Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Malepère, shares many of the wine characteristics of cabardès, another small aoc where the Midi and Aquitaine meet near Carcassonne in the far west of the languedoc. Climatically, it belongs even more definitively to south west France than to the Languedoc, from which it is geographically protected by the Hautes Corbières peaks. The vineyards, mainly clay and limestone, are immediately north of limoux. The wines, mainly red and some rosé, are made up of a blend of Bordeaux and Languedoc varieties but in the case of Malepère, with its wetter, more Atlantic climate, it is the Bordeaux varieties that predominate. Merlot must make up at least half the blend of reds, with Cabernet Franc and Cot (Malbec) constituting at least 20%, but Cinsaut, Grenache, Lladoner Pelut, and Cabernet Sauvignon are also allowed as minor ingredients. Rosés are based on Cabernet Franc. Wine production is dominated by several large co-operatives, of which the determinedly océanique Cave du Razès is responsible for almost two-thirds of the region’s production.