Although Languedoc’s wine production is among the world’s largest, it’s fair to say that many wine drinkers would have trouble telling you exactly where it is, even though Languedoc’s visibility and the quality of its wines have grown substantially in recent years.
This large and varied area in the south of France deserves to be even better known since it offers some of the best values in the wine world.
I was reminded of this recently as I tasted the 2016 Corbières from Château d’Aussières. Corbières is one of the top appellations in Languedoc, producing mainly red wines from Mediterranean varieties typical of the region.
The 2016 Château d’Aussières Corbières is a blend of 48 percent Syrah, 37 percent Mourvèdre, 8 percent Grenache, and 7 percent Carignan.
This $33 wine is full-bodied yet elegant with no rough edges. Grippy tannins and refreshing acidity support generous red and dark fruit tastes accented by subtle herb, mineral, and milk chocolate notes.
Alcohol is listed at a relatively high 14.5 percent, but the wine’s balance makes that all but irrelevant.
It will pair well with all kinds of meat dishes, roast chicken and turkey, and hearty winter stews. There is a refinement that calls to mind high-end Bordeaux, which may be more than just a coincidence.
Château d’Aussières is the flagship wine from Domaine d’Aussières, a 1,350-acre estate not far from the city of Narbonne. The domaine was acquired in 1999 by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), owner of the unparalleled Château Lafite Rothschild and other properties in Bordeaux as well as wine interests from Chile to China.
If you haven’t discovered them, the wines of Languedoc are worth getting to know, and Château d’Aussières is an excellent place to start.