tastingAmong 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.

chapel
The 11th century chapel on the property. The St. Jacques in the name indicates this was a stopover on the pilgrimage to St. Jacques de Compostelle, or Santiago de Compostela, in Spain.

chapel-towerThe 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.

grapes-2vineyardWine 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.

two-bottles

grapesHowever, 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.

tower
A restored windmill that’s now a gîte.

stepsChâteau St. Jacques d’Albas also holds jazz and classical concerts in its large reception room. Some include dinner interludes; all include tastings.

concert-room
The concert room, which has a beautiful 19th century Steinway piano, with the wine-tasting room behind.
tapestry
A tapestry in the concert room.

Château St. Jacques d’Albas is outside the village of Laure-Minervois, about 16 kilometers from Carcassonne.

gate

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16 thoughts on “St. Jacques d’Albas

  1. I had absolutely no idea that the different shape in wine bottles was relevant to the wine therein, a really useful snippet of information that I shall enjoy knowing about and I have a feeling might come in quite useful at some stage!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Didn’t know that about sloping vs. high shoulders for wine bottles. Just for French wines, or from other areas as well?
    Lovely pictures. This sounds like a great place to know about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are other wine bottle shapes. But in general, yes, the bottles indicate the genre of the wine. A chianti or a rioja is in a high-shouldered bottle, for example, and certainly they are more like bordeaux than burgundy.

      Like

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