A taste of the sweet life

Wine in the Minervois - Massiac wines


massiac-summer-cottageRemember last week, when I introduced Chateau Massiac and its passionate & creative owner, Bernard Boudouresques?

Well, there is so much more to say about him and his wines.

With approximately 20 hectares of vineyards, Bernard has chosen to plant the Azille side with his AOC vines due to the location, and the Rieux-Minervois side is IGP (pays d’oc) where he is able to plant more of what he prefers…


Bernard produces only a few different bottles, so he concentrates on the quality of the vines and their fruit.

Massiac’s whites are expressed with single varietals sauvignon-blanc & viognier.

Her reds are created with Marselin (a crossbreed of Grenache & Cabernet where the flowers inter-marry giving a great structure for this climate), Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre.


The younger vines are irrigated when water fall doesn’t get above 250mm per year, but when it hits 450mm all is good at the domaine.  Bernard's Grenache vines are still quite young…but all the vines produce well at about 4,500-5,000 hecta-liters each year.   Bernard is respectful of organic production, however, he also wants to produce great wines, so he is thoughtful of chemicals used, and experiments with keeping the vines healthy using different herbs/grasses planted between the vines to see what works the best as a natural herbicide & pesticide.

massiac-cuves-red  massiac-metal-cuves-white-bernard

Enter into the cave & the wine-making process. Bernard has an older style cement barrel system for his reds. Each being numbered according to the hectoliters it holds, so that each vineyard can be vinified on it’s own and separate to be blended afterwards. The white is vinified in low metal tanks, making it easier to blend the ‘lys’ back into the fermenting wine.

Bernard exports up to 24,000 bottles, leaving us with only a few bottles to savour, but worth the sip! As the fermented wine will remain in the cuves for slightly over a year before being bottled in spring, we are offered 2012 bottles to taste.

massiac-viognier-glassThe Viognier is a pale yellow in color with specks of gold, and at 14.8% the high alcohol content gives it a slight sweetness. With a green edge the cooked apricot & peach fruit taste comes through making it a good match to buttery dishes, creamy cheeses & seafood – 8€ a bottle purchased directly from Bernard himself.

Massiac's Sauvignon-Blanc is clean, clear & light in color at 13.5% alcohol.  Bernard's Sauvignon is similar to a Bourdeaux Sauvignon-Blanc, and with low acidity is just enough to provide a crispness to this floral white wine. A great fruit palate tasting peaches, apples & a subtle tang of passion fruit makes a great match to asian cuisine and very ripe chèvre or camembert cheese - also 8€ a bottle at the domaine.


The AOC Minervois is a deep ruby in color with 14% alcohol. Bernard’s blend on this year’s Minervois, is 80% Syrah 15% Carignan & 5% Mourvedre. A robust red with flavors of very ripe cassis, pepper & spice, with supple & ripe tannins pares well with tapenade & many local, Mediterranean dishes.

Bernard’s Sentinelle is an ‘export-only’ unfortunately, so no tasting available this year. And with passion he plays around with a late, naturally sweetened white he calls “Ambre” for aperitif & desserts as well.




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