Collioure and Banyuls, plus inland Côtes du Roussillon
By Richard James
This Guide was last updated on 23 April 2010
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Address: La Casenove,
Tel: 04 68 21 66 33
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 42:36:38N (42.61064) Longitude: 2:51:28E (2.85775)
Etienne Montès' Catalan delights are exactly that: he labels his wines as Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes in stoical protest, after falling out with the AC authorities (although will again be selling some Côtes du Roussillon with the 2008 vintage). Casenove is a serene backwater found down a dirt track signposted off the main road between Trouillas (on the left) and the N9 Perpignan-Le Boulou road (on the right). Etienne's opinions on the Carignan variety and Les Aspres appellation (which the estate is technically in), among other things are particularly thought-provoking. The oldest Carignan among Casenove's considerable 50ha dates from 1934: he believes growers should be using more of it here, as it's better suited to what appear to be increasingly hotter vintages nowadays; but the rules for Les Aspres strictly limit the amount permitted. Casenove wines are well-distributed in Europe (he has a new importer in London) and North America. Favourites include a few substantial and complex reds such as La Garrigue, Cuvée Jaubert and Torrespeyres; and his sweet and sour Rivesaltes rouge, pecan-pie-rich yet fine and intricate Rivesaltes Ambré (the casks spent three years outside), or deliciously experimental Pedro Montès, a kind of Pedro Ximenes Sherry-Madeira cross.
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