Cabardès (3) is an AOC named after the Lords of Cabaret who defended the Châteaux de Lastours against Simon de Montfort in 1209. Despite the name's medieval origins, this appellation is one of the youngest in France, having only become official in February of 1999.


The soil composition varies between chalky clay, limestone and rocky foothill terroir. The vineyards of the Cabardes cover a mere 500 hectares on the northwestern border of the modern Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, an area that runs up against the foothills of the Montagne Noire. The appellation really consists of a small grouping of villages directly north of the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. It is exceptionally small in size compared to the neighbouring AOC areas like the 5,100 hectare-large Minervois or the 15,000 hectares of the Corbieres.


Most of the wine produced in the Cabardès is red, but rosé can also be classified. The appellation is the only AOC in France that permits the blending of grape varieties typically found in Mediterranean climates like Syrah and Grenache with varieties typically found in Atlantic climates like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This varietal composition reflects the distinctive soil qualities and dominant winds of the area.


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