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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2019 Pays d’Oc Cabernet Sauvignon “Les Traverses” Château Fontanès is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.


Value of the Year: An Expat in Pic Saint Loup

by Anthony Lynch

2019 Pays d’Oc Cabernet Sauvignon “Les Traverses”

Château Fontanès   France   |   Languedoc-Roussillon   |  Vin de Pays d’Oc

One of the single greatest value reds we import is a pure Cabernet Sauvignon, but not one from the grape’s hallowed homeland of Bordeaux. No, the grape could never make for such a bargain bottling in the land of fancy châteaux, nor express the juiciness, charming rusticity, and completely unfussy nature that it does in the wild countryside of southern France.
     Cabernet is a transplant to the sunny Languedoc—one that has proven to work extremely well in the garrigue-saturated limestone rubble that makes up the Pic Saint Loup appellation. This biodynamic rendition is one of the rare expressions of the grape to provide a very elemental form of pleasure, not unlike the feeling of lifting a fistful of sumptuous-looking blackcurrants straight to your face.


More from this Producer or Region

About Languedoc-Roussillon

map of Languedoc-Roussillon

Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.

While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s checkered history, the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with an emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.

Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, the region boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.

More from Languedoc-Roussillon or France

2018 Languedoc Montpeyroux Rouge “Les Cocalières”

Domaine d’Aupilhac  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Languedoc Montpeyroux

$39.00

2018 Collioure Rouge “Puig Ambeille”

Domaine La Tour Vieille  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Collioure

$30.00

2017 Saint-Chinian Rouge “Clos de la Simonette”

Mas Champart  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Saint-Chinian

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2011 Fitou “Vendangeurs de la Violette”

Les Mille Vignes  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Fitou

$90.00

2018 Corbières “Rozeta”

Maxime Magnon  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Corbières

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2013 Muscat de Rivesaltes

Domaine Les Mille Vignes  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Vin de Pay de l’Aude

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2018 Terrasses du Larzac Rouge

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$29.00

2016 Fitou “Dennis Royal”

Domaine Les Mille Vignes  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Fitou

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2019 Corbières Rosé “Gris de Gris”

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$18.00

2007 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault Blanc

Grange des Pères  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Vin de Pays de l’Hérault

$175.00

2015 Côtes Catalanes Rouge “Roc”

Domaine Vinci  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes

$25.00

2018 Saint-Chinian Blanc

Mas Champart  France  |  Languedoc-Roussillon  |  Saint-Chinian

$28.00

Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.

Inspiring Thirst, page 236

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Warnings


Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol


Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa