Domaine Cazes Le Canon du Marechal 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A sunny land braced by the influence of the Mediterranean Sea, the South of France extends from the French Riviera in the East to the rugged and mountainous Spanish border in the West. This expansive and stunning region remains the source of France's finest rosé and fortified wines, while the red and white wines continue to gain respect.
Provence, located farthest east, is revered for dry, elegant and quenching rosé wines, which make up the vast majority of the region’s production. These are typically blends of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren and other varieties.
Moving west from the Rhône Valley, spanning the Mediterranean coast to the Pyrenees mountains of Roussillon, Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains. Virtually every style of wine is made in Languedoc; most dry wines are blends with varietal choice strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley.
Bordered by the rugged eastern edge of the Pyrenees Mountains and intense sunshine, Roussillon is largely defined by Spanish influence. The arid, exposed, steep and uneven valleys of the Pyrénées-Orientales zone guarantee that grape yields are low and berries are small and concentrated. While historically recognized for the vins doux naturels of Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury, the region’s dry reds are beginning to achieve the notoriety the deserve.
A catchall term for the area surrounding the Languedoc and Roussillon, Pays d’Oc is the most important IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) in France, producing nearly all of France’s wine under the IGP designation.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, 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 soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. 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.