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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

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In search of Madiran

The Wine Dietwinediet2.jpg
For the last week or so we’ve had numerous calls from people trying to track down retailers of the Madiran wines of Chateau d’Aydie in SouthWest France.
Like many others several Google searches revealed little (except our old website , as we used to stock this and other Madirans.
The enquiries stemmed from the Telegraph’s trailing of a new book by Roger Corder “The Wine Diet in which he looks at the health impact of wine and “the so-called “French paradox” – why the French have a comparatively low rate of heart disease despite their love of fatty food – and discovered that it was more specifically a south-west France paradox.”“He discovered that the traditionally-produced and very tannic local wines, particularly Madiran. which is made from the Tannat grape, have much the highest procyanidin content of any wines in the world.

Unfortunately for British drinkers, such wines are currently hard to find, because producers and retailers claim that the public demand much smoother, easy-drinking reds. Such wines, usually produced by modern techniques, tend to contain virtually no procyanidins.”

Hoorah! for something with character and style say I – especially if it is better for you than the bland, blended wines which so often adorn supermarket shelves. I have long been a fan of Madiran wines, stocking wines from Chateau d’Aydie and the remarkable Domaine Berthoumieu. True, they are not to everyone’s taste, and are more for sipping than glugging, more for rich food than by themselves.

But since the demise of ALLEZ VINS! and the it did appear that no-one was stocking this wines. I spoke to the Chateau who were very excited by the appearance of the book and Telegraph article, who put me in touch with their UK agents. “It’s a difficult wine to sell” was their response (a perfectly justifiabl response under normal circumstances), and besides they do not hold stock. I tried another former wine merchant, who had discovered by chance that The Wine Society who have spotted the opportunity and now feature the 2003 Chateau d’Aydie and 3 exquisite (but expensive) wines from Alain Brumont at Chateau Montus! You have to join the society and delivery is free if you buy a case of 12 or more bottles.

Our favourite Madiran was always from Didier Barré at Domaine Berthoumieu – intense, concentrated, rich and smooth – available in the UK from Bertrand and Nicholas in Bourne End, Bucks – terrible website, but excellent selection of French wines.

For more on Chateau d’Aydie and its wines see
For more on Domaine Bertourmieu see

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