Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Minervois wines shine in the Languedoc-Roussilllon Wine Region by Philip S.Kampe
Minervois is an AOC in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. It is located in western Languedoc.
As the new classifications of wines from the region will be announced in the near future, the Minervois appellation, today, has a few rules that should carry over to the future. One such rule is that Carignan, when blended cannot account for more than 40% of the blend. Red wine blends are usually made with Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre and Liedoner Pelut grapes.
Marsanne, Muscat, Roussanne, Vermentino and Grenache Blanc grapes are the most used grapes for white wines. The AOC is also known for a sweet, white wine called Minervois Noble.
Minervois takes its name from Minerve, a small village that is 25 miles from the Mediterranean coast. The town is surrounded by the southern foothills. The Minervois appellation came into existence in 1985. Since its inception, the Minervois AOC has been focusing on the quality of the regions wines. De-stemming has been used to decrease the tannin levels in the wines. Barrel maturation is the means to an end.
Minervois is a rather large AOC and is divided into five climatic zones. The Cotes Noires is in the northwest and is home to coolest zone, while Les Serres is in the southeast and the warmest zone.
The wines from Minervois were served to our group of visiting media professionals on a canal cruise that embarked from Carcassonne.
As we sailed down the Canal de Midi, which connects the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea, we sampled a variety of Minervois wines. The whites and rose were full of finesse, crispness and clarity. The large variety of reds were tannin-free, had concentrated dark fruit on the palate followed by a lingering finish. Wines from Minervois rarely sell for more than $18 a bottle.
Philip S. Kampe