2016 Le Corbières – Produced from equal parts Carignan (freshness), Grenache (texture) and Syrah (body), this has pure lifted aromas of dark cherry and kirsch accented fruits with notes of garrigue and spice. The mouthfeel shows excellent concentration and depth. Rich, opulent fruit flavours align to a seriously mineral backbone with great length and persistance. Again a sensual, satisfying Languedoc red with the Cossard flair.
In 1998, Laetitia Ourliac and Rodolphe Gianesini (pictured above) found a somewhat forgotten vineyard of 18 acres in Escales near Lézignan in the appellation of Corbières.
For 6 years they undertook winemaking training and began the slow work required to develop their land in the ancient manner, by creating terraces and planting vines: Carignan, Syrah and Grenache for red wine and Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier for white – Fond Cyprès was born in 2004.
Since then they have both been working incredibly hard to find the identity of their vineyards: knowing each plot, each variety and developing a winemaking style that they believe in.
In truth it has all come together in extraordinarily successful style. These are today, in a short space of time, some of the best wines in the Languedoc – characterized by their attractive fragrance; elegant, silky texture and exquisite balance – you might think I am talking about fine Burgundy with those words and there is indeed a connection.
Rodolphe and Laetitia are great friends with Fred and Laure Cossard of Saint-Romain – Fred, in my opinion, being one of the finest winemakers, natural or otherwise, on the planet!
The vineyards are treated as natural as possible, and no work is spared to keep the vines in top and healthy condition. No herbicides and no spraying. During vintage, there is strict selection already made in the vineyards, and only fruit of vines older than 30 years is retained. Naturally, this is hard work to yield consistently healthy, perfect fruit year after year.
The fermentation room is equipped with high quality but basic equipment but it’s use is for the sole purpose of allowing the least intervention in the natural wine making process. It is incredible to see how clean the room is, even during busy vintage time. The fruit of all vineyards are similarly treated, and everything is done by gravitation until the fermentation in concrete.
Even the sorting table is raised above the floor to allow free fall of the sorted berries into the destemmer, saving the use of conveyor belt widely used by other domains to lift the berries to the crusher. The fruit is nearly all destemmed at an extremely low speed. This allows only undamaged grapes to get into the fermentation tank, to follow what
Rodolphe calls “intra cellular fermentation”, meaning, the majority of the fermentation process occurs inside the grape before the skin breaks completely.
This is the manner of Ponsot, Pacalet, Prieure-Roch and of course Cossard and Rodolphe continues to follow this tradition. Naturally, only the grapes’ natural yeasts are the ones responsible for the fermentation process.
These wines are marked by wonderful purity and bright vibrant fruit they are bottled with minimal use of or no sulfur; bottling is done by hand at the domaine. No fining or filtering is needed, since the wines are naturally clear after the 16-20 months elevage.
Fond Cyprès are a great discovery that marries attentive farming, talented non-interventionist winemaking and the unique terroir of the Corbières.