30 October 2014

The Wine Gang Focus on Gaillac

The Wine Gang, five UK wine critics experienced the diversity of wines from South West of France.  This is their description of visiting Gaillac, an wine producing area near Toulouse.

The Wine Gang have graciously let us reproduce their blog on the DiscoverVin blog.

Diversity is the name of the game in South West France: from a vinous perspective, there really is something for everyone if you put together all the appellations in this beautiful corner of Europe. If there was a single area that expressed this versatility in microcosm, however, it would have to be an historic appellation that straddles the Tarn River: Gaillac.
"The diversity starts, of course, in the vineyard, or, rather, beneath the vineyards: Gaillac has three distinctive terroirs, each offering a different character to the wines, from the power and structure offered by the stone, sand and gravel terraces on the left bank of the Tarn to the elegance and succulence brought by the chalky clay of the right bank and the poise and vibrant fruit of the limestone Plateau Cordais.
Harvest in Cotes de Tarn
But that’s really just the beginning. On those soils, Gaillac producers work with nine different grape varieties to produce seven distinct wine styles. The permutations are, therefore, as fascinating as they are delicious. In Gaillac you can find vividly berry-fruited, explosively juicy youthful reds made from Gamay and bottled shortly after harvest, alongside intense, structured but elegant reds made from the local favourites Braucol and Duras as well as Syrah, offering fine tannins and freshening acidity to go with their spicy flavours.

Whites, from Mauzac, Loin de L’Oeil, Ondenc and Muscadelle, can be oak-aged, dry and savoury, with concentrated juicy apple offset by minerals and rippling acidity. Or they can be lusciously sweet and honeyed, like a liquid tarte-tatin, enlivened by a line of fine citrus."

DiscoverVin import two wines from Chateau de Saurs in Gaillac.
This chateau has been in the hands of the same family since the 16th century. It is now in the process of conversion to organic production (from the  2012 vintage the wines will be labelled as certified organic).
The vineyard extends for 42 ha, growing selcted grape varities to produce wines of the Gaillac appelation (white, rosé and red).

Chateau de Saurs AOC Gaillac Blanc Doux is made from a selected parcel of Loin de l'Oeil of more than 40 years old. The grapes are late-picked at the peak of ripeness during October. Loin de l'Oeil ('Lew-an-de-le-oh-eye") translates as eye of the lion. This gorgeous dessert wine has a sweet honey flavour on the palate.

Chateau de Saurs Tradition Rouge has been one of our most popular wines.
 "This is easily the best Gaillac wine that I have tried" Sean Mitchell, Grape Observer, June 2014.  
From an ancient vineyard that has been producing quality grapes for many centuries, premium grapes are now being made into modern, organic and clean wines while retaining characteristics typical of the terroir. 
Great value for money! The Tradition Rouge is from the great vintage of 2010.

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