• warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/themes/sage/node-blog.tpl.php on line 4.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /var/www/anthonyrosewine/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 65.

Five go Mad in Madiran

POSTED ON 31/08/2013

In Spring, we five intrepid wine journalists who make up www.thewinegang.com visited South West France to make the most mouthwatering selection of wine favourites we could put together. We flew to Pau and drove the 120 kilometres to Irouléguy which is so far west it practically falls off the Pyrenees into the Atlantic. If the sprawling South West remains part of France’s route less travelled, then the same can be said, only more so, of Irouléguy.

Even for seasoned travellers like us, the pilgrimage to this remotest of French wine destinations fulfilled a long-held ambition. The unspoilt South West is not just a wonderful region to visit for its dramatic landscapes, vibrant markets, fresh food and friendly faces, but also for the incredible diversity of wine styles now coming of age thanks to improvements in viticulture and winemaking.

Les Cinq. By Pauline GauthierLes Cinq. By Pauline Gauthier

After visiting Domaine Brana and tasting at the Cave d’ Irouléguy we drove east to Madiran, staying at the quiet Hotel du Prieuré. The two-day tasting took place in the equally tranquil surroundings, bell-tolling apart, of the Maison des Vins de Madiran. In this selection we were ably assisted by Pauline Gauthier and Anne Burchett from Sopexa and other willing hands from the regions themselves.

We then headed further east to Gaillac, one of France’s most ancient and prettiest wine regions, where we stayed in the luxurious Château de Salettes and ate rather too well in its fancy restaurant with more foam-toppings than an Argos bed sale. We visited Château de Lacroux and Domaine d’Escausses, where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch with farm-fresh local meats, pâtés, cheeses and of course wines before leaving for home.

We hope that our selection of wines, many from distinctive local grapes such as the len de l’el (loin de l’oeil) of Gaillac, the near-forgotten prunelard and the obscure négrette of Fronton, not forgetting the gros and petit mansengs of Pacherenc du Vic Bilh, will shine a light on wine regions that have previously been overlooked or underestimated.

If you’re tempted by this short record of our trip showing that The Wine Gang are not just virtual journalists at work and at play, you might also take the opportunity to sample a handful of complimentary wines from The Wine Gang selection with lunch and dinner throughout the year at the Maison des Vins du Sud-Ouest in Smithfield: Comptoir Gascon, 63 Charterhouse St., City of London, EC1M 6HJ.

And finally, if you want to delve deeper into the South West and its wines, I thoroughly recommend the excellent book, South-West France, The Wines and Winemakers, by Paul Strang (University of California Press, 2009).

The Wine Gang at work. By Pauline GauthierThe Wine Gang at work. By Pauline Gauthier

The full list of selected wines made in association with Sopexa is available at the Maison des Vins du Sud-Ouest in the form of a tasting booklet with prices and stockists where available and here is a summary of The Wine Gang selection with notes.

AOP GAILLAC Blanc Domaine Rotier Domaine Rotier 2010 Slightly honeyed, bruised apple, character; delicate, tangy 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc LABALLE DOMAINE DE LABALLE 2012 Slight spritz, a hint of apricot, touch of nettle, tangy finish 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc UBY COLOMBARD UGNI BLANC DOMAINE UBY 2012 Juicy, ctirussy fruit, hint of white pepper. Dry, pleasant, easy-drinking 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc DOMAINE DE GRACHIES Vignobles Fontan 2012 Lightly aromatic, some herbal character, and a bit of fruit-salad punch 84

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Colombelle L’Original PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2012 Lemon and lime freshness, pleasantly aromatic and crisp. Fresh and clean 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Grand Héron PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2012 Subtly grassy and fresh, spritzy, punchy and pungent. Clean 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Caprice de Colombelle PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2012 Fresh, juicy, zesty white with a pleasing grapefruit-like tang 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc DOMUS COLOMBARD SAUVIGNON DOMAINE UBY 2012 Candied apricot and elderflower. Juicy, tangy, crisp 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Rive Haute Colombard Sauvignon PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2012 A light and zippy white with an attractive, spritzy, salty and tangy quality. 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Domaine de l’Herré Domaine de l’Herré 2012 Sweaty, pungent, crisp dry white; fresh with some punch. 84

