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Southern France!

CHÂTEAU FONTANÈS ROUGE (Languedoc Pic Saint Loup) 

  • 40{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Syrah, 20{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Grenache, 20{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Mourvèdre, 10{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Cinsault, 10{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Carignan
  • Biodynamic farming
  • Wine is aged in stainless steel and demi-muidbarrels for 6 months to one year
  • Hand-harvested and all fruit is de-stemmed
  • Natural yeast fermentation lasts 2 weeks

Cyriaque Rozier, the highly acclaimed winemaker and vineyard manager at Château La Roque, makes his own wine under the label Château Fontanès in Pic St-Loup in the Languedoc region of southern France.  Pic Saint-Loup is a 2100 ft.  mountain made of limestone and clay about 20 miles inland from the Mediterranean. The combination of high elevation and limestone soils add freshness and finesse to the Fontanes wines.  A charming man with a strong sense of vocation and relentless drive, Cyriaque often works sixteen-hour days between the two domaines. He first started his domaine in 2003.  He has taken to farming biodynamically, a task that forgoes the shortcuts that most vignerons have at their disposal today in favor of producing organic grapes in a rich, healthy soil.  This wine expresses raw terroir.  It offers lots of minerality in its violet, black cherry, pepper and crushed flower-like bouquet in addition to juicy red fruits and silky tannins.

NOVELLUM BLANC (Cotes Catalanes)

  • 100{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Chardonnay
  • Organic farming
  • Aged 3 months in stainless steel on Viognier lees, followed by 3 months in barrel
  • Hand harvested

This is one of the best values in Chardonnay we’ve tasted.  It is a collaborative effort from superstar importer Eric Solomon and Domaine Lafage.  Lafage is located where the Pyrenees mountains and Mediterranean Sea intersect – near the French border with Spain.  Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage farm 160 hectares organically.  Some of their vineyards are situated a few kilometers from the Mediterranean, while others can be found in the foothills of the Pyrenees. This range of sites allows them to make both refreshing whites as well as concentrated reds.  Jeb Dunnuck, from the Wine Advocate, writes, “Tasting like it cost three times the price, it offers lots of orchard fruits, white peach, honeysuckle and a hint of vanilla to go with a medium to full-bodied, crisp, yet still textured and mouth-filling style on the palate.”  We like the crisp acids on the finish that make it a perfect weeknight sipper or with your favorite vegetarian dishes.


  • Approximately 67{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Syrah, 33{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Carignan
  • Certified organic farming
  • Hand harvested
  • Aged in tank for 9 to 12 months

The Chateau Massiac has a long history that dates back to the Roman Empire when this area was colonized by the Romans using the nearby Mediterranean port (30 kilometers) of Narbonne as an access point. In the 17th Century, two brothers from Massiac in the Auvergne region traversed the area in service to the King of Spain and eventually settled at this spot situated almost precisely halfway between the clock towers of the villages of Azille and Rieux Minervois. During the French Revolution, the “chateau” was burned to the ground.

The domaine lies at the extreme south of the Massif Centrale, effectively in the gently sloping foothills that lead to the Mediterranean coast which is not terribly distant. The subsoils are essentially limestone and clay with silex and marble infusions, all of which was formed during the Lutecian geologic era. This soil has particularly good drainage which accounts for the superior concentration that Massiac achieves in its wines. As well, the site is exposed both the winds that sweep north from the Mediterranean and the cooling northwest wind coming from the mountains known as Le Cers which consistently dries the vineyard and makes it less vulnerable to the maladies of the vine.

The “Sentinelle” cuvée is the more precocious of the two reds produced at Massiac. The tannins are more supple and the fruit a touch “sweeter”, more forward and less rustic than its companion. Fermentation and elevage are in tank. The wine is bottled within a year of the harvest. The blend is usually two-thirds Syrah and one-third Carignan.

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