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MWG January 8th tasting: A pair of Sud-ouest whites

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As custom has it, the Mo’ Wine Group’s first tasting after the holidays focuses on inexpensive and affordable wines. This year we began with a couple of dry whites from southwest France.

IGP des Côtes de Gascogne 2012, Les Tours, Domaine La Hitaire ($10.20, 00567891)
About two-thirds Ugni Blanc and one-third Colombard with a dollop of Gros Manseng from half-century-old vines. Cold-macerated on the skins for six to eight hours. Low-temperature fermentation. The finished wine is stored in tanks at near-freezing temperatures and bottled year-round on an as-needed basis. Sees only stainless steel. Vegetarian-compatible. Screwcapped. 10.5% per the label, 11.5% per the SAQ. Quebec agent: Mosaïque.
Opens with a whiff of screwcap funk evocative of mesclun past its best before date. As that blows off, canned peach and rock aromas emerge and are eventually joined by Sauvignon Blanc-ish grass and gooseberry notes. In the mouth, the wine’s a middleweight but lacks substance (“a bit watery” one of the tasters noted). That said, it’s fresh and clean despite the hint of residual sugar, which effectively counterbalances the crisp acidity, adds some heft and tames the citrus-pithiness. Suffered from the comparison with a significantly more expensive wine; would probably have fared better on its own. (Buy again? Sure though not in preference to the similarly priced Robertson Chenin Blanc.)

Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh 2010, Les Jardins de Bouscassé, Alain Brumont ($17.10, 11179392)
A blend of Petit Courbu and a little Petit Manseng from vines planted in various parcels and averaging 15 years old. After pressing, the must is fermented in tanks at between 16 and 18°C. Maturation on the lees with regular stirring lasts 10 to 12 months. 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mark Anthony Brands.
Perfumy, floral (orange blossom?) nose with faint fresh herb and brown sugar overtones. Smooth and fruity in the piehole. Fatter, deeper, broader and more layered than the Les Tours. Frisky acidity enlivens the satin-textured yellow fruit and minerals. Finishes clean, dry and on a faint aniseed note. Hides its alcohol well. (Buy again? Sure though I’d be tempted to chip in another $6 and buy the more accomplished Montus Parcherenc instead.)

(Flight: 1/8)

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Written by carswell

January 21, 2015 at 10:30

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