The White Queen Of Limoux

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Limoux Vineyards with the Pyrenees in the background

La Butiniere ChardonnayThe “La Butinière” Chardonnay or the The Queen of Limoux white wines as the folks in Cave Anne De Joyeuse like to call her is made up exclusively of Chardonnay. The ” La Butinière” is produced from hillside vines over 20 years old.The unique conditions in Limoux, in the foothills of the Pyrenees  coupled with the vineyard cultivation, green harvesting, and low yields, mean only the best grapes are used to produce this exceptional wine. All grapes are harvested by hand, then transported in small containers, passed through the sorting table so that nothing but the very best grapes go to the press. After pressing the Juice is transferred to oak barrels for 10 to 12 months before it is bottled.

“La Butinière” Chardonnay is golden in colour with aromas of apricot, peach, grapefruit and brioche on the nose. Finely mineral in structure, it develops notes of vanilla and honey on the finish after a full palate of peach, apricot and grapefruit. Ideal as an aperitif with friends or with a number of dishes such as scallops, pan-fried prawns, chicken or prawn salads.


Glera – Step forward into the Light

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Ok our super fun Grape of the Day Calendar tells us today 15th of August is Glera day. Haven’t heard of it well neither had we until a few years back but chances are you’ve had it in one form or another particularly if you enjoy Italian bubbles. This Glera grape is none other than the Prosecco grape!  Prosecco was traditionally used as the name for both the grape variety and bubbly wine made from it.

But in 2009 when Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene region was upgraded to DOCG status and the surrounding area was bumped up to the new Prosecco DOC (Including Treviso), a problem arose – the fact that the grape and the area had the same name ment some one not in the DOC could still label his wine Prosecco Legally. Uh oh spaghetti oh as my nephew would say. A solution was sought and they decided that the best way to do this was to dust of an old name for the Prosecco grape i.e GLERA.  

Next time you follow our mighty Provinces to an away game in Italy don’t forget to try the local Glera, but remember only in the area around the beautiful town of Treviso is it allowed to be labelled as Prosecco!


The ‘Original’ Limoux

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Cave Anne de Joyeuse was founded in 1929 to vinify the red wines of Limoux and the Upper Aude valley. The winegrowers, realising over time the exceptional quality of their terroir, started planting the first noble grape varieties Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in 1972. Thus, the Cave Anne de Joyeuse became the first and most important Southern French vineyard to commit 100% to individual site selection based on terroir. It lead to the establishment of its white wines as AOC Limoux White in 1989 and its red wines as AOC Limoux Red in 2004.

The Limoux wine region is located in the eastern foothills of the Pyrénées in southern France, south of the fortified city of Carcassonne. The classified vineyards are all in the Aude département, in the general vicinity of Limoux, west of the Corbières hills. The climate is dominated by the strong winds of the region. The Mediterranean climate of the region has more Atlantic influences than other Languedoc wine regions. The soil in the area is rocky with clay, sandstone and limestone, creating distinct terroir. Despite being located at a southerly latitude, the climate is cooler and moister than in most of the wine regions in southern France. Its location in the foothills of the Pyrénées allows the vineyards to be at a higher elevation, and planted in optimal locations on hillsides.

The ‘Original’ Line showcases some of the best varietal examples produced in Limoux, two delightful reds, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Malbec, and in the white what has become the signature grape of the region Chardonnay.  The Malbec is intense purple and ruby color, blackberry and violet notes on the nose, fruity in the mouth with soft tannins and flavors of ripe black fruits, vanilla, cocoa and plum. The wine is well-balanced with a long finish. A great wine with beef, BBQ, Osso Bucco or dark chocolate.

The Cabernet is a deep red to violet-purple shade. Elegant nose with red fruits aromas. On the palate, a frank, full-bodied wine. Over a wide range of black fruit and berries flavors where the black stands out in the final.  This Cabernet Sauvignon will accompany dishes like cassoulet or spicy dishes meat dishes.

The Chardonnay is matured 50% in steel and  50% in barrels a third of which are new oak. Shiny and bright wine, pale yellow colouring.
A nose of a beautiful aromatic intensity that combines notes of white flowers and citrus. On the palate, a pleasant and clean attack. Balance and aromatic power lead us on a fresh ending with finesse. Combines perfectly with all kinds of fish (monkfish with lemon dressing or spicy piri piri) but would also fit right in as an aperitif.

Savvy Sauvignons with a twist

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As the fine weather has evaporate our wall of Sauvignon is coming down quicker than the buckets of rain outside. The Galway Races are in full swing and the been a Weather warning orange, meaning the rivers of orangey brown fake tan from ladies day are about to start flowing. But as the wall came down we noticed a few wines that had tipped along nicely under the radar, sure the Marlborough Sauvignon and Sancerre practically walked themselves out the door in by the case load but two sneaky under dogs went with them and drew many a drinker back for a second sip. So the award for the little wines that could go to Quita De Chocapalha Sauvignon Blanc and Muller ‘Eichbuhel’ Sauvignon.  practice

These two lovely wines may not have been the belle of the ball but they certainly turned a few heads and changed many an opinion.

The 2011 Chocapalha Sauvignon comes from Lisboa region of Portugal, located to the north of the City of Lisbon this area is famous for its Bucelas white wine made from the Arinto grape (incidentally Quinta de Chocapalha do a mean Arinto). So is it any wonder that this area would produce an interesting and vibrant Sauvignon. The 2011 has a pungent nose of prickly nettle, citrus and pineapple fruit on the nose all over classic freshly cut grass. The palate is fresh with a racy edge and lashing of pineapple, melon and tropical fruits.  ( Warning this is probably a Marmite wine, love it or hate it!)

The 2012 Muller Sauvignon comes from the family’s vineyard in Eichbuhel in Kremstal. The Sauvignon blanc vines are located in the highest point in the vineyard and this combined with the terroir gives the wine its minerality, fruity character and finesse. Bright greenish-yellow, the nose has an abundance of citrus and green peppers, fine notes of minerally lemon lime on the palate, slightly stinging nettle. Straight forward compact palate with great length.