2018 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbiéres "Réserve La Demoiselle"
It is hard not to open the Corbières Demoiselle, smell the garrigue, spices, and notes of dark fruit and olives soar from your glass, and think, “Only from the Languedoc can we drink a wine made from century-old vines with this much class and ageability for the price of two matinée movie tickets.” This grippy rouge comes from Domaine de Fontsainte’s most famous parcel called “La Demoiselle,” which the Laboucarié family has farmed since the early 1970s. In 2004, the Carignan vines in that vineyard—planted in silica, clay, and limestone, and responsible for the majority of this wine—turned one hundred. In recent years, Carignan has experienced a bit of a resurgence in the Languedoc, largely because of the efforts of producers like Domaine de Fontsainte and Domaine d’Aupilhac. Once celebrated, then spurned because of its potential for high yields, it is now being treated with the respect and analysis it deserves by deft vignerons. Taste this 2018 bottling tonight and then in ten or fifteen years, and you’ll see why Carignan might just be the great grape of the region. In terms of food pairings, you can do no better than rib steak with garlic potatoes.