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Chateau de Paraza Minervois Cuvee Speciale 2012
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.
Recognized for its concentrated and sultry reds made predominantly of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, this western Languedoc appellation is also famous for the charming and delicate fortified Vin Doux Naturel called Muscat de St. Jean de Minervois. The dry rosé and white wines of Minervois are also worth seeking out.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.