2 October 2014

The Wine Gang Visit Producteurs Plaimont

The Wine Gang, five UK wine critics put on berets to visit Saint Mont in the South West of France.  This is their description of visiting the charming town of Saint Mont and touring the area including spending time at  Producteurs Plaimont.   
The Wine Gang have graciously let us reproduce their blog on the DiscoverVin blog.
Eric shows Grace how to wear the beret Saint Mont style
Leaving Côtes de Gascogne, we headed to Saint-Mont, a charming town surrounded by vineyards and blessed with beautiful ancient stone buildings including a magnificent monastery (which is also a hotel). Eric Fitan (president of the Saint Mont Wines trade body), Charlotte Grizeaud (communications manager) and Xavier Didelon (area sales manager, Plaimont Producteurs) stuck a beret on our heads (the beret is almost a uniform in Saint Mont!) and took us for a walk around the town.
Ferme Descoubet’s owner shows us his sustainable farming methods
We then joined Christine Cabri in Plaimont Producteurs tasting room for a brief introduction on the three main Saint Mont terroirs and their influences on the wines from the appellation.
We tasted a selection of Saint Mont white and red wines, including a rare wine made from vines that date from before phylloxera destroyed most of the French vineyards in 1863.

Saint Mont is a world-famous site for grape variety and vine research, and international amphelographic (grape and vine) experts come here to study the region’s unique heritage.
Not only does Saint Mont have some vines that are more than 180 years old, but it also has grape varieties that are so rare that they have not been identified yet!
Saint Mont
Saint Mont terroirs
Eric shows us around the Saint Mont classified plot
 In front of Chateau
Visit of Saint Mont monastery with Eric, Charlotte and Xavier
We moved on to Château de Sabazan and then Château Saint Go, where we tasted a flight of Saint Mont reds, including a vertical tasting (several vintages of a same wine), showing the ageing potential of these tannat-based wines.

Saint Mont vineyards
Plaimont Producteurs have played a key role in preserving andidentifying Saint Mont’s grape variety heritag

We then drove to the Maison des Vins in the tiny village of Madiran, where Paul Dabadie (President of Madiran wines trade body) was expecting us. Paul had prepared a special blind tasting of 20 Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic Bilh wines to introduce us to the denominations.
What a great way it was to discover the two appellations! We tasted our way through the different expressions of the local varieties: Tannat, complemented by Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for the reds of Madiran; and Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Petit Courbu, and Arrufiac for Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh’s dry whites and sweets.

Dry white Pacherenc du Vic Bilh
Pacherenc du Vic Bilh’s barrique d’or
We moved on to dinner at the restaurant Le Prieuré, our appetites whetted by all the lovely wines we had just tasted.
We were joined there by Frédéric Richevaux (Plaimont Producteurs) who had brought wines from their respective properties to complement our dinner.
We first enjoyed a homemade foie gras terrine with sweet Pacherenc du Vic Bilh. Followed by a white fish in a creamy saffron sauce, paired with dry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.
We then had duck served with a sauce and vegetables. It was brilliant to taste Madiran wines with food, after having tasted them on their own an hour earlier. We could see how the tannins of the wine cut through and lifted a rich dish like the duck.
Our hosts had prepared another surprise for dessert, pairing chocolate fondant with a 100% tannat Madiran wine. And what a success!

Our trip ended with a lunch at the restaurant de la Tour in Lembeye, where the chef and winemakers had worked together to pair a Moroccan inspired meal with their wines.
It highlighted how modern these wines are, and how they can be a perfect match for not only local cuisine, but international dishes, including spicy food.
So, next time you order a curry from the take-away, try and match it with a Madiran or a Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh!
A million thanks to all the producers and representatives involved in the trip, who made it a great voyage of discovery, and who made us fully experience the warmth, the hospitality and the passion of South West French wine producers!
With Roland et Emmanuel


Discovervin is pleased to sell the wines of Producteurs Plaimont in Australia, including this mixed pack of 6 bottles of their wines.

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