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Midi Wine

Midi wines

Midi Wines

In viticultural terms, the Midi region in the South West of France is known for its production of simple, dry white wines, moelleux dessert wines and brooding, earthy reds. The white wines of the Bergerac area serve as good value alternatives to the grander Bordeaux appellations further West and Christian Roche at Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure offers some stunning examples. For Sauternes, read Monbazillac, a marvellous accompaniment to foie gras, whilst the Semillon/Sauvignon blend of Bergerac Sec is a marvellous substitute for Graves. For lovers of dark, tannic, muscular reds, Iroulèguy, made from the Tannat grape in the heart of the Basque country, is the place to turn your attention. Peio Espil’s two marvellous reds and his outstanding rosé will not fail to impress. Jurançon (near Pau) has won a reputation for producing highest quality, late-harvested, non-botrysised sweet wine from Petit and Gros Manseng grapes. Pascal Labasse stands out as a leading vigneron in the region and also makes a refreshing, dry white from the same varieties.
  • Jurançon Moelleux: Domaine Bellegarde Sélection DB 2005

    An extraordinarily rich and powerful wine with honey, dried apricot and exotic fruit flavours. As the wine ages, it develops aromas of crystallized fruits, ripe strawberries and quince.

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    • Bottle £62.00
    • Bottle Case £744.00
  • Irouléguy: Domaine Ilarria Cuvée Bixinto 2009

    A dense, dark, complex, age-worthy, antediluvian offering - a bouquet of leather, herbs and dried porcini mushrooms preceding a dense palate of red fruits, spices and minerals supported by rugged tannins.

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    • Bottle £24.95
    • Bottle Case £299.40
  • Irouléguy: Domaine Ilarria Rouge 2011

    Irouléguy: Domaine Ilarria - A deep red wine with a bouquet of black cherries and spices with vigorous youthful tannins (reminiscent of young Cornas) and underlying dark fruit flavours.

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    • Bottle £17.75
    • Bottle Case £213.00
  • Monbazillac: Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure 2011

    This Monbazillac from Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure is a wonderfully rich sweet wine made from low yields of late-harvested, botrytised, Semillon (90%) and Muscadelle (10%). With a chilled glass in hand, one is transported to a balmy evening in the Dordogne!

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    • Bottle £14.95
    • Bottle Case £179.40
  • Côtes de Gascogne: Domaine Millet Colombard-Ugni Blanc 2013

    The Domaine de Millet blanc is one of our best-selling wines, despite its humble I.G.P status, as it is unfailingly reliable and gives a lot of bang for your buck. This unashamed crowd-pleaser, a blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard, has a bright, zesty palate with a whistle-clean finish and works well as an aperitif or partner to salads and seafood.

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    • Bottle £9.50
    • Bottle Case £114.00
  • Côtes de Gascogne: Domaine Millet Cabernet Franc / Merlot 2013

    A quaffable blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot from Gascony that really comes into its own with poultry dishes - Christmas turkey would be ideal! "This would make a great house red for a low-alcohol household. Tannins almost imperceptible. Very easy texture. Notable." Jancis Robinson OBE MW

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    • Bottle £9.75
    • Bottle Case £117.00
  • Jurançon Moellux: Domaine Bellegarde Cuveé Thibault 2012

    A rich, powerful Jurançon wine with intense aromas of dried fruit and grilled nuts and a persistent palate of apricots and peaches with a rich, honeyed finish.

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    • Bottle £19.95
    • Bottle Case £239.40
  • Jurançon Moelleux: Domaine Bellegarde 2012

    Pascal Labasse is justifiably renowned for the superb sweet wines he produces, His ‘Cuvée Tradition’ Jurançon Moelleux is made from equal volumes of Gros and Petit Manseng that are harvested at optimum ripeness. The locals drink it as a pre-prandial sharpener, but it works very well with cheese, foie gras, and fruit desserts too.

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    • Half Bottle £8.95
    • Half Bottle Case £214.80
  • Irouléguy: Domaine Ilarria Blanc 2012

    This organic vin blanc is produced in lamentably small volumes! With enough weight and body to stand up to the hot peppers and garlic which feature heavily in the local cuisine, it takes a while to reveal its charms (and merits decanting) but nothing is hurried in these parts.

