Thursday, April 30, 2015

France Unit 10a – Southwest France


The following are my notes for studying the wines of the Southwest (Sud-Ouest in French) regions of France. Corsica was also discussed in the same French Wine Scholar class but due to the length of the notes I decided to provide them in following post (France Unit 10b - Corsica). In these notes I’ll provide information about the topography, climate, soils, important red and white grapes and the AOCs of the region. I also include notes on the wines tasted during in the French Wine Scholar class (FWS – 09 Southwest and Corsica).



Introduction to Southwest France

The Southwest of France is a conglomerate of sub-regions within a large expanse of land within the region of Gascony (Gasgogne). To the North is Bordeaux, on the western border is the Atlantic Ocean, to the east is the Massif Central, to the south is the Pyrénées and the border of Spain. The appellations are divided into 4 primary geographic locations: Dordogne & Bergerac River, Garonne & Tarn, Lot River, and the Pyrénées.

The IVSO (Interprofession des Vins du Sud Ouest), headquartered in Toulouse, is the official wine trade organization of France’s Southwest region. It represents 30 appellations and is responsible for ensuring strict quality control, conducting economic studies, and administering marketing and communications activities on behalf of the region’s producers, cooperative cellars, and trading companies.

The Southwest is home to many rare local varieties which I will indicate with an Astrix (*rare and indigenous grapes).

Geography of Dordogne / Bergerac
Located just south of Bordeaux, the Dordogne is also well-known under the former name Périgord (department 24), is situated in the south West angle of France and is part of the Aquitaine region, which also includes the departments Landes (dept 40), Lot et Garonne (dept 47) and the Atlantic Pyrenees (dept 64). The department is named after the Dordogne River and the vineyards of the 80 communes of this region are planted along the river which then flows through Bordeaux. Many of the vineyards are planted on sloping hills and the highest point is Saint Pierre de Frugie (479 m). The department is divided in four areas: Périgord Noir or the “Black Périgord”, Périgord Vert or the “Green Périgord”, Périgord Blanc or the “White Périgord”, and Périgord Pourpre or the “Purple Périgord”.[1]
Climate of Dordogne / Bergerac
The Dordogne / Bergerac area has a Maritime climate with slightly warmer temperatures than Bordeaux due to it being a little further inland.
White Grapes of Dordogne / Bergerac
Chenin Blanc
Ondenc
Sauvignon Blanc
Muscadelle
Sémillon
Ugni Blanc
Red Grapes of Dordogne / Bergerac
Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec (known locally as Côt)
Cabernet Franc
(known locally as Bouchy)
Merille (known locally as Périgord)
Merlot





Dordogne / Bergerac Sub-Region AOCs
Bergerac AOC
Bergerac Sec AOC
Côtes de Bergerac AOC
Established as an AOC in 1936, the Bergerac region is made up of 3 appellations: Bergerac AOC, Bergerac Sec AOC and Côtes de Bergerac AOC. The name Bergerac comes from the word “Bragayrac”, which is derived from the Gallic word “braca”, meaning “manufacturer of breeches” (the baggy trousers worn by the Gauls). Vineyards are planted on diverse soils. In the south-east, boulbènes formed from sands and washed out silts result in a crusting soil that is poor in nutrients. To the north of the River Dordogne, vineyards are planted on sands and clays mixed with gravel. The primary grapes for red wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Other permitted grapes include Côt, Fer Servadou and Mérille. The primary grapes for white wines are Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle and other permitted grapes include Ugni Blanc, Ondenc and Chenin Blanc.
Montravel AOC
Côtes de Montravel AOC
Haut-Montravel AOC
Montravel is located in the western part of the Bergerac division south of Bordeaux. The climate is primarily influenced by the Dordogne river. The gravel banks of the river are often where the best vineyards are located. The Montravel region is made up of 3 appellations established as an AOC for white wines in 1937; red wines were added in 2001:
(1) Montravel AOC covers dry white wines and dry Merlot-based reds. The majority of dry whites are 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The primary grape red wine is Merlot (min. 50%) followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
(2) Côtes de Montravel AOC is for semi-sweet wines made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle but may be supplemented with Ondenc.
(3) Haut-Montravel AOC is for Botritized sweet wines that benefit from the river and the Bordeaux-like combination of limestone and gravel in the soil. The primary grapes for the sweet wines are Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle.[2]
Pécharmant AOC
Established as an AOC in 1992. The name “Pécharmant” comes from the words “Pech” which means “Hill” and “Charmant” which means “Charming”, thus the name means “the charming hill.” It is located in the hills to the North-East of the market town of Bergerac, France. The vineyards are planted on sand and gravel from the Périgord, and contain a deep layer of ferruginous clay called “Tran.” It has a surface area of 400 hectares (about 248 acres). The Pécharmant produces red wine that must contain at least 3 of the following 4 varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
There are 3 AOCs that produce Liquoreux wines made from grapes that have been affected by Botrytis Cinerea (“Noble Rot”):
Monbazillac AOC
Established as an AOC in 1936. The appellation covers almost 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) of vineyards.[3] The wine may contain any of the following grapes: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. The grapes must be harvested by hand and may be botrytized. Residual sugar must be more than 4.5% and have at least 12.5% abv.
Rosette AOC
Established as an AOC in 1946. The wine may contain any of the following grapes: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. Residual sugar must be between 0.8-5.4% and have at least 11% abv.
Saussignac AOC
Established as an AOC in 1982, the wines are similar to Monbazillac but a little drier. The wine may contain any of the following grapes: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. Residual sugar must be more than 4.5% and have at least 12% abv. To qualify for the appellation, the grapes must be grown, and the wine produced, in one of the following four communes: Saussignac, Razac-de-Saussignac, Monestier and Gageac-Rouillac. A fundamental difference between Saussignac and all other sweet or late-harvest wines is that Chaptalization, or the addition of sugar, is forbidden under the rules of the AOC.






