ABOUT: Delving into Domaine du Somail and the region of Minervois in southern France and you can’t help but want to go there, spend time in the medieval city of Carcassonne, take in the heat and tranquility for a few weeks. The place has a rich history dating back to pre-Roman times and is loaded with nooks of fascinating historically significant places to visit. The wines in the past have had a legendarily bad reputation, but no more. Many producers have incorporated organic and biodynamic methods into their routine and why wouldn’t you; It’s hot and there are over 300 rain-free days annually. Sandstone is the soil. Fungus isn’t a problem. Things to remember about Minervois for your exam: red grapes are Carignan, Grenache, Lledoner Pelut, Mourvedre, and Syrah. Carignan can’t exceed 40% of the blend, and to qualify for AOC the wines must be a blend (varietal wine is labeled Vin de Pays). Domaine du Somail is a 15 hectare estate in the eastern corner of Minervois and is powered by the talented Julie Diaz and Francois Fabre. Wines spend 24 months ageing before release with a minimum dose of sulphur. Domaine du Somail is one of our top picks for high quality, natural wine from this attractive region.
TASTE: The 2020 Le Vin de Plume from Domaine du Somail is a blend of 80% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah and packs a concentrated dram of blackberry and raspberry flavors with an earthy, herbaceous feel, telltale signs of a wine from a hot region on southern France. Black pepper, dark chocolate and baking spices appear as well, with a medium+ body and balanced, cooperative tannins and acid. Super high quality for a very nice price.
PAIR: Provencal winter vegetable soup, Asiago grits, rosemary and green olive bread, veggie sandwich loaded with roasted peppers, and roasted eggplant and zucchini.