We’ve stopped counting all the exciting wineries we discover in the Languedoc. But among the interesting ones there are some that stick in memory and stand out. L’Oustal Blanc in Minervois is one of those. The owner is called Claude Fonquerle. He is a very skilled winemaker and often quite unorthodox. Several of his wines are made without the AOC Minervois because he doesn’t agree with the appellation rules. “K”, for example, is made from 100% carignan and is a Vin de Table (so it can’t say carignan on the label at the moment – but rules are changing). It’s made from 35 year old vines, so there’s nothing simple about this wine. The wines Claude make have both elegance and finesse. And tasting them one cannot help feeling a certain resemblance to (or inspiration from) other wine regions. And quite correctly so – Claude worked for ten years in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is fascinated by Burgundy. His different cuvees, all with names inspired my musical words, are excellent. His light and elegant Naïck for example, or the very well structured Giocoso. And of course the full-bodied and well balanced Prima Donna.
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