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Faugères


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Faugères is an appellation that originally was part of Coteaux du Languedoc, but was entirely split off when the unique quality of its wines was realized. Since its emancipation in the mid-1980s, Faugères has developed its own style, but is still a bit overlooked in favor of the larger appellations.

At a little under 5,000 acres, Faugères has a competitive size, and production numbers are high. The vineyards are located among the hills of seven specific villages, one of which is the titular Faugères. Most of the wines are red GSM blends.

History

While Faugères' borders were declared as early as the 1940s, the appellation was only split off officially from Coteaux du Languedoc in 1982. Initially, white wines still had to label themselves as Coteaux du Languedoc, and it was only in 2005 that they were allowed into the Faugères appellation.

Climate and Viticulture

The mountains and hills that source the great majority of Faugères production are generally composed of schist, peppered here and there with Burgundy-like clay and limestone. The soil actually looks light and arid, and in fact doesn't look particularly conducive to wine growth. But looks can be deceiving, and the beautiful Mediterranean weather combined with the subterranean potential of the soil makes Faugères a worthy appellation.

Grape Varieties

Red grapes are virtually the same as in the rest of the Languedoc. Cinsaut, Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre are the specifically permitted grapes--the same as Coteaux du Languedoc itself. White wines use Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Roussanne, and the Italian Vermentino. Whites make up only a tiny part of production. There are some cuvées made from one grape, such as varietal Syrah, since non-blends are allowed in Faugères; however, blends have remained usual.

Major Producers

In general, Faugères wines that are blends have powerful red fruit flavors with peppery nuances. They are ripe and fruity, and light- to medium-bodied. Two of the appellation's largest producers come highly recommended.

Subregions

Although often thought of as a sub-appellation of Coteaux du Languedoc due to the fact that it lies completely within its borders, Faugères has been a separate appellation since 1982. As such, it is has no subregions or terroirs of its own.