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We have lived in France for nearly 8 years now and before we moved here we thought we knew a fair bit about sweet wine. We had regularly bought Sauternes as a treat and ventured into a few recommendations from wine shops, like the wines of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont and Monbazillac.

When we moved to the Bordeaux region in 2004 it became apparent there was a lot of choice between the many 'appellations' (regions) and far more again within each individual appellation. These wines are amazingly under-appreciated and we are constantly amazed by the variety and complexity of tastes and styles. Our passion was ignited and the search began to find our favourite wines from each area. 'De bouche à oreille' (word of mouth) was a good start; it still astonishes me how confident a French person's recommendation will be, and is usually justified. It takes a lot to impress the locals! We conducted in-depth research at the 'Foires au Vin' (wine fairs), and by visiting 'Portes Ouvertes' (when a whole appellation opens its doors for a week-end), often with regional food as well. These give us the rare chance to taste many wines of the same appellations and vintage.

We love the journey as much as the wines, the families are so passionate, filled with great stories, some new and brave and others 9th-generation and defending the reputation created by their ancestors.

Nearly half of the first 12 wines from our immediate regions of Bordeaux, Bergerac and the South West, bar one from Maury, were invited to exhibit at the bi-annual "Best Sweet Wines in the World" tasting organised by Château La Tour Blanche Grand Cru Classe, in Sauternes, Bordeaux.

The next four quarters after that, are already earmarked and we are venturing north to the Loire, far South to the Mediterranean and East to the Alps.

We have only one wish: that your membership is a voyage of discovery. To get the full benefit we recommend not putting them in the wine rack to wait for a special occasion, but in the fridge to be enjoyed when you are in the mood, or for no particular reason other than a small guilty pleasure!

Please feel free to feed back your notes, pairings and recommendations. We hope you enjoy your journey.

— Richard and Fiona Lyster-Binns

December 2012 Selection
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The quarter opens with wines from Cadillac, Loupiac and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, three villages along the banks of the Garonne river opposite Sauternes and Barsac. I think they offer extraordinary value and they all have a set of distinct qualities, which makes them stand out from the crowd. The producers Catherine, Olivier and Catherine are all from old wine families and are at the top of their game. To you all I say 'Chapeau!' -- very well done!


Château Peybrun 2008
Cadillac

Catherine de Loze is the current owner and wine grower at Peybrun, she took over from her father in 1985. Her father had expanded and replanted the vineyard. Chateau Peybrun has been in her family for over 400 years. She produces very high quality sweet and red wines.

AOC Region: With the Garonne and its various tributaries nearby, the Cadillac terroir is ideally suited for the production of sweet, botrytized wines. In the late summer and early autumn these rivers create morning mists, which encourage the development of botrytis cinerea. The sweet wines produced from Cadillac's botrytized grapes are naturally high in flavour and concentrated sugars and have earned the appellation a repuation as a source of excellent sweet wines.

Terroir: 10 hectares of vines on steep south and south-west facing slopes on limestone and chalky clay.

Grapes: 90% Sémillon, 5% Sauvignon and 5% Muscadelle

Wine-making: The grapes are hand harvested over a period of several weeks to select the best botrytized grapes.

Bottle size: 37.5cl

Tasting Notes: Yellowy gold in colour, nose of honey, acacia flower and honeysuckle, on the palate fresh and aromatic. Peybrun can be drunk young or kept for up to 30 years.

Traditionally drunk by the French as an apperatif, with foie gras and blue cheeses, it is also good with poultry, white meat and fish.


Château du Cros 2004
Loupiac

From the time of Richard the 'Lionheart' and Edward King of England the history of Château du Cros is intricately linked to the British love of this area and regional wines. The 13th century Château du Cros, with it's original building commanding a view over the river to Sauternes, was bought by Catherine d’Halluin's grand-father (Mr Boyer) in 1921 and run by her father until 1967. Today, Catherine's vineyard has an area of 70 hectares, producing many great wines.

