Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Clape, La, named terroir within the languedoc aoc in southern France which can be unfairly penalized for its name in Anglophone markets. La Clape was once an island off the busy Roman port of Narbo (Narbonne). Today it is a quintessentially Mediterranean coastal mountain just south of Narbonne which has one of France’s highest average annual totals of sunshine. On the clay-limestone southern slopes of the rocky massif, the climate is heavily influenced by the sea. Elevations of vineyards can vary by as much as 200 m/980 ft. La Clape is particularly well suited to growing bourboulenc, which must represent at least 40% of the grapes used in the production of La Clape’s iodine-scented white wines in which Grenache Blanc and a little Viognier is also allowed. Most of the wine produced from about 1,000 ha/2,500 acres of vineyard within the appellation is full-blooded red, however, virtually indistinguishable from maritime corbières, with Ch de la Négly a notable producer. The extensive l’Hospitalet domaine is headquarters of the dynamic Languedoc négociant Gérard Bertrand.