Vandaag het laatste deel van de (Engelstalige) serie ‘Pays d’Oc as tasted by Elizabeth Gabay MW’. Maak kennis met de onderscheidende karaktereigenschappen van de klassieke en minder gebruikelijke druivenrassen die je vindt binnen de Pays d’Oc IGP. De in Frankrijk woonachtige Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay proefde de wijnen. Vandaag staat Carignan Noir in de schijnwerpers.
Like all classic wine regions, Pays d’Oc’s character stems from a combination of felicitous climate and soils, and grape varieties attuned to both. But the IGP, which was officially established in 1987, takes all of these ingredients and allows winegrowers to get their creative juices flowing by factoring an astounding 58 permitted grape varieties into the equation. The result is a treasure trove of distinctive, versatile and vibrant wines that can appeal to a vast consumer audience for their flavour, variety and price tags.
A potent combination of eclectic varietals, relevant weather and soils and freedom of expression
Pays d’Oc IGP, the region
The Pays d’Oc IGP region/vineyard spans an extensive area running from the Pyrenees along the Spanish border to the Camargue. It runs parallel with a 200-kilometre stretch of the Mediterranean coastline yet also extends inland over rolling hills and mountain foothills. This 120,000-hectare swathe of vineyards fosters a variety of weather patterns and soil types – from sandy coastal to limestone, schist, clay and gravel further inland – that unleashes huge potential for a selection of classic, native varieties.
Pays d’Oc IGP, the grape varieties
But when you combine them with an eclectic choice of 58 permitted grapes, the possibilities are endless. Some of the varieties such as Riesling or Gewurtztraminer may seem counter-intuitive, whilst others – like Tempranillo and Nielluccio – are a long way from home. All of them, though, have been given the chance to express themselves freely by the region’s creative winegrowers, under the watchful eye and stringent palates of the custodians of the Pays d’Oc IGP designation. The traditional southern varieties that are Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Viognier and Rolle (aka Vermentino), which double up as appellation mainstays, feature both as stand-alone varieties and in red, white and rosé blends, again ramping up the region’s diversity.
California and its varietally-themed proposition may have been the inspiration for Pays d’Oc IGP, but there is no denying that the region has earned its stripes, and spawned a whole raft of stars..
Carignan Noir as tasted by Elizabeth Gabay MW
We are rolling out a series of articles detailing the distinctive character traits found in Pays d’Oc IGP’s classic, and more offbeat varieties. One hundred wines were tasted and the following articles are a selection demonstrating the diversity found across the region, and the ability of each grape variety to express itself differently depending on its vineyard site – tasting notes credited to Elizabeth Gabay MW. Today it’s about Carignan noir.
Carignan was historically planted throughout southern France and Spain, but has only been on the Pays d’Oc IGP list of varieties in the past few years. For almost a century it was regarded as a high-volume, cheap wine, or as a variety to be blended with more ‘noble’ varieties to provide freshness. Under the Pays d’Oc IGP label it is possible to discover its potential, with rare fine wines coming from old vineyards and some new plantations. While Grenache gave fruit and sugar, Carignan was known for its tannins and acidity. This acidity which was regarded for so long as being a disadvantage is today recognised as offering attractive vibrancy. Carignan even has its own fan club.
Styles can range from vibrant wild berry fruit and a crunchy ‘croquante’ character to intense spice, blue-black Cassis fruit, rich black chocolate and amazing acidity. Two examples are:
Old Star, Domaine Montrose 2019, Olivier Coste
Very much at the croquante end of the spectrum, this wine has full bodied blue berry and dark plum fruit, with vibrant and lively acidity and ripe, well integrated tannins.
Les Jamelles, Selection parcellaire 2018, Badet Clement
Made with old vine Carignan with low yields from different parcels, the hotter alluvial terraces of the Minervois giving structure and fruit from the foothills of Mont Alaric giving roundness. A mix of carbonic maceration and traditional vinification, including ageing in oak produces a wine which has spice, blue-black Cassis fruit, rich black chocolate and amazing acidity.
Source: agence presse inthemoodpress.com
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