AOC Region: Loupiac lies to the South of Cadillac and just across the river Garonne from the prestigious Sauternes and Barsac appellations.Like Cadillac and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont it stands out as an independent appellation because of its capacity to produce sweet wines of high quality. The best Loupiac's are made from grapes grown on the slopes above the banks of the Garonne. These slopes are a mixture of clay and limestone, which bring a delicate, mineral character to the wines. Being close to the river they also benefit from the autumnal morning mists. Under Loupiac's appellation laws only Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, Muscadelle and Sauvignon gris grapes can be grown.

Terroir: Several hectares producing 35 Hl/Ha, mainly clay and limestone. Catherine maintains the traditions of the region as she strives for quality and character in her wines. The vineyard occupies the right bank slopes down to the Garonne river.
 
Grapes: 90% Sémillion, 5% Sauvignon and 5% Muscadelle
 
Wine-making: Harvesting is made in up to 4 successive selections. After gradual pressing the juices, it is fermented separately in small tanks, ensuring the quality, before blending. The different cuves will later be carefully chosen and blended to create different labels. The fruit is vinified in oak barrels one third new, for 12 months.

Bottle size: 37.5cl
 
Tasting notes: The 2004 is dark gold in colour, nose of lime, acacia, candied orange with, on the palate, a hint of plum. This wine is fruity and dynamic, and as it gets older, it acquires elegance, body and hints of candied fruit.

Great as an aperitif, it traditionally goes with foie gras and blue cheeses. It is wonderful with peking duck, rice, monkfish on a bed of leeks, a carpaccio of scallops and all white meats such as a roast chicken, or roast pork with pineapple. It is a wine that invites you to be daring when matching it with food.


Château La Rame 2003
Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont

During the French Revolution, la Rame - 'the Rock' in old French - was the property of the Baron of Vertheuil, Govenor of the Ile d'Oleron and Lord of La Rame. It is cited as the oldest Cru and the most famous of the appellation. A gold medal winner at the Universal Exhibition in Bordeaux 1895 and Paris in 1900, it was considered at the beginning of the century as a First Classified Growth by the buyers and wine merchants of Bordeaux. The current incumbent is Olivier Armand-Allo. Olivier also makes a blend of sémillon and sauvignon as a second wine, called 'Sublime' which is supplied to Waitrose.

AOC Region: This village lies to the South of Loupiac, again situated on the banks of the Garonne. It lies upon a plateau of fossilised oyster beds. For the wines to qualify for the appellation they must be made from Sémillon, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris grapes.The best of the wines in this appellation are considered an affordable alternative to the famously expensive wines produced on the other side of the river in Sauternes and Barsac.

Terroir: 20 hectares stretch down to the river Garonne. Chalk and clay slopes with a subsoil of fossilised oysters from the tertiary period.
 
Wine-making: The grapes are are 100% Sémillon, and are hand harvested over a period of weeks, the experienced pickers only select the over ripe grapes affected by botrytis.
The grapes are brought to the press within two hours of harvesting. They are smoothly and slowly pressed into a thick juice. After the wine starts to settle the must will ferment for 2-3 weeks at a controlled temperature of between 20-23 C. After two years, some of that time spent in oak barrels, the wine will be bottled.

Bottle size: 37.5cl
 
Tasting notes: The 2003 is a bright straw colour, a discreet nose, on the palate ample with citrus, apricots and marmalade balanced by a refreshing acidity. Great as an aperitif, with foie gras, blue cheeses, roast chicken and pork. This wine is simply stunning and is far better than many of it's neighbours over the river.

March 2013 Selection
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This trio of wines stretches around the corner of the Pyrenees. Madiran in sight of the Pyrenees, Gaillac to the East, then south again along the mountains to Maury. The reason for choosing these are their rarity. The Laplace team of four siblings make this unique and extraordinary 100% Tannat sweet red wine. Alain from Domaine Rotier in Gaillac has created such an exquisite balance of sugar and acidity. Last and by no means least is Olivier Decelle, who is putting Maury on the world stage. His commitment and passion spills into all the wines and we are proud to represent all his Mas Amiel wines in the UK in 2012.


