Chateau Fontreche Vieilles Vignes Corbieres
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This wine is garnet in colour and reveals fragrant aromas of black fruits and sweet spices. The palate is juicy and full-bodied, with a beautiful aromatic freshness. The Syrah contributes bright fruity and spicy characters, while the Carignan lends remarkable tannic structure to this moreish Corbières.
Château Fontarèche is one of the most historic estates in the Languedoc. It has been in the Mignard family since 1642 and is today owned by Jacques De Lamy. Vincent Dubernet is at the winemaking helm, his father preceded him as consultant winemaker.
The Château is surrounded by an impressive square of 160 hectares of vines, which are sustainably farmed and edged by 10 hectares of forest. The vineyards are divided by the road: those on the north side of the D11, beside and behind the Château, are classified as Corbières AOC, while those to the south of the road are IGP. The vines sit on an ancient limestone terrace and are rooted in a combination of gravel and limestone soil covered by large pebbles; water is easily absorbed but not well retained. The Mediterranean heat can therefore be challenging to manage in the vineyards, and irrigation, when permitted, is widely used in the region. Fontarèche has two kilometres of irrigation channels that surround their vineyards, allowing for effective drip irrigation when necessary, resulting in full physiological ripeness to give wines with lovely vibrancy and supple tannins.
The Vieilles Vignes, a blend of the oldest Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines on the estate, represents outstanding value. The Carignan, from a plot planted in 1962, is hand-picked in whole bunches and undergoes semi-carbonic maceration to soften the tannins, while the Syrah and Mourvèdre are destemmed before fermentation and ageing in stainless steel. The result is an inky, fragrant wine brimming with pure blackberry fruit and a fresh herbal finish.
Château Fontarèche is surrounded by 160 hectares of sustainably-farmed vines. The grapes for this wine are sourced from the vineyards that lie beside and behind the Château, which are classified as Corbières AOC. It is a blend of the oldest vines of Carignan, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache, the oldest being a parcel of Carignan planted in 1962. The vines sit on an ancient limestone terrace and are rooted in a combination of gravel and limestone soil covered by large pebbles. This combination of soil lends an elegance and suppleness to the finished wine.