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Corbieres Wine

Corbieres is an important appellation of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. One of the better-known Languedoc titles, Corbieres is also one of the most productive. Its vineyards turn out large quantities of red and rose wines, along with a growing number of whites.

Red wines are the appellation's forte; they are famously rich, herb-scented wines, made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan. Rose wines from Corbieres are also well-respected, produced from the same red varieties, combined with Grenache Gris and Picpoul. White wines constitute only a small percentage of the total output. They are made from a wide selection of varieties – most notably Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Marsanne and Roussanne.

The coat of arms of Villeseque-des-Corbieres

The Corbieres appellation covers a large, roughly square area, 37 miles (57km) wide, to the south and west of Narbonne. The terrain and climate here vary considerably, ranging from the Pyrenean foothills in the south and west, to the flatter, lower-lying areas of the coastal plain near Narbonne. Because of this the zone has been divided into various sub-appellations – terroirs – which may add their names to that of the Corbieres appellation on labels. The aim of this is to provide consumers with more precise information about a wine's origins.

In the southern Hautes-Corbieres and Durban terroirs, the landscape is significantly hillier than elsewhere in the appellation. Some local vineyards are located at altitudes of 1650ft (500m), planted on mostly schistous soils. The climate is Mediterranean, but the nights are cooler due to the increased altitude, bringing the added benefit of wider-ranging diurnal temperature variation. Two hilly enclaves here are reserved for the oldest of the Languedoc region's red wine appellations: Fitou.

The Sigean and Fontfroide terroirs in the east are the warmest parts of Corbieres, being located at lower altitudes and close to the moderating influences of the Mediterranean Sea. Two large lagoons – the Etang de Bages and the Etang de L'Ayrolle – serve to stabilize the climate further, freeing the vineyards from the changeable weather of the mountains. Although this consistency is a bonus in some ways, it deprives the vines of fresh, cooler nights, which would help maintain natural acids to balance out the sugars developed over the long, hot days.

Lagrasse is an area at the center of Corbieres, located at the very start of the Pyrenean foothills. Recognized as a source of higher-quality wines, it was granted its own appellation in 2005 – AOC Corbieres-Boutenac.

The vineyards of the northernmost area, known as Alaric, are divided between the plains in the north and the south-facing slopes of the Montagne d'Alaric. Although not they are not planted at particularly high altitudes (a maximum of 984ft/300m), the southern orientation of these vineyards offers extended exposure to the sun, which helps to ripen the Mourvedre grapes in particular.

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Here are some wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Domaines Barons de Rothschild Corbieres Chateau d'Aussieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $25 3419
Domaines Barons de Rothschild Corbieres Blason d'Aussieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $16 4042
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Gris de Gris Rose, Languedoc-Roussillon, France N/A $15 5490
Gerard Bertrand Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Grenache - Mourvedre - Syrah $13 6212
Gerard Bertrand Corbieres-Boutenac La Forge, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Carignan - Syrah $53 6428
Joseph Castan Corbieres Reserve, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $8 6756
Chateau La Bastide Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Carignan - Grenache - Syrah $11 7637
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Carignan - Grenache - Syrah $13 9081
SCV Embres & Castelmaure Corbieres Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Carignan - Grenache - Syrah $10 10444
Chateau Pech-Latt Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $11 11577
Chateau de Vaugelas Corbieres Le Prieure, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Grenache - Syrah $11 12039
Chateau de Treviac, Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Grenache - Syrah $10 12811
Chateau Constance Corbieres Vieilles Vignes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Grenache - Syrah $13 13816
Gerard Bertrand Domaine de Villemajou Corbieres-Boutenac, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $16 14273
Chateau de Vaugelas Corbieres Cuvee Prestige, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $16 15489
Chateau Fontareche Corbieres Vieilles Vignes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $10 15743
Chateau Trillol Corbieres Cucugnan, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Grenache - Syrah $13 17247
Domaine Sainte-Eugenie, Corbieres, France Carignan - Grenache - Syrah $13 17277
Chateau de Mattes-Sabran Corbieres Sabran, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $15 17464
Chateau Ollieux Romanis Corbieres Cuvee Classique, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $13 17901
Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $15 18737
Chateau Carbonac Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Carignan - Grenache - Syrah $6 19243
SCV Embres & Castelmaure Corbieres Grande Cuvee, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Carignan - Grenache - Syrah $15 19429
Famille Fabre Chateau de Luc Corbieres Tradition, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $8 20831
Chateau Montfin Corbieres 'Domaine de Montfin' Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Southern Rhone Blend Red $13 23138
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