We started with some bubbles, the 2010 vintage of Cremant de Limoux 1531 from Sieur d'Arques. Cue the story of how sparkling wine was 'invented' in Limoux. As one would expect, this was very well made. Fresh and easy with good mid-palate richness.
La Voulte Gasparets seldom disappoints. Nor did it that evening with the 2010 Cuvée Reserve Corbières. A whiff of the garrigue and leather on the nose and decent concentration of plum and blackberrry fruit, again with a spicy/meaty edge. All nicely balanced with user friendly tannins. Well worth the 9€ I'd paid for it in Carrefour earlier that day.
However the star of the show was definitely D'Aupilhac 2005, Montpeyroux. I decanted it beforehand, anticipating that it would take time to unfurl. A glorious nose of leather, plums, smoked meat, wild herbs ... Beautiful mid-palate richness and lovely ripe plummy fruit. Lots of complexity here - from (a somewhat hazy) memory, meaty, smoky, all framed by plump, smooth tannins. Excellent finish.
Sadly we were too befuddled to attempt the Muscat de St Jean de Minervois from Michel Poudou at Domaine de Montahuc. But I had it the other day and it is suitably fragrant and elegant with a lovely seam of acidity running through it. Delicious.
Rain? What rain?