This is a continuation of our holiday Carcassonne adventure focusing on wine.
After hiking and exploring, we were off to learn more about the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillion. Since we didn’t have a car, and we were smack in the middle of the holidays, visiting wineries was a bit harder. Research uncovered Vins et Vinos, a small wine shop in Carcassonne specializing in wines of the area and beyond.
We were given a jolly holiday welcome by Matilde, the owners daughter. The family transplanted themselves from the UK quite a while back thus English it was.
This was our tasting line up:
Le Gabinele was a stand out. Not only was it an appealing wine, the cost to value was excellent for this blend (60% Chardonnay, 20% Muscat, 10% Piquepoul Blanc, 10% Rousillion).
Another was Les Chateau d’Albas 2012, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan. We’re talking red berries, herbs, black pepper notes and velvety tannins that coat your mouth. Graham Nutter purchased the winery in 2001, and made several changes and upgrades to the property. This is again a wine with an excellent cost to value ratio.
Although we didn’t taste the Blanquette de Limoux, we brought a bottle home and quite enjoyed the style. A blend of 90% Mauzac and 10% Chardonnay, this sparkler had aromas of green apple, apricots, blossoms, and faint brioche nuances. “Blanquette” is a local name for the Mauzac grape, and Blanquette de Limoux is an appellation for sparkling wine just south of Carcassonne in the Pyrenean foothills.
Towards the end of our tasting Matthew, the owner’s son rolled in direct from Milan medical school. We immediately hit it off with discussion moving towards dessert wine and food pairings. Before I could finish saying bis…., he headed for his suitcase and pulled out a home made biscotti dipped in chocolate. His secret- a splash of Grand Marnier in the batter.
Their mom came next, making us feel like part of the family. A half hour later we left with wine in hand and grins on our faces. This was one of those memorable visits we won’t forget and will definitely go back!
If you are in Carcassonne, make sure and visit Vins et Vinos.