In the heart of Corbières countryside, not far from Carcassonne, over the years we’ve made a habit of staying in the delightful Auberge Côté Jardin, situated in the tiny village of Conilhac. It was at their restaurant that we first tasted the excellent wines of Château Vieux Parc. In the intervening 10 years, we have followed their wines with great interest.
In the 1960s, like so many properties in the region, the Panis family moved away from bulk wine production to produce and bottle their own quality wines. Louis Panis has been responsible for transforming the winemaking in the last two decades, but in the past three years his son Guillhaume – the 6th generation – has added a more modern and contemporary touch. When we tasted the current wines this year we knew the time had come to import them for the wine club!
When we first shipped their wines a couple of years ago, they were an instant hit. This year we’ve chosen the latest vintages of the same wines and they are every bit as delicious!
A tremendous introduction to the wines of Corbières and fantastic quality and value for money.
A Mixed Case consists of four bottles of each of these three wines –
Vieux Parc L’Heritage Blanc 2018
This delightful blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne and 20% Vermentino has an enticing floral nose, which leads into a mouthful of juicy stone fruit with a creamy texture. There is great balance and it finishes with fresh acidity and a hint of grapefruit. A perfect aperitif but a great match for mussels, and superb with red mullet!
Vieux Parc L’Heritage Rouge 2017
This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre is enhanced by the addition of some old-vine Carignan, which has been vinified using maceration carbonique to enhance the fruitiness. And it works well.
There is an inviting nose of morello cherries and herbs of the garrigue, followed by a soft round mouthful of cherry fruit and sloes, low tannin and juicy acidity. It slips down all too easily!
Vieux Parc La Sélection Rouge 2016
This is serious stuff! A very deep colour, this is based on 40% Carignan from 100 year-old vines with 40% Syrah. The rest of the blend is Grenache and Mourvèdre, which has been vinified by maceration carbonique. The blend then has 18 months of gentle oak ageing.
Medium in colour, it has a fantastic nose of plum, black cherry, black olive with a hint of vanilla. On the palate it is soft, rich, elegant and finishes with a hint of liquorice and gentle tannin.
Highlighted for praise in a Corbières tasting by Decanter magazine’s April 2020 edition, where the shop price is listed at £14.95-£15.95!
If you like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you’ll love this. Unbelievable value.