Friday, 13 October 2017

St Maurice - Visan

Last year we had a private tasting with Cellier de Dauphins, such a treat. We really enjoyed the St Maurice (you can read about it in my dedicated page). This named village is next to Visan so it was a must to visit their caveau.

And a great caveau it was too with so much choice, some of my favourites came from here including the delicious Bastidon. We enjoyed this at home with rib eye steak - you can read Hubby's review on Cuvée Reserve

Domaine la Fontaine du Loup is a Grenache, Syrah, Carignan wine full of dark fruits as expected in all Cote du Rhone wines. I seem to remember it being a smoother wine as regards tannins with a warm finish but as it is still resting in our rack I will review it some time in the future.

The Co-operative Cotes du Rhone red and table white were, although a blend of grapes from various vineyards, very very good wines and instead of buying bottles we decided to again venture into box world. Both boxes were 5 litres and at around 12 euros per box they were a purchase not to be missed.

Domaine du Bastidon & Domaine la Fontaine du Loup
Cotes du Rhone rouge & Cotes du Rhone blanc
Our friends who run the bar in Visan recommended Diamont Noir from Cellier des Templiers in Richerenches - who are we to miss the chance to visit another caveau. This village, just north west of Visan, is full of Templar history and is also famous for truffles.

It was no surprise that Diamont Noir was a super wine, Grignan d'Adamer is an appellation we know well. This region of France's wine growing benefits from a mild winter, winded by the Mistral and summer hot and dry, punctuated by storms regulating rainfall, all of which produces amazing grapes which in turn produce superb wines.
Celliers de Templiers

Diamont Noir is predominanetly Syrah with a small percentage of Grenache, full of blackcurrants and dark cherries with the peppery spice from the Syrah grape.

Very smooth the mouth with subtle tannin and a good length to it's finish, it was easy to see why our friends recommended this.

1136 Commanderie was our other wine purchase from Cellier des Templiers, again a Syrah Grenache wine but different in flavour as along with blackcurrants and spices there was a delicate note of balsamic. It's nose was quite earthy with woody and truffle notes.

1136 was the year the Templars arrived in Richerenches and built their church which is the centre of this historic village.

As we arrived the local wine growers were queuing up in their tractors with wagons full of grapes waiting to weigh their produce. It was a superb sight seeing how a co-operative really works, many producers sharing their grapes resulting in great wine.

Arriving with this years yield 
Wine related, our other purchase at Cellier de Templiers was something I have wanted most of my life - a car I would just love to own but as I don't really want divorce papers to arrive in the post I have resisted the urge to have one ..... however now I do, my very own 2CV. It is now parked in our lounge with a very special passenger - a bottle of Sancerre !!

My dream car !!
Our final caveau visit was in Visan, literally across the road from our hotel. It was lovely to be recognised as soon as we entered the bright and airy boutique, even nicer that they could remind us of last year's purchases.

We do still have a couple of bottles from Cave de Visan in the garage so decided to try something new - bio. We saw many organic wines this year on our travels, it seems to be something the french wine growers are keen to promote. I would imagine most growers are and have been organic any as the french have always been 'rustic' and 'au nature' in their lifestyles so for many growers it may be a case of shouting about something they have taken for granted.

Vin Bio Cotes du Rhone Rouge is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan. This was the final wine we tasted at our degustation and immediately noticed how smooth it was compared to the other, very nice, Visan wines. Still full of fruit and spice, as expected from this region but it really was softer in the mouth.

Vin Bio
Our favourite Visan wines

Of course it would have been rude not to bring home some more Visan wine and our favourite from last year Les Murieres, I'm not quite sure how we manged to get all our purchases from our two weeks home, especially as this year we had my wheelchair too but our garage certainly knows we managed somehow.

We had a superb time in France this year, as you can see from my last four posts we discovered some amazing wine as well as visiting many places. It was especially nice this year to meet up with my school exchange friend Viviane and her husband Michel, we last saw them in 2002 on our way to our holiday in Abbaye des Monges.

2002 - with Viviane's family
2002 - Viviane's mum and my Dad are sadly no longer with us 
2017 - playing petanque 
Our holiday was made extra special by the warm welcome from Angelo and Cathy at Caffe de Siecle in Visan - we had such fun, chatting away in a mixture of languages - the time passed far too quickly, especially on our evening bbq.

An evening with friends
Trés trés merci a toutes nos amis - á bientot !!

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