Château d'Aydie - Maydie 2008
Madiran

The first written records date these vineyards back to the 11th century and reveal that religious congregations are the cause of development of the vineyards in the region. The Laplace family have been here for 3 generations and the business is shared between 4 siblings, resolutely committed to making excellent wines.

AOC Region: The appellation is located in the southwest region of France, nestled in the heart of Armagnac country. There were vineyards in this area dating back to the 1st century BC in Gallo–Roman times. Only red wines can be grown in this appellation and they must contain at least 40-60% Tannat grape. Tannat is indigenous and thrives on the clay limestone soils and in the maritime climate. Tannat is known for its complex structure and black and red fruit notes. It is also known as being the best wine for your heart and arteries because it contains a large amount of the antioxidant procyanidin - which helps increase oxygen flow to red blood cells and helps bolster blood vessels!

Terroir: These wines come from vines that are on average 30 years old; planted on clay and chalk hillsides, situated around the Château.
 
Grapes: 100% Tannat
 
Wine-making: Maydie is a liqueur wine made from hand harvested, over ripened Tannat grapes. The total natural sugar content is 250-300g. The grapes are cold soaked in vertical wooden vats for several days. The unfermented grapes are then fortified with a wine distillate of 96,4°. The cap is punched down regularly for a few days. In total, the maceration of the harvest lasts for about a month. The finished product is bottled without filtration or additives.

Bottle size: 50cl
 
Tasting notes: This fortified wine has a deep dark red colour and offers powerful aromas of black fruit, fresh berry fruit,various dried fruit and nuts (walnuts and grilled almonds). On the palate, its delicate fruitiness balances out the powerful tannins. Maydie is best enjoyed when served between 12 and 15°C, either as an aperitif or as a dessert wine to accompany cheese, chocolate puddings or dark fruit desserts. It is also fabulous on its own.


Domaine Rotier - Renaissance 2008
Gaillac

The Petit Nareye, which constitutes most of Domaine Rotier, has been known to man for a very long time. Several tools made from quartz dating from the Paleolithic Age (150 to 200 000 years ago) have been found there. Vine growing in the Gaillac area dates back to the 1st century B.C. In the 12th century, a cooper from the nearby village of Lagrave, led an uprising against the troops of Simon de Montfort, during the Albigeois crusades. There was therfore a fair chance that there were already vines on Domaine Rotier at this time. Domaine Rotier is now run by Alain Rotier and Francis Marre. The two brothers-in-law share the responsabilities in this family-owned estate and take it forward, going from strength to strength.

AOC Region: The Gaillac appellation is in the Tarn district, west of Albi, it is one of the oldest wine growing regions in France. Major vineyard development took place in AD 972 with the arrival of the Benedictine monks who founded an abbey in the town of St. Michel. The vineyards flourished under the care of the monks. Laws were established regarding the quality of wines from Gaillac in 1271, and in 1938, the white wines of the region were granted AOC status. In 1970, this guarantee of quality was extended to Gaillac's reds and rosés. The region has seen over the past 20 years a return to the use of traditional Gaillac grape varieties such as Ondenc, Len de l'el and Mauzac in white, Fer, Duras and Braucol in red. These are often blended with classic red varieties such as Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah; and whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. As a result some unique wines are produced with characteristics not found in other regions.

Terroir: The vines are planted on a plateau of the 2nd terrace of the Tarn river. The terroir at Domaine Rotier is composed of gravelly soil.
 
Grapes: 100% Loin de l'Oeil, a centuries old typical grape from Gaillac
 
Wine-making: The must ferments in French oak barrels for one or two months. In order to avoid using
too much sulphur, fermentation is interrupted by cold stabilisation and filtering. The wine obtained conserves about 145g/l of residual sugar, balanced by a refreshing note of acidity. Aged in French oak barrels (15% new) for 10 months.

