The AOC Corbières, traditional wines
Viva lo vin ! Viva lo vin !Lo crane vin de la barrica !A taula fasètz-vos’n servir,Tot çò-z-autre es de farlabica.Beguem ! Trinquem !Que nòstre veire se rampligue !Trinquem ! Beguem !Que nòstre veire s’escorrigue !Paul Albarel
Long live wine ! Good wine in casks ! Let someone serve you some while you’re eating, everything else is a fraud. Let us drink! Let us clink! May our glass be filled ! May our glass be emptied !
The Corbières are a mountainous massif at the foot of the Pyrenees, stretching out from Carcassonne to the Mediterranean Sea, a geographical situation which gives this region a climate that is influenced both by the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The total surface of the wine-growing area is 13 000 ha certified as AOC Corbières (http://20decorbieres.com/). The wide range of soils makes it possible for the different grape varieties to express every distinct feature of their own character on the 11 terroirs the Appelation covers.
The terraces, formed by the more recent alluvia of the Aude and Orbieu rivers (Quaternary), are characterized by their soil which is formed of round pebbles, an excellent filter highly sensitive to drought. An ideal home to the Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault varieties, it yields hearty wines with a character that is directly linked to the climatic conditions. The most ancient soils are schistose, formed by thin layers of black limestone. This acid type of soil, a very good filter, warms up rapidly and is ideal for growing grapes that produce fine and elegant white and rosé wines. The harder limestone soils date back to the Tertiary and the Mesozoic eras, are very good hosts to practically all grape varieties and produce typically Mediterranean wines with characteristic tannins. Grey marlstone is the basis for a young and basic terroir with soils that are cold and humid in winter, and dry in summer.
Last but not least, there is the Boutenac/Fontfroide sandstone, which offers an acid soil that is moist and ideal for the Carignan variety. The wines produced are hearty and have a great tannic finesse. The specific geographical characteristics and purely Mediterranean climate of the terroir of Boutenac have earned it a specific local classification: AOC Corbières Boutenac.
The heart of the Corbières has an unmistakable red colour! This AOC obtains most of its potential from the Carignan variety (50%), yielding tannic, powerful and deeply coloured wines. The Syrah spices up the overall taste and adds a touch of red fruit ... the Grenache Noir has a sweeter aspect whereas the Mourvèdre produces more tannic wines, mixed with spicy notes with hints of jam.
As for the Corbières rosé wines, they find their elegance in the Cinsault variety.
The white wines, although still little-known, they will surprise you thanks to their astonishing freshness and smoothness.
The heart of the Corbières is also a matter of history and heritage! In the course of the numerous hikes, the great many capitelles, casots, garennes, “bee’s walls”, etc you’ll come across will tell you the tales of the past and present agricultural traditions of this region.
Whether you are a stroller or more of the sporting type, hiker or biker, the Corbières paths will offer you the most exquisite viewpoints over these wine-producing landscapes, unless you prefer to take it higher still and climb all the way up to the famous vertigo citadels.