Testimonials

 

Wine of the Week from Jancis Robinson 25th Sept 2015:

2014 Pinot Noir: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/dom-begude-pinot-noir-2014-igp-haute-valle-de-laude

Jancis Robinson Languedoc Review 23rd Sept 2015:

Etoile 2013 17/20

Concentrated and expressive on the nose, and challenges many a Chablis at this price. Make that premier cru Chablis – this is absolutely lovely on the palate: complex, textural, lengthy, multi-dimensional. Fragrant and serious and ageworthy. VGV 

 

 

 

Le Bel Ange Chardonnay 2014 16.5/20

Nutty and creamy nose with baked apple on the palate. Good length, good balance – it’d be hard to find a classic French Chardonnay with a better quality-to-price ratio. GV

Daily Mail 25th July 2015(Matthew Jukes):

2014 Domaine Begude, Le Secret du Sud, Gewurztraminer, Pays d’Oc, France (£9.99, WaitroseCellar.com).  I cannot contain my excitement about this wine.  This is a world scoop and the reason for my unbridled joy is the jaw-dropping poise and class in this aromatically awesome wine.  This is a crystalline, perfumed white with epic length and mind-blowing floral appeal.  Drink it with the Albanian Seafood linguine.

Yorkshire Post June 2015(Christine Austin):

2013 Domaine Begude, Etoile. This comes from an organic property run by Catherine & James Kinglake who left London rat race and bought a vineyard in the cool hills of Limoux. They have finessed their wine-making skills and use 600l demi muids for aging. The result is a wine with pear and apple notes, with citrusy freshness and a round elegant style. 

Daily Mail 7th February 2015 (Matthew Jukes):

Terroir 2014: This is another lovely wine with the Seafood paella.  Delicate, elegant and beautifully proportioned this is one of the most hauntingly attractive Southern French Chardonnays and it is made by a couple of Brits who have taught their French neighbours a thing or two about wine!

Daily Mail 24th June 2014 (Matthew Jukes):

2012 L’Etoile de Begude, Limoux, France £17.99, down to £13.49 each when you buy 2 until 1 September, Majestic  The Kinglakes moved to Limoux in the South of France several years ago and they make ravishing white wines. The cool but sunny conditions are perfect for Chardonnay, and 2012 Etoile is their finest yet.

The Daily Mail 21 September 2013 (Matthew Jukes):

Sauvignon Blanc 2012: You'll probably be familiar with the superb chardonnays from this hill top property, but the rarer Sauvignon is a beguiling thriller. With an engaging citrus nose, this is a crackingly price all-rounder.

Daily Mail 13 July 2013 (Matthew Jukes):

This wine comes from the French postcode 11300, in Limoux, where Brits James and Catherine Kinglake make stunningly alluring wines.  With the merest hint of oak augmenting the beautiful fruit this elegant chardonnay is a compelling elixir with true class and restraint.  It’s also a dream with the Tomato, mozzarella and basil mini pizzas.

Robert Parker’s “Bargain Wines Guide" 2012:

Utterly beguiling. Full of flowers, citrus, orchard fruits, and almond, this offers some lushness of texture while remaining bright and refreshing, and displays a shimmering sense of minerality that would be worthy of a Chablis costing three times the price.

 The Times 29 June 2012 (Jane MacQuitty):

Gewurztraminer 2012: Languedoc is not the first French wine region a vigneron would consider for the cool climate loving Gewurztraminer grape, but planted in the chilliest, highest, northeat-facing patch of Begude dirt, this aperitif and softly spiced food-friendly gewurz oozes alluring, fragrant, exotic, lychee and cinnamon-spiced fruit.

Independent Newspaper June 8th 2013:

Terroir 11300 Chardonnay 2012. Made by the Kinglakes, an English family in the region of Limoux, this is a complex, peachy chardonnay.

Ciao Magazine Australia Oct 2012:

There have been two successive excellent vintages of this delightful organically produced chardonnay from near Limoux in the Aude region of southern France.

This treads a tightrope balance between bright fruit flavours and elegance. On the second sip I wrote that it was a wine that had "empty bottle" written all over it. And so it proved.

