Under $20 Value Wine Pick – 2007 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Rouge, Languedoc-Rousillon, France

Winery: Domaine de FontsainteFontsainteFront

Bottling: 2007 Cobieres Rouge (60% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah)

Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

Region: France

Sub-Region: Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon

Estimated Retail Price: $13

Purchase Details: Purchased for $12.95 plus tax directly from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant in Berkeley, California.

Tasting Notes: In the glass, the wine exhibits a purple and ruby color.  On the nose, dark fruits and fennel.  In the mouth, flavors of dark and red fruits – raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, charcoal, black pepper, fire roasted herbs and a little meat.  Vibrant acidity, clean, but firm tannins, a medium-bodied texture and weight and a dry finish complete the ride with this wine.  I think we drunk the wine too quickly as it could have benefited from a little more air.  I also think you could lay this down for a couple of years for future enjoyment.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: Although I’ve never had quail, I just saw it prepared on Top Chef Masters last night and it sounds like it would be a great pairing with this wine.  Quail with parsnip and prosciutto stuffing over wild greens it is!

Winery & Other Background Information: Although Yves Laboucarie established Fontsainte in 1971, his family’s winemaking roots extend all the way back to the 17th century.  He is a Corbieres pioneer of quality as he was one of the first to employ such fancy schmancy wine making techniques like carbonic maceration, harvesting by hand and aging wines using 600-litre casks.  His son Bruno, is now the head honcho at the estate.

Half of the estate is planted to old vine (over 70 yrs. Old) carignan, with the rest of the plantings divided among grenache, syrah and mourvedre.

Words like “thermo-regulated stainless steel vats” describe the modern elements that are a part of the Fontsainte wine making process while Bruno Laboucarie’s explanation of what Fontsainte’s unique terroir adds to the special character of the wines, paints a picture of rusticity – “early morning, in early summer, there’s an aroma in the humid air, warming the vineyard, of pine resin and pollen, cistus in flower, rosemary, thyme, spicy garrigue heath, and woodland undergrowth.”

It’s this combination of both modern and rustic elements that makes Fontsainte’s wines so darn cool.


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