The Vinifilles - a six pack for the summer

The Vinifilles are a lively group of women winemakers scattered all over the Languedoc, and also in Roussillon.  They get together for marketing purposes, often sharing stands at wine fairs and organising events together and they also exchange technical information.   It also has to be said that they are a lively group of women who have a lot of fun together, and provide mutual support in what can sometimes be a difficult situation.  This summer, with the help of the wine shop, L'Atelier du Vin, in Limoux, they have put together a box of six wines, for summer drinking, with a suggested recipe to accompany each wine in the box.   

Our good friends Jan and Caryl Panman came to dinner the other day, bearing the six pack for me to try.   And delicious the wines were too.  

2019 Château de l’Ou rosé, Côtes du Roussillon.
A blend of Syrah and Grenache Noir.  This is a serious rosé, in a smart bottle, with a pale colour and a rounded nose, with some raspberry  notes.  The palate is quite firm and structured, with elegance and some weight, and delicious fruit.  Nicely balanced.   An elegant food recipe, and Séverine's recipe was a ratatouille.  Séverine talked about cooling the grapes in a cool chamber before pressing them, saying that the technique makes for some interesting aromas.  She only uses the first pressings of the juice.  She considers rosé to be underrated as a food wine, and more difficult to make than either red or white.

A second rosé came from Clos des Nines, 2019 Niño, Vin de France.  This is mainly Cinsault, with 20% Grenache, which adds some depth.  Cinsault has large berries, and is picked early to retain the freshness and acidity.

A delicate salmon pink colour.  Quite a rounded nose with good fruit.  Quite a firm palate, with weight, fragrant red fruit and balancing acidity.   A nicely rounded finish.  Red mullet with some courgettes was Isabelle's choice of accompaniment here.

Bubbles were represented by Françoise Antech, from the family firm of Limoux producers, with Crémant de Limoux, Cuvée Eugénie.  A blend of 70% Chardonnay, with 10% Mauzac and 20% Chenin Blanc.  18 months on the lees.  I had not realised that Antech produce as many as 15 different sparkling wines, including wines aged in oak, and rosés.  Eugénie was the great-great-aunt of Françoise. 

Good mousse with a light colour.  A delicate nose.  Quite an elegant palate, with rounded floral notes and a touch of brioche.  A little weight and some appealing creaminess on the finish.   Françoise suggested a salad of prawns, avocado and pink grapefruit.  I definitely intend to try that.

The white wine in the selection came from the other Vinifille of Limoux, Caryl Panman of Château Rives Blanques, with 2018 Odyssée Chardonnay. Limoux, with its combination of Mediterranean and Atlantic climates, is the one place in the Languedoc which can produce elegant Chardonnay.  There is fresh fruit on the nose, with well integrated oak - Limoux must be fermented and aged in oak - and nicely balanced acidity on the palate, with a textured youthful mouthfeel.  An elegant finish, and a wine that will develop with bottle age.   Caryl’s recipe was a tuna salad, with some exotic Asian flavours.

Next came a pair of reds.
First was Domaine de Roquemale, 2019 Méli Mélo, Pays de l’Hérault.  From an estate in Villeveyrac70% Alicante Bouschet, with some Cinsault and Syrah.  I was amused when I opened the bottle, to find a smily face on the top of the cork.  Valerie Ibanez has a sense of fun.  Alicante is a teinturier grape and so given only a short maceration.  However, the wine  is still quite deep in colour, with some fresh red fruit on the nose, and lovely juicy fruit on palate, with an appealingly rustic note.   It is best served slightly chilled, and goes with a summery rice salad, with ham and feta cheese.

2019 Domaine la Jasse Castel, la Pimpanela, from an estate in Montpeyroux,  is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Cinsault and 10% Carignan.  It is deep in colour, with some rounded spicy fruit on the nose.  The palate is ripe and rounded with a streak of tannin.  The alcohol reaches 15º, but you simply do not taste it.   For this, Pascale suggested a kebab of magret de canard.

The box costs 82€ from L'Atelier du Vigneron and includes delivery to France, the UK and five other EU countries.   It's a bargain!   Order here


Rosemary: I thoroughly enjoyed your book "Wines of the Languedoc". It was both insightful and appropriately detailed, and I made several wine purchases based on your suggestions. I am looking forward to more of your impressions about this exciting region.
Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am currently working on The wines of Roussillon, for which the deadline should have been the end of this month, but research got interrupted by Covid, but hopefully it will be finished this autumn.
Earlier in the week I went to order these wines but right at the end of the process it announced "Plus tax" which meant another twenty euros or so being added on. If they had been upfront about the "real" price I would almost have certainly ordered my two cases but being a true Scotsman I got on my high horse and galloped away.
Thankful for sharing such a great content. It was valuable. Desire you will keep sharing such an amazing content.Buy French Passport Online
Dear Lodestone of Wrongness,
I'am surprise by your comment. I confirm that the "real price" (or final price) of the Vinifilles case of 6 bottles is €82 and no more. Feel free to contact us for any help ! Regards, Laurence
Dear L of W. As you will see, I passed your comments on. Looks as though there was some confusion on the website. Do have another go at ordering. You will not regret it, I promise you.
Thanks for the info. I'm pretty certain that when I tried first time it added VAT on at the end of ordering but, as ever, I might have been Wrong! Anyways, I see it is all correct now.
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