Robin Garr wrote:What the others said. If we want to snob on them, let's do it over dropping the "s" from "garrigues," but as others have said, rosemary and thyme are international, and it's not really wrong to use metaphors from the regions that gave us Syrah. Spelling it wrong, though, is like substituting Gallo "Sauterne" for the Chateau d'Yquem in your glass.
Steve Edmunds wrote:It looks like Garrigue refers specifically to calcareous (limestone, base-rich) soils, and in acid soils the term is Maquis. In California there is Chaparral, with similar connotations as regards resinous, aromatics scrub. In parts of California, mainly Central Coast there is also limestone; in much of it the soils are acid, including much terrain of volcanic origin. Plenty of room for confusion, and easy generalization leading to more confusion.
Tasting notes of southern french red wines often include the intriguing descriptor 'garrigue'. So, what is it exactly? Garrigue is the name given to the Mediterranean scrubland which is made up of low growing, bushy plants including holm oak, juniper, broom and wild herbs such as rosemary and thyme. In Provence it also includes lavender although I have never seen this in the wild in the Languedoc.
Walking amongst the garrigue on a warm day, crushing herbs underfoot, releases a fabulous aroma of warm thyme and rosemary. When used to describe a wine, garrigue refers to these green herby aromas. It can also be used to describe flavours too although I find it more evocative as a descriptor for aroma
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