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Fitou

This is the oldest established red French wine AC of the Languedoc. There is a clear differentiation between Fitou that is made from the coastal strip and that produced inland. A superb full-bodied, and powerful red wine is produced from approx. 2,500 hectares between Narbonne and Perpignan. The bouquet and the taste of the best Fitou have overwhelming influences of Provençal herbs such as bay laurel, thyme, and rosemary, sometimes with a touch of clove, and flint. The best Fitou benefits from lengthy maturing in oak and can certainly be laid down. This French wine is extremely popular with the French and English. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8°F) .

Roussillon

The vineyards of Roussillon are situated south of Corbieres, at the foot of the Pyrenees, on part of Catalonia that has been French since 1642. The vineyards stretch themselves out, beneath the hot and drying Mediterranean sun, across a variety of different types of soil and landscape, from the coast to deep inland. The coastal strip south of Fitou to Argeles-sur-Mer is an oasis of calm for both nature lovers and sun-worshippers. From Argeles to the Spanish border the landscape is more rugged and hilly, with the only haven being the picturesque bay of Collioure.

Maury

Once of France's finest wines - the red vin doux naturel - is produced in the country around the small town of Maury. The blue vines of Grenache that are kept pruned low produce very low yields of grapes but they are high in juice in the sun-baked rocky soil. Young Maury is granite red while more mature ones tend to the colour of mahogany. A good Maury is very aromatic: when young is develops above all fruity aromas (red fruit), later suggestions of cocoa coffee, and preserved fruits dominate.

Although the cheaper Maury wines can be pleasant, it is better to choose the best ones for these are better value. One estate is worthy of particular recommendation for its velvet soft wine with an unparalleled and fascinating bouquet of spiced bread, liquorice, plums, and cocoa: Domaine du

Mas Amiel. Drinking good temperature for this French wine: 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .

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