Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Reserve La Demoiselle 2016
Limpid and garnet-coloured, darkened by purple tints. The colored legs run slowly and cling to the glass. The penetrating bouquet offers up a festival of aromas including jammy red fruits, vanilla pods, pepper and freshly-milled nutmeg. Emblematic notes of the garrigue heath mingle with this supremely harmonious ensemble. A magnificent balance is achieved between the superb and savoury tannins and the fatness and elegance of the mouth. The wine explodes on the palate and finishes at length with notes of crushed almonds.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Laboucarié family has been making wine in Boutenac since the 1600s; more recently, Bruno Laboucarié has been shepherding his oldest parcel, La Demoiselle, into its 115th year. Those ancient carignan vines put out a quietly powerful red in 2016, savory to the extreme. There’s a lovely red juiciness in the center, thanks to Laboucarié’s practice of carbonic fermentation for the carignan, and the addition of a little younger-vine, cement-fermented grenache and mourvèdre. The lean, tense structure adds to the wine’s appeal, carrying notes of coffee and walnuts, bay leaves and warm stones. It tastes like a wine from one of the sunniest places in Corbières, vibrant and alive, radiating flavor without weight. Best Buy
Domaine de Fontsainte is in the heart of the Corbieres' celebrated 'Golden Crescent' - one of the appellation’s most beautiful and beneficent terroirs. Fontsainte's intensely sunny, gently sloping, south south-east facing vineyards shelter from cold north-east winds on the flank of a 500-hectare pinewood massif. The domain dominates the landscape around the hamlet of Boutenac, enjoying panoramic views. Fontsainte's vineyards, just 90m in altitude, benefit from a pristine environment (far from industrial or urban developments) plus alternating Mediterranean and oceanic influences.
Roman artifacts found on the domain - like the bronze coin bearing the head of Marcus Agrippa (c. 25AD) that adorns our Centurion wine - attest to Fontsainte's ancient origins: a Roman officer created the domain around a thermal spring. The name Fontsainte ('the saint's fount') comes from the nearby 12th century Hermitage of Saint-Simeon, who became the patron saint of Boutenac. Two chateaux dominated the landscape in the middle ages: Fort Haut and Fort Bas. Only the latter remains today - it’s now the headquarters of the Corbieres' winegrowers syndicat.
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.