The wettest March in recorded history, followed by what seemed to be the sunniest April, put us squarely into Spring, as you will see from this little video. The vines are lapping it all up, moving rapidly from bud-break to the formation of tiny little grape bunches. And that's where we are: well on the road to Harvest 2015. Even the brand-new chardonnay and mauzac vines, planted only a month ago and still no taller than the wine glass they will fill, are roaring ahead and raring to go. There's no stopping anything now.
And it seems there's no stopping our chenin blanc, Dédicace 2012 either. The Concours des Grands Vins de France, billed as the world's biggest Guiness Book of Records-breaking wine competition, awarded thirteen gold medals to the white wines of the Languedoc - and one of them was reserved for Dédicace. Good news indeed.
But there is nothing like a handful of proverbial "Parker points" to make things go from good to better. They speak volumes in any language - and when the digits cross the 90-point barrier, they speak even louder. In fact, they positively shout. So of course we are doubly delighted that The Wine Advocate's Languedoc specialist, the immensely respected Jeb Dunnuck, gave top marks to Dédicace 2012 and to our 'terrific' Chardonnay, Odyssée 2013. In fact, they were two of the five most highly rated (92pts) white wines of the region in this report.
The other two wines we submitted were Le Limoux 2013 (89 pts) and the mauzac Occitania 2013 (88 pts), both billed as 'some of the top whites of this (Languedoc) report" (the tasting notes are right here.) And by the way, he reminds us to remind you that the small, family-run vineyards of the Languedoc are producing "a bevy of brilliant wines".
Now to put a bit more fizz into things: we're glad to say that our Blanc de Blancs and Vintage Rose Crémants de Limoux are back on tap, after a long, pregnant pause. The result justifies the wait, we think. The third pillar of our effervescence, Blanquette de Limoux - our newest release of the world's oldest sparkling wine - is a bit of a departure for us, being made of 100% mauzac this time. And zero brut to boot. Very clean, very fresh, and very Rives-Blanques.
At Rives-Blanques we are raising a glass of it to our son, who has navigated his way through a flat-out, full-time, hands-on programme of ploughing, planting, blending and bottling, while burning the midnight oil and completing his 2-year Winemaking Certificate from UC Davis. Another milestone in the life of Rives-Blanques - chapeau, Jan-Ailbe!
Today he's out there in the field planting the poles that support the wires that support the vines that he planted last month. It is a lovely thought for us that he will be making that wine when those vines are ready for picking in three years time.
On that happy note, we take our leave until the next time, and wish you wondrous wines and wonderful times. And if you can spare a thought for the winegrower, please hope with us that the glacial Ice Saint Days (May 11, 12, 13) will be kind to us and to our vines - the last thing we want right now is a snap of cold weather.
The Panman Family
Cépie, May 2015
If you would prefer not to receive the next update , please just click on firstname.lastname@example.org to be painlessly and permanently released