Minervois, miner-Where?

04th Sep 2013

So hands up then, how many of you drink wines from Minervois every week?     Okay, so maybe once a month?     Alrighty then….ever?

No, its not a type of fish, its a wine region in France. The South of France actually. A region in Langeudoc, just north of Corbieres. It makes just wine from just 4200 hectares of wines, so about 1/2 million cases of wine per year. In the overall scheme of things, thats not alot of wine against say, Bordeaux, who produces on average 700 million bottles of wine each   Vintage. So it’s not too surprising if you havent heard of it, there isnt too much to go round once the French start drinking it.

Red wines from this region will be made from Carignan, Mouvedre, Grenache and / or Syrah. The usual suspects also found in Chateaunuef du Pape (CNP). So expect a wide range of tastes from fruity red fruits like cranberries, raspberries, to some more developed flavours including sweet spice, cassis, and some serious wines will show up some hints of leather, chocolate and then vanilla and butter if some oak has been introduced.

I really enjoy wines from this area. If I want more than a light Gamay, but with the same jammy fruit. If you want obvious dark red fruits but less concentration than CNP then the South of France, Rhone and Languedoc are great areas to focus on. And they wont break the bank like the old Cote Rotie or CNP might on a mid-week night.

So feeling quite smug at my free case of wine thanks to USwitch and Naked wines (it really does pay to shop around), I crack open this little wine from Benjamin Darnault. Now I can be a bit of snob when it comes to boxed offers of wines from this sort of set up, I’ve had some pretty dreadful stuff sent me in the past, but I figured everything tastes sweeter when its free, dont you think?

But what did I think? You know, this wasn’t actually a bad little wine. Its bright cherry and cranberry fruit was uplifting and youthful. It had a bouncy fresh acidity and its fruit offered some impact that didnt fade as quickly as our Summer seems to be. I am working my way through this 6 bottle case of wines, but so far, so good.  Priced at £7.49 through Naked Wines www.nakedwines.com when you buy 6, 12 or 15 wines.


Further reading