"Buy my book about the Roussillon wine region (colour paperback or eBook) on Amazon UK HERE or Amazon USA HERE. Or order it direct from me (UK & EU only). Also available in the US from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback or eBook. For other countries, tap/click on the link over the cover photo (below right)." Richard Mark James

09 August 2009

Roussillon: Château Saint-Roch, Maury

This stunning estate and château were owned by Emma Florensa and Marc Bournazeau, who made a generally spotless range of vin de pays, Côtes du Roussillon and Maury wines. I say 'were' as the expansionist Domaine Lafage bought the property in late summer 2007, although things were still a bit up in the air while they finalise all the fine detail, I'm told. Nevertheless, Saint-Roch has to be on your Maury-area visiting list, found down a track off to the right before the village, where the road bends around and crosses the river. The domaine has now reduced to around 30 ha/75 acres and produces quite a broad gambit of styles including more commercial offerings, such as 'Pink' rosé, Sauvignon Blanc etc. in addition to the local 'classics', which I tasted in situ in April 2007.
2003 La Bastide blanc (mostly Grenache gris plus Macabeu) – quite subtle toasty notes with aniseed, spice and creamy overtones; honeyed v mineral flavours with soft rounded finish, good but drink now as it's freshness is disappearing. 85-87
2003 Chimères Côtes du Roussillon Villages (60% Grenache plus Carignan Syrah) – ripe and resiny with wild herbs, liquorice and black fruits; 'sweet' v maturing savoury palate with firm dry bite keeping it nicely alive. 88-90
2004 Kerbuccio Côtes du Roussillon Villages (
Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre) – fragrant coconut oak aromas bolstered by nice berry and black olive notes, developing savoury edges v light chocolate texture; firm tight long finish needing time to fuse properly, although the oak is much better balanced than previously. €23 90-92
2004 Maury – attractive youthful spicy blackberry and dark chocolate flavours, quite firm at the moment with underlying sweetness and alcohol present.

Tasted February 2008:
2002 Chimères Côtes du Roussillon Villages (60% old-vine Grenache 10% old-vine Carignan 30% Syrah 13% abv) – mature prune fig and gravy notes underpinned by coco oak, attractive savoury leather v dried fruits on the palate, the tannins are rather dry and extracted but it has quite good length and style; coming back to it the next day, it's rather grippy and hard v remaining fruit. Good with Catalan sausage and mushroom risotto! On offer at Champion supermarket for €5.20 (stock clearance perhaps? Worth a go though at the price). 87-89

More St-Roch wines here, from the sixth Fenouillèdes Wine Fair, and here (2009 St-Bacchus awards) including 2007 KerbuccioPlus the latest medal winning vintage of that wine (2011) is HERE (World Grenache Competition 2013).

Château Saint-Roch, 66460 Maury. Tel: 04 68 29 07 20, www.chateau-saint-roch.fr, chateausaintroch@aol.com.

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