Among the excellent wineries in the Minervois region, the Château St. Jacques d’Albas stands out for having a setting as beautiful as its wines are delicious.
The owner, Graham Nutter, left a career in finance in London in 2001 to buy the property and meticulously restore both the buildings and the vineyards. He switched production from quantity-driven for the local cooperative to high-quality organic techniques.
Wine bottles have two dominant shapes: high shoulders indicate wines from Bordeaux or other wines that resemble the Bordeaux sensibility vs. sloping shoulders for wines from Burgundy and similar wines. Château St. Jacques d’Albas is one of the few wineries in Minervois to use bottles with sloping shoulders.
However, whereas Burgundy wines are of a single variety–pinot noir–in order to carry the Minervois AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) wines must be a mix of certain grapes.
Château St. Jacques d’Albas also holds jazz and classical concerts in its large reception room. Some include dinner interludes; all include tastings.
Château St. Jacques d’Albas is outside the village of Laure-Minervois, about 16 kilometers from Carcassonne.