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2021 Corbières Rouge

Domaine de Fontsainte
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I have a short list of “Old Reliable” wines, the wines you can open for anyone, anywhere, on any occasion, and you know everyone will love them. They tend to be open, pure, fun, fruity, and delicious—attributes no one can argue with. The list comes in handy when planning wines for gatherings, anything from weddings to a small party, Thanksgiving to end-of-year holidays, when you need bottles that wine lovers and the uninitiated can sip together with pleasure. Smack in the middle of that list lies this Corbières rouge from Fontsainte, arriving each year (since 1978!) fresh off the boat in top form, bursting with southern French sun, fruit, and herbs, with just the right amount of je ne sais quoi for everyone to enjoy.

Chris Santini

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah
Appellation: Corbières
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Domaine de Fontsainte
Winemaker: Bruno Laboucarié
Vineyard: Carignan vines planted in 1950, Grenache in 1986, Syrah in 1991, 46.2 ha
Soil: Silica, clay, limestone (gravelly with large galets, or rounded stones)
Aging: 60% of wine ages 8-12 months in French oak barrels, remainder in cement tank
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 14.5%

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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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Old wine bottles

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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