DOMAINE DE FONTSAINTE
The first vineyards at Domaine de Fontsainte, in the Corbières appellation, were planted by the Romans. Artifacts found in these vineyards, such as an old coin dating from the time of Marcus Agrippa in 25 A.D., are a testament to its antiquity. The original domaine was built around a thermal spring, which was later named for the local, twelfth-century patron saint, Saint Siméon; hence Fontsainte—the saint’s fount. Yves Laboucarié’s family has been making wine here since the seventeenth century, and we were lucky to have met him so early on in his career. For over thirty years, KLWM has been proudly importing his wine, and now we work with his son, Bruno. Like his father, one of the firstvignerons working with whole cluster fermentation in the region, he believes strongly in the family’s legacy of innovation. He has re-equipped the cellars, replanted new vines, and even added new cuvées. Here at KLWM, we make no secret of why we have been working with them since 1978. In their lovely part of France, year in and year out, they are the best. The fairness of their pricing allows us to offer incredible values to our clientele.
The Fontsainte vineyards surround the hamlet of Boutenac in the area known as “The Golden Crescent.” This swath of land is one of the sunniest in the appellation of Corbières, enjoying south-southeast exposure, and protection from the cold, northeast winds by a large 500-hectare forest. The cooler sea breezes from the Mediterranean help this sun-soaked terroir achieve balance as well. Like many of the vignerons that we work with, Bruno believes that “great wines are made in the vineyard” and less in the cellars. He farms the land sustainably and keeps treatments to a minimum. Silica, clay, and limestone dominate the subsoil of Fontsainte’s vineyards. Many of their vines are older, especially the parcel known as La Demoiselle, which recently celebrated its hundredth year. Look for the highly affordable and supremely delicious Gris de Gris, asaignée rosé made from Grenache Gris—among the finest rosés on the planet.
Blend: 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah
• Hand harvested
• Grenache and Syrah are de-stemmed by hand; Carignan goes through carbonic maceration
• Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled vats for 14 days
• Wine rests for 6 months before being racked into barrel
• Wine aged for 6 months in French oak barrels
Expert Review: Well-sculpted, with a sense and power, featuring dark currant and wild plum flavors that are juicy and rich. Refined in the midpalate, with a flush of acidity and plenty of white pepper and slate notes that carry through to the finish. Drink now through 2016. Score: 89 points -- KM, Wine Spectator, Issue Oct 2012