Mas Champart Saint-Chinian Rose 2008
Rosé from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
The Champart Rosé is delicate and fresh with an underlying herbs de provence that makes it, quite frankly, similar to Bandol in style. It's not quite the intense complexity of Bandol, but it sure is close.
International Wine Cellar - "Light orange. Stony strawberry and tangerine aromas are complemented by suave floral and herbal notes. Light-bodied, refreshingly pure red fruit and citrus flavors are braced by zesty minerals and pick up a subtle fennel quality with air. Finishes clean, dry and brisk, with good lift and a lingering honeysuckle quality."
Mas Champart Winery
Isabelle and Mathieu Champart were relatively new to winegrowing when they first took over Domaine Bramefan (as her family’s farm is also known), in Saint-Chinian, in 1976. Isabelle was a Parisian with a degree in Geography, while Mathieu came from a family of farmers in Champagne. For nearly twelve years they sold their grapes to the local cooperative. Though they waited until 1988 to bottle under their own label, they won almost instant acclaim, and have become the standard against which other producers in the appellation have been measured ever since. Mathieu tends to the vines, and Isabelle makes the wines—that their home is surrounded by their vineyards makes their division of labor all the more poetic. The Champarts have made significant changes to their business over the years. While the domaine started from just a simple, humble, stone farmhouse, they later added a winery and have expanded the holdings from eight to twenty-five hectares (sixteen of which are consecrated to vineyards, the remaining nine to arable crops and orchards). The terroir here is a patchwork of soils: steep slopes of clay and limestone (Mourvèdre), brightly colored marl (Carignan & Syrah), limestone (Syrah & Grenache) and lower slopes of clay and sandstone (Cabernet Franc). They live among their old vines on a gentle slope and have slowly started integrating more organic practices into their farming. Though the wines are easy to appreciate now for their inky complexity, they age extremely well and shine after some decanting. View all Mas Champart 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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