~ Fortified Wine ~
~ 100% Maccabeu ~
Written with or without ‘h’ (no AOP but an IGP) it is a typical and familiar appetizer of Languedoc. Liqueur wine made from the blend of 80% fresh grape must and 20% wine brandy, so fortified sugars are not fermented. Languedoc grape varieties with at least 50% white or black grenache. Here the Maccabeu (vigorous grape variety native to northeastern Spain) was planted by Bernard’s father. For the history, in 1802 Napoleon gave winemakers the right of ‘Bouilleur de Crû’ which allow them 1000 degrees of alcohol. A quarter of this alcohol was put in three quarters of grape juice so that it did not ferment; thus was created the word Cartagène (‘quartejar’ meaning to share in four in Occitan).