Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lunch at Domaine de la Madone, Fleurie

A generous plate of charcuterie and glass of Beaujolais usefully takes some beating for lunch. In Suffolk at the British Larder I memorably had their Dingley Dell tasting platter with a glass of Beaujolais-Villages (read about it here). The zippy, fruity red wine offsets the porky richness to perfection.

However, while staying in Lancié last summer our hosts recommended lunch at Domaine de la Madone in neighbouring Fleurie. To get there we drove through the pretty town of Fleurie and followed a steep road up the hill towards the chapel at the top. I knew this part of Beaujolais was quite hilly, but had no idea you'd get such spectacular sweeping views towards the Alps.

We sat at a table outside and from the short menu we selected local charcuterie, omelettes and salad and glasses of the domaine's Cuvée Vieille Vignes Madone (from vines alongside the auberge). With its bright cherry fruit, cool minerality and savoury lick of oak, it was a deliciously versatile wine, easy drinking, yet satisfying – so different to the bubblegum-like Beaujolais Nouveau you might have drunk in the past. If we hadn't been eating properly in the evening, the entrecôte steak on the menu would have been a tempting, too.

Over coffee we chatted to a British family who were staying in the gîte let out by the domaine. They had served the estate's wine at their wedding and it was their second year staying here. Highly recommended all round.

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