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    • Bottle £19.95
    • Bottle Case £239.40
  • Jurançon Sec: Domaine Bellegarde 2014

    After a year's enforced absence caused by Summer hailstorms in 2013 which severely depleted the size of the penultimate harvest and put paid to its production, we welcome back Pascal Labasse’s nervy, young Jurançon Sec from his beloved 15 hectare Domaine Bellegarde in the shadow of the Pyrenees at Monien. Happier news is that after three years under 'conversion', Pascal’s entire vinous output has now been awarded organic certification.

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    • Bottle £13.25
    • Bottle Case £159.00
  • Côtes de Gascogne: Domaine Millet Rosé 2014

    Domaine Millet's rosé is a refreshing, dry, coral pink wine, sensibly bottled under screwcap making it handy for picnics and parties.

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    • Bottle £9.75
    • Bottle Case £117.00
  • Domaine Gardrat: Vin de Pays Charentais Sauvignon 2014

    This Vin de Pays Charentais from Domaine Gardrat is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, delicately perfumed with subtle elderflower and nettle scents and a racy, mineral-edged palate. It's a lovely, light, uplifting wine that works well as an aperitif or partner to salads or seafood.

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    • Bottle £9.95
    • Bottle Case £119.40
  • Jurançon Moelleux: Domaine Bellegarde 2013

    Pascal Labasse is justifiably renowned for the superb sweet wines he produces, His ‘Cuvée Tradition’ Jurançon Moelleux is made from equal volumes of Gros and Petit Manseng that are harvested at optimum ripeness. The locals drink it as a pre-prandial sharpener, but it works very well with cheese, foie gras, and fruit desserts too.

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    • Bottle £14.95
    • Bottle Case £179.40
  • Bergerac Sec: Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure 2014

    This is a superb Bergerac Sec from an unoaked 'Bordeaux' blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon. It is dry and fruity and what the locals call 'vif', with an attractive citrus fruit bouquet and a clean, zesty palate. It is a reliable cocktail hour pick-me-up or partner to salads and seafood.

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    • Bottle £11.75
    • Bottle Case £141.00
  • Côtes de Gascogne: Domaine Millet Merlot 2014

    A pure Merlot Côtes de Gascogne wine which has a similar fruit-forward appeal to it's Cabernet Franc / Merlot sibling - appealing mulberry aromas and soft, plummy palate. Just the thing to accompany a steak frites or saucisse de Toulouse!

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    • Bottle £9.95
    • Bottle Case £119.40

Quick & Easy Guide to the wines of the Midi

Discover why they live longer over in south-west France.

Overview:
The Midi is a ‘catch all’ term for the wines of south-west France. Stretching from the Atlantic coast near Bordeaux to the peaks of the Pyrenees and inland across the river valleys of the Garonne, Lot and Tarn, this is a region with great history and real diversity. In viticultural terms it is known for simple, dry white wines, sweet dessert wines and brooding, earthy reds.

Area Under Vine:
40,000 hectares with production divided equally between cave co-operatives and independent producers.

Key AOCs:
Charentais, Bergerac, Monbazillac, Cahors, Madiran, Côtes de Gascogne, Jurançon, Irouléguy, Gaillac, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.

Principal grapes:
Sauvignon, Semillon, Muscadelle, Ugni blanc, Colombard, Gros & Petit Manseng, Petit Corbu, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Tannat & Négrette.

Notable domaines:
Château Montus, Château de Cèdre, Domaines l’Ancienne Cure, Bellegarde, Cauhapé, Brana, Ilarria, Plageoles.

Local delicacies:
Bayonne ham, piperade (peppers and tomatoes), foie gras, magret of duck, cassoulet, garbure (ham and cabbage soup), Roquefort & Ossau-Iraty cheeses, Agen prunes, Basque almond cake.

Restaurants we like:
Café Ttipia (St-Jean-Pied-de-Porte), Café Jean (Biarritz), Le Clos Saint-Front (Périgeux) and Hôtel Charbonnel (Brantôme).

Famous people from the region:
Henry IV (Pau), musketeer d’Artagnan (Lupiac), Jean Bernadotte (later King of Sweden and Norway), footballer Didier Deschamps, rugbymen Serge Blanco, Raphael Ibanez and Imanol Harinordoquy.

Things to do:
Walk a section of one of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim routes, relax at a thermal spa in Gers, Dorres or Luz-St-Sauveur, attend the salsa and bullfighting feria in Dax, play the tables at the casinos in Biarritz, relax to jazz by the Nive river during Bayonne’s festival, canoe down the Dordogne, Lot or Tarn, cycle up the Col du Tourmalet.

Bien classique:
Monbazillac Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure

Autre chose:
Irouléguy blanc Domaine Ilarria