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Princess and The Bear

 

 

Princess and Bear Journal 

Princess Bear
 
June 20, 2019 | Princess Bear

Morel Mushrooms pair perfectly with this white wine...[Recipe Inside]

 

The Princess, Carol Bailey, indulging in one of her great loves

 

June wine and food pairing

 

Winemaker Pierre Urbain of Domaine Mas Nuy is passionate about everything he does! (We have asked him to slow down on his big boy motorcycle!) While in surgical training 25+ years ago in Brussels, he was introduced to what became a lifelong love of wine and winemaking.

Pierre completed his oenological studies and, in 2005, found his piece of heaven in the Languedoc. He purchased vineyards high on the south-facing hills of Faugères: perfect schist soil, perfect sun, and perfect vineyards for catching the drying winds of both the mountains and Mediterranean Sea.

He uses all-natural fertilizers and, if needed, organic compounds to combat mildew. He harvests his grapes at night and in the very early morning, hand selects grapes, and uses simple winemaking techniques (which are actually the most sophisticated) to create fabulous wines expressive of the famous Faugères terroir.

This month we've paired Pierre's top white cuvée, 2015 La Catieda, with Jura Style Chicken and Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce. La Catieda is slightly oxidized from time in the world-famous Stockinger barrels. It pairs beautifully with cream sauces and the earthy morel mushroom which, even today, is harvested only in the wild.

Bon Appétit!

 


 

Featured Recipe

 

 
Jura Style Chicken
with Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce
 

Get the Recipe

 

 


 

Featured Wine

 

 
Domaine Mas Nuy
2015 La Catieda

La Catieda starts with pineapple and banana and is followed by lightly grilled citrus. A lovely mouth feel precedes a long, memorable finish.

This wine is aged in beautiful Stockinger oak barrels making it a "special" lightly oxidized wine and not adaptable to all foods. It is lovely with grilled fish, blanquette de veau, and hard cheeses.

Taste This Wine

 

 


 

 

Time Posted: Jun 20, 2019 at 10:04 AM
Princess Bear
 
June 14, 2019 | Princess Bear

Liberté d’expression? It's what makes our wines so special

 

Freedom of Expression

 

 

Freedom of expression for winemakers in France? Really? Yes!!  You'll find it in the Languedoc-Roussillon and it’s what makes our wines so unique. What's behind all this liberté? The designation—Pays d’Oc IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée).

Most appellations require strict adherence to traditional winemaking rules which include use of very limited grape varieties. But the Pays d’Oc IGP allows winemakers to choose from 58 grape varieties adapted to his or her own special terroir!! 

 

 

Relaxing blending rules, allowing single varietal wines, and granting other forms of freedom for winemakers unleashes creativity, experimentation, and FABULOUS results in the wines!!

The Languedoc-Roussillon region is full of mavericks, artists, cowgirls and cowboys, who are unbound by tradition but grounded in over 3,000 years of winemaking wisdom in the region.

 

Glacial soils (elevation 1,500 ft.) are ideal for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

 

This freedom, plus the Mediterranean climate, variations in altitude, and different soil types, results in a rich selection of unique and delicious wines that express a strong sense of "terroir," the land where the grapes are grown.

In fact, when comparing wines from the same varietal grape but from different areas, you can clearly distinguish the terroir of each. This makes tasting these wines especially fun and interesting!

The domaine Les Terrasses De Gabrielle is owned by two Languedoc winemakers who exemplify this freedom of expression and exceptional quality. We are proud to carry their wines!

 

Les Terrasses de Gabrielle

 

Winemakers Olivier Pascal and Fabienne Los Huertos of Les Terrasses De Gabrielle

Olivier Pascal comes from generations of winemakers. He and his delightful, hardworking wife, Fabienne Los Huertos, tend the vineyards her family has owned for generations and work their creative magic in the cave where their small batch wines come to life. 

In addition to the traditional Languedoc grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan for reds and Vermentino and Viognier for whites, in 2009 they planted Counoise and Sangiovese grapes. More recently, they are experimenting with Greek Assyrtiko grapes, as global warming creeps into the Languedoc weather patterns.

 

Try Les Terrasses

 

 

Time Posted: Jun 14, 2019 at 3:37 PM
Princess Bear
 
June 9, 2019 | Princess Bear

Recipe Suggestions for Fathers Day [Wine Pairings Included!]

 

Father's Day is just around the corner and we know you want to make Dad feel special! But before you buy him that 10 CD collection of Dixieland Jazz, we invite you to kick back and consider something simpler and sweeter.
 

