Château la Bastide
Between the towns of Narbonne and Carcassonne, in the heart of the Corbières appellation stands the imposing Château la Bastide, built around 1830. Previously under the ownership of Guilhem Durand there is a massive 100 hectares under vine. Château Bastide itself is a magnificent old building, surrounded by vines and set outside the sleepy picturesque village of Escales. Guilhem was a great innovator, and planted numerous different grape varieties. Steady investment over the years has ensured that the most modern vinification equipment is used with a modern cellar for ageing the wines in oak barrels. We have enjoyed both both the reds and whites in the past, and they have proved very popular with members.
Guilhem retired in 2014 and a new era commenced in 2016 under Chinese owners with Madame Gao at the helm. Previously she lived in Montpellier, where she had founded a company exporting wine to China. It was her enthusiasm that persuaded the BHC group to invest in Château la Bastide.
There have been no radical changes. Why change such a successful formula? Madame Gao is focussed on a plan of steady improvement to the quality of the wines with the long term aim of producing some additional top-of-the range special cuvées.
After Guilhem’s departure we stood back from further shipments until we felt that the new ownership was convincingly in command. And that time is now. We have selected four great wines that offer outstanding value for money. They all share one thing in common – each wine is deliciously fruit-driven.
We are offering a Mixed Dozen with three bottles of each of –
Domaine la Bastide Viognier 2019
With low yields of only 40hl/ha, this has a bright lemon/green colour. Honeysuckle and lemongrass greet you on the nose. On the palate it is soft in texture with apricot fruit and it is quite rich with spicy notes. It finishes with gentle balancing acidity and great length.
A very pretty wine, which would work well as an aperitif or with Chinese or Thai food. A top-scoring *** from the prestigious Guide Hachette.
Château la Bastide Blanc Tradition 2018
This is a blend of 50% Roussanne, 25% Bourboulenc and 25% Vermentino. The wine is aged on its fine lees for 6 months, adding complexity and mouthfeel. Then 15% of the wine is aged in oak barrels for 6 months, before being blended back in.
The results speak for themselves…
It is bright yellow in colour with light green highlights. There is an intense nose of white flowers and lime zest. It is round in the mouth with apricot and peach flavours, hints of liquorice and aniseed and a final touch of vanilla.
One word. Gorgeous!
Château la Bastide Rouge Tradition 2018
From a vineyard made up of quartz terraces with large pebbles, the grape varieties are 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre from low-yielding 30-year-old vines. There is no oak-ageing.
Deep in colour with hints of mahogany at the rim, there is an inviting nose of dark fruits. On the palate it is very soft with a big mouthful of ripe black cherries, finishing with a hint of liquorice and good length.
This is a very commercial wine that everyone will love!
Château la Bastide Exubérance Rouge 2017
By contrast the grapes for this wine come from pebbled sandstone terraces. The blend is 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvèdre, which is then aged in tank for 12 months before bottling. Once again, there is no oak ageing.
This is a little paler and more developed in colour, with a more complex nose of blackberries and black cherries.
Flavours of stewed plums and figs dominate the palate. There are hints of woodsmoke and a smooth, honeyed texture. This gradually develops into a warm lingering silky-smooth finish.
Elegant and more complex than the Tradition. Another crowd-pleaser!