Côtes de Gascogne Wine
Anyone with a penchant for well-made and reasonably priced wine - who is also partial to distinctive distillates and enjoys exploring the backwaters of 'la Belle France Profonde' - might want to book a visit to the well-appointed gîte of the Dèche family. Located 4 kilometres north-east of Éauze in the heart of Bas Armagnac, it is housed in a characterful, old pigeonnière and sleeps 6 people.
Historically, they have been experts in the production of Bas Armagnac which they mature in large oak barrels and sell to a discerning clientele. However, at the end of the 20th Century with shorter working hours meaning fewer business lunches and strict enforcement of drink driving regulations seeing a drop in domestic spirits consumption, they sensibly diversified into still wine production. They continue to make magnificent Armagnac but now produce some excellent table wines as well.
Our first listing from Domaine de Millet ('Château' is verboten on IGP bottlings), was their versatile Colombard-Ugni Blanc blend which has uplifting wild flower scents and a tangy, citrus-edged palate. It is bottled under screw-cap to conserve its youthful fruit and makes a fine aperitif or partner to shellfish. Equally appealing is an attractive coral pink rosé made from an unusual blend of Egiodola, Syrah and Merlot grown on free-draining alluvial soils and de-stemmed prior to pressing. With bright summer berry scents and racy redcurrant flavours offset by fresh acidity, it makes for quintessential al fresco imbibing.
Their first red is a Saint-Emilion-style from Cabernet Franc and Merlot which are skilfully blended to create a briary, mid-weight cuvée redolent of hedgerow berries and offset by supple tannins. Completing a commendable range is a pure Merlot steeped in autumnal fruit that has a silky-smooth, seamless finish.