The South West (or ‘Sud-Ouest’ as the French say) is the lesser known region south of Bordeaux, known for its Cognac and Argmagnac. Ah yes, the beauteous, forest-bound land of Armagnac (which we can’t sell due to our liquor license…but never say never…). The South West is WHERE. IT’S. AT. We are constantly reminded of the quality of the traditionally made wines from here, and at such affordable prices. On Friday, we’ll travel to this magical, Atlantic-influenced area including the appellations of Bergerac, Fronton, Jurançon, Gaillac and Irouléguy!
2013 Camin Larredya, Jurançon Sec “La Part Davan” ($27)
Jean-Marc Grussaute began farming organically in 2007 with his first certified vintage being in 2010. This is a dry, white wine from Jurançon, which is a blend of Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and a small quantity of Petit Courbu. The wine undergoes a fermentation in stainless steel tanks and foudres, and is then kept “sur lie” (on its lees) for at least six months giving it a crazy cool, full-bodied texture.
2015 Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Blanc Sec ($14)
Domaine des Terrisses has been the property of the Cazottes family since 1750. Winemakers Briggite and Alain make delicious and ridiculously affordable wines high on the limestone plateaus of their hillside vineyards full of clay, gravel and sandy soils.
2014 Domaine Brana, Ilori Irouléguy Blanc ($22)
This white is a lemon burst of green apple weirdness. Irouléguy is a mountainous appellation isolated by the Pyranees, bordering Basque country. Its wines are different from its South West neighbors from grape varietals to terroir to culture. Read more about Irouléguy in the NYT from our wine crush, Eric Asimov.
2016 Domaine Roumagnac, Rosé Authentique ($15)
Nicolas Roumagnac joined his uncle in 2008 to become the 4th generation to work on the estate. The estate has soils that cover the three types of alluvial soil generally found in the appellation: boulbenes (compressed sand/clay mixture), rougets (clay soils with deposits of flint, “silex”) and graves (gravel deposits). Nicolas’ is a blend of Négrette, Syrah, Gamay and Cabernet. It is highly aromatic with a gorgeous watermelon hue, plus the grapes are night-harvested to preserve their aromatic freshness – so cool!
2014 Domaine Philémon, Gaillac Rouge “Croix d’Azal” ($15)
The fantastic red wine, “Croix d’Azal”, is produced from a 1-hectare plot, which was planted by Mathieu Vieules in 2003. It is planted entirely with Braucol, the name used in Gaillac for the Fer Servadou grape. It is a wonderful expression of this grape variety with all of its typical spiciness and woodsy floral aromas. The word “braucol” derives from the root “brau” which in Girondin dialect means “bull”, however, a nice bull that smells the pasture’s flowers, not one in a rage-fueled state of mind.
2012 Château Flotis "Cuvee Jeanne" ($18)
Katia Garrouste, co-owner and winemaker of Château Flotis named this wine after the label’s artist, Jeanne Lacombe. “Jeanne” is 100% Negrette, the local red wine specialty of the Fronton AOC. Sharing genetic material with Malbec, Negrette is fresh and bright, with aromas of beets, roses, and rich with notes of iron, gravel, and silt. This unfiltered and unfined wine is best paired with grilled vegetables, meats, or try a spicy Indian dish.