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. Eric assumed the role of Estate Manager 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.
The Corbières AOC, established in 1985, is the largest in the Languedoc, and represents the South of France in transition. Though viticulture here dates back to the Romans, only within the last twenty years have Corbières wines begun to reclaim their reputation. Approved for reds, rosés, and whites, the region's vineyards cover a wide variety of elevations, soil types, and exposures. Hilly terrain and the Atlantic Cers wind moderate the Mediterranean heat, giving the wines balance and complexity; the best will go ten years or more in the cellar.
Reds represent 88% of the AOC’s production and are an assemblage of the sun-loving grapes of southern France. Carignan’s briars, Grenache’s berries, Syrah’s cherries and Mourvèdre’s plums allow for a wide range of styles, which are often influenced by the wild herbs of the garrigue. Corbières rosés, though only 9% of production, are serious wines and the small production of Rhône-variety whites are fresh and sea-influenced.
With eleven sub-appellations, Corbières is an AOC in the process of refinement. Corbières-Boutenac attained Cru status in 2005, one of only five in the Languedoc to achieve this highest ranking.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.