Côtes de Gascogne Wine
Based just north of Éauze in the heart of Bas Armagnac, the Dèche family have traditionally been distillers of superior spirits, which they diligently craft from their own vine holdings. At the turn of the last century they experienced a noticeable drop in domestic demand due, in part, to new 'drink driving' legislation and sensibly diversified into still wine production by grafting popular grape varieties on to their existing rootstock. This was a deft manoeuvre as it opened up a new market of wine drinkers and meant that they were still able to sustain their distillery.
Their white - blended from Colombard and Ugni Blanc and bottled under screw-cap to conserve its youthful zest - has inviting wild flower scents and a crisp orchard fruit palate underscored by fresh acidity: so works well as an apéritif or partner to shellfish. A sibling rosé, from a base of Egiodola blended with Syrah and Merlot has a lovely coral pink robe, a crushed berry bouquet and tangy rhubarb flavours with a fresh, dry finish. A red Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend has soft hedgerow fruit aromas and a mid-weight palate of plums and damsons supported by supple tannins. Rounding off a versatile range is a pure Merlot that is redolent of stewed autumnal fruit with a wonderfully smooth texture and a soft, elegant finish.