Geography of Garonne and Tarn
The sub-region is named after the two rivers that run through it: Garonne and Tarn rivers. It is located a little further east, towards France’s fourth largest city, Toulouse.
Climate of Garonne and Tarn
Garonne and Tarn and Lot has a Mediterranean climate with oceanic influences with higher temperatures and a drier growing season.
White Grapes of Garonne and Tarn
Sauvignon Blanc
Chenin Blanc (known locally as Rouchelein)
Sémillon
Len d l’el  (Loin de l’Oeill) *
Muscadelle
Mauzac Rose
Ondenc
Saint-Côme  (known locally as Rousselou) *
Ugni Blanc

Red Grapes of Garonne and Tarn
Cabernet Sauvignon
Mouyssagues*
Cabernet Franc
(known locally as Bouchy)
Arbouriou*
Merlot
Negrette*
Malbec
(known locally as Côt)
Prunelard*
Merille
(known locally as Périgord)
Duras*
Pinot Noir
Tannat
Syrah
Fer Servadou
Cinsault
Gamay

Jurançon Noir



Garonne and Tarn Sub-Region AOCs
Brulhois AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011, the name Brulhois comes from comes from “Brulhès” which in the local dialect Occitan means “edge of wooded river.” It covers the entire range of formerly forested land between the Garonne and Gascon hillsides. The appellation covers three departments: Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers and two Aquitaine and Midi Pyrenees regions.[4] The vineyards are mostly planted on the left bank of the Garonne River. It produces red (70%) and rosé (30%) wines from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tannat, Côt (Malbec), Fer Servadou and Abouriou.[5]
Buzet AOC
Established as an AOC in 1986, formerly known as Côtes de Buzet. It is located to the west of Toulouse and east of Bordeaux. The permitted vineyard area of Buzet is just west of Agen in the Lot-et-Garonne administrative department, located between the Cotes du Marmandais and Brulhois appellations. To the south is Armagnac and the vineyards of Cahors are to the northeast. Bergerac is located immediately to the north. The region primarily produces Bordeaux varietals that are planted on 3 different types of soils:
(1) Clay and gravel terraces that were once the riverbed of the nearby Garonne river which are ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon.
(2) Limestone and clay which is ideal Merlot.
(3) Boulbènes (sandier areas with rounded pebbles and a clay substratum) which is well-suited for Cabernet Franc.
Most of the production is red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Côt (Malbec) and Cabernet Franc. Secondary varietals include Abouriou and Petit Verdot (max. 10%). Rosés are mostly dry and usually made from Cabernet Franc. The primary grapes for white wines are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Gris. Secondary white varietals include Colombard, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng (max. 10%).[6] The Vignerons de Buzet Cooperative produces a majority of the wines, which also make their own casks for ageing red wines.[7]
Côtes de Duras AOC
Established as an AOC in 1937, it is located in the north-west of Lot-et-Garonne where it borders the Gironde and Dordogne departments. It has a maritime climate with slightly more extreme temperatures because of its distance from the ocean. The vineyards are planted on tertiary fluvio-lacustrine sediments that occur in 3 different forms:
(1) Calcaire de Castillon (Castillon calcereous), which is white, chalky and contains cracks of varying depths.
(2) Molasses de l'Agenais (Agenais Molasses), which is layers of clay or clay-sand mix alternating with beds of gravel.
(3) Calcaire blanc de l'Agenais (Agenais white calcereous).
Red wines are produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Côt. White wines are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle, Mauzac, Rouchelein or Chenin Blanc, Ondenc and Ugni Blanc (max. 25%). Rosé wines are made in the saignée method and are restricted to 55 hectolitres/hectare.[8]
Côtes du Marmandais AOC
Established as an AOC in 1990, it is located around the commune of Marmande. Red and rosé wines can include up to 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. No more than 50% Abouriou, Côt, Fer, Gamay and Syrah can be added to the blend. White wines are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, with up to 30% Sémillon, Muscadelle, and Ugni blanc, Abouriou.[9]
