2011 Languedoc swings and roundabouts


Graham Nutter of Ch St-Jacques d'Albas sends us this heartfelt report on a difficult vintage in the Minervois, Languedoc.

The year has been a theatre of fluctuating weather patterns, an exasperating harvest period with super-sensitive cellar work, but with quite a satisfactory finale to the whole work.

After three years of sub-par rainfall, respite to the water table was provided in 2011 by steady, even precipitation throughout the year. The Minervois has traditionally had some 650–750 mm (25-29 ins) annually, predominantly over the winter and spring months, but this dropped to 350–550 annually in 2008–2010. By contrast, we received a...