Bottle size: 50cl

Tasting notes: On the nose, this wine presents aromas of apricot, figs and quince. It is very concentrated, rich and opulent on the palate. It should be served between 10-12°C. It pairs perfectly with hot foie gras with figs, strong cheeses, tarts and any fruit desserts. It can also be carafed and enjoyed just by itself. It has a cellaring potential of over 10 years.


Mas Amiel 2009
Maury

This appealing Maury has been aged for 6 years. Outside for the first year in glass demi-johns, then 5 years in large oak casks.  The result, a complex sweet wine with a delicate taste of fruit.

Simply the best and most renowned of the appellation, Mas Amiel was bought by Olivier Decelle out of his passion for this wine. He and his team have lavished attention on all aspects of the Domaine from the rootstock to the labels. We have the largest collection of these wines in the UK going back as far as 1969.

AOC Region: The 1700 hectare appellation surrounds the village of Maury, in the Roussillon wine region of France. Almost all the wines produced are red, made from at least 75% Grenache Noir grapes. The mature grapes are rich with sugar. The soil here is rich and black and the vines benefit from sunshine 280 days a year. Maury wines are made in a similar way to port, 'Mutage' is the addition of alcohol to stop fermentation, the timing of this is important so the wines retain their sweetness, but unlike port no Cognac is added 10% grape spirit is used instead, so the percentage alcohol of the finished wine is usually 16%.

Terroir: These soils are well-known for their capacity to retain the daytime heat and return it to the grapes during the night, allowing the Grenache Noir to become very ripe. On such a soil, the grapes have wonderful aromatic qualities that will produce great Maury wines.
 
Grapes: 100% Grenache Noir
 
Wine-making: Soil work : ploughing and using of compost on the row, goblet pruning. The vines are 15 to 35 year old and yield 18 hl/ha with an alcohol rate of 16.08 % with residual sugar levels of 95 g/l.
Harvested by hand between the last week of September and the second week of October. Grapes are double sorted manually, de-stemmed and lightly crushed. The wine is harvested at 15 to 18% of potential alcohol. It is made in temperature controlled concrete and stainless steel tanks, with acoholic fermentation at 25°C with fortification on the 'must', followed by maceration over 15 to 20 days. Matured in tanks in order to keep the fresh red fruit aromas for 10 months and then bottled without fining or filtration.

Bottle size: 37.5cl
 
Tasting notes: Deep ruby colour with a violet tinge. Intense raspberry and cherry aromas with blackcurrant notes. Sweet red fruits and dense, soft tannins on the palate.

Successfully paired 'chilled' with chocolate desserts, cheese and Christmas pudding! Or just a sublime after dinner drink.

June 2013 Selection
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Monbazillac, Saussignac and Haut Montravel are all from the same region flanking Bergerac, and are all fabulous examples of their appellations. Bruno from Tircul la Graviere has been compared to Yquem and awarded 100 points by Parker. Pierre Sadoux is a past 'Winemaker of the Year' and has won medal after medal in Saussignac; and Daniel worked as winemaker at Yquem before embarking on his own stellar journey in Haut Montravel. We are proud to represent them here.


Château Tirecul La Gravière - Les Pins 2006
Montbazillac

A wine of real softness. The young vines of this cuvee offer a simple but elegant approach due to the wonderful terroir at Tirecul. The care lavished on these ripe grapes is identical to that of his other liquoureux. Of it's 100 point big brother “Cuve Madame” Robert parker once said: “It is an understatement to say these are the greatest wines I have ever tasted from Monbazillac; in fact, they are among the greatest sweet wines I have tasted ... from anywhere!” Claudia and Bruno Bilancini have created this stellar property from nothing, renting to begin with and continue with absolute focus on quality in everything they do.

AOC Region: Just south of Bergerac in SW France, this 2000 hectare appellation has long been a source of quality sweet wines - since the 16th century - and it produces an increasing quantity of high quality botrytized wine. The wines must be made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle and only wines affected by botrytis can be sold under the Monbazillac name, dry white wines are sold as Bergerac. Monbazillac wines are similar to Bordeaux Sauternes but often have a higher proportion of Muscadelle in the blend which results in slightly different aromas and style.

