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Oct 27, 2017

A stone's throw from Bordeaux are wine regions that have been around longer & make extraordinary wines that taste like nothing else. The whites & reds of SW France will thrill you! Although under the radar,they aren't that obscure & are worth knowing about.

Here are the show notes: 

Region Overview:

  1. Inland and south of Bordeaux
  2. Goes from Aquitaine (Bordeaux and outskirts) to Midi-Pyrenees
  3. Regions closer to the Atlantic – on the other side is the Languedoc
  4. TWO AREAS:

    • Those that are close to and similar to Bordeaux
    • closer to the Pyrenees, which use mainly native grapes to create different and sometimes outstanding wines.
  5. We discuss the relationship between Bordeaux and Southwest France from an historical perspective and then dive into the regions.
  6. In the Dordogne/Bergerac, subregion we hit on:
    • Bergerac: red, dry white, and sweet white wines. Reds are Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot. Whites are Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
    • Pécharmant: less character and balance than Bordeaux Superieur AOP for the same price
    • Monbazillac: sweet botrytized whites of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle
  7. In the Garonne subregion:
    • Buzet: Reds of Merlot, with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
    • Cahors: Malbec: the most well-known region in Southwest France
    • Fronton: Red wine appellation uses the Négrette grape: like blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, pepper, violets, licorice, and can be rustic or even kind of steak-like in flavor but can also be fruity and light depending on the terroir and the blend. Also uses Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and the spicy, peppery Fer making up the rest of the blend.
    • Gaillac: 
      • Gaillac Rouge AOP = At least 40% is the local Duras and Fer (pr. FAIR) red grapes, both are spicy. Also Syrah, Gamay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon used in lesser proportions.
      • Gaillac Blanc AOP - blends of the floral, citrusy, acidic Len de L’El,  apple-y Mauzac, floral Muscadelle, and Sauvignon Blanc.
      • Gaillac Perlé (pr. guy-AHK pear-LAY): slightly sparkling made of Mauzac.
      • Gaillac Doux: Sweet, mainly late harvest wines.
  8. Gascony subregion
    • Madiran: Uses mainly Tannat with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Fer
  9. Béarn subregion
    • Jurançon:
      • Jurançon (sec) is dry, with green apple, honey, green herb, and crushed rock notes. Uses the Gros Manseng grape!
      • Whites are also made into lightly sparkling (moulleux) wine and Jurançon doux, a sweet wine made mainly of the soft, floral Petit Manseng
  10. French Basque country:
    • Irouléguy: fruity, tannic red wines and full-bodied, tangy whites. Most reds are Tannat/Cab Franc/Cab Sauvignon blends. Whites like Jurançon. 

 
 
 
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