The following info about the winery was taken from the importer/distributor website at www.madrose.com (Rosenthal Wine Merchant)
History: Remains of a Roman winery have been found at the site of the Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie, a testament to the ancient tradition of winegrowing at that location. The domaine, in its present form, was founded during the reign of Louis XIV by an officer returning from service on the Indian subcontinent. Situated just outside of the tiny village of Douzens a mere 12 kilometers east of the ancient walled city of Carcassonne, Faillenc Sainte Marie has recovered its past allure under the careful guidance of the energetic Gibert family and now produces an exciting range of red, white, and rose wines.
Domaine: Faillenc Sainte Marie is a small property, with only eight hectares of vineyards stubbornly clinging to the rocky foothills of Mont Alaric. The vineyards are buffeted by the northernwesterly Tramontane wind or the southerly Autan breezes coming off the nearby Mediterranean, creating an extremely dry climate. Syrah, Grenache Noir, and Cinsault are the red grape varieties raised here. A small vineyard (1 hectare) is devoted to white grapes: Roussanne, Macabeu, Bourboulenc and Clairette. The terroir is composed of inhospitable, rocky limestone terraces. Only vines, olive trees and some scraggly brush survive under these harsh conditions. As a result, yields are naturally low. The grapes are strongly marked by their environment and this powerful character shows through in the wines. The charming, quirky personality, sense of humor and creativity of Dominique Gibert, as well as the sensitive and diligent vineyard work of his wife, Marie-Therese Gibert, also mark these wines, both in their style and in their names and labels.They produce 4 wines: a white (today's wine), a rose, and 2 reds:
The rosé is made with the saignée method. The grapes, in this case 100% Syrah, go into a tank for a short period of time, usually overnight. After this short maceration period, the juice "bled" off has absorbed some color from the skins, but is not dark. The fermentation is long and slow at controlled temperatures. The Giberts like to leave a trace of residual sugar in this rosé, believing that it complements the fruit. The temperature in the fermentation tank is reduced to just above the freezing point to kill the yeast and stop the fermentation at around 13% alcohol and 8 g/l residual sugar. The inspired name: "Rosé des Glacières".
The Corbières Rouge is made from a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. The harvest is partially destemmed before going into the fermentation tanks. The different cépages are fermented together, benefiting from the long maceration period to extract the maximum of flavors and allow them to harmonize before being pressed and aged. This is a wine with enormous character.
A special cuvee of Corbières Rouge, the "Syrhconférence de Presse", is a unique and profound wine. Its name is derived from a play on words that refers to its origin as a "press wine" exclusively from Syrah. Contrary to the traditional Corbières mentioned above, this wine is aged in small oak barrels (not new). The resulting wine is powerful and velvety at the same time.
2008 Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie "Pas de Louves" white Corbieres Languedoc France
Imported/Distributed by Madrose/Rosenthal Wine Merchant in NYCThe white cuvée "Pas des Louves" (female wolf steps) is made from a blend of Roussanne, Macabeu, Bourboulenc and Clairette. The different grape varieties are pressed and vinified together benefiting from fine lees contact during fermentation which gives the wine extra body and complexity.
This beautifully crafted white has a clean, pale yellow, haye color. The discreet nose offers floral notes mixed with minerals and white fruit, pear, citrus zest, fresh aromas, and a tiny touch of iodine (may be due to the proximity of the vineyards with the Mediterranean sea). The palate is ultra clean, focus and refreshing. The attack displays bright pear, white peach flavors and expands into a well rounded, soft, light to medium bodied, almost waxy mid-palate that nicely coats your taste buds yet remains balanced with great vivid acidity. After this gentle and enrobing mid-palate, the finish is really dry, with high acidity and, again, it leaves you with that sea breeze, almost slightly salty feeling in the end. Nicely made, bright, refreshing and intriguing, this usual white will surely trigger your interest when drunk over a simple dish like roasted chicken and garlic puree or even a warm Mediterranean vegetables dish or a couscous or roasted tomatoes...
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