Les Deux Rives
Val d’Orbieu, Corbières, France
by Simone Zarmati Diament
corbieres roseAnyone who has ever spent a late summer afternoon sipping rosé on the banks of the Canal du Midi, watching the boats glide by, can’t possibly ignore that the canal that was built in the late 1600’s by the Great King Louis XIV to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic. Nor that it was the most important route of transportation for the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon to Northern France and to the rest of Europe. Nor that the Languedoc Roussillon, in the south-west of Provence along the Mediterranean sea and near the Pyrenées mountains, is the largest producer of wine in France.
You only have to drive through the highway cutting through the fields of wheat interspersed with vineyards and more vineyards flourishing on soft hill slopes under the summer heat to understand that this huge region produces an almost infinite selection of native and international grapes in an equally infinite variety of microclimates.
From Corbières, which has the latest vineyards to be discovered for their quality, come the fresh, easy to drink, young wines of  “Les Deux Rives – easily recognizable from the label, a 1920 sepia postcard of the Canal du Midi. These AOC wines are made from Syrah, Cinsealt, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvèdre for the reds and rosés, and Marsanne Maccabeu and Grenache Blanc for the whites.
2009 Les Deux Rives AOC Corbières Rosé, Fontfroide ($8.99) Cinsault (15%), Syrah (35%) and Grenache (50 %). Tender pink, Pomelo shade. Nice nose, bouquet of small and elegant berries. Bright cherry, raspberry and currant flavors. Well behaved and a beautiful amplitude with a nice length, aromas of fresh fruits with a final ginger and spice note.  One couldn’t dream of a most appropriate wine for a sultry Miami summer. 87 points in  The Wine Spectator .
2008 Val d'Orbieu Les Deux Rives Corbiéres Rouge, ($9.99)  The 2007 version of this Corbieres was one  the value finds of the year last year.  Juicy, direct, versatile and food friendly, it is made from Carignan (10%), Mourvedre (20%), Syrah (30%) and Grenache (40%) that are all fermented separately and then blended and matured in tank, this is once again bright, expressive and guilt free.  There's no need to spend more on an inferior Côtes du Rhône with this spice-inflected blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan.   Enjoy this bistro-styled red with simply prepared meals such as savory lamb with couscous or pork loin-spiked ratatouille.