ABBOTTS & DELAUNAY 'RESERVE' CORBIERES 2011
Gary Walsh94 points
Jeremy Pringle93 points
Light (Light)Full (Full)
Low Tannin (Low Tannin)Tannic (Tannic)
Sweet (Sweet)Dry (Dry)
Low Acidity (Low Acidity)High Acidity (High Acidity)
Critic Scores & reviews
"Blue fruit, sweet leather, spice, perfume, bit of liquorice - kiss of vanilla oak. Flush and plump with black fruit, spice, sweet tannin and some vanilla with plenty of length and oomph. Really good. Fresh blackcurrant aftertaste."
"There's only about 25% MourvÃ¨dre in the blend but it makes its presence known. Meaty, masculine, muscular dimensions slowly take their place. Raspberry and redcurrants with darker subterranean notes. Earthy with something that smells a bit like a mushroom and thyme risotto. Complex spice, firmly structured and more than a bit wild."
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Languedoc-Roussillon is oft called by the abbreviated 'Languedoc' - It's the coastal region of southern France from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and borders with Spain. With over 3 times the amount of vines than the entire of Bordeaux it's a vast region that produces a lot of wine. Vin de Pays d'Oc and sparkling Crémant de Limoux are two of its most famous exports.
The regions history when it comes to wine is a long a rich one, however it is also home to some of the newest AUC appellations in France, like Cabardès, which was only officially recognised in 1999. The region is a haven for enthusiasts of wine on a budget, for it is here you can find some remarkably high-quality wines without breaking the bank. Given the higher amount of sun hours experienced in the South of France, the wines coming from there are more full bodied and rich than from other more prestigious regions.
In the recent past (1970's) Languedoc region was known to produce vast amounts of cheap wine that didn't help its reputation region at all, however a steady improvement now sees it responsible for producing some great value wines that are generally blends, though not entirely so. Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Chardonnay, Carmenere, Cinsault and Picpoul are some of the most common widely planted varietals. Grower cooperatives produce some remarkable wines alongside their more traditional winery neighbours.
Corbières is the largest Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France.
The vast majority, some 90% of Corbières wine production is in red wines, focusing on the varietals Carignan, Syrah and Grenache. Grenache, Lledoner Pelut, Mourvèdre and Syrah (omitting Carignan) must make up at least 50% of the blends.
Capable of producing fruity and spicy reds of high quality, it is a bit of a go-to wine region for those in the know. Whilst the wines coming from Corbières are as varied as the soils they are grown on, the region as a whole is influenced by the warm Mediterranean as well as the cool dry weather systems from the north.
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About the brand Abbotts Delaunay
A collaboration between Burgundian winemaker Laurent Delaunay and Australian-born Nerida Abbott, Abbotts & Delaunay's roots stem from Nerida's interest in the Languedoc region and her efforts to create premium wines from this underrated region of southern France.
Located at a crossroads between the Languedoc's most impressive regions: Limoux, Corbieres and Minervois, Abbots & Delaunay centers itself in Marseillette, on land cultivated under vine since the early 19th century. Joined by Vincent Charleux, another winemaker whom since an early age, had a penchant for making wine, Abbots & Delaunay produces fine Syrah, Grenache and Carignan blends from the heart of the region where the blistering Mediterranean sun creates ripe, fruit-driven wines with a rustic charm. Here, tiny parcels of hand-selected old vines thrive in a plethora of soil types, each imprinting its characteristic qualities on the vines grown within.