Sweetness and light at Château de Salettes . By Pauline GauthierSweetness and light at Château de Salettes . By Pauline Gauthier

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc DOMAINE LES ESQUIROTS DOMAINE LES ESQUIROTS 2012 Spritzy freshness in a commercial style with soft juicy apricot fruit 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Domaine du Tariquet Sauvignon Domaine du Tariquet 2012 Grassy, Sauvignon-like character, this has an attractive nettly quality and crisp lime acidity 87

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc ABC Les Vignerons du Brulhois 2012 Herbal quality to the fruit and a touch of reductive flintiness, leading to a salty finish 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Domaine de l’Herré Domaine de l’Herré 2012 Some attractive tropical fruit, the palate is creamy, with a touch more body 84

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc DOMAINE DES CASSAGNOLES GROS MANSENG SELECTION DOMAINE DES CASSAGNOLES 2012 Tangerine zestiness and spritz. Nicely tangy and fresh 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Ampélomeryx Domaine de Pellehaut 2011 Interesting style, something a bit different, with a bit of oak, still quite tangy grapefruit 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc Domaine du Tariquet Les 4 Réserve Domaine du Tariquet 2011 A grassy, gooseberry style, with some nice smoky herbs, a touch of dill, and a bright and breezy quality 87

AOC Saint-Mont Blanc Les Hauts de Bergelle PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2011 Richly fruited, quite tropical mango/guava nose, excellent concentration but with that spine of acidity and pithy grapefruit character. 91

AOC Saint-Mont Blanc Passé Authentique PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2011 Bright zingy grapefruit and subtle grassy touch, as well as some riper apricot character; zippy and mouthwatering 89

AOC Saint-Mont Blanc Les Vignes Retrouvées PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2011 Nicely balanced, lighter style refreshingly tangy, lively citrus freshness 87

AOC Irouléguy Blanc Xuri CAVE D’IROULEGUY 2012 Crisp, direct, mountain freshness, green apricot and a touch of minerality on the finish. 88

AOC Irouléguy Blanc Domaine Brana DOMAINE BRANA 2011 Exceptionally tangy, vibrant and pure with a mineral smokiness and a refreshing spritz. Unforced mountain wine 92

AOP Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Blanc Domaine Capmartin Domaine Capmartin 2012 Exotic pineapple-tropical and peach fruit, a little grapefruit tang and zing, some white peppery spice. Tangy and characterful 89

AOP Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Blanc Ericka Château Laffitte-Teston 2011 Fragrant orchard fruit, rounded, textured palate with well-handled oak; richness there, but with that tangy citrus cut on the finish. 90

Duck o'clock at Domaine d’Escausses. By Pauline GauthierDuck o'clock at Domaine d’Escausses. By Pauline Gauthier

AOP Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Blanc Odé d’Aydie Château d’Aydie 2011 Intense apricot and quince, richness, very deftly handled oak, suave textured, but again with that biting cut of fresh acidity – long, classy, impressive but very drinkable 93

IGP Pyrenées Atlantiques Comte Philippe Cabidos 2008 Honeyed, slightly oxidative style with intense peach and exotic fruit, almonds, and some supporting acidity. Real character here. 91

ROSÉS

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rosé Domaine du Tariquet Rosé Domaine du Tariquet 2012 Clean fresh, strawberry fruit, slightly creamy, touch of pepper, bright and juicy rosé 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rosé Harmonie de gascogne Domaine de Pellehaut 2012 Fresh, dry, very attractive fragrant berry fruit – a food rosé with nice balance 87

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rosé DOMAINE DE GRACHIES Vignobles Fontan 2012 Redcurrant freshness and a little green tinge, tangy but with a nice mellow strawberry finish 86

AOP GAILLAC Rosé Duras Rose Clos Rocailleux 2012 Candied strawberry and cherry acidity, crisp dry, slightly tart finish, some pepper 85

AOP FRONTON Rosé LE ROC DOMAINE LE ROC 2012 Cherry fruit, nice creamy texture, a bit of white pepper, good red fruit 86

AOC Irouléguy Rosé Argi d’Ansa CAVE D’IROULEGUY 2012 Very bright tangy and fresh acidity, mineral, and slight crème fraiche character. Dry food-ready, redcurrant-scented rosé 87

