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25 June 2012

Roussillon: Domaine Carle-Courty, Millas

Véronique and Frédéric Carle set up shop, vines and cellar in 1995, leaving their legal and accounting careers happily behind them (still, must be handy experience for getting to grips with local wine politics, admin and economics!), up on the slopes of the Força Réal hill overlooking Millas and other surrounding villages (over 500 metres altitude or about 1550 feet). Twelve out of 15 grape-producing (rather than cats...) hectares (they've been planting more Grenache 'black' and 'grey', as they say in French) have been organic since 2002. Força Réal is a stunning spot and great vantage point to take in the lie of the land of parcelled vineyards, olive groves, wild woodland and rocky outcrops around here. There's a signposted route off the Estagel road leading up to one of those view and info points; and a couple of other estates worth checking out up here too: Domaine Força-Réal and Domaine Boucabeille (profile and wine notes to follow).

2009 Camps Bernats Côtes du Roussillon white (Roussanne, Macabeu, Grenache gris) - quite toasty vs nicely oily and rich, attractive peachy fruit too with creamy and nutty finish. Good stuff, mature now.
2011 Arbosseres rosé (mostly Syrah + Grenache) - full-on colour and red fruity style, quite rich and rounded vs crisp finish. Nice foodie rosé.
2009 Cuvée Marion Côtes du Roussillon red (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre) - enticing dark fruit tinged with subtle oak, punchy and grippy mouth-feel vs lush and ripe, concentrated too. Very good.
2008 Cuvée Quentin Côtes du Roussillon Villages (more Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre) - richer smokier and a tad toastier, concentrated and powerful with solid firm backdrop, closes up on the long finish. Fairly wow.

Photo copied from www.sud-de-france.com, as they don't appear to have their own site yet; but you can email them on domaine.carlecourty@orange.fr if you wanted to call in and taste or find out where to get their wines. These four were tasted at this year's Millésime Bio wine show in Montpellier, where I talked to Frédéric.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.