If you come and eat with us this month (and we hope you will), you’ll notice on your table a bottle of Chateau Domneuve Chardonnay.
It’s a fantastic wine: clean, dry, bright and lively, but with some weight. These traits – apart from the weight, I hasten to add – are shared by the winemaker himself. Nick McKay has been a friend of ours for many years, having once been a mover and a shaker in the restaurant trade.
But fifteen years ago, he sold up and left the UK for the South of France, along with his wife and a young daughter. On departure, there was one thing he swore he would never do – buy a vineyard. Except that one thing leads to another (perhaps there was something intoxicating in that southern air), and a few years ago he had a dramatic change of heart.
The thing is that Languedoc-Roussillon is a great region for trying out new things in wine, not being bound by strong rules and traditions around what you can and cannot grow, as so many parts of France are. Nick decided to grow the best Chardonnay he could, working with a talented local wine-maker. He wanted something Chablisienne in style – hence the crisp, dry and light taste.
Last year was the first time Nick exported his wine to England and we had the exclusive on it – it went down very well with you, our guests, who lapped up 1,200 bottles in a month. This year’s vintage is even better and again we are showcasing it for the month of July.
We hope you enjoy it even more than last year. As an added incentive Nick is offering to host up to six people as guests at his wonderful house near Carcassonne (the eponymous Chateau Domneuve) for up to three nights, including a tour of the vineyard. To be in the draw, please fill in the label you’ll get with every bottle you order.