A Visit To Domaine de Fontsainte

On a recent wine trip through the beautiful and still underappreciated Languedoc region of southern France, I had the pleasure to pay my friend Bruno Laboucarié a visit. Bruno represents the current generation of the Laboucarié family managing their property, Domaine de Fontsainte, in the appellation of Corbières.  He took the reins from his father Yves who remains very active at the domaine.

Bruno’s grandfather died this year at the age of 102.5 years, one year younger than their vineyard they call La Demoiselle.  I was introduced to him when I was there, about a month before he died. He was asleep in a chair in their dining room, dressed to the hilt.  Bruno woke him up by clapping loudly and shouting “Papie,” which would have probably given me a heart attack in and of itself.  His great joy at this stage in life was joining the family at the lunch table every day and sharing a glass of their Gris de Gris and some good conversation.  He was at his most animated at that point in the day.2008 Gris de Gris 2

In his memory I wanted to make you aware of the fact that we currently have in stock the gorgeous 2008 Gris de Gris ($13.95), a Grenache Gris dominated rosé that is bright, lively, zesty, round and slides down the throat with effortless abandon.  It is year end and year out our best value in rosé and one of our most delicious.  It is an absolute MUST HAVE for your summer dining and cocktailing regimen.  Get it cold, right off the boat from France.

Demoiselles 1La Demoiselle

We also have two outstanding reds from Fontsainte: their absurdly well-priced 2007  Corbières Rouge ($12.95) and the wise old man, 2006 La Demoiselle ($16.00).  The Corbières Rouge is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah in an easy to drink, supple style.  La Demoiselle is a product of ancient Carignan vines, the true soul of Corbières.  Bruno has assembled quite a collection of ancient Carignan vineyards and in addition to the 100 year + parcel he has parcels of 95 and 70 yr old vines to name a few.  La Demoiselle is a wine of haunting finesse, a wine that stands the test of time in the cellar (a classic KLWM starter cellar wine – look at that price!), a beautifully balanced wine with great character.  Kermit told me last week that a magnum of ’95 Demoiselles was his favorite wine on the table at a recent winemaker dinner that included many old and prestigious gems that sold for many times the price.  Come and get it while supplies last.


  1. Keep it up. Great to hear about your wanderings. Just drank a Tua Rita Gusti du Notri, 2000. I know you like Italian wines. I really think they know best, out side of France, what to do with Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet and the rest.

  2. We were just at Domaine de Fontsainte yesterday. It had been two years since we’d visited Boutenac, and we had just finished the last bottle of 2006 gris de gris the week before. Amazingly, it was still good!

    Yves treated us with a long lecture…maybe an hour and a half or more…about the history of the vineyards and the vinificaton of each of the wines. Last time we were there, he told us the story of Kermit’s first visit there. It feels good to have a personal connection in California to one of our favorite vineyards here in France.

    We will be visiting you in Berkeley in a month or so to stock up our Santa Cruz cave…

  3. Roy Coughlin says:

    It may be winter here in New England, but openning this Gris de Gris from Domaine de Fontsainte, it brings summer just a little closer. I picked up this gem of a rose at my local wine shop for just $8. You can bet that I will be returning to stock my rose wine box with a few more. I can’t wait to enjoy my next bottle out on my patio with fresh fruit salad and crusty bread. This wine is truly delicious!

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