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Domaine Sainte Rose Coquille d'Oc Rose 2014
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.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.