The vineyards total seven hectares and are planted to Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache Gris, Viognier and Marsanne. To ferment and condition these grapes, Christian has installed a range of temperature-controlled stainless steel fermenters in sizes that allow him to keep small lots separate. He makes a white, two rosés and four reds. The reds, which are all AOP Corbières, were of most interest to us.
The 2010 Monz’ & Merveilles is also made from Syrah and Grenache Noir and it is aged for twelve months in small oak, about twenty-five percent new. On the nose it shows aromas of coffee and plum jam and these persist into the palate, combining with intense cassis flavours. The power of the fruit is well supported by strong, persistent and well-integrated tannins, which should allow the wine to evolve finely over a decade or more. To show the maturation style of the Monz’ & Merveilles, Christian opened a bottle of the 2008 for us to taste. We were immediately hit by aromas of cassis syrup. The tannins were resolving wonderfully and the intensity of the fruit was almost overpowering. Delighted with the wines, we bought three cases, and to thank us, Christian threw in a bottle of the 2008 Monz’ & Merveilles.
After a final shopping spree Monday, on Tuesday we drove down to the Mediterranean coast and southward to Perpignan to return the rental car and to catch a train to Barcelona. The newly completed rapid rail line linking the French SNCF and the Spanish RENFE systems means that passengers can now enjoy the high speed of the TGV to cross-border destinations. The 195-kilometre train trip took only an hour and a quarter, including two station stops.