- Domaine Begude
- 2019 - 2023
- Case size
Goedhuis, May 2020
This terrific very ‘tres Begude’ style Chardonnay is called Terroir 11300 which refers to the post code of the cool climate village of Cepie where this deliciously refreshing, mineral, organic Chardonnay is crafted by our old friend, the Begude dude, James Kinglake. 11300 is the best expression of this wonderful terroir, where you get a wonderful balance of honeyed fruit and crisp, citrus minerality. Works on its own or with food and is great value. It is also very handsome…
Matthew Jukes, June 2020,
It is no surprise that this ‘postcode’ wine so accurately reflects its origins. I will never forget standing on their lawn, with an uninterrupted view of the Pyrenees some 80 miles away, and breathing in the cool, breezy air. A faint saline tang manages to make its way up from the Med and, added to a hint of lemony pine resin from the tall trees shading the property, the perfume was both invigorating and mouth-watering. These dynamic tasting notes are found in every wine that is made under this label and it gives them uniqueness and authenticity which oceans of other wines desperately lack. 2019 Terroir 11300 Chardonnay is a beauty. With a smattering of carpentry (a mere 15% is barrel-fermented in 600L demi-muids while the rest sees stainless steel), this is a slender, resonant Chardonnay with a keen, bone-dry, acidic finish and wonderful citrus and ozone detail. If Chablis was plonked down 25 miles from the Mediterranean its wines would taste like this! The organic mantra gives this wine undoubted ‘vif’, or liveliness, which means that it ploughs its own furrow on your taste buds, making them stand to attention and listen carefully to its song. While this is an accomplished aperitif style, there is more food-matching skill here that meets the eye. When I was buying the wines for Bibendum Restaurant, in the Michelin Building, in London (I held this position for 26 years, from 1990 - 2016), I listed Begude Chardonnay (a wine that was actually one notch down the ladder from my featured Terroir 11300) as ‘House Chardonnay’ in the Oyster Bar on the ground floor of this iconic building. It was, perhaps, one of only a handful of wines from the 1000-strong wine cellar which had a good stab at going with every single dish on the OB’s menu. Simon Hopkinson was the chef at Bibendum, at the time, and so the menu was sheer heaven. The food was sublime and when Burgundies and Loires came up short, Begude kept its character and romanced every dish and all who tasted it. At £10.95 per bottle, this wine is your very own ‘house Chardonnay’ for the summer of 2020 and I hope that you love it as much as I do. Leaving all of the aforementioned nostalgia aside, this is a bloody brilliant wine. 17/20 (drink now - 2021)
Domaine Bégude was purchased by English couple James and Catherine Kinglake in 2003. The estate lies high in the beautiful foothills of the Pyrenees in the South of France, near Limoux, a village best known for its sparkling wine, Blanquette de Limoux and terrific Chardonnays. The key to Bégude’s excellent balance and freshness is the altitude of the vineyards – a staggering 350 metres above sea level – which ensures a long cool growing season. This fact, coupled with tiny yields, organically certified farming and biodynamic techniques, resulted in grapes of the highest quality.
The Languedoc covers a vast swathe of the south of France, stretching from Nimes in the east to Toulouse in the west. It is home to France’s best value wines, and to appellations as varied as Picpoul de Pinet (a refreshing white wine from the Mediterranean coast) to Minervois (a deeply structured, rustic red wine from the wild hillsides).