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Wine of the Week #1547: Sainte Croix Corbieres “Fournas”

[ 2013 Sainte Croix Corbieres “Fournas” ]

PROFILE | Domaine Sainte Croix


[ Why We Love It: ]

If you like good wine then you’re going to love Domaine Sainte Croix. Not just because the wines are delicious (they are!) – but because they’re wine rockstars; passionate, hands-on vignerons who have spent years honing their craft and selecting the perfect place to make characterful, authentic and delicious wines that – while they’re far too humble to admit it – are raising the bar for wine quality and personality across an entire appellation.

Domaine Sainte Croix is owned and run by the English husband and wife team Jon and Elizabeth Bowen, who have extensive experience of working both in classic French stone ‘caves’ and giant, steel wineries in many parts of the world. From first sight of the unique geology and ‘climat’ here, professional intuition made it clear that it was an area of immense potential.

Appellations across the south of France have long been seen as a source for “value” wines; largely generic, ripe and fruity reds that make up for a lack of personality and character with accessible prices. The wines of Sainte Croix take that paradigm and turn it on its ear. These are not the cheapest expressions of Corbieres you can find – not by far – but they are serious, thoughtful wines that exhibit the expertise, passion and intelligence we expect from other more “pedigree’d” AOCs.

Hidden in the rugged limestone hills of the Haute Corbières, Domaine Sainte Croix is situated in the village of Fraissé des Corbières in the very South of France, on the border between the Languedoc and the Roussillon some 20 minutes inland from the Mediterranean. Its 32 acres of vineyard are made up of many different terroirs, from small blocks of steel-blue limestone to sandy, gravelly clay shot through with quartz crystals, to sheets of purple-green schist.

The domaine benefits from a strong mesoclimate where cooler maritime weather meets the heat and dryness of the interior. Here, there is much in common with the Roussillon, found only a valley away. This is an area that has been widely reputed for its Grenache-based wines for well over a century and many of these same vines still give grapes of extraordinary depth and concentration. The small vineyard parcels are often bordered by age-old stone walls, fig, almond and wild cherry trees.


[ Price: ]

BOTTLE: $24.95

CASE: $149.70


[ Technical Specs: ]



Case Pack: 6 x 750mL

GRAPES: 45% Carignan, 23% Syrah, 25% Grenache & 7% Mourvedre

[ Recipes & Food Pairings: ]

Grilled Beef Shortribs w/ Sesame-Chipotle Mole – RECIPE

Lamb Meatballs w/ Foie Gras, Pecorino & Mint Sauce – RECIPE

Beef Tenderloin w/ Rosemary Cream & Fresh Horseradish – RECIPE

[ Tasting Notes: ]

“The juicy, Bing cherry and sappy herbs-scented 2013 Le Fournas is medium-bodied, has bright acidity and a clean, charming personality. Made from 50% Carignan, 21% Grenache, and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre, drink it over the coming 3-4 years.”

Jeb Dunnuck /

“Bright purple, morello-cherry red. Rich aromas of blackcurrant fruits and dark leaves, damson, loganberry and redcurrant. A medium-bodied wine with much depth of flavour, Le Fournas shows cassis, plums, wild red fruits on the palate, supported by fresh acidity, a flinty minerality and soft tannins with a long, aromatic finish.”

Winemaker’s Note

Wine of the Week #1547: 2013 Domaine Sainte Croix Corbieres “Fournas”

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More about Andrew Hanna

Pulling corks and pushing cases as a third generation wine importer in Ontario, Canada selling fine wines and spirits produced by families - not factories. Get the full story at

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