The Maury AOC (Appellation d'origine contrôlée) is located in the Occitanie region in the Pyrénées-Orientales department. This small production area is distinguished by its red and white wines. It takes its name from the land on which its different grape varieties grow.
Discovering the Maury appellation
The name "Maury" comes from the word Amarioles (or Amariolas) which means "black earth". It is a reference to the black shales that constitute the major part of the appellation. The production area is 17 km long and 3 km wide. It is located in the north of the Catalan Corbières. The plantations at the foot of the Corbières benefit from limestone soil.
The appellation extends from the Estagel plain to the western gates of Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet. It is also 30 km away from Perpignan. Spread over small hills nestled in a depression, it is surrounded north and south by limestone cliffs. This is where Queribus, the famous Cathar castle, is located.
The first traces of vine cultivation were detected in the Middle Ages in the area that currently hosts the AOC. These are farms that would have been occupied by the Knights Templar and the Order of the Knights of St George. In the 13th century, this area produced great natural sweet wines. By 1872, the Maury was recognised as a land of natural sweet wines.
Domains for a better understanding of the Maury appellation
Maury wines are made from different grape varieties. The reds are mainly made from Grenache Noir. Producers can also add white Grenache B and gris G or Syrah N, Carignan N and Macabeu B.
The whites are the result of the white B and grey G grenache, the macabeu B or the tourbat B. Sometimes these varieties are mixed with white Muscat à petit grain or white Muscat d'Alexandrie.
The Res Fortes Wines estate will teach you a lot about Maury wines. You will find it in the Agly valley. On site, you will learn about vine growing and organic techniques. The owners hope to convert to biodynamic farming soon.
At the Clos des Vins d'Amour, the Dornier family will introduce you to the creation of the dry and sweet Maury appellations. You will discover how the grape varieties are transformed into wines that release fruit notes with a surprisingly round touch.
And to remind you of the flavours of the products you will taste, do not forget to buy Maury wines. You will find these wines in the wineries you will visit.
What you need to know about Maury wines
With age, the whites of this appellation take on an amber hue. As for the reds, their colour changes. Some have a ruby colour in their youth. Others have tiled shades that turn to mahogany and rare vintages have an orange hue with green reflections.
Young Maury wines have intense aromas that remind of morello cherries, blackberries and red berries. Some start by developing aromas of prunes and candied fruits. Later, they give off scents of dried fruit, spices, coffee or leather.
After your purchase of Maury wines, you will be surprised with the tasting. Shortly after being bottled, these drinks are full-bodied and warm. You'll feel like you're biting into a piece of fruit.
For some products, you will notice complex flavours. Indeed, notes of ripe fruits and prunes mix with the taste of dried fruits, spices or coffee. This is the case with older drinks.
On the palate, you will appreciate the richness of the wines. The softness increases their roundness and freshness. And their length on the palate is astonishing.
As far as for food and wine pairings, the whites will go perfectly with a Roquefort cheese or a candied apricot tart. The red wines will be perfect with grilled meat or fish.