Complex, dark fruit, rich, earthy.
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Three parcels of Carignan, named “La Mariole” have been planted between 1880 and 1910. Grapes are harvested by hand and destemmed. Natural fermentation at controlled temperature around 22 degrees. Maceration for around 10 days.
Xavier Ledogar has worked this 22 hectare domain since he was 12 years old and took complete control over it in 1997, changing its name from Domaine Grand Lauze to Domaine Ledogar. The vineyards here, in the Boutenac terroir near Carcassonne, are spread around the village of Ferrals-les-Corbières. In 1998, one of his first changes Xavier made to the family domain, of which he was of the fourth generation of custodians, was to stop selling the grapes to the local co-op and instead use them to make outstanding wines himself.
Xavier was joined by his brother, Mathieu in 2004, and they rapidly converted the vineyards to abide by biodynamic principles, such as using the lunar calendar and herbal and plant teas as fertilizers. Instead of machinery, horses are used to plough the fields and donkeys keep the weeds in check. Domaine Ledogar was certified organic by Ecocert in 2006.
Grapes: Carignan, Marselan
Carignan is a late ripening black skin variety which was once so widely planted in Languedoc-Roussillon that it was France's most planted vine for much of the 19th century. Because of it's late ripening habits, Carignan can only thrive in relatively hot climates. The vine has been important in the Americas. There were about 3,300 acres in California's hotter regions in 2012 as the vine's productivity and vigor is valued by growers.
Marselan is a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache Noir created in 1961. It was developed for the Languedoc region in order to have resiliency during both wet and dry seasons. It is also disease resistant.There are now over 8,500 acres of Marselan planted in France with almost 1/3 located in Languedoc and southern Rhone.
This region was named for the language that its historical inhabitants spoke. Their language was Occitan, hence - lengue d'oc. Languedoc is one of the greatest wine producing regions in France by volume and contains over a quarter of all the wine producing vines in the country.
Vines were planted as early is 125 BC on the hills near the Roman colony of Narbo (modern day Narbonne). In the Middle Ages, viticulture in this region thrived under the watch of monks and monasteries. The great majority of Languedoc's vines are planted on flat, low lying alluvial plain - however some vines are planted high above sea level in the foothills of Cevennes and the Corbieres Pyreanean. The region is highly influenced by the Atlantic and is a Merditerranean climate, prone to drought.
Tasting: Complex, dark fruit, rich, earthy
Pairing: Roast lamb, heavy tomato-based pasta, london broil marinated tofu.