Winemaker Spotlight in Languedoc
AOP Corbières is the largest appellation in Languedoc, represented as the Southern zone in the map below. The region is accountable for 46 percent of the region’s wine, producing approachable, crisp and modern styles.
Red wines are the appellation’s shining stars, which are richly balanced; herb-scented reds made from Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Lledoner Pelut, and Cinsault. White wines are only a small percentage of what the region makes, which include Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Vermentino, Clairette, Terret, and Muscat. Rose wines are also highly respected, made from the varieties produced for red wines, with the addition of Grenache gris and Picpoul.
On this trip, Marc and I had the pleasure to taste through a few hundred Corbières reds, whites and rosé’s, and traveled to the heart of the countryside to meet producers from Domaine La Bouysse, Chateau Beauregard Mirouze and Clos Canos. I’ve highlighted a few of the winemakers and wines tasted below. If you visit the region, make sure to look them up. They’re all worth a visit.
Citroën 2CVs: A great way to experience the region is to drive the hillsides in a classic Citroën 2CV (French: “deux chevaux”). Get a hold of 2CV wine tours for more information.
[box]Domaine La Bouysse[/box]
Domaine La Bouysse is located in the heart of the Corbières wine-producing region, between the Mediterranean and Pyrenees, near the famous Fontfroide and Boutenac vineyards. Martine Pagès and Christophe Molinier took over the 4th generation family estate in 1996, continuously focusing on quality of wine.
There are several wines you should try from their lineup—the Cyprius, Floréal and Valensol. The blend of their 2014 Cyprius is quite enticing—the 60% Grenache blanc, 30% Maccabeu, and 10% white Carignan is complex and floral. It’s a feminine style with notes of orange and honey, followed by a long, mineral finish.
Domaine La Bouysse
Their 2014 Floréal is a 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache blend, with great intensity. Refreshing and vivid, the rose has wonderful notes of raspberry and cherry. The third wine was a 50% Carignan, 50% Mourvèdre blend made from 60 year old Carignan, and 45 year old Mourvèdre vines. Expressive and enticing, the 2014 Valensol 2014 is layered with black fruit and spice. Lovely.
Marie-Anne Pauc, commercial exports
[box]Chateau Beauregard Mirouze[/box]
Since 1881, Chateau Beauregard Mirouze has occupied 350 hectares within the Parc Naturel Régional de la Narbonnaise, in the heart of the craggy Corbières hills. They support organic farming to produce wines which express the terroir.
Karine and Nicolas Mirouze
Since 1999, Karine and Nicolas Mirouze took the reins of the family estate. This was the start of a whole new chapter at Beauregard Mirouze. Since 2010, they have organically farmed 25 hectares of their family’s vines, and have always been passionate at what they do. Much of the work is aimed at boosting the life in the soil.
The 2015 Campana White AOP Corbières, which is a 70% Marsanne, and 30% Roussane is an organic blend from a parcel that has northern exposure, the Cordon de Royat. It’s a pretty style with white flower aromas and flavors of vanilla and spice.
Chateau Beauregard Mirouze
The 2015 Campana Rosé AOP Corbières is an organic blend of 50% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, and 20% Grenache from northern exposure parcels that run through the Cordon of Royat. Its delicate and fresh, with white peach, strawberry and floral notes. Finishes long and strong.
[box]Pierre Galinier, Clos Canos[/box]
Clos Canos is a small family-run winery in the sub-appellation of Corbières-Boutenac. Pierre Galinier and his wife Françoise Castel run the operation. For five generations, the estate sold grapes to negociants until they decided to produce wine under their own label, Clos Canos. They grow Carignan, Grenache and Syrah for reds, and the whites are primarily Sauvignon Blanc and Roussanne, with some Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Grenache Noir for the rose blends.
Pierre Galinier, Clos Canos
As for stylistic characteristics, the 2012 Clos Canos “Les Cocobirous,” Corbières is warm and inviting. This blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah has complex noes of black fruits and soft tannins—a well-made wine that will age for 5-10 years. His 2015 Corbières Clos Canos Rose is pretty and light with floral notes.
Until next time, boire heureux!