Terroir: Total Surface: 6,50 hectares, very varied soil: Very chalky on high ground, clay/chalk on mid slope, clay/sand on low ground. Very fresh, well drained thanks to its slopes, quite late ripening, frost free. Proximity to the Dordogne favourable to autumn mists.

Grapes: In general around 20% muscadelle and 80% semillon
 
Wine making: Average age of vines 30 years. Farming Method: reasoned agriculture, only organic manure. The domain is in the process of converting to organic farming. Yield: Around 20hl/hectare. Harvest: These grapes are picked grape by grape (as they develop the noble rot), not by the bunch. The proprietors, Claudia and Bruno Bilarcini, actually pass through the vineyard a minimum of four to five times a day. They look for botrytised grapes or grapes in the process of becoming botrytised with a concentration approaching a 20 degree potential, while at the same time conserving freshness. Before fermentation there is a final selection at the chai. The grapes are slow pressed, for 3 to 5 hours. Selection of juice by gravity, cold settled. After manually separating clear juice, the wine is fermented in barrels and vats for between one to two months, then aged from 12 to 24 months in vats and in French oak.

Bottle size: 50cl

Best enjoyed lightly chilled as an aperitif or with rich terrines, cheese and selected desserts.


Château Court-les-Mûts 2008
Saussignac

Pierre Sadoux, Winemaker of the Year for 2008, has run the domain for over thirty years. Pierre has been at the forefront of the revival of Saussignac wines, noted by Baudelaire in the 17th century, wines of intense concentration, with tones of honey, beeswax, peaches and dark marmalade set against a delicious acidity. The 2001 was voted the sweet wine of the year by 'The Best of Wine in Ireland' in both 2007 and 2008, the first time a back-to-back award has been made. It has also won medals in French competitions.

AOC Region: Saussignac is a very small appellation in the Bergerac region of SW France covering sweet white wines made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. In recent years the quality and skills in winemaking have improved. As a result of this new focus on high-quality production, in early 2005 the INAO (the French governmental body which regulates the nation's appellation system) updated the Saussignac appellation laws. The minimum permitted vineyard yield was halved and the planting density tightened and the minimum alcohol level was increased from 11.5% to 12%. Grapes must be harvested by hand and they must only be picked when they reach a particularly high level of sweetness – either by natural ripening or via the effects of botrytis. The wines resulting from these changes are longer-lived and more complex. Their character is not dissimilar from those made under the Monbazillac appellation, just to the east. Flavors of acacia, peach and honeysuckle are often associated with Saussignac wines, and they develop well over time.

Terroir: Early Tertiary rocks, alternating layers of hard white limestone and clays.The vines are on a gently sloping plateau which is well-drained. The elevation above the Dordogne valley ensures a good air flow through the vines and protects against frost and disease.

Grapes: 80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon and Muscadelle

 
Wine-making: From vines over 50 years old this Saussignac is picked when the botrytis (noble rot) has set in. The grapes turn pink and then turn brown. This allows the skin to become permiable which helps the water to evapourate, shriveling the fruit and concentrating the sugars and flavours. The 'botrytised' grapes are picked by hand many times over. The harvest is about 50 to 150l per day. The fermentation is slow between 2 to 5 months in oak barrels. The nectar then spends 15 months in barrels.


Bottle size: 37.5cl

Tasting notes: The color of this Saussignac is golden yellow, there are silky legs sliding down the glass. The nose is fresh sweet and complex with notes of quince and fruit compote. The palate offers a beautiful harmony of almond, apricot and honey. The finish is persistent. This wine is fabulous with foie gras, blue cheese or sweet and sour dishes such as quail with grapes or pork with pineapple.


Château Puy-Servain 2007
Haut Montravel

Daniel Hecquet started his career as winemaker at Chateau d'Yquem. The Chateau is situated on top of the ridge and is subject to constant breezes. Haut Montravel is the most recent of the local appellations and has had tough guidelines imposed to maintain very high standards.

