We have been shipping wine from Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure since 1997 when Robin and Judith Yapp (on a rare 'leisure' trip to France), were served the sublime 1990 vintage of the estate's Monbazillac on three separate occasions and thought it so good that they had better investigate further. A trip to Monbazillac ensued, wines were sampled, hands were shaken and our inaugural order was prepared for shipment. Sadly, fifth generation wine-maker and enthusiastic patron Christian Roche died after a long illness in November 2021. The winery and vineyards are now in the hands of his daughter Julie (an osteopath by training) and her partner Romain who also runs a neighbouring vignoble.
Today, the vine holdings extend to 50 hectares that are farmed organically on free-draining hills south of Bergerac. Their Monbazillac is a blend of 90% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle that are late-harvested to reap the benefit of the botrytis fungus which reduces the water content but concentrates natural sugars - yielding sweet and long-lived wines. With a lovely amber colour, honeyed aromas and a heady palate of dried fruit and roasted nuts, it is traditionally served as an aperitif but also makes a fine partner to blue cheese or fruit-based desserts.