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Online Wine Shop  >  Wines by grower - alphabetical  >  Chateau La Dournie - Saint-Chinian

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Chateau La Dournie
Chateau La Dournie
Chateau La Dournie
Some way to the north-west of Béziers, on the fringes of the Haut Languedoc mountains, the vineyards of Saint-Chinian produce wines of great elegance and structure. Situated in the hills on the edge of the town of Saint-Chinian, with a large chateau and courtyard set amongst the vineyards, six generations of the Etienne family has produced exquisite wines, combining the unique flavours of the Languedoc with an almost Burgundian elegance. Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault are the main varieties used.

The Guide Hachette says; "Continuity is assured with this sixth generation taking the reins at La Dournie, with these magnificent cuvées, by way of confirmation." The wines
are characterised by soft berry fruits with notes of violet, tapenade, garrigue herbs and a distinct mineral streak, along with gentle tannins and superb balance. They are distinctly refreshing, yet considerably complex, and - possibly more than any other appellation in Languedoc - seem to conjure up that mysterious word "terroir". Try some, and you may well see what we mean!

Chateau La Dournie Etienne 2011 Saint-Chinian
Chateau La Dournie Etienne 2011

Region Saint-Chinian, north-west of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red, aged for 10 months in oak barrels
Grapes 50% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Carignan
Alcohol (a.b.v)
Food Roast red meats, vegetable and pasta dishes, game
Next day
Still fresh
Drink Over the next 5 to 8 years
Beautifully fresh and vibrant from the off - the nose is delightfully prickly, with oodles of garrigue herb-infused red fruit, beef and black olive aromas, which carry through in the mouth, whilst the combination of supple tannins, savoury depth and orangey acidity makes for a deliciously sweet and sour style. The flavours are intense and subtle in equal measures, with plenty of minerally, fruity/herby Syrah character, a touch of softness from the Grenache and the Carignan adding a welcome touch of rustic grip. Once again, an effortless combination of restrained power and elegance - and once again, textbook Saint-Chinian.

Price:  £12.25 (Including: VAT at 20%)


Chateau La Dournie Elise 2011 Saint-Chinian
Chateau La Dournie Elise 2011

Region Saint-Chinian, north-west of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red, partly aged in new oak barrels, the rest in vat
Grapes 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache (50 year old vines)
Alcohol (a.b.v)
Food Venison, beef, lamb and vegetable hotpot, roast pork
Next day
Still singing
Drink Over the next 10 to15 years
A deep, semi-opaque purple core, with a narrow rim. An enticing array of fruit and savoury notes - aromas of bramble and plum combine with black olives and new leather, garrigue herbs, damp earth and very fine eau de vie, in a wine of considerable complexity. Although winemaker Veronique Etienne may not thank me for saying so, Elise is always the most "northern Rhone" of her wines in style (and therefore also representitive of the finest schiste-grown Saint-Chinian terroir) and this vintage is no different. Granted, it is still pretty primary and youthful on the palate, but it already displays the body, freshness, fruit, minerality and black olive quality typical of this cuvée. It is beautifully ripe and full of succulent black cherry and bramble fruit flavours, but with plenty of nuance and complexity peeping through, with a nice tannic/acidic balance. Although undoubtedly approachable now, this will begin to show it's true potential in a year or two and evolve brilliantly for at least 10. Without a doubt one of the finest wines in the appellation.

Price:  £14.90 (Including: VAT at 20%)


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Minimum order value, delivery charges, times and restrictions
We deliver only to UK and Northern Ireland addresses. The minimum order value is £75 (plus the delivery charge). You may of course choose a mix of any wines in our range. Orders between £75 and £200: delivery charge is £7.50. Orders over £200: delivery is free! (If your order is over £200, please remember to change the delivery charge in checkout to £0.00). Please note: Delivery to non-mainland addresses (Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, etc.) is usually possible, but may not be on a next-working-day basis. It is also more expensive than delivery to mainland addresses, so will be charged at cost (for orders under £200) but with a small discount for orders over £200 - please call us for a quote.

Warning - you must be aged 18 or over
It is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 18. (Section 149 Licensing Act 2003).We reserve the right to seek proof of age. Leon Stolarski says "drink less, but drink better!" Please consume alcohol in moderation.