Calmel et Joseph St Chinian Blanc
Laurent Calmel and Jerome Joseph are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet on the French wine scene, and are doing some pretty amazing things on their beautiful organically-farmed property just a few kms from the ancient city of Carcassonne. Visiting this estate is like something straight of an episode of Rick Stein, with the Canal du Midi passing just minutes from the property – there is little more enjoyable than sitting in one of the beautiful canal-side restaurants over a very long lunch watching holidaymakers in their rented boats negotiating the locks! Rent out the farmhouse or one of the other small, beautifully appointed gites for a real taste of French rural life. But in the meantime, their wines are a wonderful catalogue of the very best the Languedoc-Roussillon region has to offer.
This is a brilliant, limpid daffodil-yellow wine shot through with golden gleams. The nose is delicate, with white flower and stone fruit aromas. Barrel ageing confers lightly toasted notes which lift the rich, aromatic palate that is typically Mediterranean. White peach, apricot and pear reveal themselves after a few swirls of the glass. The perfect blend of the four varietals gives superb complexity and perfect balance in the mouth. The combination of smoothness, length and freshness thanks to an agreeable minerality augurs great ageing potential for this wine.
The terroir of Saint-Chinian is better known for its red wines than its whites; but this apparently arid, rocky terroir is in fact extremely varied. The altitude, freshness and depth of certain soils is perfectly adapted to making great white wines and, after a remarkable first vintage in 2016, we now have the confirmation in 2017 that this terroir can produce top quality whites.
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