 

One of the things we most appreciate about the Languedoc-Roussillon is the value people place on slowing down, coming together, and sharing a meal. 

This Father's Day, why not create that joyful experience for Dad? You can still give him the CDs. But what he'll probably love most is being with you.

Below you'll find three delicious recipes for a special Father's Day meal. 

Bon Appétit!

 

Recipe Suggestions for Fathers Day

 

Beef Chestnut Stew with Potato Scallion Purée

 

Get The Recipe

Wine Pairing: 

A rich (even spicy!) red like 
2016 La Jasse

Try the 2016 La Jasse

 


 
 
Baked Chicken with Cheese & Lemon Custard

 

 

Get the Recipe

Wine Pairing: 
A full-bodied white like
2014 Cuvée Sixtine  

Try the 2014 Cuvée Sixtine

 

 


 
 
Duck Rillettes Salad with Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette 

 

Get the Recipe

Wine Pairing: 
A silky, smooth red like
2016 La Dame 

Try the 2016 La Dame


 

 

Join Our Wine Club

 

 

For an experience Dad can enjoy throughout the year, treat him to a Princess and Bear Wine Club Membership. With each quarterly shipment, he'll explore a rich variety of wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon, an area critics have called "the most exciting wine region of the whole of France." 

 

 

Many of these vignerons have embraced organic, biodynamic, and chemical-free viticulture.

These wines are so unique, they're only available in the US through The Princess and The Bear. 
Choose from our Amphora, Cathar, or Mediterranean collections.

Member benefits include: 

  • Quarterly curated shipments of hard-to-find artisanal wines 
  • Live video Q&A events with winemakers, chefs, and sommeliers
  • Food pairing recipes and tasting notes from a Languedoc expert
  • Option of all red or all white available upon request
  • Free shipping and 15% off individual bottles from our shop — anytime

 

Memberships start at $29/month
(billed quarterly)

Join the Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Posted: Jun 9, 2019 at 7:23 AM
Princess Bear
 
May 29, 2019 | Princess Bear

A visit to Camon - Village of Roses

 

ON THE ROAD WITH THE PRINCESS AND THE BEAR

 

A VISIT TO THE VILLAGE OF CAMON, AND A TOUR OF DOMAIN GIRARD, IN THE MALEPÈRE APPELLATION.

 

Our love of the undiscovered wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon is matched only by our love of the region itself. 

We invite you to share in our ongoing adventure as we explore the beauty, history, and culture of the south of France. Meet the colorful personalities and innovative winemakers at the heart of the winemaking renaissance!

Last weekend our adventure took us to Camon, a fortress village also known as the Village of a Hundred Rose Bushes. 

 

Festival of Roses

 

Ten years ago the mayor of Camon gifted every resident with a rose bush. To commemorate the gift, the town holds an annual Rose Festival showcasing roses of all shades and varieties. As we strolled ancient streets lined with colorful blossoms, classical music drifted from the cloister of an old abbey. This brief video offers a glimpse of our delightful visit to Camon. Gigi makes a guest appearance!

 

 

 

 

 

The Vineyards of Domaine Girard

 

After the Festival of Roses, we toured the vineyards of one of our new winemakers, Philippe Girard of Domain Girard.

Philippe is a fourth generation winemaker. His vineyards are located in the Malepère appellation in the foothills of the Pyrenees and overlook the plain of Lauragais, the hills of Razès, and the medieval city of Carcassonne.

The vineyards are comprised of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. These are Continental grapes, more suitable for a cooler Atlantic climate, rather than the hotter Mediterranean conditions typical of much of the Languedoc.

 

Because of the change in altitude, the point at which a vineyard can flourish in this area ends abruptly. Philippe's vineyards are right on that boundary, giving him both ideal and unique terroir for making fabulous Languedoc wines. This photo captures the point at which the vineyards end and the other crops, such as grain, begin. 

 

A sign near the Ariege border in the Malepère appellation that marks the altitude limit for cultivating productive vineyards.

 

The Bear (right) with fourth generation winemaker Philippe Girard of Domain Girard (left). We're thrilled to be bringing you Philippe's Pinot Noir and Chardonnay this June!

 

 

 

 

Time Posted: May 29, 2019 at 11:07 AM
Princess Bear
 
May 16, 2019 | Princess Bear

[Recipe] Halibut is in prime season! And it's excellent with this wine...

 

 

May Wine and Food Pairing

 

Each month we offer you a new pairing of a savory recipe with one of our extraordinary "undiscovered" wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon. 

