Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire




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Domaine Berthoumieu, Madiran AC

didier Barre, proprietor of Domaine Bertoumieu, Madiran AC
We opened another of our dwindling stock of the treasured Madiran AC, Cuvée Charles de Batz 2001 from Didier Barré at Domaine Berthoumieu the other night. This fabulous wine won a Gold Medal and the Tannat Trophy in the 2004 International Wine Challenge, and as you may expect it remains an excellent wine, with the tannins a touch subdued, but the fruit and balance enhanced with additional age. No signs of fatigue though – I’m sure it has another 10 years at peak – if I can resist the temptation to drink!
However, I was delighted to discover that the cherubic Didier Barré now has a very good website at www.domaine-berthoumieu.com. Really well-presented with good photos, a lexicon of wine terms, details of the wines etc – but sadly only in French.
tanatis vin de liqueur from Domaine BerthoumieuAmongst the things which caught my eye was a highly unusual red dessert wine , a”Vin de Liqueur” called TANATIS – made from late harvested (end of October) grapes. These are 100% Tannat (the Madiran grape) from vines which are more than 50 years old. After 10 days of maceration to extract colour and tannins from the flesh, skin and pips, the fermentation is prematurely stopped by the addition of spirit alcohol – in the same manner as the making of Port. This stops the conversion of sugar into alcohol and hence retains a natural sweetness in the wine. After ageing for 8 months in oak barrels it is bottled quite young, but it is claimed it will last up to 15 years in bottle. The tasting notes suggest highly concentrated flavours of wild berries, black berries and a touch of prunes. The French of course suggest it as an aperitif, but I prefer the idea of it accompanying a Chocolate Tart.
Tanatis – Vin de Liqueur du Sud Ouest from Domaine Berthoumieu.

For something rather less unusual, but an excellent white dessert wine – his Pacherenc du Vic Bilh “Symphonie d’Automne” is a stunner.

Read more about Domaine Berthoumieu on www.frenchduck.co.uk
Domaine Berthoumieu at Viella (32 Gers, Midi-Pyrenees) – see map
Didier Barré’s website is at www.domaine-berthoumieu.com.
In the UK the 2003 Cuvee Charles de Batz is available from Martinez Wines in Ilkley, West Yorkshire – shop or order online.

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