Toujours les Cinq. By Pauline GauthierToujours les Cinq. By Pauline Gauthier

REDS

IGP Côtes du Tarn Rouge Le Rouge Domaine d en Segur 2009 A lively, fresh, leafy, cherry-scented, nicely rounded but juicy, easy-drinking red 87

IGP Côtes du Tarn Rouge Cuvée Germain Domaine d en Segur 2009 Quite serious, judiciously oaked, and good depth of fruit. This is a polished, well-made red 89

IGP Comté Tolosan Rouge Aramis Rouge Château d’Aydie 2012 Floral, juicy but with some grip – a fresh thirst-quenching summery red. 87

AOP Marcillac Domaine du Cros Domaine du Cros 2012 Super-refreshing, with its herbal lift and zingy fresh fruit. Succulent and supple, lots of character. 88

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rouge MERLOT VILLA DRIA 2012 Approachable, juicy and drinkable bistro- or tapas-style red with a nice fragrant nose. 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rouge Colombelle L’Original PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2012 Richer, more savoury than its peers, slightly mineral-smoky, with a bit of structure, but ripe and juicy. 87

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rouge Rive Haute Merlot Tannat PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2012 Attractive leafy-fresh style with a fragrant red-berry nose; supple, refreshing. 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rouge Les Marcottes Domaine de Pellehaut 2010 Very good concentration and structure with some layered dark fruit and good mouth-filling character. Freshness, too 88

Family ties: Château L'Enclos des Roses and Domaine d’Escausses, Gaillac. By Pauline GauthierFamily ties: Château L'Enclos des Roses and Domaine d’Escausses, Gaillac. By Pauline Gauthier

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Rouge Domaine Chiroulet DOMAINE CHIROULET 2009 Spicy oak and attractive fruit character slightly savoury but with a good peppery freshness. 87

IGP COTES DU LOT RoSE Chevalier Famaey Château Famaey 2012 Quite serious, nice creamy weight on the palate but with a clean, crisp, even slightly mineral finish 87

IGP COTES DU LOT Rouge L’instant truffier RIGAL 2012 Juicy seamless feel, in a slightly lighter style. Supple tannins, nice fragrant nose of kirsch and cherry; fleshy and with freshness 88

AOP FRONTON Rouge Château Boujac Tradition Château Boujac 2011 Peppery fresh, a little tight but some good spicy Négrette character. 86

AOP FRONTON Rouge Kelina Château Boujac 2011 Glossy, sweet fruit, fragrant Mirabelle plums and cherry, super smooth but with a slight touch of spice 87

AOP FRONTON Rouge CHÂTEAU BOUISSEL CHÂTEAU BOUISSEL 2010 Chiselled, very defined and a fine expression of Négrette with its spice, black and red fruit and excellent concentration, depth, clarity, and balance 90

AOP FRONTON Rouge Château Coutinel Elixir Château Coutinel 2008 Good Négrette character in a consumer-friendly style with a seasoning of new oak, and a touch of sweet paprika and peppermint 87

AOP GAILLAC Rouge ROUGE ADELAIDE 2008 Lifted fruit, succulent and with a seam of peppery spice, fresh, polished 87

AOP GAILLAC Rouge Domaine Rotier Domaine Rotier 2009 Creamy, smoky oak, balanced by black fruit with a touch of eucalyptus and spice, and a hint of meatiness. 87

AOC Saint-Mont Rouge Les Vignes Retrouvées PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2010 Pure, fragrant fruit; focused but with a nice bite of black fruit. Not complex, but very drinkable. 86

Château de Salettes, Gaillac. By Pauline GauthierChâteau de Salettes, Gaillac. By Pauline Gauthier

AOC Saint-Mont Rouge L’Empreinte PLAIMONT TERROIRS ET CHATEAUX 2010 Dense and rich, big strapping mouthful, with attractive fruit core. There’s power here, but fragrance too 86

AOC Irouléguy Rouge Gorri d’Ansa CAVE D’IROULEGUY 2011 Lovely zingy fresh, slightly leafy and crunchy fruit, powerful but not at all overwhelming 87

