Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Restaurant Wine list - Le Mimosa

No restaurant wine list in the region I've seen or heard of comes remotely close to Le Mimosa’s. On depth alone the statistics are extraordinary: -
  • 11 vintages of Grange des Pères red (3 in magnums) plus 7 of the rare white
  • 22 vintages from Daumas Gassac (with endless magnums) and 4 whites
  • 42 different wines from Mas Jullien (Jonquières is just a mile away)
  • A mere 24 from Alain Chabanon, 20 Aupilhac, 15 Peyre Rose and 14 Clos Marie in the Pic St Loup.
  • One of our favourites, the good value Grange de Quatre Sous, is represented by 16 specimens.
Gems from Provence, notably 32 Domaine Tempiers, along with the Rhone, such as 14 vintages of Cornas (Clape) and 8 Hermitage (Chave), would merit an enviable reputation in those regions. With a particular soft spot for red Loire, especially when a change from Mediterranean power is needed, there are a dozen to choose from.

All of this takes years to amass. Le Mimosa was started in back in 1984 when Bridget and David Pugh finished converting a former wine maker’s property in the centre of St Guiraud into their restaurant and home. David devoted considerable energy seeking out growers each winter when the restaurant closes, obviously starting in the days when few of today’s stars existed.

Prospective wines are always tasted irrespective of vintage and reputations. Bottles are collected directly from the domains to lie in the permanently climatically conditioned cave. Local wine makers who enjoy their own wines from the cellar remark on have fresh they are in relation to their own stocks.

David ensures this is a living list. The popular six course menu “capricieux” is often taken with the dégustation offering of six wines that David will choose based on what will match the guest’s dishes and what’s drinking well. For whole bottles there’s a fixed mark-up of 16€ for most wines which obviously makes the more expensive wines particularly good value. That said, and as David’s suggestions will testify, many diners will end up with a hugely enjoyable bottle for less than their initial ideas.

What of the list's future? With so many excellent and exciting growers in the immediate area I predict the emphasis will be on local wine and the Terrasses du Larzac in particular. In 2007 the Pugh’s bought the nearby Montpeyroux wine bar and cavist they named La Terrasse du Mimosa and only stocks very local wine.

For an excellent article on the Pugh's see this The Vine Route article.

For more on the regions restaurants visit my Languedoc Dining site.

Matured with the same care as the wines, Le Mimosa's cheese trolley.

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