I believe this is the most famous vine-yard that produces the, since 2005, new AOP Corbières Boutenac. It is in the commune of Boutenac in the little village Gasparets. They only produce four wines, two red, one white and one rosé. Romain Pauc is the top quality red and is classified as AOP Corbières Boutenac. The rest of the wines are traditional AOP Corbières. AOP Corbières Boutenac wines are produced under the most strict rules. The yield is today in average 54 hl/ha, but in the top wine it is not more than about half of this. Irrigation of the grapes is not allowed. There are also strict rules and time limits from the moment the hand harvested grapes are picket until they reach the press. The major grape is Carignan, that at the time was regarded a cheap grape for volume, but with limitation of yield and new methods it has turned into a high quality grape that produces very powerful wine to keep for many years. Other grapes that are allowed in limited amount in Boutenac wines are Grenach noir, Syrah and Mourvadre. La Volte Gasparets only uses their 100 years old plants of Carignan as a base to produce Romain Pauc.
The secret however with Boutenac wine is the terroir (soil). There are streaks of former sea-soil with lots of large sea-polished sea stones that form the terroir of Boutenac. It is a wonder that anything can grow in something so barren. The terroir is very much identical to what you can find in Château Neuf du Pape in the Rhône Valley. It is only on the field with this soil one is allowed to produce Boutenac wines – the rest becomes ordinary AOP Corbières.
If you do not like to spend the little less than 20 euros for their top wine the other wines are also excellent. The red Cuvee Reserve is a high quality traditional AOP Corbières picked from plants that are 50 years old. The white is fruity and pleasant both with food and for aperitif on the balcony and the rosé is regarded among our friend as one of the better in the area.
The tasting facilities and the storing rooms are magnificent so it is worth wile to go there and sample and buy the wine. They however have a limitation of buying the top quality Romain Pauc – only a box of six per visitor. This wine comes in a nice wooden box with print on, which is good as you can save it for 10 years plus without any problems and you should let it mature for at least five years after the year printed on the bottle. This however goes for all top quality Boutenac wines.
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