Zazou Corbières

The Zazous were part of a subculture in France during and after World War Two. They were young people who expressed their individuality by wearing garish clothing and listening to Jazz music. They rebelled against the conformity and conservatism imposed by the Nazis occupying France during the Second World War. Often men had long greased hair, oversized clothes and thick sole suede shoes while women wore jackets with extremely wide shoulders, short pleated skirts, shoulder length blonde curly hair styles, with sunglasses and bright red lipstick.
A rich Jazz scene sprang up in Montmartre in the inter-war years. Black Americans musicians felt freer in Paris than they did back home, and they contributed greatly to the Paris Jazz culture. The Zazous probably got their name from a line in a song ‘ Zah Zuh Zah’ by the black American jazz musician Cab Calloway.
Zazou, the wine, is a take on originality and non conformity to explore wine outside common boundaries.

Corbières the largest AOC in the Languedoc produces 46% of the region’s AOC wines. 95% is red wine and Carignan is the most common cépage. The AOC regulations are strict and a minimum of two red varieties must be grown on one estate. Grenache, Lledoner Pelut, Mourvèdre and Syrah (the main grape varieties with the exception of Carignan) must together make up at least 50% of the vineyard plantings. Carignan, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir can together not make up more than 50 % of the plantings. A maximum of 50 % Carignan, 20 % Cinsault and 10 % of Grenache Gris planting is allowed for reds.
The AOC was created in 1985 and covers 13 500 ha with 1 782 producers. It is located in the Aude department between the towns of Narbonne, along the Mediterranean coast, and Carcassonne, inland to the west. On the ascending western side, the hills rise to a height where it is too cold to grow vines. On the Eastern side, vineyards end by Leucate lagoon and the Mediterranean Sea. The southern border meets the rocky cliffs crowned by the Cathar castles of Quéribus and Peyrepertuse. The appellation covers a relatively wide area supporting varied landscapes, micro- climates and types of soil. The proximity of the Mediterranean has a great influence on the climate, but the Atlantic influences are also perceptible, this depending on altitude and westerliness. As a result of this diversity eleven distinctive terroirs have been identified, each displaying differing characteristics; Sigean, Durban, Quéribus, Termenès, Saint-Victor, Frontfroide, Lagrasse, Serviès, Montagne d’Alaric, Lézignan and Boutenac. Vines grow on schist from the Primary, chalk and sandstone from the Secondary, layers of marls from the Tertiary and gravely alluvium brought down in the Quarternary.

Zazou originates from the Boutenac area, which is located in the centre of the Corbières AOC. Carignan is the main component for red blends from Boutenac. Vines were introduced in the area 200 B.C. and Carignan was brought from Spain in the XII century. Carignan strives in dry climatic conditions and poor soils; it is robust and ages well over 100 years old. Carignan produces wines that have a good aging potential with great acidity and freshness. Carignan from Boutenac must be at least 9 years old before it may be used for winemaking. Grenache is the second main component used in the area; it also comes from Aragon in Spain and is widely planted around the Mediterranean. It is a delicate grape that is also draught resistant and grows well in poor, gravelly soils. The fruits are rich in sugar and impair richly aromatic flavors. It is best when blended bringing boldness, volume, balance and tannins. Syrah, the third component, is limited to 30% of the total plantation in Corbières; it brings in suppleness, notes of dried fruits and elegance to blends. Mourvèdre is the last component. Mourvèdre finds its origins in Spain and was planted in the region from the Middle Age. It is an antioxidant, rich in tannins with an extensive aromatic profile; it brings structure and complexity to blends.