It has the flinty notes and citrus you'd associate with Chablis alongside some new world sweet fruit.

Yorkshire Post June 23rd 2012 (Christine Austin):

Rosé always does well at a picnic, and I love the delicate, elegant flavours of Domaine Begude Pinot Rosé 2011 (screwcap) from the cool hills of Limoux in Southern France. This summer it hasn’t joined the usual multibuy promotion so it is still priced at £8.99 (Majestic) but this is a Sancerre Rosé look-alike so that price is still good value.

Decanter World Wine Awards Silver Medal 2012:

Terroir 11300. Green fruit and citrus nose, cool climate style. Round, rich fruit, orange peel and minerality on the palate, with lovely zesty acidity. Elegance

Sommelier Wine Awards 2012 Winner Gold Medal & Best Food Match with Veal:

Terroir 11300. Everyone liked something different about this wine. For Terroirs' Emilie Courtois it was 'the mouthfeel and the finish. It is very fresh, with a great minerality' 'The nose is outstanding,' said consultant Joe Wadsack,' showing lovely apricot and peach notes.' 'This is relaxed southern French class,' said Kofler and Kompanie's Nigel Lister, 'Lovely, juicy, peachy flavour. Delicious.'

From Decanter Magazine March 2012 (Andrew Jefford/Rosemary George):

Domaine Begude Pinot Noir 2010. Ripe fruit on the nose. Ripe raspberry fruit and a streak of tannin. refreshing and youthful. **** 17

From The Observer 13th Nov 2011 (David Williams):

Pinot Noir 2010: You’d be paying a great deal more for this light, elegant red if it came from a starrier French appellation further north, rather than the lesser-known Limoux region of the Languedoc.  A genuine bargain, it is subtle and quietly charming, strawberry-scented and silky textured - at its best with light game or, if you’re thinking that far in advance, the Christmas turkey.

From The Wine Gang August 2011:

Oh la la, this is a mighty fine French Pinot Noir that's from nowhere near Burgundy, but the Languedoc, in fact. Capturing all the sassy, sappy juiciness we love from Pinot Noir, this has rhubarb and raspberry all wrapped up in a fresh acidity. A truly lovely wine. 91/100.

 From "The Times" Top 100 Wines List- 25th June 2011 (Jane MacQuitty):

Domaine Begude in the foothills of the Pyrenees is one of the few roses that really makes the grade! Fine Pinot Noir fruit, oozing seductive spicy strawberry scents. Winner: Best Rose Award.

From "Daily Mail" 21st May 2011 (Matthew Jukes):

2009 Domaine Begude, Terroir 11300 Chardonnay, France. 11300 is the post code of this breath-taking property in Limoux and it also pinpoints the flavour of this wine.  With a burst of green apple freshness and then a silky smooth, honeyed palate James and Catherine Kinglake make some of the classiest chardonnay in the South of France.

From "The Times" 21st May 2011 (Jane MacQuitty):

Serve a Languedoc still Rose; the Pinot Noir based Rose of Domaine Begude oozes lively, perfumed fruit.

From "The Observer" 22nd May 2011 (David Williams):

Terroir 11300: The South of France may not be the first place you think of as good for growing Chardonnay, whose spiritual home is in the cooler climes of Burgundy. But the Limoux appelation benefits from an elevated position in the foothills of the the Pyrenees, making for wonderfully fresh, complex, orchard-fruit flavoured wines such as this well-priced beauty made at an English-owned estate. 

