This enigmatic blend of Carignan and Grenache slips delightfully between a ‘chilled red’ and a ‘dark rosé.’ In the summertime it’s an antidote to humidity, a refreshing plunge into a cold spring. The rest of the year, it’s like one of those crisp days that appears out of the blue to calm and rejuvenate you in one fell swoop. Pure addictive glou.
Grapes: Carignan, Grenache
Style: “Red” Wine
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Sub-Region or Appellation: Corbières
Viticulture: *Certified Organic 2006
*Age of Vines: 15 years old
Soils: Calcareous soil and blue marl, yet winds are just as important: the “vent Cers” from the northwest brings cold, dry weather as a counterpoint to the warm, humid air to the east, the Mediterranean “vent Marin”
Elevation: 170–660 feet
Vinification: Carignan sees two days of whole cluster fermentation, then submerged in fermenting Grenache juice and pressed immediately
Aging: 6 months in barrique. Bottled sans soufre.
*Fining or Filtering: *None
From the Brigitte Bardot of Corbières and her endearing husband come the wines of Fond Cyprès, a soulful, luscious lineup of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Muscat, Cinsault and blends thereof.
The couple, whose real names are Laetitia Ourliac & Rodolphe Gianesini, is intent on producing wines that express their sultry slice of the Languedoc — specifically, Escales, in the northernmost part of the Corbières AOC. Their domaine begins at the end of a road lined with Cypress trees and extends in either direction across 15ha of lush vegetation, a secret garden of olives, tomatoes, eggplants, wild herbs, and newly-born kittens.
We first met Laetitia and Rodolphe in the deep, damp recesses of Cave Ackerman on a February afternoon in the Loire, and even then their wines were singing. But when we pulled up to their home in August and were greeted by bowls of freshly grilled palourdes, mussels, garlic, and parsley cooked in the juice we were about to drink, we understood their wines had made it feel like summer all along.
Sub-region or Appellation: Corbières
Winemakers and Owners: Laetitia Ourliac, Rodolphe Gianesini
Viticulture: Certified Organic 2006
Terroir: Calcareous soil, and blue marl
Size: 15 ha