After departing Stansted around midday we arrived in Carcassone met with boiling hot sunshine, a rarity for the group. We made our way to the Mercure and after a quick freshen up we went to explore the old town of Carcassone. The walled medieval city was stunning and the atmosphere was heightened with the addition of an annual celebration of music throughout the city.
Dinner was served and keen to try a local dish I ordered the Cassoulet. Similar to a casserole, this slow cooked delicacy was a combination of duck confit, sausage, pork and haricot beans. A taste sensation that was nicely matched with a rich, but refreshing Chardonnay from Limoux. It was fair to say it was extremely filling but very tasty.
Day two started with a trip to the brand new LGI offices where we were met by both Eric’s. The day consisted of an overview of LGI and how they operate / trade, where their export and what their vision is moving forward. I found this extremely useful as this was my first insight in to how an international exporter trades, and what external factors affect them. After the presentation, we went to taste the range of commercial wines that we take from them already and a few other wines. As a group we loved the King Rabbit label and the Chardonnay that was 50/50 oaked to not oaked.
The tasting was followed by lunch at LGI H/Q. We were met with an array of beautiful wines that were chosen by us the Majestic Staff. The wines were presented back to the LGI staff in a blind tasting format which made us all think and discuss the wines over a lovely lunch. A highlight was the 2007 St Joseph with the succulent pink duck breast.
The afternoon consisted of travelling to Domaine St Jean de la Cavalerie, on arrival we were shown around the vineyard and cellars. A fantastic place and David the owner was very welcoming and informative on his tour. A quick dip in the pool to cool off was followed by an array of wines to taste with mussels, BBQ Lamb and a selection of hams and cheeses. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.
We arrived at Chateau de l’Engarran, near Montpellier to explore the grounds and learn about the history of the Chateau and vineyards. The vineyards have a stony terroir and hot climate not to dissimilar to CNDP which produce elegant wines in a sustainable way without being organic. A highlight of the tasting was the Chateau de l’Engarran a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, which provided a velvety smooth wine with a spicy peppery finish. After another banquet of food we departed back to the airport to head home.