From www.hubrechtduijker.com June 2011:

Zijn hectische bankiersbestaan met werkdagen van vijf uur ’s ochtends tot acht uur ’s avonds hield James Kinglake in 2003 voor ge

zien.  Hij nam ontslag bij de Engelse Commerzbank en ging samen met zijn vrouw Catherine op zoek naar een wijndomein in Zuid-Frankrijk. ‘We bekeken er 45, waarvan het tweede Domaine Begude was. In vergelijking met alle andere had het een fantastisch terroir dat al 25 jaar organisch werd gecultiveerd, was prachtig gelegen en bood een geweldige gelegenheid om eigentijdse wijnen te maken in Limoux, het verscholen juweel van de Languedoc.’ De koop werd dus gesloten; het Britse echtpaar begon aan een nieuw bestaan. ‘Om de bezitting in goede staat te krijgen, moesten we wel veel investeren’, stelt James (1964) achteraf. Van de 22 hectare met druivenstokken dienden er zes te worden gerooid en herplant, terwijl nog eens zeven nieuwe werden bijgeplant. ‘Wat ruwweg €20.000 per hectare kost en pas na vier jaar geschikte druiven geeft.’Voorts werden nieuwe roestvrijstalen gistingstanks, zeshonderliter vaten, twee nieuw tractoren en ander materieel aangeschaft. Bovendien huurden de Kinglakes een talentvolle Franse wijnmaker in, Laurent Girault. ‘En we zijn vier jaar bezig geweest om onze woning te renoveren.’ Alle inspanningen hebben inmiddels hun vruchten afgeworpen: tegenwoordig levert Domaine Begude witte wijnen van topniveau. 

Zo zijn sommige Chardonnays te vergelijken met hele goede Bourgognes, terwijl ze minder kosten. Een eminent voorbeeld, hij kost doorgaans €9,99, is de Domaine Begude Chardonnay Terroir 2009, die in zijn smaak frisse en tegelijk zachte citrus- en peeraroma’s combineert met beheerste, zacht kruidige houttonen en een vleugje vanille. Nog Bourgogneachtiger, met wat meer kracht en dimensie is de beschaafde, volstrekt vitale Domaine Begude L’Etoile 2007 à €21,99. Viever, lichter en puur fruitig, met ook wat passievrucht, is de heel licht kruidige Chardonnay Le Bel Ange 2010, die tevens wat chenin blanc bevat. Prijs €7,99.

 Een minderheid  chardonnay, slechts 20 procent, werd gebruikt voor de L’Exotique 2010. Deze smaakrijke creatie bevat elementen van groene, appel, rijpe peer en tropisch kruit, met snufjes kruiden en peper. Dit dankzij een van de voor Zuid-Frankrijk ongebruikelijke druivensoorten die op Domaine Begude werden geplant. James omschrijft hem een beetje geheimzinng als GV; zou het de Oostenrijkse Grüner Veltliner kunnen zijn? Hoe dan ook, het is een ontzettend lekkere wijn, die €10,99 kost. 

Tenslotte is er de prettige, op €7,99 geprijsde Pinot Rosé 2010, een bleek getinte, van rijp rood fruit (aardbeien, veenbessen) een klein kruidje voorziene Pays d’Oc die slechts 11,8 procent alcohol bevat. Kortom, vreugde brengende nieuwe wijnen – maar minstens zo blij zijn James en Catherine met wat ook op domein geboren werd, hun dochter Amelie. Verkoopadressen via wine@coenecoop.com.

From "Decanter" Feb 2011:

James & Catherine Kinglake have taken Chardonnay to heart, producing it in a modern, accessible style...crisp, round, modern and fruity.

From "Financieele Dagblad" March 2011:

Hubrecht Duijker

Bourgogneachtige witte wijnen van Britse ex-bankier in Limoux

Zijn hectische bankiersbestaan met vijftienurige werkdagen hield James Kinglake in 2003 voor gezien. Hij nam ontslag bij de Engelse Commerzbank en ging samen met zijn vrouw Catherine op zoek naar een wijndomein in Zuid-Frankrijk. ‘We bekeken er 45, waarvan het tweede Domaine Begude was. In vergelijking met alle andere had het een fantastisch terroir dat al 25 jaar organisch werd gecultiveerd, was prachtig gelegen en bood een geweldige gelegenheid om eigentijdse wijnen te maken in Limoux, het verscholen juweel van de Languedoc.’ De koop werd dus gesloten; het Britse echtpaar begon aan een nieuw bestaan.

