Monday, March 27, 2023

Two More Highly Recommended Red Blends From Château De Caraguilhes In Corbieres

Two More Highly Recommended Red Blends From Château De Caraguilhes In Corbieres


Château de Caraguilhes Solus Corbieres Boutinac (AOP) 2020, 14.5% ABV, O’Briens Wine 

RRP€23.95 (reduced to 19.16, 10th Mar - 10th Apr)

A blend of Carignan, Mourvèdre and Syrah, makes for a big rich robust red that pairs well with Mediterranean mixed platters. Should be fine too with beef, pasta and veal. Serve between 16-18 degrees.

This deep purple wine is from a fully organic family estate in Corbières and these grapes grow on a rocky clay-limestone hillside in the heart of Corbières' Grand Cru district so there's plenty of berry fruit showing a good depth of concentration.

The aromatics of this deeply purple wine are quite intense - just smell the freshly extracted cork! Ripe blackberry and black cherry are prominent. Lots of different flavours in the mouth, with blackcurrant and plum also added to the mix. Subtle spices, nice rounded tannins too and acidity enough as well. And then comes a fantastic finish.

Very Highly Recommended.

You may have heard of Corbieres. But Corbieres Boute
nac? Corbieres-Boutenac is a relatively new red wine 
appellation of the huge Languedoc region in France
It is called after the village of Boutenac, whose wines have always been highly regarded and was created in 2005.

Château de Caraguilhes Prestige Corbieres (AOP) 2020, 14.5% ABV

O’Briens Wine RRP €19.95. (Reduced to 15.96, 10th Mar - 10th Apr)

No shortage of blends in the Languedoc-Roussillon and this robust red is another, made with Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah. Serve between 16-18 degrees with Ribeye Steak/Aubergine bake.

Dark ruby is the colour, a healthy shiny one. And the aromas are packed with fresh ripe fruit and the promise of good stuff to come. And it comes. Fresh fruit again on the palate, a warm touch of the garrigue as well, but all that power is moderated by a pleasing softness, good acidity too right through to the finalé.

Château de Caraguilhes is a certified organic estate located in the heart of Corbières, a well-known wine appellation within the huge Languedoc/Roussillon region. Located at altitude, the vineyards benefit from sea breezes on one side and the Tramontane* winds on the other, cooling the vineyards at the height of summer, ensuring an ideal, slow ripening of the grapes, which helps to retain a characteristic acidity and freshness in the wines.

Owned by the Gabison family, Château Caraguilhes is one of France's oldest, and best, organic estates. The 135 hectares of vineyards are strategically surrounded and protected by 500 hectares of scrubland, constituting a rich ecosystem and a unique growing environment.

The pioneering estate, farming their vines organically since 1987, has 135 hectares of vines that are strategically surrounded by over 500 hectares of wild garrigue, which provides a rich and unique ecosystem.

Very Highly Recommended.

*A cold wind that blows from the Alps and Apennines (Tramontana in Italy). Quite a lot of winds in this area have names, the Mistral is perhaps the most famous.


The two wines above are part of a four bottle set that will be featured in an online tasting on Thursday March 30th. Our hosts will be Étienne Besancenot, Winemaker, Château de Caraguilhes and Lynne Coyle Master of Wine, O'Briens Wine Director. The other two, subject of an earlier post, are repeated below. Not too sure if you can still order the wines for the tasting, check here, but they are also part of the company's ongoing French Wine Sale. Details here

Château de Caraguilhes La Font Blanche Corbières (AOP) 2021, 13.5% ABV.

O’Briens Wine RRP: €18.45 (reduced to 14.76, 10th Mar - 10th Apr)

A dry refreshing white, this Corbieres is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. Pair with scallops and citrus, also grilled goats cheese with fennel.

This blend is a light straw colour, clean and bright. Floral notes and white fruit (peaches, apricots) and citrus plus a drift of almonds feature in the aromatics. And you meet the same crew (with citrus now prominent) on the palate, silky and rounded and subtle. Some herbal notes also, after all we are in garrigue country. Beautifully smooth though and this dry refreshing white finishes very well indeed. 

Pairings recommended are with scallops (and citrus), also grilled goats cheese with fennel.

Very Highly Recommended.

Château de Caraguilhes Les Jardins Corbières (AOP) 2021, 14% ABV.

O’Briens RRP €18.95 (reduced to €14.21, 10th Mar - 10th Apr).

Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, have been blended to make Les Jardins, a smooth supple red. Match, it is suggested, with duck breast and Comte Cheese (or why not the local Hegarty’s Templegeal), serving between 16 to 18 degrees.

Exclusive to O'Briens, Les Jardins sends out aromas of ripe blackberry and blackcurrant. The complex palate is silky and fresh with fleshy fruity notes, the smoothness is enhanced by ripe tannins. Very well balanced. Quite a dark coloured wine. Lightweight also but with a 14% ABV.

The term tannin comes from the an ancient word for tanner, and refers to the use of tree bark to tan hides. You’ll also find them in grapes (of course!), tea leaves, pomegranates, spices like Cinnamon and Clove and nuts such as Almonds and Walnuts, Barley, even Rhubarb. It is an naturally occurring polyphenol and is more likely good for you. More on tannins from the University of Kansas study here . 

Highly Recommended.

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