This lovely Merlot is made by the local cooperative in Limoux who take their name from the ancient Cathar castle Chateau d’Arques. Their elevated vineyards lie on the steeply rising foothills of the Pyrenees mountains and are overlooked by lofty castles crowning the rocky crags. This is Cathar country and its breathtakingly beautiful. The fortified town of Carcassone lies to the north and the hills of Corbieres to the east.
Records show that wine has been traded here as far back as the Roman occupation. The land is no stranger to invasion and battle, the ruins of the locals defences pepper the hilltops. Cathar castles dating back to the 12th century are all that is left of this old Gnostic Christian movement thought to have originated in the Byzantine Empire.
At this altitude the Merlot grapes benefit from greater exposure to the sun, maximising ripening. The dry warm winds of the Mediterranean and those of the wet and cool Atlantic Ocean create a perfect microclimate. Merlot tends to be richly flavoured here; elegant and pure. Pech Notre Dame Merlot pairs well with beef, duck and lamb but also pairs well with grilled salmon and tuna, mushroom based dishes, seafood wrapped in prosciutto or bacon, mild vegetable based Indian dishes and meats with fruit sauces.