Chateau d'Antugnac 'Terres Amoureuses'
Limoux, Languedoc, France
Complex nose of ripe fruit, flowers and spice with light toasted notes. The palate is substantial and structured, rich and harmonious. The end of the finish is very long, rewarding and suave. Think of good Burgundy, but at half the price.
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Since 1997 Domaine d'Antugnac has been co-owned and managed by Christian Collovray and Jean-Luc Terrier. These childhood friends grew to become business partners of Domaine Des Deux Roches in the Mâconnais. Looking to expand, they focused on Languedoc, where land prices were much better than in Burgundy. Antugnac, tucked away in Limoux’s Haute Vallée, quickly became the clear choice.
This domain is roughly fifty miles west of Carcassonne in a lovely, isolated mountain valley hidden in the Pyrenean foothills, anchored by the old village of Antugnac (whose church was built as a kind of bastide, or fortified building, to protect the villagers from marauding bands in the middle ages). The vineyard parcels start at the village, but the majority climb the heights of the south-facing flanks, growing between 280 and 530 wind-swept meters above sea level on limestone soils. The Pinot Noir vines are planted at an altitude of 500m.
The partners quickly understood that this location offered mountain coolness strongly tempered by Languedoc’s sunshine. They figured that wine from these mountain vines could achieve sunny ripeness coupled with distinct freshness, and what they tasted confirmed the possibility. What they have come to subsequently make certainly confirms this, and it’s aided in no small part by their attention to detail. Harvest typically begins in the small hours before dawn and finishes by eleven in the morning, before the hot weather commences. They look for fruit, not power.
Collovray et Terrier
This specific region is located at the extreme south-west of the Languedoc vineyards, at the foot of the Pyrenees in a zone where climatic influences, Mediterranean and Atlantic, blend together. This is a magical place and it seduced on the spot the Collovray & Terrier, enamored of the grand landscapes and the Cathar relief. In the middle of other rather exotic grape varieties for people born in the Mâconnais, we find in the Aude Valley the famous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, icons of Burgundy: that is a considerable argument to conquer these new terroirs and learn from their specificities.