The Lorgeril's have been a prominent wine producing family in the Languedoc since 1620. Now under the leadership of Nicolas de Lorgeril, the family's careful development of their estates in Languedoc and Roussillon have resulted producing wines from six premier regions within Languedoc.
With their long heritage in the region, the family has also been careful stewards of their various terroirs through sustainable agriculture and observing organic principles as far as possible in region that does have its challenges during the growing season. The careful stewardship has been recognized with the awarding of HVE Level 3 certification (Haute Valeur Environnementale) which has high standards for biodiversity conservation, plant protection strategy, management of fertilizer use, and management of water.
My initial selections are from two of their estates that are in the Cabardes and Cotes du Roussillon appellations. In our search for interesting and different wines, the Cabardes selection was a good fit as this small appellation is on both sides of the border between Languedoc to the east and the "Sud Ouest" regions which drains to the Atlantic to the west. With its location, both traditional Languedoc varietals (Grenache and Syrah) and "Bordeaux varietals" (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec) are permitted in the blends. For my second selections, since I also love the minerality of "mountain wines" I selected a Cotes du Roussillon wine that is from vineyards in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
Chateau Pennautier in the Cabardes appellation
Cabardes vineyards looking at the Pyrenees
Mas des Montagnes vineyards with Mont Canigou in the background
More Mas des Montagnes vineyards with rocky cliffs behind
Chateau de Pennautier, “Classique” Cabardès Rouge 2017 (OF, NF)
Cabardès is the most western appellation of Languedoc and has vineyards on both sides of the ridge that separates rivers flowing east to the Mediterranean and west to the Atlantic. With its location, the local appellation rules are that both “Bordeaux” varietals and “Southern France” varietals are to be used in the blends. The 2017 Vintage of the “Classique” contains 20% each of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec.
Aromas include dark cherries, dark plums, cocoa, ripe strawberries, and hints of smoky grilled meats. Flavors include ripe strawberries plums, ripe yellow peaches, and nectarines complemented by perfect tannins. There is a medium to full body, good balance, perfect acidity, and a refreshing and memorable finish.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, lamb chops, rack of lamb, pork chops, BBQ ribs, grilled chicken, coq au vin, salmon, swordfish, shrimp, grilled tuna, seafood stews, mussels, Asian Chicken and Pork dishes, and Mexican chicken dishes.
Mas des Montagnes Cotes du Roussillon Rouge 2018 (OF, NF)
This is a “mountain wine” from the very hilly foothills of Mont Canigou, the highest peak in the eastern Pyrenees. The 2018 is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenaches, and 10% Carignan. Aromas are of blackberries, dark cherries, rich dark plums, dark chocolate, and hints of vanilla and cassis. Flavors include blackberries, dark cherries, ripe yellow peaches, and pomegranate. There is a medium body, good balance, perfect acidity for lots of food pairings, and a nice full finish with complementary tannins.
Food pairings would include New York Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, short ribs, braised beef, beef stew, pork chops, pork shoulder, duck, elk, grilled chicken, tuna, grilled shrimp, cassoulet, jambalaya, Asian beef and pork dishes, pasta with rich meat sauces, charcuterie, and cheeses including blue and other rich cheeses.
Chateau de Ciffre Saint-Chinian Rouge 2019 (OC, NF)
This is a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre. There are aromas of boysenberries, dark plums, dark cherries, blackberries, and dark cocoa. Flavors include mulberries, ripe blueberries, grilled meats, and boysenberries. There is a medium body that is consistent across the palate, good balance and acidity, and mild tannins on the refreshing minerally finish which provide good structure.
Food pairings would include grilled veal, veal stew, grilled pork, pork tenderloin, tri-tip, duck, venison, goose, grilled sausages, cassoulet, coq au vin, grilled and roast chicken, mussels, grilled shrimp, salmon, tuna, swordfish, seafood pasta, paella, jambalaya, chile verde, pork and chicken enchiladas, pasta with light tomato sauce, eggplant, and fennel.