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2020 Corbières “Rozeta”

Maxime Magnon
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Critics argue that carbonic maceration masks terroir and instead stamps its own dominant mark on a wine. But certain combinations of grape and terroir—Gamay in Beaujolais being the foremost example—seem particularly well suited to carbonic maceration, providing wines with a distinct sense of place in addition to the hedonistic easy-drinking appeal the technique is intended to achieve. In the rugged hills of the Hautes-Corbières, Maxime Magnon has discovered the right formula for his old vines of Carignan, Grenache, and Cinsault. The Rozeta features the exuberant, inviting perfume and velvety wild fruit we expect from a wine that underwent 100% whole-cluster fermentation, then finishes with a crunchy backbone reminiscent of dark schist and roasted spices. Beware—the Languedoc just got dangerously gulpable.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault
Appellation: Corbières
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Maxime Magnon
Winemaker: Maxime Magnon
Vineyard: 50-60 year average, Approximately 11 ha
Soil: Limestone and Schist with fissured rock
Aging: Ages wine in previously used Burgundian barrels from a producer in Chassagne-Montrachet
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

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.

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Where the newsletter started

Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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