It's our way of saying merci for joining us on this adventure into a region rich in history, beauty, innovative winemakers, and culinary treasures. 

This month we've paired a classic blend of white varietals, 2017 Eime De Vinhem, with a sumptuous Baked Halibut and Lemon Basil Aïoli recipe.

Halibut is in prime season until July, so enjoy the feast before it’s over!

Bon Appétit!

 

Featured Wine

 

 

Domaine Jougla
2017 Eime De Vinhem

Occitan for "Love of Wine," Eime De Vinhem  is a blend of Vermentino, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier. The vines are situated within the ‘garrigue,’ so rosemary, fennel, and thyme contribute to the aroma. Expresses pear and white flower blossoms in the nose. Rich and generous in the mouth. Incredibly drinkable! 

Taste This Wine

 

 

 

Featured Recipe

 

 

Baked Halibut
with Lemon Basil Aïoli

Savor with Domaine Jougla
2017 Eime De Vinhem 

 

Get the Recipe

 

 

 

Additional Paring Note: Eime De Vinhem also goes well with cheese and crackers, or Chilled Oysters on the Half Shell with Yuzu Mignonette.

 

 

Time Posted: May 16, 2019 at 3:37 PM
Princess Bear
 
May 11, 2019 | Princess Bear

Wine Aging 101: Oak, Steel or Clay?

An innovative, yet ancient, wine aging method uses clay amphorae

 

As we've traveled the Languedoc-Roussillon in search of extraordinary winemakers, we've learned what it takes to create delicious, affordable, award-winning wines. (Reminder: our wine club is the easiest way for you to experience our discoveries).

When it comes to wine aging or "cellaring," both tradition and innovation are important. 

The main materials used for wine aging vessels are concrete, stainless steel, and wood. Each material has unique properties which influence the wine.

 

Different types of aging vessels at the cave of one of our new winemakers, 
Séverine Bourrier of Chateau de L’Ou. 

 

Stainless steel is completely hermetic (airtight). And while this risks reducing the wine during winemaking, the airtight environment preserves flavors.Stainless steel is often used for young wines with good fruit-expression.

Wood and concrete have a higher porosity and permit micro-oxygenation, which enhances the wine's development. Roundness and mouthfeel are preserved with both of these materials.

 

 

We can all conjure up the romantic image of wine aging in wooden casks. But among some winemakers, wood, particularly oak, is a controversial material! 

Both US and French winemakers use oak vessels for aging. But because of local farming practices, French oak grows more slowly than American oak. The result is a less porous wood that imparts a subtle oak complexity and "lifts" existing flavors. 

By contrast, oak-aged American wines have been called "dominant" and "aggressive" by French winemakers. The battle rages on! (Try one of our delicious, oak-aged whites.)

Another approach to aging involves the amphora, an ancient shape used by the Romans for both aging and storage. The Romans used clay, but modern winemakers also use ceramic and wood. 

The shape of the amphora is as important as the material. Before aging, the shape encourages circulation during fermentation which helps gently extract the flavors and some tannins from the grapes.

 

Suggestion of how wine amphorae may have been stacked on an ancient galley. 
By Ad Meskens - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 
Source:Wikipedia

 

This summer the Princess and the Bear will welcome two wonderful new winemakers who use amphorae: Séverine Bourrier of Château de L’Ou and Stephane Yerle of Vila Voltaire.  Stay tuned for their beautiful wines!

 

 

Time Posted: May 11, 2019 at 10:49 AM
Princess Bear
 
May 3, 2019 | Princess Bear

Fabulous Moms Love Fabulous Wines

 

Does your Mom love truly delicious wine? At a great price? Organic and biodynamic? Fabulous wild terroir? Female winemakers? Of course she does!


Gift your Mother with an experience she can enjoy throughout the year—a Wine Club Membership from the Princess and the Bear. She'll explore a rich variety of wines from an area critics have called "the most exciting wine region of the whole of France." 

Membership benefits include:

Quarterly curated shipments of hard-to-find artisanal wines from our Amphora, Cathar or Mediterranean collections
Live video Q&A events with winemakers, chefs, and sommeliers
Food pairing recipes and tasting notes from a Languedoc expert
Option of all red or all white
Free shipping and 15% off individual bottles from our shop — anytime

Memberships start at $29/month (billed quarterly)

 

Treat Mom to the Wine Club

 

 

How We Notify Mom

After you've selected an Amphora, Cathar, or Mediterranean collection, enter your Mother's info on the Delivery/Shipping page. Select "Add a gift message or special instructions" to include a special message. 