Côtes de Millau AOC
Established as an AOC in 2012. This is a small appellation with only 50 hectares (about 124 acres) of vineyards with south-facing slopes planted on steep, terraced slopes of clay-limestone scree and sandstone. It is located within the deep gorge-like valley of the Tarn river in the Aveyron administrative department. It is closer to the Mediterranean Sea than the Atlantic and the Languedoc-Roussillon is located to the east. The region experiences southeast winds during the summer and in the winter the cold from the north creates a continental climate. The region produces red wines based on Syrah (min. 30%), Gamay and followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Fer and Gamay. Rosé wines may include only Syrah and Gamay. White wines consist of Chenin Blanc (min. 50%), with Mauzac making up the rest of the blend.[10]
Fronton AOC
Established as an AOC in 2005, it is located in the département of Haute-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne, located about 35 km (about 21.75 miles) north of Toulouse. It includes nearly 6,000 acres of vines planted on a variety of soils comprised of an iron-rich clay subsoil topped by rougets, a type of boulbènes/clay-sand conglomerate. There are pockets of gravel on some higher terraces flanking the riverbanks and alluvial sands and silts closer to the river.[11] The region has a unique microclimate in which continental and Mediterranean conditions meet. The area experiences wet springs, dry summers, and strong local winds. Red and rosé wines consist primarily of Négrette (min. 70%) with up to 10% Gamay, Merille, and Cinsault. The remainder may be Côt, Fer and Syrah (max. 25%) as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc (max. 25% together or separately).[12]
Gaillac AOC
Established as an AOC in 1938. It is located in the département of Tarn, just north of Toulouse, and it flanks both sides of the river Tarn. Red and Rosé wines are produced from Syrah, Duras, Fer Survadou (together or separately) with Duras and Fer Survadou representing at least 10% and 40% together. Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc may supplement the blend as well as 10% Prunelard, an indigenous grape that was previously thought to be extinct. Dry white wines are made of at least one of the following: Mauzac, Mauzac Rose, Muscadelle, Len de l'El and Ondenc. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are also authorized but will be phased out in 2028. Sweet wines are labeled “Gaillac Doux” follow the same blend as dry white wines but they must have a minimum 9% abv. and 4.5 residual sugar. Sparkling Wines are made via the Traditional Method and use the grapes as white wines. If they use the Méthode Ancestrale they will be labeled “Gaillac Method Gaillacoise” and be made from 100% Mauzac and/or Mauzac Rose. “Primeur” red wine is made from the 100% Gamay that has undergone carbonic maceration, and like Beaujolais Nouveau it is released for sale on the third Thursday of November.[13]
Gaillac Premiéres Côtes AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011. The vineyards are planted on limestone and clay on the right bank of the Tarn River. It has a Mediterranean climate with Oceanic influences and is impacted by dry north winds and a south-easterly wind that blows in excess of 48 mph. The AOC produces only white wine primarily from at least one of the following grapes which must make up at least 50% in the blend: Loin de Loeil, Mausac, Mausac Rose and Muscadelle. The remainder may be Sauvignon Blanc and Ondenc.[14]
Saint Sardos AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011, the appellation covers 23 villages in the south of the Tarn-et-Garonne administrative department, 40 km (25 miles) north of Toulouse. It borders the much larger Cotes de Gascogne IGP, to the west are the Fronton and Gaillac AOCs and the Garonne River is on its eastern border. It consists of 230 hectares (about 568 acres) of vineyards planted limestone, marls, sands, galets and gravel. It only produces red (80%) and rosé wines (20%) made from Syrah (40% min.) and Tannat (20% min.) with the remainder of the blend consisting of Cabernet Franc and Merlot (max. 10%).[15]

