Friday, 1 July 2016

Drinking sustainable wine with Château Argentiès

Photo of Château Argentiès taken under CCL from their website
Last month I went to a two day course at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership as part of my day-job. The aim of this course was to help us understand the need for the world to change and get us to buy-in to being part of that change. I personally had my mind blown in this seminar and have come away with a deep-rooted personal belief in the need to be part of the solution and to be seen as a force for positive change.

Now that I have gotten down off my soap-box... You can imagine how excited I was when I received an enquiry from a vineyard from the Languedoc-Rouissillon region of Southern-France about whether I would want to try their "eco-friendly and sustainable wines"... Yes, please!

Château Argentiès

The enquiry was from Château Argentiès which is located in Lagrasse, a medieval village close to Carcassonne in Corbières. When you look at their website and their communications it is clear to see that the company puts principles of sustainability at the heart of what they do; they state proudly on their website that an over-riding belief of theirs is that "humans, animals and plants are inherently and profoundly intelligent". This respect for their environment and their produce is what leads to the grapes being hand-picked and vinified on site. As you would expect they eschew any involvement with chemical or mineral interventions in the winemaking process in order to allow the grapes to present the terroir in its purest sense, without human intervention.

The Wines

I was sent three different wines from Château Argentiès to try and was really looking forward to seeing what they had to offer.

The first was their 2015 L'Alaric Rose (41% Grenache, 33% Syrah, 26% Cinsault) which sits a light salmon in the glass, almost opaque in hue. On the nose I got a faint cherry-like aroma with twinges of tart orange. There was also a floral note that reminded me of rose. When I tasted it I found it juicy, bright and fresh with a nice splash of tartness that gave me some lemon and peach notes. This was a very pleasing, if somewhat one-dimensional wine. 6.5/10.0

Next up was their 2014 Cuvee L'Alaric (40% Grenache, 39% Syrah, 21% Carignan) which had a dark and plummy purple colour to it. I got rich, slightly sweet cherry aroma, coupled with juicy blackcurrant notes. There was also a slightly herbaceous side to it with some menthol aromas coming through. On tasting the acidity was noted as medium, with low tannins. The dominant flavour on the wine was of a slightly tart cherry with a clean and bright finish. I tried this slightly chilled and really enjoyed it. 7.0/10.0

Last to try was the 2014 Cuvee Pièce Noble (37% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 28% Carignan) which possessed a deep, ruby red colour in the glass. The nose was surprisingly light with floral notes of violet and juicy red fruit notes of strawberries and red cherries. On tasting the wine once again had medium acidity and quite low presence of tannins with bright red fruit flavours of strawberries being the dominant flavour. A nicely balanced finish. 7.0/10.0

Overall I was impressed with the quality of these wines, particularly given their pricepoint - all three wines are in the 7 - €11 range (in France). These wines are not available in the UK currently, but I know that Château Argentiès are actively looking to find a distribution source so that they can get their wines on the shelves.


I was pleased to find a vineyard and wine-making team who are as passionate as I am about promoting sustainability principles. I really wish them all the best in expanding their business and continuing to make excellent wine.

Disclaimer: I received these wines as a sample and did not pay for them. Notwithstanding this, the opinions contained within this article are my own.      

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