AOC Region: An appellation for sweet white wines from the area around Lamothe Montravel in the far west of the Bergerac region, SW France. Haut Montravel wines are the sweetest of the area's white wines, with slightly less sweet examples named Cotes de Montravel. All wines in Haut Montravel are made from Sémillon and Sauvignon Blance (which must each make up at least 25% of the blend) and Muscadelle. With its location very close to the eastern edges of the Bordeaux region, there are climatic and geographical similarities between Montravel and its neighbour. The Dordogne river marks the southern boundary of Haut Montravel and its alluvial and gravelly soils complement the area's dominant limestone. The presence of the river also helps to create autumn morning mists, which encourage the development of botrytis.

Terroir: The land is a mix of clay and limestone, the stone very dense on the ridge. The yield is 20hl and the area about 4 hectares.

Grapes: 100% Semillon

Wine-making: The harvest is done by hand and will be picked in up to 4 passes. The grapes are left on the vine to develop natural sugars and finally the noble rot. The wind plays a part in the uniqueness of Daniels wine, as it does not remain as damp as most Chateau's making sweet wines. After the initial process the wine passes into oak barrels, before bottling.  Due to the climatic and topographic conditions the Haut Monrtavel wine is not made every year.

Bottle size: 50cl

Tasting notes: The nose is fruity and slightly woody. The taste is intense white and tropical fruit, apricot and ripe pears. It is soft, silky and voluminous in the mouth with a long, fresh finish.

Good with white meat and cheeses and the old standard foie gras. Serve chilled. Cellar up to 10 years.

September 2013 Selection
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These wines stretch from the limits of Bordeaux near Langon to the South West encamped around the ancient foothills of the Pyrenees. Theirry works in the tiny appellation on St Macaire and makes delicious wine. Marion Latrelle is striving for perfection on her very private 4 hectare estate Chateau la Jurque in Jurancon, along side the much larger renown family domaine of Chateau Jolys. Lastly the team of the four Laplace siblings at Chateau d'Aydie make a classy and clean testament to Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. The region is a hot-bed of ancient wine-making dating back to the 1st century BC, as well as the heritage of Armagnac and the legendary Gascony cuisine. So we are delighted to complete our first 12 wine hero's and trust you enjoy their wine as much as we do.


Château de Bouillerot 'Le Palais d'Or' 2009
Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire

Wine has been produced here since 1874, the family business handed down over three generations. Thierry Bos, the current guardian maintains the traditions of time and terroir. Château de Bouillerot is situated in the heart of the Bordeaux Appellation, 60 km from Bordeaux in the “Entre-Deux-Mers” region, a vast area of picturesque hills set between the Garonne river to the South and the Dordogne river to the North. The vineyard has the advantage of an exceptional situation on the hillsides overlooking the Garonne Valley.

AOC Region: The appellation of Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire  is for sweet white wines, it lies on the right bank of the River Garonne, south of Bordeaux, close to Langon.

The vineyards of this appellation cling to the slopes around the town of Saint-Macaire. The Garonne regulates temperatures and helps create moisture and mists which help the development of botrytis - noble rot.

Terroir: Only 1 hectare producing 10 Hl/Ha, mainly clay and limestone. Thierry maintains the traditions of the region as he strives for quality through the families professional heritage and researched cultivation methods (removal of excess buds, thinning out, fertilisation and adapted plant health treatment), in order to express all the subtleties of the soil.
 
Grapes: 100% Sémillion
 
Wine-making: Harvesting is made in 3 to 4 successive selections, only picking 100% botrytised (noble) grapes. The fruit is vinified in new barrels and after adjustments left in French oak for 12 to 18 months. The wine is filtered before bottling.

Bottle size: 50cl
 
Tasting notes: Beautiful, bold straw yellow in colour, with aromas of exotic fruits, honey and dried apricot. The persistent length is remarkable and a tribute to this hidden gem. Just fantastic slightly chilled on its own or with the usual foie gras, poultry, a blue cheese or an exotic fruit pudding.