 

Geography of Lot River
The Lot River is a tributary of the Garonne. It rises in the Cévennes, flowing west through Quercy, where it flows into the Garonne near Aiguillon, a total distance of 481 kilometres (299 mi). The river runs through the Lot département, which is home to the most well-known AOC in Southwest France – Cahors AOC.
Climate of Lot River
The climate of the Lot River Region is influenced by both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea giving it a more Mediterranean Climate than further west in Bergerac. The warm sirocco-like wind from the southeast called ‘Autan’ dries the vineyards and helps keep the grapes free from rot. It has low rainfall and the steep banks of the rivers help protect the vineyards from frost. The vineyards can experience hail during the summer and a five-minute downfall can be enough to destroy a year’s crop.
Red and White Grapes
The Lot River Region grows the same grape varieties as the Garonne and Tarn.
Lot River Sub-Region AOCs
Cahors AOC
Established as an AOC in 1971. The climate of is primarily influenced by the Atlantic, with hot summers and wet winters as well as by the Mediterranean and the Lot River is an important factor for the micro-climate. The nearby Massif Massif Central may occasionally cause winters with severe frost. There are 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres) of vineyards planted on the gravel terraces formed by the Lot River as well as on the limestone plateau called “Les Causses”. Red wines are based on Malbec (min. 70%) and are usually blended with Merlot and/or Tannat (max. 30%). Malbec is also known as Côt and Auxerrois.
Coteaux du Quercy AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011, it is located south of Cahors and primarily has a Continental climate. The vineyards are predominantly planted on limestone soils.[16] The region produces red and rosé wines based on Malbec (40-60%), plus Merlot and Tannat (max. 20% each) but Gamay may also be included.[17]
Entraygues-Le Fel AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011. The region is located to the north of Marcillac and west of Estaing. To the east is the Massif Central and it experiences Mediterranean influences. The vineyards are planted on steeply-terraced slopes. Red (55%) and rosé (20%) wines are based on Cabernet Franc and Fer Servadou, other grapes include Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Jurançon Noir, Merlot, Mouyssagues, Negrette and Pinot Noir. White wines (25%) are made from Chenin Blanc and Mauzac.
Estaing AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011. The region has a Mediterranean influenced climate and the vineyards are planted on schist, granite and limestone. Red and rosé wines are based on Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Fer Servadou. White wines are based on Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and Saint-Come (known locally as Rousselou).
Marcillac AOC
Established as an AOC in 1990. The climate varies according to the season. In winter it has semi-continental weather patterns, while in summers experience Mediterranean influences.[18] The vineyards are planted on “Rougier” (soil deriving its reddish color from the iron oxides it contains), but also partly calcareous soils and to a lesser extent schist. Red and rosé wines are based on Fer Servadou (90%), plus Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and/or Merlot.




Geography of the Pyrénées
The Pyrénées Sub-Region is named after the rugged mountain range that divides France and Spain. There is also a Pyrenees wine region located in Victoria, Australia near the town of Avoca.[19]
Climate of the Pyrénées
The Pyrénéan foothills has a maritime climate with Alpine influences that experiences a rain shadow effect and cool nights due to the proximity to the Pyrénées, a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain.
White Grapes of the Pyrénées
Arrufiac
Gros Manseng
Baroque
Lauzet*
Camaralet
Petit Manseng
Clairette Blanche
Raffiat*
Courbu

