Domaine Lafage Tessellae Vieilles Vignes Carignan 2012
Jean-Marc farms (with some help!) 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. Some of his family’s vineyards are situated a few kilometers from the Mediterranean, while others can be found further inland in the foothills of the Pyrenees or near the village of his birth, Maury. This range of sites allows him to make both refreshing whites, rich, concentrated reds, and fortified wines as well. Benefiting from a warm, dry climate, the estate is farmed organically. They grow primarily Grenache (Blanc, Gris & Noir), Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Marsanne, Roussanne and Chardonnay with a significant proportion of his vines well over 50 years old. The soil, as you near the coast is weathered, alluvial gravel while in the higher elevation sites it is predominantly schist. They harvest by hand and the winemaking is surprisingly uncomplicated with stainlesss steel for the fresher whites but mainly concrete tanks for the reds with a judicious amount of large French oak barrels for aging.
Setting the standards for red wine production worldwide, France holds rank as the source of the world’s most popular red grape varieties. Famous for their elegance, grace and longevity, the red wines of France come in a variety of styles.
Burgundy claims some of the most desirable vineyard real estate on the planet and remains a source of the world’s most coveted Pinot noir. A powerhouse producer of red wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Bordeaux sits on France’s western side, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a coastal pine forest. The region’s mild, maritime climate and gravel-heavy soils are perfect for the production of highly structured, cellar-worthy red wines. In the south, the long and narrow Rhône River Valley produces full-bodied, flavorful reds. Syrah makes its home in the Northern Rhône where a continental climate and steep hillside vineyards create some of the best in the world. Southern Rhône’s Grenache-based blends easily charm most any wine enthusiast. For those after a more delicate red, the Loire Valley’s Cabernet Franc maintains a loyal line of followers.