Château de Jurque - Séduction 2009
Jurançon

The first written references to Jurançon vines date back to 998. The Navarre royal court invested in the development of the Jurançon vineyards and this association lent a certain prestige to these wines. Indeed, Jurançon entered History on December 12th 1553, when this wine was used to anoint the baby King Henry IV at his christening. The château dates from the 16th century and was renovated during the 19th century. Pierre-Yves Latrille, an agricultural engineer, bought the estate over 40 years ago. The land was fallow, but he found the site so delightful, so peaceful, that he felt compelled to undertake the labour of love to transform the wilderness to the star it is today. Three hectares of this land belongs to Chateau de Jurque. Marion Latrille-Henry now works along side her father and takes great pride in their accolades.

AOC Region: This appellation of 750 hectares is south of Pau, close to the Pyrénées, in the far south-west of France. Jurançon wine can take three forms: AOC Jurançon, AOC Jurançon Sec and AOC Jurançon Vendanges Tardives.

These wines may be made from the following grapes - Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Courbut, Camaralet and Lauzet,  with the last two varieties together compromising no more than 15% of the final blend.
The vines grow on steep slopes and experience both a mild oceanic climate with regular rainfall and a severe mountain climate, the vines are espalier trained to avoid damage from spring frosts. The grapes here are not affected by botrytis but are left on the vines to dry and dehydrate, a process called passerillage. They cannot be harvested until they contain 187 grams of sugar; which equates to a minimum 35g/L  of sugar in the finished wine. The lighter of these wines are higher in acidity than Sauternes or Monbazillac.

Terroir: Soils are a blend of clay and limestone. The vineyards are planted on the South /Southwest exposed slopes. This is a tiny domain belonging to a renown Jurancon producing family and is not usually exported, but reserved for friends and family.
 
Grapes: 100% Petit Manseng
 
Wine-making: The grapes are totally destemmed, subjected to pre-fermentary skin maceration and cold settled. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and then vin at low temperatures (20°C) in order to preserve the aromas. It is barrel aged in French oak for 9 months and bottled on the estate.

Bottle size: 50cl

Tasting notes: Bright golden colour, with notes of honey, acacia, peaches, apricots and medlar.  After a fresh, rounded attack, the aromatic complexity on the palate is pleasantly balanced by the suppleness and strength that make this such an elegant wine. This wine may be drunk young, or may be cellared for up to 10 years. Serve at 10 to 12°C. It's perfect as an aperitif, and pairs well with foie gras, smoked salmon, creamy dishes and cheese.


Château d'Aydie 2009
Pacherenc Du Vic-Bilh

The Romans introduced these vines early in the history of the Gers (from the 1st century). The first written records date the vineyards back to the 11th century and reveal that religious congregations are the cause of development of the vineyards in the region. The Laplace family have been here for 3 generations and the business is shared between 4 siblings, resolutely committed to making excellent wines.

AOC Region: Pacherenc du Vic Bilh is in the SW of France, nestled in Armangac country, it is an appellation for sweet and dry white wines. The Madiron appellation covers the same area, with Madiran producing red wines and Pacherenc du Vic Bilh producing white wines.

The main grape varieties are Courbu and Petit Manseng. Pacherenc must be made with hand harvested grapes with a minimum alcohol level of 12%

The wines are similar in production and style to late harvested Jurançon and Alsace wines. A classic Pacherenc is rich and full flavoured.

Terroir: The Petit Manseng grape is planted on southern/eastern clay and chalky hill-sides.

Grapes: 100% Petit Manseng

Wine-making: The grapes are hand harvested and sorted in the vineyard. The perfectly ripe and healthy grapes are fully destemmed and left on skin contact for one night before being gently pressed. Fermentation in vat, and ageing for 6-10 months in oak with weekly stirring of the lees.

