Back in 2009, I did my first Vignes Buissonières and last year, I had my 2nd experience among the vineyards of the splendid Pic St Loup. The 2013 addition was held among huge thunderstorms that did not dampen the bucolic atmosphere one little bit. I tasted every wine that was out there – a total of 72. Honestly, it was so much fun. Do I remember anything? Well, I did take notes – well scribblings – so, yes, I do have a record of each of the wines that I appreciated during the 6 hours or so that I sploshed around in the mud and rain. I did not write down the composition of these wines because (a) I was drinking (b) it was raining (c) I figured you’ll try them yourselves 🙂 Most of them are Syrah, Grenache and Morvèdre with some other minor grapes thrown in for variety (official designation here).
My 3-star wines this year include:
Domaine de l’Hortus, Bergerie De L’Hortus 2012 – the best wine I tasted the entire day – fortunately it was on the first stop 🙂 By the way, Hortus is the neighboring cliff at the right of this photo. It is a delicate but round white with a depth of taste that is remarkable. It has a well-deserved reputation as one of the highest quality wines in the region.
Mas de Farjou, Hautes Terres, 2011 – I gave this one 3 stars too but can’t exactly remember why. Guess I have to go back again next year and find out why 🙂
Clos des Augustins, Joseph, 2011 – I can’t remember exactly why I gave this one three stars either – it was one of the ones offered with the cheese and with the two three-star wines in the red category (Haut Lirou and Mirabel), it got kind of lost 😦
Domaine de Mortiès, Le Blanc, 2011 – This is also a highly reputable vineyard with yet another delicious white that is refreshing with a beautiful robe.
I didn’t have but one 3-star this year – the same as last year actually: Château de Valcyre Benezech, 2012. I found that the 2012 was just as subtle as the 2011. I find it rare that a rosé doesn’t try to hard to be noticed. This one sits in the back of the room and attracts you by its beautiful colors and pleases with its fruity but slightly dry flavor.
Domaine Haut Lirou, Mas des Costes, 2011 – a perenial classic here at Pic St Loup, Haut Lirou never disappoints but always surprises. A bit peppery and delicious, it is a most memorable and delectable red.
Domaine Mirabel, Les Eclats, 2011 – I love the wines from the two brothers (from five generations strong of vignerons!) at Mirabel and I alway bring back bottles from them. Les Eclats is a special blend they do occasionally and throws in Cinsaut and Carignan grapes to add a little something extra, an “éclat” as we say in French. It is delightful and way too easy to drink for a wine in the 13.5% category!
Domaine de Mortiès, Pic St Loup, 2010 – the only vineyard in my list that had a 3-star wine in two categories, Mortiès is a sure bet for a nice, well-rounded red that I wish I could purchase locally in Paris.
Clos Marie, Olivette, 2011 – I believe that I gave this one 3 stars because it was fresh and tasty without being overly tannic or overbearing.
The food was excellent as usual as well. It started with a cold soup of cepes in vinegar with fois gras and a light cream of truffles and coriander (OMG!), then there were lightly sautéed scallops with on a bed of asparagus mixed with ginger and sun-dried tomatoes with a citrus vinaigrette dressing on arugula leaves (OH YES!)…need I go on with this torture? I didn’t think so.
If you want to enjoy this amazing event, you’ll need to be in the region in mid-June 2014. To sign up, you have to follow the news on the official website because it sells out within an hour of the open registration.
- wine – 2007 Domaine de l’Hortus Coteaux du Languedoc Pic St. Loup Grande Cuvée (wineismylife.wordpress.com)
- Visiting Chateau de Cazeneuve in Pic St. Loup (awinestory.com)
- Chateau d’Oupia Minervois 2010 (thebuddhainyourglass.com)