‘Om de bezitting in goede staat te krijgen, moesten we wel veel investeren’, stelt James (1964) achteraf. Van de 22 hectare met druivenstokken dienden er zes te worden gerooid en herplant, terwijl nog eens zeven nieuwe werden bijgeplant. ‘Wat ruwweg per €20.000 per hectare kost en pas na vier jaar geschikte druiven geeft.’ Voorts werden roestvrijstalen gistingstanks, zeshonderlitervaten, twee tractoren en ander materieel aangeschaft. Bovendien huurden de Kinglakes een talentvolle Franse wijnmaker in, Laurent Girault.

Alle inspanningen hebben inmiddels hun vruchten afgeworpen. Zo zijn sommige Chardonnays te vergelijken met hele goede Bourgognes, terwijl hun prijs beduidend lager ligt. Een eminent voorbeeld is de Domaine Begude Chardonnay Terroir 2009, die in zijn smaak frisse en tegelijk zachte citrus- en peeraroma’s combineert met beheerste, zacht kruidige houttonen en een vleugje vanille (€9,99). Nog Bourgogneachtiger, met wat meer kracht en dimensie, is de beschaafde, volstrekt vitale L’Etoile 2007 (€21,99). Viever, lichter en puur fruitig, met ook wat passievrucht, is de heel licht kruidige Chardonnay Le Bel Ange 2010, die tevens wat chenin blanc bevat (€7,99). Vreugde brengende nieuwe wijnen – maar minstens zo blij zijn James en Catherine met wat eveneens op domein geboren werd, hun dochter Amelie.

Verkoopadressen via wine@coenecoop.com. .

From Gilbert & Gaillard Review 2012:

Note : 89/ 100 - Domaine Begude - L'Etoile - 2008; Robe d'un bel or soutenu. Nez boisé vanillé fin sur fond d'amande et d'aubépine. Bouche riche,opulente, qui séduit par sa fraîcheur, son équilibre et sa densité aromatique. Mariage réussi du fruitet du bois. Un chardonnay sudiste chaleureux et grand

From Money Week 6th May 2011 (Matthew Jukes):

2009 Terroir 11300: Their latest release, named after their postcode to reinforce the fact that no one else can make wine like it, is a sensational summer glugger. Buy all you can- it explains, in one glass, why they never doubted their move to make wines to enchant our tastebuds!

From "Yorkshire Post" 8th May 2011 (Christine Austin):

Made from Pinot grapes grown organically on a cool, windy site in Limoux, this is pretty close to a cheat’s Sancerre Rosé. Delicate, balanced and elegant, sip it as the sun goes down.

Joanna Simon's Blog 13th May 2011:

Domaine Begude, L’Exotique 2010, Haute Vallée de l’Aude, France. I’m not sure whether I should be mentioning this, because there’s very little of it, but who could resist a Languedoc grüner veltliner? (No, not exactly a permitted grape variety anywhere in France.) It’s actually 80% grüner, blended with 20% chardonnay which was barrel-fermented in old oak. The result is delightful – aromatic and peachy with a silky texture and appetisingly fresh, green pear and citrus/lime flavours and finish. 13% abv. I’d drink it as an aperitif to make the most of it. Domaine Begude is owned by James and Catherine Kinglake – Brits.

 From “Daily Mail” 18th Dec 2010 (Matthew Jukes):

With a less starry postcode than a Burgundy, but with incredible fruit and oodles of class this is a wine to baffle the experts as it out-performs bottles twice its price.  Drunk with main course fish and chicken there is nothing to touch Begude.

From "Decanter" July 2010:

Domaine Begude VDP Chardonnay 2009: There is so much more to Chardonnay in France than white Burgundy and Chablis. These regions may be the choice for weddings, but most relatives would prefer the direct charms of Begude on a warm day. The style is focused on the fruit and the screw cap closure makes it idea for outdoor dining. *** (16/20)

Wijn: top tien van Hamersma 24th December 2010:

No 1. Limoux 2009 van Domaine Begude l'Exotique (€9,95. Wijnwinkel Ton Overmars, Hoofddorpplein 11).

