It’s not often I review foreign wine, so when I do I always like to insert a little bit about the region. This Gris de Gris hails from France’s Languedoc-Roussilon AOC, which spans along the Mediterranean coastline, from the southern border with Spain up toward France’s region of Provence. In total, the AOC has about 700,000 acres planted to vines and is one of the biggest wine-producing regions in the world.

The terrain and climate characteristics are similar to that of the Southern Rhône region (located to the north and slightly west of Languedoc) and Provence (located to the north, arching toward the east along the Mediterranean Ocean.) Thus, the whole of the Languedoc-Roussillon region produces a wide variety of grapes and wine styles — from your classic “Bordeaux” varietals (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc) to your typical Rhône varietals (Grenache, Syrah, Viognier).

There are several appellations and sub-appellations within Languedoc that, for the most part, were originally separated based more on politics than wine-related reasons — though this seems to be changing even as we speak. However, a lot of wines from this area will still simply state “Languedoc” without any other regional or varietal information on the bottle.
On the whole, the Languedoc regions seems to be –what? — undiscovered or under-appreciated? There are quality wines coming from the AOC that are a lot more affordable than some of France’s other notable regions. I guess, for now, let’s not question it, let’s just go with it. And let’s go with it with this Gris de Gris.

About the Wine: The Domaine De Fontsainte 2017 Gris de Gris is made from 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir; 10% Mourvèdre; 10% Carignan; and 10% Cinsault harvested from several of Fontsainte’s vineyard parcels located in the Languedoc region of France.

Grapes were hand harvested and whole cluster press. After 24 hours of settling, the juice fermented in tank for 35 days, then aged for 1 month before bottling.

12.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of Domaine De Fontsainte 2017 Gris de Gris and breathe in beautiful aromas of strawberry, watermelon, red apple, and an almost pink lemonade-like scent. This Gris de Gris is almost clear on the pour with just a hint of a champagne-shade. In the glass, it’s a very faint rose gold hue.

Initial aromas are quite floral with pink roses. There’s a hint of apple, but it, too, is hanging on its tree amidst blossoms. In the background there’s a fun hint of strawberry starburst. Swirl and release a bit of lemon lime zest and a hint of lemongrass.

The palate of the Domaine De Fontsainte 2017 Gris de Gris is surprisingly smooth with what starts as a delicate acidity and moves toward a kick at the end. There’s a constant light textural background. Dominant flavors are of strawberry, ruby grapefruit, pollen, lemon zest, edible flowers, and an aftertaste of red apple.

Note: Keep the wine chilled to enjoy a bit of effervescence.

Food Pairing: I paired the Domaine De Fontsainte 2017 Gris de Gris with a spicy quesadilla alongside a papaya and mango salad. What I loved was the spice from the jalapeño — the effervescence cut through the spice (as well as the thickness of the cheese), but also accentuated the heat tinge on the tongue. The cheese — for whatever reason — actually brought forward some of the fruitier elements as well as hints of vanilla.

This is an elegant wine that pairs quite nicely with a midweek meal like this one. But I would happily pair this with a more elevated meal. I think it would pair well with a salmon dish or even a light chicken dish.

More Info: I received the Domaine De Fontsainte 2017 Gris de Gris as a sample for review. (Cheers Megan!) For more information about Domaine De Fontsainte, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Domaine De Fontsainte website.

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