10 Years of WineLab August 21, 2023
FLC May 2023 - Vive le Vin! June 05, 2023
First Look Club
FLC #25 - Nicolas and Karine Mirouze / Château Beauregard-Mirouze
Within a natural park in the rocky hills of Corbieres lies 25 acres of vineyards, owned and managed by Nicolas Mirouze and his wife Karine. Before the Mirouze couple took over, the vineyard’s grapes were sold exclusively to négociants. When the couple began working the vineyard, they knew that they wanted to take a different approach. They were greatly interested in working in a way that was environmentally conscious. By 2010, the vineyard was certified organic, but they didn’t stop there. In 2019 they achieved biodynamic certification as well. They make their own compost, keep sheep to graze the vineyards and plant hedges to ensure biodiversity around the vines. All harvests are completed by hand, so little to no heavy machinery ever touches the vines.
The natural approach doesn’t stop in the vineyard. After many years of cultivating their vineyards and honing their winemaking skills, they've adopted a minimalist approach to winemaking. Most of their wines are unfiltered, unfined and have little to no added sulphites. They do not excessively extract their grapes, so most of their wines are lighter in body and colour than might be expected from wines of this region.
For this July’s First Look Club, we have selected Nicolas and Karine’s 'Rouze'. It was the first cuvée made for the "Ouze" line – an affordable range of natural, fun wines. This low-alcohol, light bodied "half red, half rosé" is a true vin de soif made from Cinsault and Carignan lightly pressed after a short maceration. The wine was inspired as a joke from the producer's name: in French, Mirouze sounds like a pun between mi-rouge (half red) and mi-rosé (half rosé).
This is a brand-new wine for our list, and our first time working with Nicolas and Karine. We tasted it at a London wine fair recently and were blown away. The vin de soif style can occasionally lack body, but the ‘Rouze’ was so appealing because it had the perfect balance of body and crunchy berries on the palate. The wine is fresh and clean, even without any fining, filtration or sulphites. At only 10.5% ABV, this wine is a real summer winner. There’s no better red wine for popping in the ice bucket and enjoying during a barbecue. Thanks to the low ABV, you won’t even notice that the bottle is gone!