Whilst staying again at Chateau Lasserre (reviewed elsewhere) - the skiing in the Pyrenees is the BEST for years - I determined to go hunting in the Minervois. There is an up-and-coming little Appelation around La Liviniere, a subsidiary of the greater Minervois, but I had only tried it off the supermarket shelf, Leclerc in Limoux as it happens, on the recommendation of the wine buyer there.
So, a beautiful day beckoned, pure sun showing its very first heat, and half an hour to the north-east of Carcassonne on the first slopes of the Montagne Noir we find Felines Minervois and the Chabbert's etablissement Le Domaine du Petit Causse.
Maguy is home and welcoming, and enthusiastic about her wine. But goodness the wine is still very cold Two reds to be tried, a neat Merlot for everyday drinking, and the top of the range assemblage of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, the subject of this review. Whilst Maguy talks about maceration carbonique (allowing the Carignan to ferment from the inside without crushing it, I recommend a 'coup de micro-onde', say a 20 second blast in the microwave for a bottle.
Have to take the wine on trust at this temperature, and we do. Take it home, put it by the AGA with the cork out for three hours, and sip it with a world class cheese fondue and tomato salad with a balsamic dressing............Bliss.
Cherries (I think morello jam) and boiling leather on the nose, lovely, and the heat of the summer in the Minervois of 2006 comes leaping from the glass.
A lovely tall and heavy bottle too complements this handmade wine. #hotleather #cherries #assemblage