C21 - Southern France Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in C21 - Southern France Deck (72):
1

Describe the climate of Southern France

It has a warm mediterranean climate
Summer temperatures often in excess of 30C
Mild winters
Low rainfall

2

What are the two main areas of terrain in Southern France?

The foothills of the surrounding mountains
The coastal plains

3

Describe vineyards in the foothills of Southern France

Noticeably cooler, less fertile, better drained

4

What is an additional climatic problem in Southern France?

Strong winds

5

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

6

What is the biggest grape growing challenge in Southern France?

Drought

7

Despite frequent drought conditions, Southern France can occasionally experience...

Summer floods

8

...varieties account for the majority of Southern France's plantings

Black

9

What ind of varieties are used in Southern France?

Local and international

10

What are the two most important local grape varieties in Southern France?

Grenache and Syrah

11

Where are Syrah and Grenache respectively best suited within Southern France?

Syrah: The cooler sites
Grenache: The warmer, drier sites

12

What is Southern France's third most grown grape variety?

Carignan

13

Describe Carignan in Southern France

High tannin
High acidity
Deep colour
Can lack fruit/finesse

14

In what circumstance can Carignan produce quality wines?

Old vine Carignan in poor soils

15

Where does Carignan's historical popularity in Southern France stem from?

Its ability to produce very high yields

16

What has counteracted Carignan's ability to produce massive yields?

Significantly reduced plantings

17

Which grape is permitted by all AC regulations in Southern France?

Carignan

18

What is the role of Cinsault in Southern France?

It's used in Rose production or to add red fruit flavours to red blends

19

Which grape adds richness, colour and complexity to blends in Southern France?

Mourvèdre

20

Which grapes have a big role in the production of IGP wines in Southern France?

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

21

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

22

Which additional winemaking practice is practiced by some producers in Southern France

Semi-carbonic maceration

23

What is the chief aim of semi-carbonic maceration in Southern France?

To soften the tannins in Carignan

24

What are the two most widely planted white varieties in Southern France?

Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc

25

What is the third most significant white grape in Southern France?

Viognier

26

What are the most widely planted local varieties in Southern France?

Muscat and Grenache Blanc

27

What is Muscat used for in Southern France?

Production of sweet fortified wines
Dry wines with aromatic, grapey aromas

28

Describe the profile of Grenache Blanc in Southern France

Dry wines
Soft, peachy fruitiness
Full body
Low acidity
Tend to oxidise easily

29

Name five additional local varieties in Southern France and the locales in which they are most prized

Picpoul; Pinet
Mauzac; Limoux
Maccabeu; Rousillon
Rolle; Provence
Clairette; Languedoc and Provence

30

What is the best known of the local varieties in Southern France? Describe the wine

Picpoul
Refreshing, high acidity
Green and citrus fruit flavours

31

Which departements make up the Languedoc?

Aude, Herault and Gard

32

Which department makes up Rousillon?

Pyrenees-Orientales

33

Where do the majority of wines in Southern France come from?

Languedoc

34

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

35

What area does the Languedoc appellation cover?

All vineyards from the Spanish border to Nimes

36

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
Pic-St-Loup

37

Give examples of areas within the Languedoc boundaries which do not need to apply 'Languedoc' to their label at all
Why is this?

Minervois
Cotes-du-Rousillon
Some of the more geographically specific appellations have their own individual regulations

38

What is the smallest type of appellation area within Languedoc?

Sub-regional appellations such as Minervois-La Liviniere

39

The...system continues to evolve in Languedoc, as the sub-regions...

Appellation
Continue to apply for full AC status

40

What styles of still, dry wine are permitted in Languedoc?

Red, white and rosé in most appellations

41

What style are the vast majority of Languedoc wines? From which grapes?

Red
From Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and some Mourvedre

42

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)

43

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

44

Describe the best wines of the larger appellations within Languedoc

Full-bodied
Spicy, concentrated red fruit
Often with oak flavours

45

Describe rosés of Southern France

Soft and fruity

46

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
Concentrated wines

47

What constitutes Cotes du Rousillon Villages?

The best vineyards in the north of Cotes du Rousillon

48

Describe and name the appellation just to the north of Cotes du Rousillon Villages

Fitou
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

49

Describe and name the appellation just north of Fitou

Corbieres
Warm sites near the coast and cooler vineyards at altitude, cooled by the tramontane

50

How many subregions make up Corbieres? Which is the best?

11
Boutenac (which has its own AC)

51

Where is Minervois in relation to Southern France's other sub-regions?

North of Corbieres

52

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

53

Like Corbieres, Minervois is...

Sub-divided

54

What is the best sub-region of Minervois?

La Liviniere (which has its own AC)

55

Describe the location of Picpoul de Pinet

Near the coast
Cooling sea breezes help to retain the grape's natural high acidity

56

Describe the wines of Limoux and its terroir

It's a source of premium, oaked Chardonnays
Benefit from the cooling effect of altitude

57

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

58

Which IGP name accounts for the appellations of Southern France

Pays d'Oc

59

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

60

Describe the landscape of Provence

Very varied and broken up by many prominent ranges of hills

61

Where is Provence?

Just east of Pays d'Oc, on the coast

62

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

63

What style of wine accounts for the vast majority of wines within Provence?

Rosés

64

Describe typical Rosé wines from Provence

Pale
Light-bodied
Dry
Delicate flavours of grapefruit and red fruits

65

Describe red wines of Provence

Range from fresh and fruity, to more full-bodied, barrel matured styles

66

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

67

What is the largest appellation in Provence?

Cotes de Provence

68

What style dominates in Cote de Provence?

Rosé

69

Describe how Cotes de Provence is organised

There are three isolated pockets of vineyards along the coast, each with its own AC

70

What is the most important of Cotes de Provence's three coastal ACs?

Bandol

71

Geographically, where is Bandol?

Just to the east of Marseille

72

Describe wines from Bandol

Premium reds based on Mourvedre (ripens reliably on the southern facing terraced slopes)
Dark
Full-bodied
Powerful tannins
Require bottle age
Bramble, meat and liquorice-spice flavours