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13 March 2009

Languedoc: Château de Stony, Frontignan

Château de Stony

Frédéric and Henri Nodet live and breathe Muscat: in addition to a couple of classic Muscat de Frontignan Vin Doux Naturel styles, and a drink-young zesty dry white; their sometimes sublime Lumière d’Automne speciality is made from very ripe, late-picked grapes (leaving 50 grams/litre residual sugar) and aged in oak. They also make an aromatic tasty Muscat (Petits Grains) grape juice and "real" honey on the estate. To find Chateau de Stony, follow signs for La Peyrade rather than Frontignan town centre: this peaceful pretty property feels quite isolated, once you go down the dusty track into their yard, even though it's on the edge of a residential area and not that far from the, erm, least attractive side of Sète (slight understatement but if you do visit the latter, ignore the rather grisly eastern side and head straight for its attractive, canal-side centre).

I visited Stony and tasted these in March 2009:
2007 Muscat sec - distinctly Muscaty nose, aromatic and grapey; still quite crisp and aniseedy although, in the end, best to move on to the 2008 soon. 85
2006 Kermès Vin de Pays d'Oc (Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache13.5%) - showing quite a bit of vanilla oak on the nose but also has nice red fruits and spices; dry v coconut texture with chunky finish, needs a few months to open up fully. 87
2007 Muscat de Frontignan Sélection de Vendanges (15%) - attractive juicy grapey style with honey and marmalade notes; lush and sweet yet has nice citrus / orange peel finish and cut and the alcohol doesn't hit you staying in the background, so quite elegant actually in the end. 87+
2004 Lumière d’Automne Vin de Pays d'Oc (Muscat 14%) - oxidising pecan nut nose, luscious fruit v light oak texture; actually quite powerful with fresh acidity too v underlying sweetness. Different. 89
Previous vintages here ("Fetes des Vignes," Montpellier 2004).

Route de Balaruc, La Peyrade, 34110 Frontignan. Tel: 04 67 18 80 30,

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