 

Bonus Bottle: One of Our Best Whites

 

 

 

If you gift Mom a wine club membership, her first shipment will go out in June. But as a bonus, we're including an extra, early-ship bottle of 2017 La Diva Blanche (normally $36.99) which she'll receive toward the end of May.

La Diva Blanche has a rich complexity with notes of honey and fresh flowers and a subtle, elegant touch of oak. Heavenly!

 

 

 

This gorgeous Grenache Blanc was created by winemaker Lidewij van Wilgen of Terre des Dames. Lidewij is one of the women leading the winemaking renaissance in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, and is regarded as one of the top ‘Viticultrices’ by wine writer Jancis Robinson. 

 

Treat Mom to the Wine Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Posted: May 3, 2019 at 2:32 PM
Princess Bear
 
April 30, 2019 | Princess Bear

The best way to boost your wine knowledge & enjoy high-quality affordable wines

 

 

Let Us Bring the SuperNatural South of France to You!

 

Choose from our Amphora, Cathar, or Mediterranean collections to receive quarterly curated shipments of hard-to-find, small batch, artisanal wines.

  • Be the first to experience the undiscovered cuvées of the Languedoc-Roussillon 
  • Attend live video Q&A events with winemakers, chefs, and sommeliers
  • Receive food pairing recipes and tasting notes
  • Customize your collection for all red or all white
  • Memberships start at $29/month (billed quarterly)
  • Complimentary shipping and 15% off individual bottles from our shop — anytime

 

Join the Club

 

If you’re already a club member we have some exciting news for you below about our upcoming shipments—and please share the news about our wine club with friends who don’t know yet about The Princess and The Bear. 

 

Many of our winemakers have embraced organic, biodynamic & chemical-free viticulture.
 

 

Our club is one of a kind. The Princess and The Bear is the only wine club focused exclusively on the Languedoc-Roussillon, described by wine critics as "the most exciting wine region of the whole of France." 

In a recent New York Times piece, Eric Asimov highlighted the incredible wines of Languedoc and the importance of knowing the right winemakers. That's where we come in! Our wines are curated with the assistance of award-winning wine purveyors, Richard and Linda Neville. Richard also chooses wines for sampling for the famous European wine critic and wine writer, Jancis Robinson. 

We also travel throughout the region, personally meeting winemakers and tasting hundreds of wines. The result — high caliber wines that are also affordable. 

 

Recipes for the perfect meal pairings are included with each wine 

Each quarterly shipment from our Amphora, Cathar, and Mediterranean Collections includes tasting notes from a Languedoc sommelier and recipes for delicious food pairings. 

Cathar and Mediterranean club members can boost their wine knowledge and ask questions during live video Q&A events with the Princess and the BearFounders, Carol and Steve, as well as guest sommeliers, winemakers, and chefs of the Languedoc region. 

Once a year, our Mediterranean club members can attend an Invitation-Only wine tasting evening in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Carol and Steve are joined by their sommelier, chef, and other wine-loving friends for an unforgettable evening of wine, cuisine, and culture.  

 

The Bear with one of our new winemakers, Simon Coulshaw of Domaine Trinites

 

Our next club shipment will be extra special because we're introducing several exciting new winemakers. Here are two of these bright stars:

Séverine Bourrier of Domaine Château de l’Ou is one of the women winemakers who is fueling the Languedoc wine renaissance. Château de l’Ou was recently touted as "A Rising Star in the Roussillon" by wine critic, Jeb Dunnuck. Our June shipment will contain her Syrah, Infiniment de l’Ou 2016, which Jeb describes as a "broad, expansive and supple" cuvée that "drinks well right out of the gate."

Simon Coulshaw of Domaine des Trinités was drawn to the Languedoc because he felt its pockets of “terroir” offered a better opportunity to create extraordinary wines than the more commercial wine producing regions. Our June shipment will contain his wine, Trinités l’imaginaire with Rousanne. This is a rare orange wine that's full-bodied, clean and intense with flavors of almonds, pears, and honey. 

What are you waiting for?! Join today and secure an Amphora, Cathar, or Mediterranean Collection in time for our June shipments.

 

Join the Club

 

 

Time Posted: Apr 30, 2019 at 3:19 PM
Princess Bear
 
April 18, 2019 | Princess Bear

Wild herbs and the light-filled wines of spring

 

Wild Rosemary in the Languedoc

 

Spring in the south of France, and the Languedoc-Roussillon, means a return of the light and the blossoming of spring herbs. 
Wild rosemary, thyme, and fennel are part of the "garrigue," the rich vegetation which intermingles with the vines, lending beautifully complex flavors and aromas to the wines.


