: it is definitely a pretty city well surrounded by the appellations: City of Carcassonne, Cabardès, Corbières, Fitou , Malepère, Minervois, Minervois Lavinière, Saint-Chinian! ..
I found a concentration of quality restaurants, with professional sommeliers, and activist chefs for local wines.
In addition, we will be able to make some historical visits, between two tastings. The City is needed, but not only ...!
By car !
Small originality: we rented on the spot good 2CV Citroën 70s, colorful, windy and full of sun, some swings ... A good way to limit yourself to small roads and small speeds; and smell the smell of hay and fruit, without particle filter. Even closed, a 2CV is very airy!
Here I will share with you our harvested emotions during this unforgettable weekend, but also many other addresses and tips prepared to return soon. It's yours !
The good life
The Domain of Garille
The Château de Pennautier and its outbuilding Domaine de Garille, 2km on the hillside, facing south. The plain of Carcassonne is beautiful, between the Pyrenees and the Montagne Noire, the south of the Massif Central.
The sommelier is waiting for us in a vineyard classified High Environmental Value, for an "Ampelographic" course. Gourmand rather instinctive, our guide described in simple terms the life cycle of the vine, the knowledge perpetuated since the Romans in Narbonnaise, and the improvements of today. A nice contact with the field. Our shoes are bleached by clay-limestone, its powder is fragrant, we taste it. In the cellars blondis by the oak wood, we discovered the work of the wine thanks to a barrel at the bottom glass.
At the highly anticipated tasting, the winemaker is precise and discreet, leaving everyone to his sensations. We find the scrubland visited during the past hour. The climax, for my taste, is the cuvée "Esprit de Pennautier". His emotion accompanied me to the lounges of the castle.
Castle of Pennautier lounges
Here, the French way of life is renewed for ten generations, in one piece.
The period furniture, the paintings of masters and photos, content the family of Lorgeril since 1620 and through it, the history of the Canal du Midi, the states of Languedoc at the time of Louis XIV, the history of France.
We promise to come back for a picnic in white, a musical Thursday and who knows, to sleep there one night.
The Calmel & Joseph Domain in Montirat
Between Carcassonne and Corbières, in the wheels of the "méhari depoitraillée" of the poet vigneron Gaston Bonheur, we joined Domaine Calmel & Joseph, in Montirat.
Under the care of oaks and cypresses, a valley for him alone, studded with vineyards, olive trees and lavender, prepared for the walk, the tasting.
The masters of the place work on 25 different appellations of origin!
Many of their wines have won awards at international competitions, such as the Chardonnay Villa Blanche, one of the best in the world for many years.
The cellar master unveils his varietal wines, and then, around a large graduated cylinder, we create our own assembly. Our taste buds are scattered, the oenologist refocuses ...
In the end "our wine" seems honest.
In any case, it is to our taste to us, that of friends!
This recreation makes us understand all the science-and the sensibility-that we have just touched on.
Wine and music in St Jacques d'Albas Domain
The Domain St Jacques d'Albas, at Graham and Andrew Nutter's.
They took over an old vineyard in Laure-en-Minervois, 20 km from the ramparts of the city. Music lovers, they have arranged a beautiful reception room and a sober auditorium, with impeccable acoustics.
Assisted by Nicole Barrabès and her association, they prepare moments of grace: All concerts begin and end with a drink in hand, presented by the winemaker himself.
Magical moments : Some musicians do another exercise: they consult each other, that's the word, with the vine growers. Grenache on this scherzo by Debussy, Syrah for Mendelssohn. Each vintner then comes to present his wine, serve it. The concert then begins, arpeggios and grape varieties, note for note.