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Corbières & Minervois report 2023: Latest releases tasted

‘We really are living in the extremes,’ says Clémence Fabre of Corbières producer Famille Fabre. The 2021 and 2022 vintages are at two ends of a spectrum, and the climate is changing faster than many can adapt.

Corbières & Minervois 2022 vintage rating:  4 / 5

Corbières & Minervois 2021 vintage rating: 3 / 5

Despite the rumbling autoroute that forges east-west through its heart and the sea of towering wind turbines that stand like sentinels, Corbières is still a wild, roughhewn landscape, a lumpy and scraggy expanse of vines and garrigue.

It’s a huge appellation: by far the largest in the Languedoc both in terms of production (around 270,000hl per year) and area under vine (8,300ha). As Rosemary George MW says in her 2018 book Wines of the Languedoc, ‘the particularity of Corbières is the diversity of its terroir, for both soil, which is mainly clay limestone, and climate, ranging from Oceanic in the far west to a warm Mediterranean climate on the coast.

This diversity is a strength (varieties and blends differ significantly depending on location, and Carignan is of particular note), but also a weakness (despite its size and potential, it has only come up with one cru, Boutenac).

Corbières’ neighbour Minervois abuts the Montagne Noire on its northern flank, and also has just one cru – La Livinière.

See the Languedoc report 2023 homepage

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top Corbières & Minervois wines from 2022 & 2021

Corbières & Minervois latest releases

The village of La Livinière. Credit: Decanter / Natalie Earl.

See the Languedoc latest releases score tables:

All top-scoring wines

All top-scoring white wines

All top-scoring red wines

Corbières & Minervois latest releases

Famille Fabre’s old Grenache vines on Corbières’ cru Boutenac terroir. Credit: Decanter / Natalie Earl.

Individual appellation analysis:

Limoux | La Clape | St-Chinian | Faugères | Picpoul de Pinet | Terrasses du Larzac | Pic St Loup

Corbières & Minervois latest releases

Tasting at Maxime Magnon. Maxime Magnon (left), Natalie Earl (right).

Top five producers to look out for

Maxime Magnon, Corbières

A Burgundy native, Maxime Magnon started his own domaine in the Corbières in 2002 after working in Beaujolais with Marcel Lapierre. He now makes sought-after wines from predominantly very old vines (80-120 years old) that have great finesse and a lightness of touch.

Domaine Ledogar, Corbières

Xavier and Mathieu took over the family domaine in 1997, stopped selling the grapes to the local cooperative, and soon converted to organics and then biodynamics. Characterful wines.

Château Beauregard Mirouze, Corbières

A domaine that’s newly on my radar, this is a young husband and wife team who have taken over the family estate, converting to organics in 2010 and biodynamics in 2018. One to watch.

Domaine la Bouysse, Corbières

A new discovery, a family affair. Both white and red 2022s impressed. One to seek out.

Château Maris, Minervois

A good example of making biodynamic wine at some scale, this domaine has made great leaps in pushing forward on sustainable viticulture and was one of the first European vineyards to obtain BCorp certification.

See the Languedoc report 2023 homepage

Tasting notes and scores for the top Corbières & Minervois latest releases:

The wines below are listed by style then score, starting with the highest scoring Corbières followed by the highest scoring Minervois.

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