Wed 04 Jan 2012

Welsh Carignan?


Domaine Aupilhac

Not really, but David Pugh is Welsh, married to a New Zealander and they opened the iconic restaurant Le Mimosa in the Languedoc. And one fine day a young farmer, Sylvain Fadat, tried to sell David some asparagus among other things.

But Sylvain’s career as a fruit and vegetable producer was short lived, as one year’s crop was wiped out. His father had some vines which he gave to Sylvain. He should have joined the coop, but he didn’t and the rest is history. Except that much of what Sylvain’s dad had planted was carignan.

When young Sylvain went to wine school, he learned that carignan was the root of all evil. But Sylvain made his carignan wine and it was David Pugh who tasted it and who bought it for his restaurant. And once again the rest is history.

Le Mimosa

Sylvain Fadat’s estate is Domaine Aupilhac which today is one of the top estates of the Languedoc and famous for its carignan.

The Mimosa was packed recently for a special dinner with a carefully chosen menu to match Aupilhac wines. The highlight unquestionably was a 1990 Carignan, Sylvain’s second vintage. This was a wine of extraordinary beauty and complexity.

It is partly thanks to Sylvain Fadat and the fact that he sold to David Pugh that the carignan grape was saved. I have recommended this restaurant before and do so again without hesitation.

Marcel Orford-Williams
Buyer, South of France

Categories : France, South of France


  1. Guy Dennis says:

    Be interested to know what the menu was – what is deemed the perfect match for such old Carignan!

  2. Peter Gorley says:

    Marcel – Le Mimosa has given me two of my most memorable dinners ever, complete with David’s choices of wines. Great place, great hosts, fabulous wine list. Have the Pughs now taken their retirement? [as at April 2012]

  3. David Woodhead says:

    Sorry to add a further comment, but I was inspired by the comments on Le Mimosa to look up its website. Sadly it announces today that the restaurant and hotel are up for sale:

    “Avec regret, nous vous communiquons que l’Hôtel du Mimosa, comme le Restaurant Le Mimosa n’ouvrira pas ses portes ce printemps. David et Bridget Pugh cherchent un repreneur, pour que ce lieu très apprécié, puisse vous recevoir de nouveau prochainement.”

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