Spring also means a return to bright, crisp wines to accompany the fresh flavors of the warmer months.


Below you'll find two herb-influenced whites and a sparkling to welcome back the light!

 

Wines With an Herbal Touch

 

Domaine Jougla

2017 Eime De Vinhem
$26.99

Warning: this wine is incredibly drinkable! A classic blend of white varietals—Vermentino, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. The vines are situated within the ‘garrigue,’ so rosemary, fennel, and thyme contribute to the aroma. Expresses pear and blossom in the nose. Rich and generous in the mouth.

Taste This Wine

 

 

Domaine de Cabrol
2016 Cabrol Blanc 
$25.99
 

This white is created with Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Gros Manseng, Viognier and Sémillon. Quite a cast! The vines grow alongside rosemary, thyme, and fennel, lending an herbal touch. You'll also find nice citrus fruits with some tropical, fresh mango.

Taste This Wine

 

 

Sparkling Wine Lets the Light In

 

 
 
J.Laurens
2016 Le Clos Des Demoiselles
$26.99

This top cuvée offers a smashing, and some say preferable, alternative to classic Champagne! 
Delicate and fine bubbles, hints of buttery toasted biscuit, white flowers and a long finish. Perfect!

Taste This Wine

 

 

 

À votre santé,
The Princess and the Bear

 

Time Posted: Apr 18, 2019 at 8:24 PM
Princess Bear
 
April 12, 2019 | Princess Bear

How to find unforgettable wines: a medieval village, complex terroir & 100 years of family-run viticulture

 

On the Road with The Princess and the Bear

 

St. Guilhem le Desert, where one of our wine domaines, La Voûte de Verdus, has been operating for over 100 years.

St. Guilhem le Desert, where one of our wine domaines, La Voûte de Verdus, has been operating for over 100 years.

 

Our quest to bring you the undiscovered wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon area of France takes us throughout the region. We immerse ourselves in the rich history and beauty of the area and meet the colorful personalities and innovative winemakers at the heart of the winemaking renaissance.

Last weekend we visited one of our wineries, La Voûte du Verdus, a family-owned domaine located in the medieval town of St. Guilhem le Desert, an ancient commune officially designated as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. 

The vineyard was planted over 100 years ago and is managed by Guilhem Bonnet, a third-generation winemaker. You'll find two delicious La Voûte du Verdus wines toward the end of this post. 

 

 

La Voûte du Verdus (“Vault of the Verdus River”) is so named because the cave in which the Bonnet family makes the wine sits atop the Verdus River, which runs through the center of St. Guilhem le Desert.

 

 

Here, the father, Guilhem Bonnet—who is a winemaker and the vineyard manager—shows the Bear newly planted Vermentino vines. At 3 years old, these grapes have just "come of age" for winemaking in a blend with grapes from older vines.


The vineyards of La Voûte du Verdus are situated in the appellation Terrasses du Larzac, considered one of the finest appellations in the Languedoc. Cooling winds from the Black Mountains keep the grapes from ripening too quickly. The longer grapes sit on the vine, the more complex the flavors. Complexity equals delicious.  😍

 

 
The Princess chats with Mélanie Estival, daughter and fourth-generation winemaker of the family-run La Voûte du Verdus. In the background, the Verdus River flows beneath the cave (or "vault") where the wine is made. And of course, Gigi is enjoying the scenery!

 

Domaine La Voûte De Verdus

 
 
2015 Grand Saut
45% Carignan, 45% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, 5% Grenache Noir

This top red cuvée is a beast! The Carignan is a true Mediterranean varietal, totally adapted to the climate. Together with Mourvèdre this is the heart of the blend. Syrah and Grenache Noir are like salt and pepper. 

The result? A deep red wine with spicy and leather aromas in the nose, soft and silky tannins, and a long aftertaste without being heavy. So, so delicious!

Perfect with game, duck confit, and hard cheeses.

 

 

 

2017 Le Désert Blanc 
50% Colombard, 50% Grenache Blanc

This is a Princess favorite!
This La Voûte du Verdus Blanc is equal parts Colombard and Grenache Blanc. The wine is deceptively pale in color because it carries very expressive fruit in the nose (green apple, lime). It has a fresh and acidic attack but is still round and full in character.

Excellent with seafood, chicken, prawns and goat cheeses.

 

Time Posted: Apr 12, 2019 at 2:02 PM