Red Grapes of the Pyrénées
Courbu Noir
Manseng Noir
Fer Servadou
Tannat



Pyrénées Sub-Region AOCs
Béarn AOC
Established as an AOC in 1975. It is located near the town of Pau. The vineyard area is non-contiguous and covers two separate stretches of the Gave de Pau river, part of which overlaps the Jurançon AOC. These two areas in the Pyrenean foothills are joined by a third small satellite area on the edges of the Madiran vineyard area to the northeast. The vines are planted on well-draining rocky, sandy clay soils in the hills at the base of the northern Pyrenees, where the relatively humid, rainy oceanic climate is moderated by foehn (föhn) winds (a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind caused by the “rain shadow effect” that occurs in the downwind side of a mountain range) from the mountains which help protect the vines from mold and mildew. Red wines are made predominantly from Tannat (min. 60%) along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and to a lesser degree Fer, Courbu Noir and Manseng Noir. White wines are made predominantly from Raffiat de Moncade (min. 50%), a local variety, along with Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and smaller amounts of Sauvignon Blanc and Courbu. The Béarn-Bellocq AOC was eliminated in 2012.
Jurançon AOC
Established as an AOC in 1936. It is named after the parish of Jurançon, near the town of Pau. The AOC covers 25 parishes, 3 of the most well-known are Bosdarros, Estialesq and Lasseubétat. It is located 96 km (60 miles) east of the Atlantic Ocean which somewhat moderates the temperatures. The Pyrenees also have influence the climate as warm, dry foehn (föhn) winds that keep the area particularly warm and dry in the fall during harvest. The vineyards are planted mostly on alluvial soils (clay and sand) and drier, clay-free limestone at higher elevations. Many of vineyards near the rivers are planted sedimentary rocks known locally as poudingues, named after the old English steamed fruit “pudding”, which they resemble in shape and weight. The AOC produces only white wines all of which contain a high proportion of Petit Manseng and/or Gros Manseng and include up to 50% Courbu, Camaralet and Lauzet. The late-harvest (begins November 2, and often lasts into December) Vendanges Tardives wines are made from 100% Petit Manseng and/or Gros Manseng. The grapes must come from at least 2 passes through the vineyards, contain at east 27.2% sugar at harvest and the finished wine must contain at least 3.5% residual sugar. They are then held for 18 months before being submitted to a tasting panel that will confer their AOC status prior to release.
Irouléguy AOC
Established as an AOC in 1970. This is the southernmost AOC in Southern France. Red wines (70% of production) and rosé (20%) must contain at least 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (combined) and Tannat may be combined. White wines (10%) are made from Petit Mansenf, Gros Manseng and /or Courbu in any percentages.
Pacherench du Vic-Bilh AOC
Established as an AOC in 1948. The name is derived from the regional dialectal words paisheradas (meaning roughly “vineyard rows”) and vic-bilh the name of a local village (meaning “old country”). The growing area is equal distant between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees and is bordered by Saint Mont to the north and east and Tursan to the west. This is the same geographic production area as Madiran AOC which produces only red wines whereas Pacherench du Vic-Bilh is dedicated solely to white wines. This AOC produces late-harvested dessert wines made from various combinations of Petit Courbu, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Courbu Blanc and Arrufiac.
Pacherench du Vic-Bilh Sec AOC
Established as an AOC in 1948. This AOC produces only dry white wines from at least (60%) Petit Courbu and/or Petit Manseng (together or separately but neither can be more than 80% of the blend). The remainder of the blend is Gros Manseng, Arrufiac and Sauvignon Blanc (max. 10%).[20]
Madiran AOC
Established as an AOC in 1948. Located 100 km (60 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, it produces only red wine primarily from Tannat (60% - 80%) followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (known locally as Bouchy) and Fer Servadou (known locally as Pinenc). Tannat tends to be very tannic, so the grapes are gently pressed and often undergo micro-oxygenation, which promotes tannin polymerization and helps stabilize the color.
Saint Mont AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011, it is is named after a monastery founded by Benedictine monks. Located 100 km (60 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean, it has a maritime climate with continental influences. The appellation covers the hills of vineyards located on chalky clay sandstone in the east and tawny sands to the west. Red and rosé wines are primarily made from Tannat (min. of 60%) and a minimum of 20% of Fer Servadou, complemented by Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The white wines are composed of Arrufiac, a small amount of Courbu, Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng.
Tursan AOC
Established as an AOC in 2011. It is located 100 km (60 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean. The vineyards are planted on a range of soils including colluvial pebbles, chalky clay, silty gravel and highly porous tawny sandstone. Red wines are based on Tannat (max. 40%), Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (max. 30%) and Merlot and the rare Raffiat de Moncade (10%). White wines are composed of Baroque (90%) and Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Sauvignon Blanc (10%). Rosé wines are based on Cabernet Franc, Fer Servadou and Cabernet Sauvignon.



