Showing posts with label carignan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carignan. Show all posts

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017

Celebrating 40 Years of Roussillon



Celebrating 40 Years of Roussillon

This year marks 40 years of recognition of the AOC status of Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon Villages. Although winemaking in the region goes back hundreds of years, it was only in 1977 when this southern France wine region was formally recognized as an AOP by the INAO. Moreover, it only achieved this status because of the 40+ years of work by Roussillon producers prior to 1977.

I have personally been a fan of wines from Roussillon for many years thanks to the high quality and good value on offer. The AOC Côtes du Roussillon produces crisp white wines, fruity rosés and powerful reds, while wines from the AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages are entirely made up of red wines. The primary red wine grapes are Grenache Noir, Carignan, and Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Carignan, in particular, is notable for its high quality from historic old vines that can be over 100 years old. Among white wines, the primary grapes are Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, and Tourbat. Most of the wines produced in Roussillon are blends.

The AOP Côtes du Roussillon is the largest of the Roussillon appellations, covering an area of 4695 hectares spread over 102 municipalities in the Pyrénées-Orientales region. Both the white wine and the first red wine listed below come from this large appellation. The Latour de France is a sub-appellation of the AOP Côtes du Roussillon Villages covering 202 hectares in the northern part of the appellation and features mainly grey schist soils.

Wine Appellations of Roussillon

Surrounding the AOC Côtes du Roussillon are three mountain chains and the sea. To the north is the Corbières, the Pyrénées and the Mont Canigou are on the west side, the Albères is down south, and to the east is the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty percent of the vines are located on hillsides, and combined with the hot Mediterranean climate with minimal rainfall, helping create wines that are complex, aromatic and fresh.

Soil types are varied across the region, with a mix of granitic sand and gneiss, black and grey schist, red clay soils, sandy clay, and pebbly terraces.

To get a taste of what Roussillon offers, here are three quality wines that I enjoyed on and are a small sample of the various styles of wine you can expect from Roussillon. All three of these wines arrived in LCBO VINTAGES earlier this year. These wines are nearly sold out across the province, with only limited availability now.

To learn more about this fascinating wine region, visit Roussillon Wines.

40 Years of AOP Côtes du Roussillon & Villages

Tasting Notes:

LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95
Blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Macabeu, 10% Marsanne, and 10% Vermentino. Floral, lemon, and tropical fruit aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose featuring grapefruit, lemon peel, white floral, and herbally notes, with a fine mineral component throughout. It's medium+ bodied and round on the palate with a nice mineral texture. Dry flavour profile features grapefruit, herbs, and floral notes, and a touch waxy. Juicy acids. The finish length is good, ending with a flinty mineral note. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 88 pts

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

LE PUIG CARIGNANE DE LA PERPIGNANE 2013 - AC Côtes du Roussillon, France (#480988) (XD) - $19.95
This organic wine was raised in concrete tank and consists of 60% Carignane and 40% Grenache. Faint aromas of black plum and dark berry from the cork. In the glass, this leads with a mineral and iron nose followed by dark berry/cherry, kirsch, menthol, and spice aromas. Also some meaty aromas with air. It's medium-bodied on the palate with fresh, balanced acids and ripe, dark berry and peppery spice flavours laced with earthy minerality. Supple, gritty tannins add texture, while the finish is juicy with good length. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 89 pts

Le Puig Carignane de la Perpignane 2013 (89 pts)

DOMAINE DE L’AGLY LATOUR DE FRANCE LES CIMES 2013 - AC Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France (#480897) (XD) - $29.95
From a 12 hectare vineyard with mica schist and blue granite soils at 300 metres elevation in the magnificent Agly Valley, this is a blend of 35% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 17% Mourvèdre, and 13% Carignan brought up in barrique (one-third new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Earthy, dark berry and smoke aromas from the cork. Very ripe and fruit forward on the nose with raspberry, blackberry, crushed rocks, flowers and touches of vanilla. The seamless palate is bright and medium-full bodied with balanced dark berry, blackberry, white pepper, along with hints of violet and meaty flavours, Acids are very bright. Tannins have some grip and gain volume over time. The finish length is very good with some fine mineral notes. Drink over the next 6-8 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