AOC Irouléguy Rouge Omenaldi CAVE D’IROULEGUY 2010 Youthful but quite serious – showing its oak, but stylishly, and with a hint of spice – youthful chewy vigorous tannins on the finish 88

AOC Irouléguy Rouge Domaine Brana DOMAINE BRANA 2009 Really fragrant and with that Iroulèguy clarity, nicely balanced, seamless dark fruit, textured, powerful but fresh wine. 89

AOP CAHORS Château du Cayrou Château du Cayrou 2009 Attractive, pretty, juicy and approachable – not hugely complex but nice fragrant cherry and plum fruit. 87

AOP CAHORS Cèdre Héritage 2011 Château du Cèdre 2011 Elegant in style, classy, lovely lifted fruit with a hint of savory-truffle character, poised with good complexity 89

AOP CAHORS Château de Gaudou Château de Gaudou 2011 Dense, modern, plush, rich and structured, but savory and dry too, very fine, velvety tannins 89

AOP CAHORS PIGMENTUM SAS GEORGES VIGOUROUX 2011 Really lifted, quite graceful and with that generous softness of Malbec, seamless, and fine-boned with delightful damson fruit and minerality 94

Le Gang du Vin. By Pauline GauthierLe Gang du Vin. By Pauline Gauthier

AOP CAHORS MAS DEL PERIE MAS DEL Périé 2011 Modern with classy, but well-handled oak, lifted fruit but with some minerals coming through on the palate. 89

AOP CAHORS MAS DEL PERIE MAS DEL Périé 2011 Opulent, lifted, fragrant, essence of Malbec, with that quintessential tea-leafy character. Rich and sumptuous modern style. 90

AOP CAHORS Château les Bouysses VINOVALIE 2009 A lot of new oak here – but there is fruit and structure to support it, this is one for the cellar, although that lifted purity of fruit is already very attractive 91

AOP CAHORS CHÂTEAU LAFLEUR DE HAUTE-SERRE CHÂTEAU DE HAUTE-SERRE 2011 Rusticated, a touch “animal” but that character is not dominating, the fruit is supple, juicy 86

AOP CAHORS Cuvée Pierre Le Grand Château Eugénie 2009 Young, quite tight at the moment, more in the traditional style, and ready for food, there’s a good core of dense black fruit, with a mineral-savoury finish. 89

AOP CAHORS La Bérangeraie 2009 Intense cassis, very big, plush and ripe and international in style. Not so much of a food wine as its peers, but impressive for its concentration and depth 88

AOP CAHORS MAS DEL PERIE MAS DEL Périé 2010 Very fragrant and ripe, fleshy, long, plummy Malbec character, but it has that brightness and acidity – fresh, ripe, rather than jammy, fruit 92

AOP CAHORS MAS DEL PERIE MAS DEL Périé 2010 Intense, layered, still youthful, black fruit but with a measure of that Malbec brightness; dry tannins right now, but has great potential 90

AOP CAHORS Le Cèdre Château du Cèdre 2008 A lot of toasty oak, with liquorice and dark chocolate, dry tannins but with good solid structure. 88

AOP CAHORS Château de Gaudou Château de Gaudou 2012 Lovely elegance and succulence, inky fresh hedgerow fruit with a succulent palate and fine tannins smoothed by unobtrusive careful oak. 93

AOP CAHORS CHÂTEAU DE MERCUES CHÂTEAU DE MERCUES 2010 Lots of chocolatey oak mingling with rich black fruit, in a concentrated, dry red 88

Madiran. By Pauline GauthierMadiran. By Pauline Gauthier

AOP Madiran Domaine Capmartin Domaine Capmartin 2011 Lovely fragrant berry and black fruit nose, almost Cabernet Franc-like freshness, with crunchy texture and earthy character. 93

AOP Madiran Aydie l’Origine Château d’Aydie 2010 Quite dry tannins, though the fruit character is very attractive: this is good, typical Madiran, with a juiciness to the cherry fruit 88

AOP Madiran DAMIENS Domaine Damiens 2010 Smoky nose with rich fruit, and a mineral character too. Lots of new oak and mineral flavours on the palate which is dry and savoury. Plenty of oak, but has excellent fruit too. 87

