38% Syrah, 34% Grenache Noir, 28% Carignan
Due to its exceptional geographical location and unique wine-growing site and history, Domaine d’Aussières is one of those wild, natural places that gives an impression of great force and beauty. These words of Baron Eric de Rothschild explain why he fell in love with the estate and Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) has taken on the challenge to revitalize one of the oldest and most beautiful wine-making estates in the Narbonne area. Now his daughter Saskia continues the work her father began. Acquired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in 1999, the 1,359 acre Domaine d’Aussières estate has undergone a vast rehabilitation program. 412 acres of vines have been replanted with carefully selected traditional Languedoc grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan, complemented with Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Altan is named after a wind that blows in from the sea. The grapes are selected from the plots at the base of the slopes that separate the property from the Mediterranean, thus benefiting from the breeze that brings freshness and humidity and tempers the sometimes dry, arid climate. These conditions allow the berries to maintain a good balance and to keep relatively fine skins.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
The property is nestled in steep hills, slightly inland from the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne in the south of France.
The relatively mild winter in 2020 led to an early bud break and increased the threat of fungal diseases. A warm, relatively wet summer, with a hot, dry late summer period, without scorching high temperatures, allowed the grapes to reach their optimal aromatic potential slowly, while maintaining a sufficient level of acidity. As the growth cycle progressed, the vines lost some of their head start and the grapes were harvested about ten days earlier than the previous vintage.WINEMAKING & AGEING
Altan d’Aussières is a wine that offers a superb expression of the classic Corbières grape varieties (Syrah, Grenache and Carignan). Both the vinification and ageing stages are carried out with a view to expressing the specific characteristics of each grape variety. 40% of the grapes are vinified with carbonic maceration in order to express the particularly distinctive aromatic markers of the Carignan and Syrah. The rest of the grapes are vinified traditionally in stainless steel and concrete vats. To preserve the pure expression of the terroirs obtained during the vinification process, the wine is aged without barrels to avoid any additional external aromatic input. The ageing process consists of six months in vats, then 8–10 months in bottles. This second period allows the wine to regain its fullness and cohesiveness after the ageing in vats and bottling.TASTING NOTES
A beautiful concentration of fruit and aromas, this is a generous, full-bodied wine that offers a complex palette of flavors from deep within the identity of the terroir, with scents of the garrigue (broom, rock rose), and aromatic herbs (thyme, sage, juniper and rosemary). The batches produced by carbonic maceration give the blend a creamy, velvety and yet firm structure, with an aromatic palette of fresh, very ripe fruit (crushed berries, strawberries).