IGPs of Southwest France
Côtes de Gascogne IGP
Côtes de Gascogne IGP is in the Armagnac region of Southwest and has 1,200 local wine producers. White wines make up 80% of Côtes de Gascogne wine production (65% dry, 15% medium-sweet) and are made from Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The sweet white wines are made from Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng. Red wines (10%) and rosé wines (10%) are made from Tannat, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon.[21]
Comté Tolosan IGP
Comté Tolosan IGP is a large regional denomination that covers the entire winegrowing area of southwestern France, centered on Toulouse. It produces more than 200,000 hectoliters of white, red, and rosé wines annually. White grapes include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Gros Manseng, Loin de l’Oeil, Mauzac, Muscadelle, Petit Manseng, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Ugni Blanc. Red grapes include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Duras, Fer Servadou, Gamay, Malbec, Merlot, Négrette, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Tannat.[22]
Ariége IGP
Elevated above its neighboring regions, the obscure Ariège appellation is perched in the peaks and foothills of the Pyrenees, along the French border with Andorra and Spain. The IGP produces mostly Red wines (75%) and Rosé wines (15%) made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. White whites (10%) include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.[23]
Côtes du Lot IGP
Côtes du Lot is located in the northern area of Southwest France. It is named after the Lot River, which flows through it, and encompasses both the city and the appellation of Cahors. It produces predominantly red and rosé wines made from Malbec as well as Merlot, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Segalin, Syrah and Tannat.  A small amount of white wines are produced from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.[24]
Côtes du Tarn IGP
Geographically, the Côtes du Tarn IGP overlaps with the Gaillac AOC and straddles the Tarn River. The region experiences a trio of climatic influences: Maritime, Mediterranean, and Continental. The vineyards are planted on diverse soils and are home to a number of indigenous red grapes such as Duras and Braucol and white grapes such as Mauzac and Loin de l’Oeil, as well as more familiar international varieties. The area’s 400 vine growers have an average annual production of 15 - 20 million bottles (60% red and rosé, 40% white).[25]



Wines Tasted

The following wines were tasted in the French Wine Scholar class:



1. 2013 Domaine de Tariquet “Classic” Cote de Gascone Blanc




A clear white wine, pale straw in color, low viscosity. On the nose it has moderate intense fruity aromas of fresh orange, fresh pears, melon, pineapple, and orange blossoms with a hint of salty minerality. On the palate it is dry with moderate acidity and a medium length finish. This wine sells for $9.



2. 2012 Domaine Bru-Bache Jurancon Sec



A clear white wine, golden in color, with moderate viscosity. On the nose it has subtle aromas of apples, pears, and grapefruit. On the palate it is dry and tart and somewhat sour with flavors of lemons, pink grapefruit, and dried oranges, seeming somewhat oxidized with moderate acidity and a medium length finish. This wine sells for $18.






3. 2010 Château La Caminade Cahors “Fut de Chene”



An opaque red wine, dark purple at the core to violet with minimal rim variation and dark staining tears. On the nose it is clean with moderate intense aromas of black plums, blackberries, blueberries, black currants and dusty earth. The wine is dry with medium+ to high tannins, moderate acidity and a medium length finish. This wine sells for $22.



4. 2012 Chateau Peyros Madiran



An opaque red wine, dark purple at the core to violet with moderate rim variation and medium viscosity. On the nose it has moderate intense aromas of stewed red fruits, green bell pepper, licorice and black pepper. The wine is dry and astringent with medium+ tannins, moderate acidity and a medium length finish. A somewhat rustic wine, it sells for $12.



5. 2010 Domaine Bru-Bache “La Quintesence” Jurancon



A clear white wine, dark gold in color with high viscosity. On the nose it has moderate intense aromas of honey, orange candy, butterscotch, coconut, and hazelnut. On the palate it is sweet, with high acidity, medium weight with a long somewhat nutty finish. This wine sells for $25 for a half-bottle.






[3] Jancis Robinson (ed), The Oxford Companion to Wine (Third Edition) (Oxford University Press), 447-448.


[5] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 197.

[6] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 197.



[9] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 197.

[10] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 197.

[11] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 198.

[12] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 198.

[13] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 198-199.

[14] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 199.

[15] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 199.

[16] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 201.




[20] Julien Camus, Lisa M. Airey, Celine Camus (ed), French Wine Scholar Study Manual (French Wine Society), 203.





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