Côtes de Gascogne Wine
At the tail-end of the 20th Century, as the premium spirit market tanked in France, the Dèche family, who had extensive vine-holdings to furnish their Bas Armagnac distillery, sensibly diversified into production of still table wines. Rigorous enforcement of the dreaded 'Alcool Test' and increased beer consumption by 'Generation Y' were major factors in reduced spirit sales but it was Lionel Jospin's infamous '35 Hour Week' that put a tin lid on long, languorous business lunches capped off with a digestif.
We first listed their white 'Ugni Blanc-Colombard' back in 2005 and it proved an instant hit with the Yapp faithful. Bottled under screw-cap to conserve its zesty fruit, it has a bouquet of wild flowers and a tangy, lemony palate with a crisp, clean finish. A pretty, coral pink rosé is made from a blend of Cabernet Franc and Egiodola and is bursting with ripe red fruits offset by a fresh acidity; so is ideal for picnics and al fresco entertaining. They also produce some reliable red wines: a judicious blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot is medium-bodied with appealing hedgerow fruit scents and flavours supported by supple tannins, whilst a pure Merlot is plusher, plumper and sensuously soft.