Chateau Saint Roch Chimeres 2007
Other Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Lovely dark red color.
Varieties: 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan
The Wine Advocate - "I reported on the 2007 Cotes du Roussillon Chimeres from his small Maury estate Chateau Saint Roch in issue 83, but now that the wine has been bottled, I want to re-emphasize its amazing quality (not even to mention for the price!) A blend of Grenache with a bit of Carignan from Maury’s schist and chalk with Syrah from high-altitude granite slopes in Saint Paul de Fenouillet, it was fermented and raised in 500-liter barrels and bottled at the very end of last year. Fresh and jam-like layers of black raspberry, rhubarb, and fresh cherry in the nose and mouth are tinged with resinous sage, rosemary, and lavender, while striking top notes of gentian and violet waft from the glass. For all of its saturating sweet ripeness and fresh berry brightness on a silken-textured palate, this also harbors low-toned roast meatiness, while piquant notes of toasted pistachio and almond, black pepper, cherry pit, and herbs keep its long finish far from any danger of succumbing to superficial sweetness. It will be worth following for at least 3-4 years, if not longer."
Chateau Saint Roch Winery
Recently purchased by Jean Marc Lafage, Chateau Saint Roch is located in the Maury Area of the Agly Valley, which is 15 miles from Perpignan and the Mediterranean Sea. The castle of Queribus, built by the Cantharis, at the top of the steep Corbières Mountain watches over the vineyards from the north. Each plot is now surrounded by black berry bushes, fig trees, pomegranate trees, cherry trees, carob trees, oaks, as well as fields of thyme, lavender and fennel.
The soil of the hills is made up of schiste clay with a limestone base and their altitudes vary between 120 to 370 meters. The wind, called here the "Tramontane", circulates in this corridor between Fenouillèdes and Corbières. The southern Catalan sun takes advantage of the refractive qualities of the schist from this ancient icy plateau to give St Roch its unique light. View all Chateau Saint Roch Wines
About Languedoc-Roussillon(LAHN-guh-dock) (ROO-see-yohn) France. The region stretches along the land above the Mediterranean, bordered by the Rhone river on the east and almost reaching Spain on the west. Only 10% of the wines from the area are AC, with the remaining wines often landing in the Vin de Pays or Vin de Table category. Wines in the Vin de Pays category are classified here as Vin de Pays d'Oc.
Notable Facts80% of the wines here are red. The grapes of the neighboring Rhone region are popular, with the focus on Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and to a lesser extent, Carignan. White grapes include Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette and other white Rhone varieties. Parts of the region are also enjoying success with international varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. For many of these international style wines, you'll see the grape variety on the label – very un-French, but since they qualify as Vin de Pays d'Oc, it's allowed. Not so for the AC wines of the region, which are relegated to using most of the regional varieties and labeling their bottles by region. Appellations in the Languedoc include Corbières, Minervois, Costières de Nimes, Banyuls and the largest of them all, Coteaux de Languedoc. Corbières and Minervois are found on the western side of the region and produce sometimes very concentrated red wines. Costières de Nimes lies just southwest of the Rhone and produces wines of comparable character. Banyuls creates decadent fortified wines with Grenache and Coteaux de Langeudoc does triple duty, using international and regional grapes to produce white, red and rose wines that are often fantastic values.
RoussillonA region located between the Spanish border and Languedoc, Roussillon is often mentioned in conjunction with Languedoc, but is an entirely separate, albeit smaller, area. Producing white, red and rose wines, Roussillon is in the Catalonia region, which bleeds into Spain and France. The area has equal amount of Spanish influence as it does French. It is most well-known for Banyuls, a potent dessert wine made from concentrated old-vine Grenache. Vines are old and planted on steep, rocky, terraced hillsides overlooking the coast. The region is also making still wines, mostly from Grenache but with a good amount of Carignan as well.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.