Flashcards in C21 - Southern France Deck (72):
Describe the climate of Southern France
It has a warm mediterranean climate
Summer temperatures often in excess of 30C
What are the two main areas of terrain in Southern France?
The foothills of the surrounding mountains
The coastal plains
Describe vineyards in the foothills of Southern France
Noticeably cooler, less fertile, better drained
What is an additional climatic problem in Southern France?
Describe the winds of Southern France
Cool winds blow from the north
The mistral blows down the Rhone
The tramontane blows through the gap between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central
What is the biggest grape growing challenge in Southern France?
Despite frequent drought conditions, Southern France can occasionally experience...
...varieties account for the majority of Southern France's plantings
What ind of varieties are used in Southern France?
Local and international
What are the two most important local grape varieties in Southern France?
Grenache and Syrah
Where are Syrah and Grenache respectively best suited within Southern France?
Syrah: The cooler sites
Grenache: The warmer, drier sites
What is Southern France's third most grown grape variety?
Describe Carignan in Southern France
Can lack fruit/finesse
In what circumstance can Carignan produce quality wines?
Old vine Carignan in poor soils
Where does Carignan's historical popularity in Southern France stem from?
Its ability to produce very high yields
What has counteracted Carignan's ability to produce massive yields?
Significantly reduced plantings
Which grape is permitted by all AC regulations in Southern France?
What is the role of Cinsault in Southern France?
It's used in Rose production or to add red fruit flavours to red blends
Which grape adds richness, colour and complexity to blends in Southern France?
Which grapes have a big role in the production of IGP wines in Southern France?
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Describe contemporary winemaking in Southern France
Most wines now benefit from modern equipment, improved cellar hygiene, temperature control, oxygen management and judicious use of new and old oak
Which additional winemaking practice is practiced by some producers in Southern France
What is the chief aim of semi-carbonic maceration in Southern France?
To soften the tannins in Carignan
What are the two most widely planted white varieties in Southern France?
Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc
What is the third most significant white grape in Southern France?
What are the most widely planted local varieties in Southern France?
Muscat and Grenache Blanc
What is Muscat used for in Southern France?
Production of sweet fortified wines
Dry wines with aromatic, grapey aromas
Describe the profile of Grenache Blanc in Southern France
Soft, peachy fruitiness
Tend to oxidise easily
Name five additional local varieties in Southern France and the locales in which they are most prized
Clairette; Languedoc and Provence
What is the best known of the local varieties in Southern France? Describe the wine
Refreshing, high acidity
Green and citrus fruit flavours
Which departements make up the Languedoc?
Aude, Herault and Gard
Which department makes up Rousillon?
Where do the majority of wines in Southern France come from?
Roughly describe the terrains of Languedoc and Rousillon
There is a large coastal plain area between Beziers and Montpellier
Vineyards more hilly and rugged further inland and towards the Spanish border
What area does the Languedoc appellation cover?
All vineyards from the Spanish border to Nimes
Under what circumstances may qualifying regions label their wines with more than just Languedoc AC? Give an example of one
The best subregions may add their names to the labels
Give examples of areas within the Languedoc boundaries which do not need to apply 'Languedoc' to their label at all
Why is this?
Some of the more geographically specific appellations have their own individual regulations
What is the smallest type of appellation area within Languedoc?
Sub-regional appellations such as Minervois-La Liviniere
The...system continues to evolve in Languedoc, as the sub-regions...
Continue to apply for full AC status
What styles of still, dry wine are permitted in Languedoc?
Red, white and rosé in most appellations
What style are the vast majority of Languedoc wines? From which grapes?
From Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and some Mourvedre
Describe the wines of Languedoc
They are very difficult to describe due to the variations in blend possibilities and because of the large areas covered by appellations (each with varying climatic conditions and soils)
How do styles broadly differ based on location within Languedoc? Which varieties flourish
Cooler areas produce wines with more finesse and lighter tannins - Syrah is at its best here
Warmer areas produce more gamey, meaty flavours and greater body - Mourvedre is at its best here
In larger appellations, wines can be blends of these styles
Describe the best wines of the larger appellations within Languedoc
Spicy, concentrated red fruit
Often with oak flavours
Describe rosés of Southern France
Soft and fruity
What is the most rugged and mountainous appellation of the Languedoc? Describe its climate and wine styles
Cotes du Rousillon
Bright sunlight, low rainfall and strong winds
What constitutes Cotes du Rousillon Villages?
The best vineyards in the north of Cotes du Rousillon
Describe and name the appellation just to the north of Cotes du Rousillon Villages
It's split into two separate areas; a warm coastal strip producing fuller bodied wines and a cooler inland area at altitude, which produces lighter wines
Describe and name the appellation just north of Fitou
Warm sites near the coast and cooler vineyards at altitude, cooled by the tramontane
How many subregions make up Corbieres? Which is the best?
Boutenac (which has its own AC)
Where is Minervois in relation to Southern France's other sub-regions?
North of Corbieres
Describe the aspect/topography of Minervois
On the slopes of the Massif Central
Varies in quality due to altitude, soil quality and exposure to cooling influences of the Atlantic
Like Corbieres, Minervois is...
What is the best sub-region of Minervois?
La Liviniere (which has its own AC)
Describe the location of Picpoul de Pinet
Near the coast
Cooling sea breezes help to retain the grape's natural high acidity
Describe the wines of Limoux and its terroir
It's a source of premium, oaked Chardonnays
Benefit from the cooling effect of altitude
Describe the role of IGP wines in Southern France
More IGP wines are made in Languedoc than any other region of France
Vital for the survival of grape growing in Southern France
Which IGP name accounts for the appellations of Southern France
What has contributed to the success of Pays d'Oc wines?
The IGP regulations permit a wider range of grape varieties and varietal labelling
The warm sunny climate means that large volumes of ripe, fruity wines can be produced easily here compared with other regions of France, resulting in excellent value for money
Describe the landscape of Provence
Very varied and broken up by many prominent ranges of hills
Where is Provence?
Just east of Pays d'Oc, on the coast
What purpose do the hills of Provence serve relating to wine?
They protect vineyards from the mistral and provide a variety of soils and climates
What style of wine accounts for the vast majority of wines within Provence?
Describe typical Rosé wines from Provence
Delicate flavours of grapefruit and red fruits
Describe red wines of Provence
Range from fresh and fruity, to more full-bodied, barrel matured styles
Which grapes can feature in the best white wines of Provence? What role do they play?
Rolle and Clairette
Their aromatic qualities are made use of in these wines
What is the largest appellation in Provence?
Cotes de Provence
What style dominates in Cote de Provence?
Describe how Cotes de Provence is organised
There are three isolated pockets of vineyards along the coast, each with its own AC
What is the most important of Cotes de Provence's three coastal ACs?
Geographically, where is Bandol?
Just to the east of Marseille