Chateau de Paraza Minervois Cuvee Speciale 2007
Other Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Color: Ruby red with purple rim variation. Nose: Intense with notes of blueberry and gooseberry. Taste: Full bodied, fresh and harmonious, rich in its fruitiness.
The Wine Advocate - "I have never visited Chateau de Paraza (a prominent landmark in the eponymous, tiny, canal-side village at the eastern extreme of its appellation) and it had been several years since I tasted one of their wines, but their 2007 Minervois Cuvee Speciale demonstrates that this well-known estate can still turn out a head-turning value. Very ripe blackberry fruit sweetly caresses the palate, with cinnamon, cardamom, juniper, black pepper, and cherry pit bitterness adding interest. For all of its richness (in itself amazing for the price) this finishes with lip-smacking juiciness and an invigorating impression akin to chomping down on the seeds of the blackberries. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years. "
Château de Paraza Winery
The estate stretches over 130 hectares. The vineyard is located on sloping ground with a southerly orientation and a soil suited well to the vine. The vineyard extends over 65 hectares, 50 of which are given to vines classified as A.C. Minervois and 15 to the local vin de pays d'OC.
Before becoming essentially a wine producing business, over the centuries the property enjoyed many different activities including the cultivation of olive groves and cereals, as well as the breeding of large herds of sheep.
Minervois is one of the oldest Mediterranean vineyards. Its soil was indeed chosen by Romans so as to establish the first vines in Languedoc Roussillon. The castle's vineyard is , located in the soil called "Les Serres". The average age of the vineyard is twenty years. The estate grows 30% Syrah for dark fruit and spice, 30% Grenache for roundness and red fruits, 20% Mourvedre for structure, color and deep aroma, 10% Carignan and 10% Merlot for violet and roasted red fruit. View all Château de Paraza 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.
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