Madiran Uncovered

Madiran Uncovered

Wines from the South West of France have appeared regularly in our cases. I make no apologies because I love them! For this case I have opted for a wine from Madiran, a quirky, red wine appellation that makes wines based on the indigenous grape variety Tannat. Traditionally, this appellation of France modelled its wines on big and rich concentrated reds that were quite tannic.  These days a softer approach has been taken by the new wave of winemakers in the region.

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The Tannat Tradition

The traditional grape of this region is Tannat, a small tough berried grape which is often added to add depth and flavour to the Cabernet and Merlots from this region. Almost lost in the 70s to the mainstream grape varieties Tannat is making a comeback with the new wave of winemakers.  Historicaly Tannat produced be heavy reds that would take years to age, these days with the use of modern wine make techniques, soft lighter styles are being made like the one with selected.

Unlike the producers of Bordeaux, who could age their wines in the cellars of their huge Chåteau, in the poorer region of Gasgony, the wines were literally buried. The wines often have a simple metal or wooden label to identify them.

 An Appellation Overlap

Did you know that the grapes used to make sweet wines of Pacherenc are grown in the Madiran? The combination of local grapes such as Arrufiac and Petit Manseng are blended together to produce wonderfully sweet whites. There are only around 400 acres of vineyards that are planted to make the deep yellow, wonderfully sweet white.

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