Domaine de l’Agly Latour de France Les Cimes 2013 (90 pts)


Monday, September 4, 2017

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  • Monday, September 4, 2017

Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2008 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine to end a busy Summer is this red wine blend from one of my favourite producers in the Languedoc - Hecht & Bannier. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the founders of this winery, Gregory Hecht, a few years ago and will likely meet him again this Fall.

This wine was purchased from a VINTAGES Release in . Newer vintages have periodically shown up in VINTAGES as well, with the most recent appearance of this wine showing up in . Since it is currently not available at the LCBO, you can contact Halpern Enterprises to order this wine by the case.

Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2008 (91 pts)

Tasting Note:

HECHT & BANNIER CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES 2008 - AC, Midi, France (#142802) (XD) - $22.95
A blend of mostly Grenache with some Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan. Prune, dried fig and leathery aromas from the cork. In this glass, this has a fragrant, mature nose of garrigue, wet earth/forest floor, blackberry, along with subtle hints of dried floral, dried cherry and sweet oak spice. It's full-bodied and somewhat chalky textured on the palate with smooth tannins that are well-integrated and nearly fully resolved. Complex garrigue, dark fruit, blackberry, and hints of fig with flavours moving towards savoury on the mid-palate. Acids are juicy. The finish is long and savoury with touches of florality, dried cherry, bitterness, and mineral. Showing fine complexity and maturity and should drink well for another 2-3 years. Lovely! Score: 91 pts


Sunday, July 16, 2017

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  • Sunday, July 16, 2017

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine review is a new wine that will be released into LCBO VINTAGES on .

This red wine is produced by Select Vins, which is a collaboration between Château de la Négly owner, Jean Paux-Rosset, and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. Together, they have assembled some of the best grape growers from across the appellations of the Languedoc, including this wine from Minervois, which is located in the western part of the AOC.

Claude Gros La Condamine Paulignan Minervois 2013 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

CLAUDE GROS LA CONDAMINE PAULIGNAN MINERVOIS 2013 - AC, Midi, France (#493528) (XD) - $17.95
Raised completely in concrete tanks, this is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Dark fruit and sweet spice aromas from the cork. In the glass, it has dark fruits, rosemary herb, and olive notes joined by an earthy component and green leafy aromas of modest intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with bright, spicy acids. Dusty tannins are a touch drying and add nice texture. Flavour profile is ripe with dark fruits, currant, black pepper, and earthy with a resinous character, Finish length is very good. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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  • Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Château de Fontenelles Renaissance Corbières 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

On night, I opened up this delicious red wine that will be available at the LCBO as part of the upcoming VINTAGES Release.

This red wine is produced by Château de Fontenelles, a winery located in the north-westerly commune of Douzens in Corbières. The Domaine, with over 40 hectares of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvèdre, has been part of the family for five generations and is currently family-owned and operated by Thierry Tastu and his wife Nelly.

The vines for this wine are grown on argilo-limestone soil on the slopes of Mont Alaric, allowing the grapes to develop well due to the cooler temperatures. Two types of vinification was used to produce this wine: Cold vinification for a few days to preserve the quality of the tannins, and strict temperature-controlled vinification of whole grape clusters.

