My dad and I sit down to taste two unusual Languedoc whites. These are two winemakers who offer an innovative perspective on two different white wine varietals.
Rives Blanques has their old school Sauvignon Blanc that doesn’t follow the typical rules and carries a fair bit of structure and kick for a little VdP. And then you’ve got Treloar’s very interesting dry muscat which can age a couple of years without any problem.
The wines: Cuvée Occitania, Château Rives-Blanques, AOC Limoux Xaxa 2004, Château Rives-Blanques, Vin de Table Vendanges d’Hiver
Brebis (sheep/ewe milk) Roquefort (Did you know this is Languedoc too?)
honey and fig juice, artisanal
Occitania – this area pre-French identity; “Languedoc” means language of oc. Oc means “yes” in Occitan.
“Nostra terra mentis pas” means “our land does not lie.”
Mauzac – One of the three varietals included in Limoux’s AOC. I think it’s also grown in Gaillac. Rives Blanques is one of the very estates that produces Mauzac as a still wine.
I visited Château Rives Blanques where the Panman family had prepared an outstanding tasting. Not only were the wines fantastic, they told a story and made two ambitious arguments. Firstly, Mauzac is a great varietal that can be used in several interesting ways (a single varietal still wines, a fizz, or even a late harvest dessert wine). Secondly, you can do white wine with cheese, or as Caryl says, you OUGHT to.
The Domaine is in Cépie, in the aire de Limoux, and there are gorgeous mountainscapes everwhere you look. Rives Blanques, the highest peak visible from the cozy tasting area, lends its name to the Domaine.
We start off with a Blanquette de Limoux, one of the first sparkling wines referred to in the entire history of wine. The Appellation d’Origine Controlée Blanquette de Limoux consists largely of Mauzac, and it is only produced in and around Limoux. The second wine is a pure still mauzac, the only one of its kind. In part 2, we’ll taste a late harvest dessert white with Mauzac in the blend and we’ll talk even more about cheese.
Finally, we taste the wines at Château de Lascaux in English. We’re accompanied by the winemaker himself, Jean-Benoit Cavalier. These aren’t his AOC Pic Saint-Loup wines (which we tasted in French), but they still bring a lot to the table. We talk about wines with love handles and wines that taste like entire baskets of fruit. Limestone deposits. Yin yangs. What didn’t we talk about? It was a fun show.
The French episodes cover some of the bigger badder wines from Château de Lascaux, and this episode refers to them heavily. I even retaste Les Pierres d’Argent at one point, eager to see how the two different white wines compare side by side.