20 June 2014

Wines of Sud Ouest France

Bordeaux Blanc is an odd sort of critter in the wine world... It plays second fiddle to the highly prized reds, and true enthusiasts of French white wines tend to focus on Burgundy. Don't get me wrong, I've had some great Bordeaux Blanc and I'm not putting it down. However, the cost of real estate tends to inflate the prices of those bottles.

If you're looking at southwest France (Sud Ouest), there are great bargains in the Gascony region even if you might not recognize the grape names. I didn't mind, because I got to add a few obscure grapes to the life list, particulalry Arrufiac and Petit Corbu. I am now up to 193, and that 200 goal is tantalizingly within reach. Publicists, if you're having trouble promoting anything mostly unknown, let me know!

Getting back to the geography, the first two are from the Saint-Mont AOC while the second two are from the more casual Côtes de Gascogne VdP. If you want a crisp, light white wine for a summer lunch, any of these would be a great recommendation and highly affordable as well. None of these are going to break the $15 level (pre-tax), and you'll have a classy bottle on the table or on the picnic blanket.

2010 Plaimont Les Bastions Blanc
Saint-Mont, France
Proprietary blend of Arrufiac, Petit Courbu and Gros Manseng
$9, 13% abv.

Green apple and a touch of floral aromas on the nose. Crisp and bright with beautiful acidity.

2011 Plaimont Tableaux
Saint-Mont, France
80% Gros Manseng, 15% Petit Courbu, 5% Arrufiac
$14, 13% abv.

Deeper body with touches of earth and grass in addition to the bright acidity. Would be excellent with an appetizer of roast quail with lots of garlic and rosemary.

2013 Domaine du Tariquet Classic
Côtes de Gascogne, France
45% Ugni Blanc, 35% Colombard, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Gros Manseng
$9, 10.5% abv.

Lots of lemon, touch of herbal notes. Tart acidity. To many this will taste like a bottle of introductory Sauvignon Blanc, but I appreciate the little complexity from the interesting blend.

2012 Domaine Chiroulet Terres Blanches
Côtes de Gascogne, France
50% Gros Manseng, 25% Ugni Blanc, 25% Sauvignon Blanc
$13, 12.5% abv.

Bright citrus character but a little smoother than the prior one. Outstanding summer sipper for hanging out in the backyard.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

No comments: