Anne Gros Les Fontanilles 2019

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Anne Gros and Jean Paul Tollot, both fifth-generation winemakers in their respective domaines in Vosne-Romanée and Chorey-les-Beaune in Burgundy, joined their expertise in 2008 to create the Terroirs de Cazelles in the Haut Minervois area of the Languedoc.  The influence is obvious as the style of wines emphasize acidity and freshness more so than many other producers from the warmer, sunny region of Languedoc.

Cazelles is a tiny hamlet at  220 meters which is a high elevation for Minervois.  The domaine is comprised of 15 hectares / 37 acres distributed among 6 vineyards, of which 5 have been baptized as L’O de La Vie, Les Combettes, Les Fontanilles, La Ciaude, and Les Carrétals. Each cuvee is coming from AOC Minervois classification.

Les Fontanilles is a fruit driven, particularly complex blend of  Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault sourced from a number of cool, north-facing plots (totaling 3 hectares) of 25 to 50+ year old vines on flaky grey sediment known as grés.  The terroir is influenced by the surrounding garrigue (scrubland of pines trees, wild thyme and rosemary).  All the fruit is hand picked.  Half of the wine was aged in barrel, half in stainless steel tank, but the wood is never prominent, maybe just adding a touch of roundness around the edges.  The result is a cuvee that combines maturity and freshness and offers a bouquet of red and black fruits, and peppery spices. This wine goes particularly well with grilled meats and bbq.

Beautifully balanced with seamless components.  Lovely mélange of red and dark berries, with hints of garrigue and vanillin. Underpinning of soft tannins makes this wine very approachable.  Try with everything from spicy tamale pie to roast chicken, or of course, one’s favorite cassoulet.