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Details for Rare Vineyards, Marsanne-Viognier

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AppellationPays d'Oc


These two vast Mediterranean areas have been a hotbed of experimentation and innovation for French wines.
Roussillon is the smaller, western region bordering Spain. The vineyards are very hot and dry and Grenache thrives in these arid conditions. It is especially famous for fortified Vin Doux Naturels like Rivesaltes, Maury and Banyuls, made mostly from that grape. Unfortified wines from the area are called Collioure, made from Grenache but with plenty of Syrah and Mourvèdre added to the mix. Côtes de Roussillon wine is made with Carignan and Cinsault as well as Syrah and Mourvèdre. Côtes de Roussillon Villages is a step up and Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres is even more so.
The Languedoc, to the east, is split into several significant sub-regions according to climatic and geographical influences. The reds of Minervois, Corbières and Fitou are good quality and value for money. Limoux is a region gaining a reputation for its sparkling wines made from Mauzac, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Where Languedoc meets the Rhône river, the Côteaux du Languedoc is an important appellation, as too are St Chinian, Faugères, Clairette de Languedoc and Picpoul de Pinet.
But it is the various IGTs (formerly Vins de Pays) that have really driven innovation. Their more relaxed regulation of grape varieties and production methods have allowed winemakers freedom to experiment, making this the most New World of French wine regions.

LGI Wines

Founded in 1999 and based in Carcassonne in Languedoc, LGI was the brainchild of Alain Grignon, formerly of the Foncalieu co-operative group, who had the vision of making inexpensive wines designed specifically for the export market. In this he was helped at the beginning by English merchant, and ex-Waitrose buyer, Mark Lynton MW. The wines are sold under a variety of export-friendly brand names including Rare Vineyards and Élevé.
Most of the wines are sourced from a number of cooperatives, the majority along an arc between Carcassonne and Béziers, with some fruit also coming from Limoux and from further afield in Gascony. The winemaking and bottling is supervised by Xavier Roger, a Sancerrois, recently promoted to chief executive. LGI is also able to act as broker for several top estates, including Domaine Barroubio in Saint-Jean de Minervois and Christophe Barbier in La Clape.

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