Geproefd & Beoordeeld, Perswijn Jaargang 23 – Nr. 6:

Domaine Begude, Chardonnay 2008, Limoux

zacht en subtiel, vanille, romig, citrusfruit, klein botertje, maar ook mooi levendig en fris- Coenecoop, 6 ****

Domaine Begude, Le Bel Ange, Chardonnay 2009, VdP d’Oc

Open, lichtvoetig, veel wit fruit, zachte smaak, perzik en peer, geode zuren- Coenecoop, 4 *** (*)

From "Vinum" Deutschland und Schweiz Mai 2010:

Die ungemein elegante, mineralisch-frische Vorzeige-Cuvee l'Etoile, ein Wegweiser in die Zukunft der Limoux-Weisss-Weine, die sich noch zu oft damit zufrieden geben, den Burgunder Vorbildern durch mehr Fett und Konzentration eine richtig lange Nase zu drehen.

From "Jancisrobinson.com" December 2010:

L'Exotique 16 Drink 2010-2011. Made from GV and therefore thoroughly exotic in this vineyard above the Blanquette town of Limoux in the Languedoc. And yes, it really does smell of fresh-fermented Grüner - how exciting! Full bodied and nicely packaged in a screw capped fluted dark green bottle. Lots of fun and fresh as a daisy. Just 3,000 bottles made. 13%

From “Daily Mail” 3rd July 2010

2009 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Rosé, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France (£7.49, reduced to £6.99 if you buy two bottles until 30 August, Majestic).  The pinot noir grape makes the prettiest of all rosés and this wine from English couple James and Catherine Kinglake is a joy to behold!  Drop dead gorgeous and hauntingly beautiful in equal measure.

From “The Times” 21st Nov 2009 (Jane MacQuitty):

Tried and trusted Languedoc Chardonnay estate whose lively, verdant, lemony wines — just like this one, topped up with Chenin Blanc — always impress.

From Condé Nast Traveller May 2009:

At Domaine Begude in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, Brits Catherine and James Kinglake are making award winning wines, including 3 stunning Chardonnays.

From “Yorkshire Post” 23rd May 2009 (Christine Austin):

Heading west from Provence, in the hills of Limoux is Domaine de la Begude, owned by British couple James and Catherine Kinglake who have swapped their former London-based lifestyle for the gentle pace of looking after 25 hectares of near-organic vineyards. James was in the finance business before the move but he has adapted well to looking after vines and making wine while Catherine's interest in natural medicines and remedies lead them to adopt their ecological approach to grape growing. The result, from Pinot Noir vines grown in the chilly foothills of the Pyrenees is a delicious pale pink wine with juicy, strawberry fruit, and a clean elegant style that could masquerade as pink Sancerre. Domaine la Begude is available from Majestic.

From “London Evening Standard” May 2009:

Limoux Chardonnay 2007- offers a little more weight and richer fruit, although it is still wonderfully juicy & crisp.

From “The Times” 16th May 2009 (Jane McQuitty):

2007 Limoux Chardonnay

Snap up this lively spiced baked apple of a Southern French white. Fermented and aged in oak, hence its cinnamon scents.

From “Daily Mail” 26th April 2008 (Matthew Jukes):

2006 Domaine Bégude Chardonnay, from Limoux, is produced by one of southern France's most impressive winemaking operations, and this chardonnay should win it yet more fans. Reminiscent of a very smart Chablis, something as beautiful as this would normally cost a fiver more.

From ”FT” 10th May 2008 (Jancis Robinson):

Domaine Begude Chardonnay 2006 Limoux

High altitude (350m) vineyards in south-west Languedoc translate into a particularly fine, refreshing Chardonnay. Great value now that it’s on promotion (until 13 May) from £8.99 to £7.49 at Waitrose in the UK. K&L import it into the US. The Kinglakes are also making some very fine special bottling such as L’Étoile de Begude 2006 Limoux, which is designed to be a bargain alternative to Chassagne at 10 euros less than the Toques et Clochers collection of barrel-aged Limoux Chardonnays, and L’Esprit de Begude Pinot Noir 2006 Limoux, which, most unnervingly, tastes exactly as though it were made in Russian River Valley in California. Goedhuis are UK importers.

