We have been shipping wines from James Kinglake since he left his life in the City in 2003 to buy the Domaine La Begude, about 350 metres up in the foothills of the Pyrenees near Limoux.
"I could not quite afford to buy in Burgundy so I chose the next best thing". But it hasn't always been an easy ride: he acknowledges how tough it is to be a farmer: his yields have been hit hard in recent vintages by frost, drought and mildew.
James is quite a character. For years he struggled with the rigidity of French bureaucracy. The freedom of the Languedoc allowed him to be creative, and he used to grow Gewurztraminer (legally) and Gruner Veltliner (illegally, sold as GV!). Now he focuses on Chardonnay, unoaked and superb Limoux AOC and Pinot Noir, the latter always ripe, light and fragrant.