Chateau St. Jacques D’albas from the Minervois
Chateau St. Jacques d’Albas is located in the Minervois, to the west of the Languedoc region, between the city of Carcassone, Canal du Midi, and the Black Mountains. The nature provides excellent resources for them to make unique wines. The team is quite small. Graham Nutter is helped by his son, Andrew, Martine Garcia and Charlotte Wilkerson in the office. Yannick Breil and Arnaud Mayade do the work in the winery and the fields. The Belgian shepherd dog, Syrah, guards the estate. A chapel from the 11th century is still present on the property and was renovated in 2014. Since 2001, the estate is focused on organic viticulture, long term vineyard protection, soil management, and planting of high-quality vines with a low yield of fruity grapes.
Respect Nature and Technology
Their philosophy is to respect nature and use modern winemaking techniques to make wines which express the features of their terroir. The Mediterranean climate here receives around 300 days of sunshine with moderate rainfall. The soil has limestone and clay that can retain moisture during dry summer months. These conditions make the region perfect for cultivating vines. They follow the Cousinie Protocol at the estate to improve the health of the vines by providing the required nutrients to the soil. It enhances the grape quality without much human intervention. The main grape varieties they grow are Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Vermentino, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Carignan, Caladoc, and Cabernet Franc. The best grapes are handpicked to make their award-winning red, white, and rose wines.