Corbières

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Pronounced kawr-byayr. A wine producing district in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. A majority of wines produced in Corbières AC is red (94%), rosé (4%) and white (2%) are produced in small quantities. The quality of reds are thought of as superior to the rosés and whites that are produced in the district. The district gained Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1986.

Blends: Red and Rosé are produced largely from the Carignan varietal blended with small amounts of Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. White wine is produced largely from the Bourboulenc, Clairette, and Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne.

Characteristics: Matured wines have a spicy complexity, liquorice, with hints of garrigue and thyme. Red wines are powerful and exhibit aromas of old leather, coffee, cocoa, and game. Young Corbières have black currant or blackberry flavors. Since the Corbières AC began using carbonic maceration the wines are big, full-bodied, and possess a fruitiness that does not exist in the older wines that were produced through customary methods.

Carbonic Maceration: The fermentation of uncrushed, whole bunches of grapes in a carbon dioxide soaked atmosphere. The bottom layer of grapes is crushed in the vat by the upper layers of grapes. As a result, there is a split between carbonic maceration and normal fermentation.

Ageing: Recommended ageing for reds is 2-5 years, 10+ years for great vintages. Rosés and whites are best drunk young.

Serving temperature: Red 65º F, Rosé 55-60º F, White 45-50º F.

Food pairings: Red; Enjoy with savory dishes, pasta, roasted meats and game, stews, casseroles and mature cheeses. White pairs well with Greek cuisine.

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