Learn by Tasting: Exploring the Wines of Corbières, France (Ep. 37)

Discover the hidden gem of Corbières, France through “Learn by Tasting: Exploring the Wines of Corbières, France (Ep. 37).” In this episode of Wine Folly, you’ll be introduced to the historic region of Corbières, known for its exceptional quality and value. Join the adventure as the video explores the 2020 Domaine de Fontsainte “Réserve La Demoiselle” wine and uncovers the fascinating characteristics that define this wine region. From the deep ruby-purple color to the rich aromas of black plums, roasted meats, and dusty rocks, this wine showcases the best of the Southern French terroir. Get ready for a captivating journey and an opportunity to taste along with Wine Folly Club members.

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of wine and gain a deeper understanding of the unique flavors and qualities specific to Corbières, France. With its elevated tannins, naturally fresh acidity, and oak aging, the wines from this region offer a rich and complex experience. Explore the hidden treasures of the Corbières foothills, where older Carignan vines produce concentrated fruit and higher altitudes ensure freshness. The 2020 Domaine de Fontsainte “Réserve La Demoiselle” is a perfect example of the depth and elegance that the Old Vine Carignan is capable of. Join the Wine Folly Club to taste along and unlock more exciting videos like this to expand your knowledge and appreciation of wine.

Learn by Tasting: Exploring the Wines of Corbières, France (Ep. 37)

The Wines of Corbières, France

Overview of Corbières as a wine region

Corbières is a historic wine region located in Southern France, specifically in the Languedoc-Roussillon area. Despite its rich history, Corbières often flies under the radar when it comes to wine regions. However, this means that there are incredible value and quality wines to be found here. Corbières is renowned for its production of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes.

Famous grape varieties in Corbières

Corbières is home to several grape varieties that thrive in its unique terroir. Carignan is one of the standout varieties, known for its depth and intensity. Grenache brings richness and complexity, while Syrah adds spice and structure. Mourvèdre contributes dark fruit flavors and earthy undertones. These grape varieties work together harmoniously to create the distinct character of Corbières wines.

Tasting Notes

Description of the wine’s appearance

When examining the 2020 Domaine de Fontsainte “Réserve La Demoiselle” Corbières, you’ll notice its deep ruby purple color. This vibrant hue is a clear indication of high levels of anthocyanins present in the grapes.

Aroma and flavor profile of the wine

On the nose, the wine exudes rich and brooding aromas of black plums, blackberries, old leather, roasted meats, and dusty rocks. These complex scents give a sense of traditional Old World winemaking. The wine’s flavor profile showcases dominant black fruit notes with a hint of mint. This flavor profile is likely a result of the main grape variety in the blend.

Identification of the main grape variety

Upon tasting, you’ll notice the wine’s abundance of ripe tannins, full-bodied nature, and a slight heat from its 14.5% alcohol by volume. The acidity falls in the middle range, providing balance to the wine. The savory element finishes with a delightful dried plum note. These characteristics suggest that the wine is a Carignan blend from Corbières, showcasing the region’s unique expression of Southern French terroir.

Explanation by Master of Wine Christine Marcelio

Insights on the elevated tannins and fresh acidity of the wines

According to Master of Wine Christine Marcelio, wines from Corbières are known for their elevated tannins and naturally fresh acidity. These attributes contribute to the structure and ageability of the wines, making them stand out from wines produced in other regions.

Comparison with other wine regions and their characteristics

When comparing Corbières wines to those from other regions, specific differences become apparent. For example, wines from San Luis Obispo County, California, may exhibit elevated tannins and fresh acidity, but they would not possess the same depth of color found in Corbières wines. Similarly, wines from the Rhône region in Southern France, such as those made with the Tempranillo grape variety, often have a distinct vanilla and coconut aroma due to the use of American Oak barrels. In Corbières wines, a combination of dried herb aromas and a darker coloration is more characteristic.

Identification of the wine as a Carignan blend from Corbières

The depth of color and tannin structure observed in the wine lead to the conclusion that it is likely a Carignan blend from Corbières. Premium Carignan is commonly found in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, particularly in the Corbières area, where the region’s rugged terrain, warm Mediterranean sun, and old vines produce powerful yet balanced examples of Carignan blends.

Corbières as a Hidden Gem

Exploring the hidden gems of the Corbières region

Despite its rich history and outstanding wines, Corbières remains somewhat underrated. As a result, the region is a treasure trove for wine enthusiasts looking for hidden gems. Exploring the foothills of the Pines, where older Carignan vines produce concentrated fruit, and the higher-altitude vineyards ensures freshness, reveals some of the best wines in Corbières.

Importance of older Carignan vines and higher-altitude vineyards in producing quality wine

Older Carignan vines play a crucial role in producing high-quality wines in Corbières. These vines have deep roots, which allow them to access essential nutrients and water, contributing to the concentration and complexity of the grapes. Furthermore, the higher-altitude vineyards in Corbières benefit from cooler temperatures, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and develop more nuanced flavors.

Unique expression of Southern French terroir in Corbières wines

Corbières wines truly capture the essence of the Southern French terroir. The rugged terrain, combined with the warm Mediterranean sun, creates the perfect conditions for producing powerful yet balanced wines. The unique expression of the terroir can be tasted in every sip of Corbières wines, making them a true representation of the region’s winemaking heritage.

Learn by Tasting: Exploring the Wines of Corbières, France (Ep. 37)

Introducing Domaine de Fontsainte Réserve La Demoiselle

Background information on Domaine de Fontsainte

Domaine de Fontsainte is a prominent winery in Corbières, known for producing exceptional wines that highlight the depth and elegance of the region. The vineyard for Réserve La Demoiselle was planted in 1904, showcasing the estate’s long-standing commitment to winemaking.

Description of their winemaking practices

Domaine de Fontsainte follows traditional farming and winemaking methods, prioritizing sustainable practices in their vineyards. The combination of French Oak barrels and cement tanks for aging adds complexity to their wines. This unique approach allows the wine to develop layers of flavor and texture.

Explanation of the complexity of the wine due to French Oak barrels and cement tanks aging

The use of French Oak barrels and cement tanks for aging wines at Domaine de Fontsainte contributes to the complexity of Réserve La Demoiselle. French Oak barrels impart subtle flavors to the wine, enhancing its aromas and adding structure. Additionally, aging in cement tanks allows for gentle oxygenation, further developing the wine’s character and ensuring a balanced and nuanced final product.


Summary of the learning experience through tasting Corbières wines

Exploring the wines of Corbières, France, provides a unique learning experience that showcases the region’s incredible value and quality. From the vibrant colors and rich aromas to the complex flavors and unique terroir expression, Corbières wines have much to offer to wine enthusiasts.

Invitation to become a member of Wine Folly Club for further tasting experiences

If you want to continue your journey into the world of wine and have tasting experiences similar to those in this article, consider becoming a member of Wine Folly Club. As a member, you’ll have the opportunity to taste a variety of exceptional wines and expand your knowledge even further.

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Learn by Tasting: Exploring the Wines of Corbières, France (Ep. 37)