Friday, 11 August 2017

Two restaurant wine lists in the Languedoc.



Le Presbytère

An evening at the Presbytère in Vailhan is always a treat.  In the summer you eat on the terrace with a view of the surrounding hills and the menu is elegant and seasonal, with delicious fish that calls for white wine.   Their list is small and focuses on the Languedoc, but with deviations outside the region.  However, the list changes frequently, with offerings of new bottles to try.  On our last visit a couple of weeks ago we drank a delicious Picpoul de Pinet, Brechallune, from Domaine la Croix de Gratiot, an estate that is making great strides in improving its quality.   This has spent six months on the lees with regular bâtonnage and was firm and salty with weight as well as acidity and made a great aperitif, as well as accompanying our first course.  

And then we went onto 2015 Manon, from Clos Marie in the Pic St. Loup, a lovely blend of Roussanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeo, with layers of flavour in a textured palate.  Sadly, Clos Marie was particularly hit by the severe hail storm of last August and consequently there is no Manon in 2016.  Instead they have made a Cuvée Les Trois Saisons, for one season is missing, which includes about 15% of their own grapes, but they have also bought in the same varieties as for Manon, from various wine growers mainly from the Terrasses du Larzac, who had grapes to spare and were unaffected by the frost.  The wine is made in the same way as Manon, vinified in concrete and spent nine months in a tronconique vat with some bâtonnage and a malo lactic fermentation.  It is AOP Languedoc, and has lovely acidity and freshness, with textured nuances and a nicely rounded finish. 

La Terrasse de Mimosas


This restaurant and wine shop is well placed in the central square of the village of Montpeyroux, giving you a view of the church tower and the market square, with tables outside.  And the wine list is impressive, concentrating on the Languedoc, and on the Terrasses du Larzac in particular, with the wine estates listed by village.   Their policy is to charge the shop price plus 10€ which makes for some very attractive pricing and they have several vintages of some wines, so offer plenty of temptation amongst older vintages. We were there for a pre-concert meal, so did not have the time to linger, but none the less managed to enjoy a delicious bottle, or two, of Alain Chabanon’s Petit Trélans, a pure Vermentino.  We drank 2015, but we could have tried an older vintage of Trélans, which is a blend of Chenin Blanc and Vermentino.   And then we went onto Cal Demoura’s L’Infidèle 2014.  Vincent Goumard has renamed this cuvée Terres de Jonquières, - L’Infidèle came from the previous owner - to focus on the roots of his estate and emphasise the sense of place.   The wine itself has not changed.  It includes a little from each plot of the estate and all five red grape varieties of the Languedoc, grown on two different soils, stony limestone and limestone with clay.  This for Vincent is the wine that is really representative of the domaine, with some rounded spicy fruit, supple tannins and a subtle palate, in short a delicious bottle of wine.  All was right with the world, as the evening continued with some wonderful music.

5 comments:

Alan March said...

Two of my favourite restaurants in the region.
Have you been to Picamandil in Puissalicon? More tapas style but some very good fresh food, well presented and great wine selection at 1 euro above domaine prices.

gayle gow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gayle gow said...

Does anyone know a good English tanslation for cuvée parcellaire especially as regards the Terrasses du Larzac wines?

Rosemary George MW said...

Alan - I am so glad we agree! I do have some reservations about the service at the Terrasse de Mimosas but forgive them for the wine list! And Picamandil in on the list to check out when we are down in September.

And Gayle - I am racking my brains - it is one of those neat phrases in France that only translates clumsily in English - a vineyard selection is the best I can manage, so far.

Alan March said...

Heading back down tomorrow for the vendanges Rosemary, maybe catch you there as the Coutelou team often pop in.
I'm sure we agree about most things you know :)