Chateau d'Aussieres Corbieres 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Due to its exceptional geographical location and unique wine-growing site and history, Domaine d’Aussières is one of those wild, natural places that gives an impression of great force and beauty. These words of Baron Eric explain why he fell in love with the estate and Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) has taken on the challenge to revitalize one of the oldest and most beautiful wine-making estates in the Narbonne area.
Acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1999, the 1,359 acre estate has undergone a vast rehabilitation program. 413 acres of vines have been replanted with carefully selected traditional Languedoc grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan, complimented with Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. The building was restored at the same time and a new winery installed in the old cellars, at the heart of the vineyard.
Eric Kohler comes from a family of wine-growers. He achieved his Secondary and Higher education in Montpellier and Toulouse with a diploma’s in Agricultural Engineering from the Agricultural College of Purpan in 1992 and a National Diploma of Oenology in 1992. In January of 2016, Eric assumed the role of Technical Director of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Bordeaux Chateaux and as such will oversee Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Duhart-Milon, Chateau L’Evangile and Chateau Rieussec.
A significant appellation in the Languedoc region of southern France, Corbières produces impressively dense red wines from Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and often very old vine Carignan. While rarely mentioned, the region’s fresh dry whites and rosés shouldn’t be overlooked.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.