The Pays d'Oc represents a large area of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, the first area to produce wines in France beginning with the Romans. Many different types of soils are found, such as gravel, schist and clay. Due to these variations in soil types, each grape variety is oriented to its specific growing area. The warm, consistent climate of this region ensures good ripeness and concentration, even in more difficult vintages.
In 1998, quantities produced in Languedoc Roussillon are considerably less than normal (17% less than 1997). The reason was the frost of 14th April (in the Aude department) followed by the drought which affected the West of the Languedoc (Aude department again, the Pyrénées Orientales department and the Beziers plain). The shortfall concerned, principally, the traditional varieties (Grenache and Carignan) and the Chardonnay. The other grapes (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc) were less affected.
The focus during the fermentation period is on fruit extraction. Using state-of-the-art winemaking techniques and equipment, a maximum fermentation temperature of 85° F is maintained. The contact with oxygen is abundant during the early stages of the winemaking, and the fruit flavors are preserved by very careful handling of the new wines towards the end of the vinification. A short maceration period insures sufficient structure, without an excess of tannins.
Deep garnet-red in color. Intense and complex aromas of cherries and spicy notes (black pepper). Fleshy, powerful and concentrated on the palate, this full-bodied wine has a long and spicy finish.