JancisRobinson.com 7th November 2008:

Domaine Begude Chardonnay 2006 Limoux

Fresh, not too oaky Chardonnay. Savoury and a little mealy. Dry and fresh and lingering.

From “Daily Mail” 6th December 2008 (Matthew Jukes):

Domaine Begude Chardonnay 2006 Limoux

This is a cultured, elegant chardonnay for those of you who have long since abandoned Chablis on account of its lofty price tag. Made in the South-West of France by an English couple, James & Catherine Kinglake, it is a terrific wine that has class oozing from the glass.

From “Birmingham Mail” 3rd January 2008 (Lawrence McCoy)

Limoux, Domaine Begude Chardonnay 2006 is poised & elegant with full-flavoured hints of peach

and honey.

From “Daily Echo” 7th January 2008

AOC Limoux 2006- Domaine Begude is a small family run estate owned by Catherine & James Kinglake. A subtly textured, deliciously crisp and fruity Chardonnay with finesse. Enjoy with seafood, fish or chicken.

From « Guide Hachette 2007 »  AOC Limoux 2004 **:

Situe sur un coteau expose au sud, terroir original aux sols de sable et de galets, le domaine offre une vue surprenante sur les sommets enneiges des Pyrénées. Vendu a 99% a l’étranger, ce vin brillant enchante par la qualité de ses arômes de noisette verte, de fruits blancs légèrement toastes. Agréable en bouche, il glisse en finale sur une touche doucement boisée.

From “The Wine List 2007” – the top selling UK wine annual by Matthew Jukes:

Pinot Rose 2005. A featherweight pinot rose from high up in the hills of Limoux, this is a delightful wine, with a whisper of raspberry and cranberry fruit on the nose and a long, cool finish. At a fiver it is a ridiculous bargain- Sancerre Rose eat your heart out! 2004 Begude Chardonnay is another cracker from James & Catherine’s idyllic property as they continue their quest to prove that the “no going back” dream really can work.

From “Yorkshire Post” 4th April 2007 (Christine Austin):

I have really tuned into the light crisp flavours of southern French Chardonnays, particularly from Limoux. James and Catherine Kinglake continue to make some excellent wines at their Limoux property which is run on almost-organic lines. Domaine Begude Chardonnay 2006 Vin de Pays d'Oc (Majestic £5.99) is now on the shelves and the heat of last summer shows in the richness of flavours, balanced by typical Limoux acidity.

From “Daily Mail” 9th June 2007 (Matthew Jukes):

2006 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Rose. This is one rose that is worth buying by the case. It is beautifully proportioned, with a wild strawberry nose and a long, sleek finish. It has enough weight to cruise through cured meats and smoked fish, and looks drop-dead gorgeous.

From “The Guardian” 16th June 2007 (Victoria Moore):

I very much like the flirtatious purity of pinot noir rosé - Domaine Begude Pinot Rosé 2006 will do very nicely.

From “The Irish Times ” 30th June 2007 (Joe Breen):

Domaine Begude, Limoux Chardonnay 2005, 13.5%, €16.99. There is another reasonable Begude Chardonnay, at €9.99, but the extra €7 buys a big step-up in class, with elegant, round lemon-butter and honey richness matched by spirited acidity and a long finish. Burgundy in spirit if not geography.

From “The Sunday Tribune” 15th July 2007 (John Wilson):

Domaine Begude “Le Petit Ange” is great stuff from the beautiful high-altitude Languedoc estate of Catherine & James Kinglake. It is a delicious, zingy, fresh, crisp dry white with tingling pure apple fruits.

From “Independent” 11th July 2007 (Anthony Rose):

Pinot Rose 2006- Wonderfully light in colour- fragrant in aroma and yet surprisingly substantial and refreshing on the palate, this wine comes from a southern French vineyard. Run by a British couple, it operates on both organic and biodynamic principles, with minimal intervention between grape and bottle. Great with salads and lighter fish dishes.

From “Money Week” 13th July 2007 (Matthew Jukes):

Domaine Begude VDP d’Oc Chardonnay 2006.

Begude is an idyllic property in Limoux, near Carcassonne, owned by James & Catherine Kinglake. Life in the city became a little boring for James, and he & his wife did a classic “no going back” move abroad to make wine in France.

