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2022 Pays d’Oc Cabernet Sauvignon “Les Traverses”

Château Fontanès
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Cyriaque Rozier’s Bordeaux-meets-Languedoc red wears the basic Pays d’Oc appellation for bureaucratic reasons only—Cabernet Sauvignon is not permitted by local A.O.C. regulations. In all other ways, it is remarkable, beginning with a vivid crimson robe and aromas of raspberries and hot stones. Fifty-year-old Cabernet vines, tended with organic and biodynamic methods, yield soft, ripe red fruit with a hint of glycerine richness followed by a finish that is wonderfully dry and chalky, speaking to the vineyard’s limestone-based terroir.

Dustin Soiseth

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Vin de Pays d’Oc
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Château Fontanès
Winemaker: Cyriaque Rozier
Vineyard: Planted in 1970, 5 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone, Marl
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 14.2%

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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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Kermit inspecting wine barrels

For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.

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