Bottle size: 50cl

Tasting notes: Golden in colour. Expressive nose of tropical fruit (pineapple, mango…) honeyed touch at finish with citrus notes and vanilla sweetness. The main quality of Pacherenc and Château d'Aydie in particular, is its very balanced style. The richness and the acidity delivers a very smooth but fresh style to this sweet wine. Great aperitif and good with goats cheese and light puddings.

The Appellations of Southwestern France
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AOC_map_SW
Liquid Golds Terms and Conditions
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The security around our customers' identities and credit card details is of the utmost importance to us; this is why we use Worldpay, a global leader in payment processing for our on-line transactions. You can use all major credit cards to pay for your orders as well as Paypal. Totally Terroir does not store customers financial details, credit- or debit-card numbers.

Delivery

Each quarter, three bottles of wine will be dispatched to you. They will be sent mid-December, mid-March, mid-June and mid-September. We will email you two weeks before your wine is dispatched, to let you know itÕs on its way. If the customer gives special instructions to us or the courier to leave the parcel outside your house or with a neighbour it will be left at the customers own risk.

Cancellations, Breakages and Returns

You can cancel your Liquid Golds Sweet Wine Club Membership at any time. Any refund due will be repaid within 30 days of the cancellation date. If you have already taken delivery of the wines we will deduct the cost of recollection from your refund.

Breakages must be notified by email or telephone within 3 days of delivery.

Recurring payments:

In the event that you wish to join our Liquidgolds Sweet Wine Club, you will need to authorise Totally Terroir Ltd via the Worldpay gateway to:

  1. debit your bank account or card in the amount necessary to pay each quarterly or monthly invoice you receive from Totally Terroir Ltd in full;
  2. make each debit referred to above to clear before the invoice frequency stated at the outset and if that debit is rejected for any reason, further authorise Totally Terroir Ltd to make another debit from your account, in the same amount, on the actual payment due date;
  3. debit your account on the next applicable banking day if any date that Totally Terroir Ltd attempts to debit your account is a Saturday, Sunday or a bank holiday.

In connection with this authorisation, you understand and agree that you are voluntarily agreeing to pay each quarterly or monthly amount before the actual invoice due date.

Termination:

Any recurring payments established with Totally Terroir Ltd will continue until such time as you cancel or terminate your participation in Totally Terroir Ltd's 'recurring payment plan'. Termination must be provided to and acknowledged by Totally Terroir Ltd, at least one calendar month before the next applicable payment date.

General Terms and Conditions

In purchasing our products online you agree to the terms and conditions of our website. The details we collect from you enable us to process and deliver your orders. By registering your details on our website, you consent to us holding personal data about you. We are bound by the Data Protection Act of 1998. The information you give us will not be shared with any other company without your consent.

Age Restriction: In accordance with UK law you must be 18 years or over to place an order for alcohol with totallyterroir.com either online or by any other means. The action of placing an order for alcohol confirms to us that you are at least 18 years old. Deliveries must be signed for by an adult aged 18 years or over and the courrier may require ID for proof of age. If we or our courrier are not satisfied that you are 18 years of age we legally obliged to refuse to accept or deliver any orders.

Disclaimer: Totally Terroir Ltd shall not be held liable to any individual or business for any damage, loss or liability which may have occurred from the use of any data contained on this website.

Totally Terroir Ltd assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any links to other internet sites from its own. Once you navigate away from this site we are not responsible or liable for the content of any other website.

By using the Totally Terroir Ltd website you accept the terms and conditions stated and use the site at your own risk. We take great care that the information on our website is correct. However, should our data be inaccurate or out of date, we apologise but take no responsibility for the inadvertant error.

We endeavour to make sure that your wine and other products will reach you in perfect condition, using seasoned specialist professionals to store and transport our products. Wine is however an unstable product and the process of bottling and logistics can from time to time cause a fault to occur. If you experience a faulty bottle please contact us within 3 days of delivery through our contact page.

Website

We have worked hard to make this site as efficient, useful, and easy-to-use as possible. But problems can still arise. Please feel free to report any issues or comments to our webmaster. We thank you for your input.