White, Ready, but will keep

2017 Domaine Fontarèche, Sauvignon Blanc, Pays d'Oc

2017 Domaine Fontarèche, Sauvignon Blanc, Pays d'Oc

White | Ready, but will keep | Chateau de Fontareche | Code:  52420 | 2017 | France > Languedoc-Roussillon > Corbieres | Sauvignon Blanc | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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Retail

The Producer

Chateau de Fontareche

Chateau de Fontareche

Fontarèche is one of the oldest vineyards of the Languedoc , with some of the plantings dating back as far as 1350. In 1682, the Mignard family purchased Château Fontarèche. Today, nine generations on, the family Lamy own and run the estate, with chief winemaker Vincent Dubernet at their side.

The 160 hectares of vineyards have a wide range of soil types, making it possible to grow a diverse number of grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Rouge, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante Bouschet and Caladoc, as well as the white Macabeu, Chardonnay, Viognier, Vermentino, Colombard, Roussane and Grenache Blanc.

Eleven hectares have been fully converted into organic vineyards.

The Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

An important white grape in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley that has now found fame in New Zealand and now Chile. It thrives on the gravelly soils of Bordeaux and is blended with Sémillon to produce fresh, dry, crisp  Bordeaux Blancs, as well as more prestigious Cru Classé White Graves.

It is also blended with Sémillon, though in lower proportions, to produce the great sweet wines of Sauternes. It performs well in the Loire Valley and particularly on the well-drained chalky soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where it produces bone dry, highly aromatic, racy wines, with grassy and sometimes smoky, gunflint-like nuances.

In New Zealand, Cloudy Bay in the 1980s began producing stunning Sauvignon Blanc wines with extraordinarily intense nettly, gooseberry, and asparagus fruit, that set Marlborough firmly on the world wine map. Today many producers are rivalling Cloudy Bay in terms of quality and Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand`s trademark grape.

It is now grown very successfully in Chile producing wines that are almost halfway between the Loire and New Zealand in terms of fruit character. After several false starts, many South African producers are now producing very good quality, rounded fruit-driven Sauvignon Blancs.

The Region

Corbieres

A vast (ie the largest in Languedoc) and consequently oft-misunderstood appellation, Corbières covers over 12,000 hectares in the Pyrenean foot-hills, with a variety of soils and micro-climatic influences. In recognition of this diversity, the appellation was subdivided in the 1990s into 11 so-called terroirs, including Montagne d'Alaric, Lagrasse, Lézignan, Boutenac, Fontfroide, Sigean, Durban, Saint-Victor, Quéribus, Termenès and Serviès. The central limestone vineyards of Boutenac are deemed to be the best of these, and thus have their own sub-appellation.

On a terrain this extensive and this varied, four separate topographical zones may be identified: the one in the west, exposed to the cooling Atlantic influence; the coastal zone to the east, influenced by the warm Mediterranean climate; a central mountainous zone in which the Fitou appellation is also located; further north, based around the Montagne d'Alaric, the landlocked enclave which produces wines not dissimilar to those in the neighbouring Minervois.

Corbières wines have had a somewhat undeserved reputation for rusticity, and quality can admittedly still be somewhat mixed. The best examples, however, combine the concentration and herbal richness that can come from old-vine Carignan, especially when married to the so-called 'improving varieties' such as SyrahGrenache and Mourvèdre.

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