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2021 Corbières Rouge “Réserve La Demoiselle”

Domaine de Fontsainte
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It is hard not to open a bottle of Domaine de Fontsainte’s Corbières “La Demoiselle,” smell the garrigue, spices, and notes of dark fruit and olives soaring from your glass, and think, “Only from the Languedoc can we drink a wine made from century-old vines with this much class and ageability for less than $25.” This grippy rouge comes from Domaine de Fontsainte’s most famous parcel called “La Demoiselle,” which the Laboucarié family has farmed since the early 1970s. This year, the Carignan vines in that vineyard turned one hundred and twenty! Thanks to winemakers like Bruno Laboucarié and wines like La Demoiselle, Carignan has experienced a bit of a resurgence in the Languedoc, now receiving the respect and analysis it deserves by deft vignerons. Many of the region’s most ambitious vignerons today consider it to be the Languedoc’s unsung hero and a taste of La Demoiselle will show you why. Full of character, soul, and deliciousness, it pairs perfectly with pretty much anything right off the grill—just in time for summer!

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 10% Mourvèdre
Appellation: Corbières
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Domaine de Fontsainte
Winemaker: Bruno Laboucarié
Vineyard: Carignan planted in 1904
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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