AOP Madiran Madiran Domaine BERTHOUMIEU 2010 Juicy fine black fruit; a mineral character with excellent, super-fresh acidity giving this great drinkability, particularly with food, despite the new oak. Good length 88

AOP Madiran Château Viella Château de Viella 2010 Lovely fragrance, again with a Cabernet Franc feel. There’s a juicy mid-palate and a tight, grippy palate 87

AOP Madiran Vieilles Vignes Château Laffitte-Teston 2010 An initial burst of sweet fresh fruit, this wine is well crafted in the modern style, with some firm but ripe tannins, a touch of chocolate and good length 89

AOP Madiran Domaine Capmartin Domaine Capmartin 2010 A little rustic, but this is archetypal Tannat from Madiran, powerfully tannic (dry) and chunky with spicy black cherry 87

AOP Madiran Madiran Domaine BERTHOUMIEU 2010 Lovely mid-palate fruit and fragrance, intense tannic grip but with a supple core and good freshness. Needs time for the oak to integrate, but will come good. 88

AOP Madiran Château d’aydie Château d’Aydie 2010 Lifted floral and cherry-kirsch nose, concentrated fruit, good fresh acidity, grippy tannins and savory oak. Classic Madiran 88

AOP Madiran Clos Basté Clos Basté 2010 Wonderfully intense nose of black fruit and sophisticated cedary oak. Stylish, polished tannins, silky feel, long, serious, ageworthy 91

AOP Madiran Madiran Domaine LAOUGUE 2009 Mouthfilling, modern, satisfying Madiran. There’s a leafy-fresh edge to the richness and the density. Ripe tannins; sweet fruit 92

A light lunch. By Pauline GauthierA light lunch. By Pauline Gauthier

Sweet Whites

IGP Comté Tolosan Blanc doux Saint Clement Cabidos 2010 Honeyed apricot and peach, a touch of grassy acidity, and a honeyed finish. Pretty, charming 88

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc demi sec cuvée marine Domaine de Ménard 2012 Tropical guava fruit, zingy and with good mid-palate weight 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc doux Gros Manseng VILLA DRIA 2012 Fresh pear, medium-sweet, lemon-zesty, light-bodied 85

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc moelleux L’instant figuier RIGAL 2012 A little honey and apricot on the nose, quince, clean, fragrant, medium-sweet, light, spritz. 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc moelleux Soleil gascon PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2011 Peachy, sweet, good length, tangy acidity and cut, good orangey tangy finish 87

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc moelleux Domaine du Tariquet Premières Grives Domaine du Tariquet 2012 Banana, melon and pear fruit , a fresh spritz – a good match for fruit salad on the patio 86

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc moelleux Domaine du Tariquet Dernières Grives Domaine du Tariquet 2011 Exotic guava, mango, papaya and botrytis character – exotic and rich. Well-handled oak and excellent acidity 90

IGP Côtes de Gascogne Blanc doux L’Escoubasso Domaine de Pellehaut 2011 A touch of smoky bacon giving savory edge to the very opulent exotic sweet fruit, beeswax, and honey, elegant finish of pineapple and papaya 90

AOP Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Blanc moelleux Pacherenc du Vic Bilh moelleux Domaine LAOUGUE 2011 Luscious with a demerara sugar and orange marmalade spice and zest. Tropical citrus cut. 89

AOP Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Blanc moelleux Saint-Albert (50cl) PLAIMONT PRODUCTEURS 2011 Polished and suave with a glycerol fullness and richness, some coconut and apricot fruit, tropical fruit. Fresh finish 89

AOP Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Blanc moelleux Folie de Roi CAVE DE CROUSEILLES 2010 Sweet melon and mango, luscious and juicy, spicy oak, tangy finish 88

AOP Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Blanc moelleux Château Arricau-Bordes PLAIMONT TERROIRS ET CHATEAUX 2010 Quite a structured and intense sweet wine with weight and depth of exotic fruit and a long and very refined, tapering finish 93

AOP GAILLAC Blanc doux Domaine Rotier Domaine Rotier 2010 Raisined, golden sultanas, and dried fig complexity; some honey and fully sweet. 91

Finalement, Les Cinq. By Pauline GauthierFinalement, Les Cinq. By Pauline Gauthier

Our sponsor