We decide to wander slow roads toward Minerve. We stop in Pouzolles due to interesting sky line … Despite the gps encouraging to keep going straight, we take a turn and endure her pleas to do a u turn hen we can.
We see old steeples, stone walls, church steeple …. We walked for an hour or more. Nothing open, beautiful doorways, window boxes, vistas of surrounding area … We see old stone buildings and walls, and interesting balcony structures. Lovely walk on this sunny fall day.
Back on the road. Only moments later we spy a sign: Moulin de Lene. We follow the road, again ignoring instructions from the gps gal. We find a wonderful old structure in a valley about two Kms off the main road. Are they open? We discuss that they probably won’t welcome us. We were wrong ….
A small winery, still developing the property since purchase. I am scribing as I am the driver. The rest of the group settle in for much Inc tasting! A wine growing estate of 55 hectares. Crossed by the Lene River between the Mediterranean Sea and foothills of Cevennes mountains. Wine aged in oak barrels or stainless steel tanks and vinification in Demi-muids (600 litre oak barrels) or concrete vats. All harvest by hand to keep best grapes, pure aromas, smooth and silky tannins. They collect grapes at night to prevent oxidation to guarantee freshness.
Reds, whites, rose, and orange wine! Orange is white wine same as Romans did it … Crushed grapes left for long time with the wine juice. Roundness of red and freshness of white, she says, and we will taste it last after the Reds.
Chardonnay predominating in first taste. Then vermentino grapes. Very dry, refreshing. For with cheese, pasta or clam chowder. Wow, unique. Clair de Lene. They harvest only at night. A pun and play on word. Fruit is more crunchy. Less oxidation. Much better for wine.
Next: Two blends with mostly Chardonnay and Muscat … One is 2014, is pure citrus, honeysuckle aroma. Then same blend but with oak barrelling … Good with cream, mushrooms, carrots. Justine … Best seller. Named after grandchild. Two, With oak is ‘mademoiselle’ by name. :). 600 litre in oak barrel every year … Clams, scallops, blue cheese, Roquefort, toasted bread. Unique flavour … Smokey they say.
Two Rose… Zanzibar, ok. Similar to the white of same name.
Clair de lune again, typical rose blend. Crisp, anytime wine. With tapas, pizza. Even while cooking! Vendanges nocturnes. Fruity ..
Frayssinett is surname of the owner.
We love Frankie, she is speaking very good English. And so fun. And it was not open for wine tasting when we arrived. We pull up and she came out and expected to see local media with cameras.
But she introduced us to the owner and began opening bottles twelve so far. Lol. I am watching. Perhaps we won’t get any further. Ha ha. My family, all three of them are blushing, laughing and enjoying stories and wine. It is very fun to watch. I am the scribe.
Red wine, first easy drinking, Shiraz and blend … With fish, meat. Good quality, value. Alphonse is name of the wine … He owned the place before… In 19 century and planted the vines.
Second red, Romanus, petit Verdot , (small berries, high in tanin). Shiraz, merlot, cab sav blend. Creamy cheese, quiche, more structured than previous.
Le Reve de Marie … Cabernet Franc, age in oak, excellent with meat and fish. Have to cool it down to have with fish, Frankie suggests. Loire valley wines but warmer weather here, soil different so it is special and unique.
The Reserve, gold medal. One year oak, half Shiraz and merlot. Strawberry, raspberry smooth and fruity. It won Gold Award from over 8200 submissions. Frankie says REALLY YUMMY.
Cesar, blend all of the best … Less quantity. Nick name is THE BOMB. 600 litre barrel. Sort grapes by hand, those who had most sunshine. Grapes crushed by feet. Kept for over a year. Tasted regularly. Then laying down with cork. 2011 vintage. Gold medal in London last year. Steak or venison. She calls it pure happiness! Even with chocolate cake she says.
Romanus popped in between tastings of white and reds …. and is handling the reporters …. Media. Last year Frankie was auditioned and interviewed: results was 92% of 100 and highest of all of them.
This was a spectacular stop. So much information about wine, grapes, and process. Great stories and fun for all.
Orange wine, best for last. She had them use white wine to rinse glasses and palette … First vintage … Owner decided to do this Project To become ‘master of cellar’. Skin with wine for five months.
Romans used this technique …roundness of red, freshness of white. Flower, curry, oysters, tuna, 2014 pure verantina. Cheese like Roquefort. Surprising, unique, different. Called Apicius! Crisp.
This is the story of south of France! How spectacular. We conclude our purchases. We see how the next phase happens, bottling, corking, wax dipped tops, labels placed carefully and rubbed to raise the embossing signature.
Please support this fine place, and read about thei family http://www.moulindelene.com, on route de Fouzilhon, Magalas, France.
Frankie recommends we go to Narbonne. And road from Pezanas toward Paul Mas wine cellar. Overlooking view of mountain. And keep on road. Mas de Novi … Refurbished. Driveway is fantastic. Pilgrimage road, old chapel from 17 century. Old oak barrel cellar. 2 km after Val magne. The spot for tourism in area. Old abbey, cloister, church … Wine cellar converted there. Organic, lovely tasting. Olive oil and beer also.
And on another day we are to drive Toward Spanish boarder, Collioure, sea side, painters. Port wines … Vineyards to sea.
Now to find our way home. Fouzilhons. Distracts us, but we get to Roujans, decide to get groceries and then head home for some dinner. Probably did not travel more than 20 Kms from villa, all in all today.
It was lovely. Tonight mom and Jim are packing, tomorrow we drive them to Toulouse to catch flight to Venice for three nights away. Steve and I will stay at the villa for a few days and perhaps explore by walking around the area. We have enough food to last, and now some new wines to enjoy.
Anne and Barb are on cruise in Greece. We are so enjoying our time in south of France! Wish you were here!