Chateau Saint Roch Vieilles Vignes Blanc 2017
Recently purchased by Jean Marc Lafage, Chateau Saint Roch is located in the Maury Area of the Agly Valley, which is 15 miles from Perpignan and the Mediterranean Sea. The castle of Queribus, built by the Cantharis, at the top of the steep Corbières Mountain watches over the vineyards from the north. Each plot is now surrounded by black berry bushes, fig trees, pomegranate trees, cherry trees, carob trees, oaks, as well as fields of thyme, lavender and fennel.
The soil of the hills is made up of schiste clay with a limestone base and their altitudes vary between 120 to 370 meters. The wind, called here the "Tramontane", circulates in this corridor between Fenouillèdes and Corbières. The southern Catalan sun takes advantage of the refractive qualities of the schist from this ancient icy plateau to give St Roch its unique light.
A northern point in France’s far southern Roussillon region, Maury is dominated by steep limestone cliffs and the castle of Queribus, which the French used as a defense outpost against the Spanish until 1659. Today it remains an important symbol of the presence of both cultures in the region.
Though Maury is famous for vins doux naturels (a style of fortified wine), Maury dry red wines are quickly becoming more in vogue and received their own appellation designation in 2011, called Maury Sec. As is the case in most of Roussillon, Grenache plays a key role here. The region’s schist-dominant vineyards, which climb up to 1,300 feet, are excellent for the production of Grenache of all styles.
For Maury dry red wines, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Syrah act as blending partners with Granche Noir. In the production of vins doux naturels, Grenache Gris and Blanc play a subsidiary role. The latter are characterized using the same terminology as that in Riveslates with those named as grenat or tuilé based on Grenache Noir and those described as ambré or blanc containing more Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris.
Full-bodied and flavorful, white Rhône blends originate from France’s Rhône Valley. Today these blends are also becoming popular in other regions. Typically some combination of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier form the basis of a white Rhône blend with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the exact appellation. Somm Secret—In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are common but the south retains more variety. Marsanne, Roussanne as well as Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul and Ugni Blanc are typical.