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Domaine Sainte Rose Coquille d'Oc Blanc 2012
The current journey is no less arduous. It began in 2002 when we, Charles and Ruth Simpson, bought the Domaine with an ambition to create outstanding wine. And we are ambitious people, each giving up high-flying careers to pursue our dream. And so far, so good, with a few bumps along the way. From our 33 hectare vineyard we have produced wines that have won critical acclaim. Jancis Robinson and Tim Atkins are but two of our admirers. You can read their reviews along with the wine medals we've won and plaudits received from other critics on the individual wine pages.
We're not ones to get into the often confusing and elevated language of wine making, but we do feel it necessary to mention our land, our terroir. The vineyard spreads from the clay/limestone soils found along the banks of the River Thongue up onto the gravelly soil of the plateau. We work entirely in the Vin De Pays or what is now Indication Geographique Protégé (IGP) system, which allows us to plant the grape varieties that we think you the customer wants. We classify all our wines as IGP Cotes de Thongue due to the situation of the Domaine right beside the river.
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.
With hundreds of white 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 soft and full-bodied wine 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.