Tipple of the Month

2016-03

Wine

Chapelle de Novilis Néus

Award-winning Chapelle de Novilis from the Languedoc-Roussillon, is a 1200-year old Domaine, producing IGP Coteaux d'Ensérune wines from 25-30 year-old vines. With 15 hectares of vineyards, the estate benefits from a microclimate as a result of its proximity to the sea, 15km to the south and the Caroux mountains in the Haut-Languedoc, 50km to the north. This helps to mollify the heat of the summer sun, enabling the grapes to retain sufficient acidity. Soils are mainly limestone and clay with rainfall typically in spring and autumn. The winery is in the process of fully converting to organic winemaking and earlier this year I had the pleasure of trying their Néus white 2015 (already organic) and their Évolus red 2013. Having been hugely impressed by both these wines (see my Facebook review for more details.), I was delighted to be sent two earlier vintages from the Néus range to taste.

Chapelle de Novilis Néus red 2013 - Merlot 45%, Carignan 25%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Cinsault 15%; 13.5% ABV.

The nose is floral with notes of bramble fruit, blackcurrants, violets, Mediterranean herbs and a savoury edge. These characteristics continue on the palate, which exhibits good acidy, soft, velvety tannins plus a hint of liquorice/anis. This would be a good match for roast beef or chicken.

Chapelle de Novilis Néus white 2014 - Vermentino 80%, Marsanne 20%; 13% ABV.

The nose shows notes of custard apple and lemon cream. These characteristics continue on the palate with touches of grapefruit, peach, dry pineapple and almonds plus a herbal freshness with a slight hint of mint. This would be a good match for grilled fish or Asian chicken in a fruity sauce.

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