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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

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Cotes du Marmandais

Cotes du Marmandais winesCotes du Marmandais, 47 Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine (see map)
The Cotes du Marmandais is one of a number of small appellations south of Bergerac and east of Bordeaux, which major on the Bordeaux grape varieties, and which tend to be dominated by large co-operatives.
Whilst historically co-operatives have not always produced the best of wines, the situation is a little different where the co-op is the dominant producer, as here in Marmande. As such the co-op becomes the guardian of the appellation’s reputation and has a vested interest in producing good signature wines as well as bulk plonk. The Caves du Marmandais at Cocumont is one such example.
The appellation is based around the town of Marmande between Agen and Bordeaux on the Garonne (and A62 autoroute). Marmande is probably better known for its large “beef” tomatoes, but it does also produce some very decent wines, albeit not particularly distinctive.
Originally there were 2 co-ops, Cocumont and Beaupuy, one based on the south (or left) bank of the Garonne, the other on the north (right) bank. These merged a few years ago in the Cave du Marmandais.
The red and rose wines are based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot to a maximum of 75% of the blend. The balance must be made up with the local variety of Abouriou or Fer, or alternatively Gamay or Syrah. For white wines: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, Ugni Blanc.
From the Co-op there is a wide range of good value wines – the best in our opinion being the Tap de Perbos – an oak-aged red with real finesse and power. Rick Stein in Rick Stein’s French Odyssey stocked up on wines from this co-op.

There are some independent producers who are gaining a decent reputation – e.g. Chateau de Beaulieu at Saint-Sauveur de Meilhan – see www.chateaudebeaulieu.net – available from www.southdownscellars.co.uk

A name gaining a great reputation and reviews from Jancis Robinson and others is Elian da Ros/Clos Baquey at Cocumont – stocked by Adnams (always a good indicator).

For more info on the Cave du Marmandais see www.origine-marmandais.fr

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