I am very pleased they did because this is superb Chardonnay at a cracking price. Burgundian in flavour and yet fresh, crisp & very classy indeed, this is the sort of Chablis-beating wine that really should be made everywhere in the south of France, but very few people have the will or the skill to do so. It involves an awful lot of manual labour and a very small production- the sacrifices are considerable. The results in the glass, though, are joyous and this is a superb summer white.

BBC1 TV-“Saturday Kitchen” 29th Dec 2007 (Presenter Olly Smith)

If you’re looking for a bargain of similar quality, look to lovely Limoux in south-western France - like this Domaine Begude Chardonnay - brilliant stuff, top value.

From UK “Daily Mail” Sat 23rd April 2005 (Matthew Jukes):

This week’s Wine of the Week is 2004 Domaine Bégude Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France (£59.00 ex vat per case of twelve bottles – i.e. £5.77 per bottle, Goedhuis & Co. of London tel. 020 7793 7900).  Made at the historic Limoux estate, Domaine Bégude, now owned by young English couple James and Catherine Kinglake, this is the inaugural vintage of their baby Chardonnay and it is a triumph.  Destined to grace dining room tables up and down the country, this is a wondrous wine, which typifies chardonnay’s grace and style.  You would have to trade up to Chablis, at a tenner, to compete with this delightful, crystal clear, refreshing, apple- and pear-scented beauty.  I personally wouldn’t bother trading up in this instance and have already put my order in for a case.

From “The Independent” 24th June 2006 (Anthony Rose)

Equally the 2005 Domaine Bégude Pinot Noir Rosé, £5.99, down from £6.99, an aromatic rosé with mouth-watering berry fruit flavours, delivers on value.

From “The Times” 18th March 2006 (Jane MacQuitty)

2005 Le Petit Ange Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d’Oc, Domaine Begude, France, Majestic, £5.99. The first French 2005 whites and reds have flown in, so rejoice in this bottle’s precocious pear-drop scents, with aniseed, apricot and banana-custard flavours in the mix, too.

From “Daily Mail” 8th July 2006 (Matthew Jukes):

Pinot Rose 2005. A featherweight pinot rose from high up in the hills of Limoux, this is a delightful wine, with a whisper of raspberry and cranberry fruit on the nose and a long, cool finish. At a fiver it is a ridiculous bargain- Sancerre Rose eat your heart out!

From “The Guardian” 19th August 2006 (Victoria Moore):

I also like La Begude Chardonnay 2004, from France, which is grown using biodynamic principles. It is aged in oak, but still very elegant.

From “Financial Times” 19th November 2005 (Jancis Robinson):

Zestier than most Languedoc Chardonnays with the nerve associated with the Limoux hills. English owned.

From US “Wine Spectator” 30th November 2005 (Kim Marcus):

Domaine Begude Vin de Pays d’Oc Chardonnay 2004 $12. Fresh and lively white, with pretty apple and tropical fruit flavors with some citrus notes adding zest on the finish. 86

From “Yorkshire Post” 5th November 2005 (Christine Austin):

The Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (Oddbins £7.99) is lively with fresh crisp apple fruits, while the 2004 AOC Limoux Chardonnay (Waitrose) is tasting well above its £8.99 price point.

From “The Wine List 2006” – the top selling UK wine annual by Matthew Jukes:

Domaine Begude VDP Chardonnay 2004. This is the definitive unoaked French Chardonnay of the year. Sealed with a screwcap, so each and every bottle will be in tiptop condition.

From “Independent on Sunday” 7th May 2006 (Richard Ehrlich):

Domaine Begude Limoux Chardonnay 2004: An impressive, generously oaked but apple-fresh chardonnay from Limoux.

From “The Observer” 13th August 2005 (Kate Mosse):

Domaine Begude lies just above the small hamlet of Cepie, just outside Limoux. An English couple, James & Catherine Kinglake, bought it and are producing an excellent Chardonnay (among other wines).

Tastings and tours are by appointment only – call +33 (0)6 86 05 73 74.

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