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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
White Lirac is deserving of wider recognition and the Maby bottling, made from a cépagement of Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Piquepoul, is a fine example. It drinks well on its own but is a shoo-in with seafood.
The Lirac rosé from Domaine Maby is a deep brick-pink colour and a great food wine. Pair it with a broad variety of foods from salmon to charcuterie, and it also lends itself well to Oriental cuisine.
This alluring and tangy Picpoul de Pinet wine is made just north of the Bassin de Thau, a large salt water lagoon near Montpellier in the Languedoc. It makes a bracing aperitif, but a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet and a bucket of oysters? Food and wine matching doesn't get much simpler or better than that.
Tavel: Domaine Maby La Forcadière - a full-bodied rosé wine made in a traditional style. It's a great food wine, beloved by savvy sommeliers, and would go down a treat with a harissa roast chicken or a spicy vegetable tagine, and makes an ideal partner to Asian dishes.
Yapp Brothers are members of 'The Bunch', a group of Britain's best independent wine merchants.