Château de Fontenelles Renaissance Corbières 2013 (89 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHÂTEAU DE FONTENELLES RENAISSANCE CORBIÈRES 2013 - AP, Midi, France (#148692) (D) - $19.95
A blend of 55% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 20% Carignan/Mourvèdre. Aromas of black plum, blackberry, and oak spice from the cork. In the glass, there are aromas of black pepper, blackberry and whiffs of violets, herbs and forest floor notes of medium-high intensity. Pleasing aroma replays continue on the medium-full bodied and dry palate with rich, structured tannins and very good acidity. Lovely savoury barnyard, meaty notes arrive with air and linger through to the long, earthy finish. Enjoyable now, but should improve in 2-3 years and drink well to 2024. Score: 89 pts


Thursday, October 13, 2016

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  • Thursday, October 13, 2016

Domaine Galaman Fitou 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is included as part of the LCBO VINTAGES Release on .

This red wine comes from Langeudoc's Fitou appellation in southern France, bordering the Mediterranean sea. Fitou is one of the oldest wine sub-appellations in the Languedoc-Roussillon and the primary grapes grown in the region are Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Syrah.

Domaine Galaman is produced by Jean Paux-Rosset (owner of Château de la Négly) and his consulting winemaker Claude Gros. The area has a multi-coloured sandy schist soil-type that naturally imparts acidity and elegance to the grapes.

Domaine Galaman Fitou 2013 - AP, Midi, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE GALAMAN FITOU 2013 - AP, Midi, France (#395467) (XD) - $14.95
Ripe black plum, blackberry and dark cherry aromas from the cork. This blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah has earthy mineral aromas that give way to blackberry and currant, with herbal and gentle baking spice accents. Quite dense on the full bodied palate with currant, herbally, dark berry, and boysenberry flavours. Acids are mouth-watering and the fine tannins are a touch drying. Finish length is very good. Approachable now, but should improve in 1-2 years and enjoy over the next half dozen years. Score: 88 pts


Friday, June 10, 2016

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  • Friday, June 10, 2016

Domaine de l'Alba l'Ermite 2013 (Midi) - Wine Review

wine is a sneak preview of a red wine blend that is new to the LCBO and will be on shelves as part of the VINTAGES Release on .

This wine is produced by Select Vins - a collaboration between Jean Paux-Rosset (owner of Château de la Négly) and his consulting winemaker, Claude Gros. Together, they have assembled some of the best grape growers across the appellations of the Languedoc. The grapes for this delicious wine come from Corbières, the largest Languedoc appellation.

Domaine de l’Alba l’Ermite 2013 - AC Corbières, Midi, France (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

DOMAINE DE L'ALBA L'ERMITE 2013 - AC Corbières, Midi, France (#446138) (XD) - $17.00
This blend of (60%) Carignan, (30%) Grenache, and (10%) Syrah is aged 6 months in concrete vats, followed by 6 months in French oak barrels. Plum and cherry aromas from the cork. An earthy, underbrush, clove nose of medium intensity gives way to brambly, cherry, violet, and spicebox aromas. It's medium-bodied with light, supple tannins that develop texture with air. Appealing on the palate with flavours of herbal, dark cherry, plum, menthol and spice. It has juicy acids, a smooth and silky mouthfeel, and very good length on the finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Recommended buy. Score: 88 pts


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

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  • Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Torres Sangre de Toro Garnacha 2013 (Spain) - Wine Review

Opened this easy-drinking, red wine . The name for this wine is inspired by Baccus, the Roman god of wine, who was known in ancient times as the "Son of the Bull". This red wine is a General List product and readily available at the LCBO.

TORRES SANGRE DE TORO GARNACHA 2013 - DO Catalunya, Spain (#006585) (D) - $12.95

Wine Review of 2013 Torres Sangre de Toro Garnacha from DO Catalunya, Spain
Tasting Note:
Screw cap. Even though it says Garnacha on the label, it is an unspecified blend of Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan). Medium+ intensity aromas showing barnyard, black cherry, plum, and subtle oak. Medium-bodied with soft, rounded tannins and slightly sweet flavours of black cherry, blackberry, red berry, and balanced vanillan oak. Fresh acids will allow for pairing with meals. Medium length finish shows some bitter chocolate, cocoa and resinous flavours. Made in an easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing style. Score: 87 pts


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