Domaine St. Jacques d'Albas, Petit Minervois Blanc, 2021
IGP Pays d'Oc
This is a phenomenal family-run estate in the south of France, near the medieval city of Carcassonne, with woodland and garrigue covering two thirds of the domaine - and much of the land beyond that - providing a refuge for migratory birds and wild animals, as well as a healthy ecological protection for the interspersed 26 hectares of vine plots.
Before 2001, St. Jacques was just a grape grower, selling their harvest off to the local Cave Cooperative. After the estate was sold, a radical shift to agriculture took place, focusing on organic long-term soil management with an emphasis on replacing high-yielding, low-quality vines with low-yielding, high-quality vines.
Today there are 10 varietals planted across the estate with Syrah and Grenache combining for 50% of the plantings and white grape varietals accounting for 20%.
Replacing the Domaine d'Albas white is the Petit St. Jacques lineup, which is a blend comprised of Vermentino 40%, Viognier 40% and Marsanne 20%. This is elegant, balanced and long but with a light sense on the palate and a long zippy minerally finish. The nose is reminiscent of white flowers, apricots, touches of beeswax and fresh almond. Creamy, full-bodied and complex on the palate delivering a nice tangy freshness.
It's hard not to get excited about wines that deliver such extraordinary value and still respect the fundamentals of vineyard ecology, organic farming and minimal intervention winemaking. Dy-na-mite!
Serve as an aperitif, alongside tapas, salad with goat cheese, Thai cuisine with lemongrass, white fish or a broad spectrum of chicken dishes.