Women and Wine in South of France

Wine for Five Women
Our first day together, the five women of France. My mom, husband and Jim have left a big hole in my holiday when they went home …. However two women have arrived in the villa so we are five fabulous women about the same age-ish and open to adventures in France. I told them of our wine tasting so we plan the day: wine tasting about eleven ish, then to Pezenas for a wee walk around town and some shopping local boutique stores and old streets … Then groceries as a group. Home for snacks as supper, or pasta?  
Off we go:
Back to Domaine Moulin de Lene …. Frankie greeted us, big smile and so welcoming.  
Family estate, six employees, Frayssinet is local family name. 55 hectares. Fouzilhon is a town close by.  
Huge underground aqueduct 35 km from Romans. They have found parts of it under their vineyards. Huge stones, grew grains . .. The mill on Lene River means exactly. Late 19 century family planted the vines. Not great quality but high quantity … lol.
Owner bought abandoned, house falling apart, chicken house is now office …. 1997 expanded and updated buildings. Some parts 4-5 areas not growing. Not organic. But have controls, part… Have to use organic products. Have to wait and test for disease and use organic products to treat. Really important for us. Maybe have sheep next year to eat grass.  
Produce 300,000 bottles annually. 12 wines. 1-8 am harvest, cooler, less oxidation, better aromas. More and more people do it that way. Independent and sort grapes by hand. Vibrating table, get rid of stems etc. Has olive trees and some harvesting … But not full business yet. 17 litres last year oil. Previous year 300 litres.. Up and down. Sell only to locals.  
Hire people to trim vines. We own our own tractors and harvesters.  
Main market is domestic. We export to Canada, Quebec. Justine, Romanus and Reserve. Also England, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Germany.  
A dozen wines lined up for our tasting.  
Start with white wine. Crunchy, fresh, crispy. With Caesar salad and goat cheese. Claire de Lene. Vermentino. Citrus.
Floral Zanzibar… Easy drinking. Goes with everything.  
Whites continued: Justine. And mademoiselle same … Chardonnay 70% and Petit Manseng 25% and Muscat 5%. One in stainless steel tank, other is oak barrel. Justine 2014, Mademoiselle is oak. Scallop, fresh, fresh creme. Plum, Brie and creme cheese. Buttery taste. Justine, toasted bread, blue cheese with honey, scallops with saffron creme.  
Rose Claire de Lene … Cab sav and marselan, fruity buttery, round.  One of my personal favourites.  The rose wines in this region are very good drinking wines.  Especially afternoon bevy. …. 
Ready for Red. First two stainless steel tank. Fish, meat any cheese. Alphonse. Syrah, marselan, and Mourvèd. Fruitie. 2014 vanilla note, stone fruit. Light tannins, easy drinking. Gooseberry.  
Romanus .. Cabernet sav, merlot, Syrah, petit Verdot. With tapas, earthy. Camembert, love this taste. Big chewy wine.  
Reve de Marie. Pure Cabernet franc. Omg, six months aged in oak barrels. 2013. Bit chilled with fish, creamy cheese and meat. Licorice note on back of throat. Nose and legs great. One of the gals says “what about what’s in between?”. Excellent. Snorting, laughing … What fun! Photo op! Folles for ladies, means “crazy”. Named for brother and sister of Romanus.  
Attend de deguster les trois en prochains. Wait for the next THREEE!  
Reserve de la famille. Fifty percent merlot and Syrah. Fifty fifty. “Pure happiness.” Smooth. Like a syrup. This is a definite favorite. I remember this for my family. “Hot flash”. Un coup de chaud! Lol
“I like” and she clicks her tongue. Wine-o-pause …. Lol
I love the structure of this wine. Sweaters are coming off … Lol and scarves cast aside. One of the gals wrote to her husband and spell check says it is nude today, instead of is really nice here today.  
Cesar. Top range wine. Cousin of Marie and Romanus. Brother of Justine. Blend Syrah, merlot, Grenache, cab sav, marselan and petit Verdot. Nickname is THE BOMB. A lot of work. We take grapes more ripe, sort by hand. Opens lid of barrel, grapes in side, Crush grapes by feet … Aged a year. And skin for certain length of time. Bottle with cork. No labels. We turn them, flavours are melting. 2011. Pure happiness. Christmas Day. Plumb, black currant and black cherry. Coffee, apricot, strawberry, espresso hint. Licorice notes. Like Ribena but much better. This is the best wine. I remember tasting it with Steve and family over the previous week.  
We have had white, rose, red. Now orange wine. Late harvest yellow, orange wine. Not sweet though. Round buttery wine. Same as Romans did it. Master of cellar … Apicius. From Vermintino grapes … Crush fruit and leave fruit with juice five months. Project. White wine. But after red. Same taste red but fresh like white. Cleanse and refresh pallet and glass with white wine. Freshness of Flowers. Shellfish. Blue cheese. It is some thing else. Different. Not dessert wine. Not sweet. Stainless steel tank. Different flavour. Oysters, Tuna tartar, blue cheese.  
A recipe for every wine …. 
This time I am scribe and partaking in the wine choices and fully enjoying the full tasting experience. Lovely! We have many laughs and one of the women, Jackie, is very knowledgable about wines, has a great nose for details and sits beside me so I have running commentary and helpful insights as we go.
Later .. As promised, a walk in Pezenas with a little wine glow. Lol. And then we settle on lunch in that town. Not a lot of people to watch today, we sit inside. Most have pizza in Yucca, I think the name, Italian place. Nothing gluten free really … We enjoy wine together, local red.
Then grocery shop. Home and a little prosecco with limoncello …. Thanks Mom and Steve for your contributions! Love you both! Then red wines next …. Phew!  
And we played cards, contract rummy until the wee hours and fairly even game … So we have to finish tomorrow morning. Plans for new day … Narbonne the town ….
Au revoir and good night, morning …. Or whatever it is wherever you are …..
Pamela in France
   
 

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