Laurent Miquel chez Mentzendorff
A recent Mentzendorff tasting provided a great opportunity to catch with Neasa Miquel who was pouring a small but delicious selection of their wines.
2021 Solas Albarino
Laurent Miquel was an early pioneer of Albarino in the Languedoc. When I visited his vineyards above Lagrasse, in the heart of the Corbières, he took us on a vineyard walk, showing off all the young plantings of Albarino. Subsequently a few others have followed his example. He now has 27 hectares of the variety, and makes three different qualities; the basic entry level, Solas and Côte which is a single vineyard, with a later release date.
Solas was showing beautifully, with a light colour and some fragrant, slightly pithy, honeyed notes on the nose. The palate had some rich apricot notes, and was nicely rounded with texture and length. The wine is refreshingly unoaked; and Neasa explained d that humidity is crucial for Albarino. Think of the rain of Galicia.
This also comes from vineyards in Lagrasse. It enjoys some aging in demi-muids, giving a subtle hint of oak on the palate. The nose is lightly buttery, with rounded fruit on the palate, nicely balanced and textured mouthfeel. A satisfying mouthful.
2021 Solas Pinot Noir
From vineyards in Limoux and in St. Chinian. Medium colour. Quite fragrant red fruit on the nose, and more fresh red fruit on the palate. Medium weight and elegantly balanced. Another satisfying mouthful.
2020 Solas Syrah
Medium colour. Quite fresh and peppery on the nose with good varietal definition. And on the palate medium weight, with some notes of olive tapenade and some peppery spice.
And from there I went onto Tuscany and New Zealand.