Drink: Gastronomic Gascony in celebrated French foodie region
Gascony (Gascogne) in south west France is a celebrated foodie region for its rich meats, patés, prunes and Armagnac Brandy. A medley of different white grape varietals provide a range of dry wine styles to complement and keep pace with the gastronomic reputation.
White grapes, grassy and aromatic Colombard and neutral mouth-watering Ugni Blanc produce crisp white wine to match creamy and cheesy dishes. Other white grapes of distinction are siblings Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng with grapefruity acidity, pineapple and apricot flavours. While traditionally made as a late harvest sweet wine of great complexity in Jurancon, modern versions are made as a very dry style, qualified as Jurancon Sec. Historically famous for moistening the lips of the newly born infant King Henri IV in 1553, the custom was continued for centuries by the Bourbon dynasty with newborn heirs.
1) Carpe Diem 2014, Domaine Cazalet, AC Tursan 13.5pc
Rich and waxy citrus peel aromas. Complex palate of white flowers, citrus peel, pear and mineral. Try with Thai crab cakes.
€16.95 at JJ O Driscoll, Ballinlough, Co Cork; O'Leary's, Cootehill; Brown's Vineyard, Portlaoise. Quintessential Wines, Drogheda and quintessentialwines.ie
2) Colombard & Sauvignon 2015, Domaine Horgelus, Côtes de Gascogne 11.5pc
Grass and lemon zest fragrance. Lemon curd and zesty palate enlivened by tingling acidity. Serve with buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves and beef tomatoes.
€11.30 at Wines Direct Shop, Mullingar and winesdirect.ie
3) Domaine de Pellehaut 2014, Côtes de Gascogne 11pc
Contrasting aromas of cut grass and vanilla custard cream biscuits. Good citrus attack softened by green and red apple fruit. Crisp and long fruity finish. Enjoy with warm tartlets of caramelised leek and goats cheese.
€13.00 at Mitchell & Son, Customs House Quay-IFSC, Glasthule, Avoca Kilmacanogue and mitchellandson.com. Myles Doyle's, Wexford; O'Connor's Next Door, Wicklow and Wilde & Green, Dundrum.
4) Chant des Vignes 2014, Domaine Cauhapé, AC Jurancon Sec 13.5pc
Waxy grapefruit peel aromas. Flavours slowly unfold with mineral integrated acidity and a salty finish. Match with a duck liver and orange paté.
€15.99 online at jnwine.com
5) Ampelomeryx 2013, Domaine de Pellehaut, Côtes de Gascogne 13pc
Very fruity scents of green and golden fruits. Pithy and green apple skins, peach flesh and a mineral finish. Enjoy with a creamy risotto of asparagus, peas and prawns.
€17.99 at Curious Wines, Cork and Naas and curiouswines.ie
Sancerre 2014, Guy Saget, France 12.5pc
Hint of lemon peel aroma. Intense friendly attack of classic salty mineral and lemon peel flavours. Serve with pasta tossed with prawns and garlic butter.
€12 from €22.95 at 460 Centra Stores nationwide during their first French Wine Sale until 18th May