Clos Centeilles

It has been a little while since I tasted with Patricia Domergue, so refreshed with tea after the Livinage tasting, we repaired to Patricia’s smart new tasting caveau, with its view of the tiny chapel of Centeilles amidst the vines.

First came her sparkling wine, Scintilha made for the first time in 2016.  It is an original blend of Ribeyrenc Gris, Clairette, Blanche and Rose and Piquepoul Gris.  It spends twelve months on the lees, and a Limoux prestateur does the disgorgement for her.  It is a Brut Nature, so no dosage.  A little colour, and lightly herbal notes on the nose.  Quite a rounded, solid palate.  Very Mediterranean and very southern, with fine bubbles, and a dry finish, but certainly not acidic.  Just the thing if you are looking for some unusual bubbles.

2016 Mosaique de Centeilles - 19€
with apologies for the list, a blend of Grenache Gris, Clairette Blanche, Clairette Rose, Piquepoul Gris, Terret Gris, Carignan Gris, Ribeyrenc Gris, Grenache blanc and Picaradin.  As you will appreciate, Patricia is passionate about the old grape varieties of the region, and very anxious and determined that they are preserved.  A little colour and some intriguing herbal notes on both nose and palate.  Nicely textured with good acidity.  Lots of nuances.  A wine that keeps you guessing and tasting.  

2016 C de Centeilles - 19.00€
A blend of Ribeyrenc Blanc, and Gris and Araignan.   Patricia is the last person to have Ribeyrenc Blanc.  Her cuttings came from the research station at Vassal and their vines have sadly since died.  Unfortunately she is not allowed to sell any cuttings, as the plants are virused, but she is now working on missal selection for them.  For Alain Carboneau, one of the great pioneering personalities of the Languedoc, Ribeyrenc Blanc is the greatest white variety of the region.  It would indeed be sad if it were to disappear.  A little colour.  Quite firm dry fruit on both nose and palate, but with more weight and opulence than the Mosaique de Centeilles.   Very good length.  Richer, more concentrated than the Mosaique even though it is made in the same way, with some bâtonnage.  

Altogether Patricia has 23 different grape varieties.  

2017 Le Part de Anges - 10.50€
50% Carignan and 50% Ribeyrenc Noir.  Light red in colour.  Lightly fruity with a fresh tannic streak.  Red fruit and liquorice on the palate.  Easy drinking summer red.

2015 Carignanisme - 11.00€
A pure Carignan, made by carbonic maceration, with rustic cherry fruit, a hint of liquorice  and a streak of tannin.  Medium weight and refreshing.

2014 Campagne de Centeilles  - 13.15€
Cinsaut with 10% Syrah.  Medium colour.  Quite perfumed and rich on the nose with red fruit on the palate. A light steak of tannin and a fresh finish.    Patricia has enthused about Cinsaut as a grape for red wine for years, a lone voice when everyone else said it was only good for rosé.  Now things are changing.   

Patricia alway sells her wine with some bottle age.  The conditions of the 2014vintage made for wines with body and fruit.  

2014 C de Centeilles - 15.50€
60% Piquepoul Noir with Ribeyrenc Noir, Oeillade and Morastel.   Medium colour.  Very perfumed and fresh.  Some acidity and tannic, balancing cherry fruit.  Very intriguing.  A wine with lots of nuances on the palate.

2014 Clos de Centeilles - 19.00€
One third each of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache, with 5% of other varieties.  Between 5 and 10% is aged in wood.  Some leathery notes. Quite herbal with notes of the garrigues.   Mature and characterful.  Quite an elegant finish.

2008 Capitelle de Centeilles - 24.00€
Pure Cinsaut.  Quite an evolved colour, with notes of dry garrigues on the nose.  Quite elegantly rich on the palate, with spice and more garrigues, and a touch of alcohol on the finish.

And the last taste was a vat sample, a new wine, as yet not named, and a blend of 70% Mourvèdre with 30% Piquepoul Noir, with a deep colour and peppery perfumed fruit on the nose and lots of cherry fruit on the palate, balanced with fresh spice, and some weight.  It promises well.  


Bob Rossi said…
What a fascinating array of grapes! I was recently in Switzerland and tasted wines from a number of obscure grape varieties, but nothing like this. I think I may have had their wines at some point, but I'm not sure. If I ever make it back to the Minervois, I'll make a point of visiting them.
Definitely worth a visit, for the obscure grape varieties.

And you are right, Switzerland is nearly as good......talking of which, do look out for Sue Style's new book on Swiss wines.

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