Southwest France

Southwest France is a large wine region stretching from the southern edge of the Massif Central toward the western Pyrenees near the Atlantic Ocean.  Individual wine producing areas within the region tend to be small and depending on how the individual areas are classified, the entire region can be viewed as having as many as 25 different areas.  I've selected wines from two of the areas which include Cahors and Gaillac.

From Cahors, I've selected two very good Malbecs that are produced by a consortium of vignerons in that area from their older "vieilles vignes" vineyards.  From Gaillac, I've selected both a white wine and a red blend.  The white wine is produced from an indigenous local grape called Loin de l'Oeil.  The red blend is quite fun and it is blend of seven local indigenous grapes.

The Wines

L'Infini Blanc 2017

The L'Infini Blanc is from Gaillac and it is 100% Loin de l'Oeil which is a local indigenous grape known for its floral and  spicy qualities.  Loin de l'Oeil means "far from the eye" and that refers to the long stems of the clusters where the berries are far from the "eye" (or the bud) on the branches of each vine.

This is a really fun and food friendly wine with aromas of white flowers, apricots, and honey and flavors of white peaches, quince, and honeydew melon.  There is medium body, balanced across the palate, and perfect acidity.  Food pairings would include swordfish, sea bass, halibut, oysters, Coquille St. Jacque, seafood au gratin, veal, pork cutlets, pork tenderloin, baked and grilled chicken, rich soups, sautéed vegetables, quiche, and salads.

Tarani Reserve 2014

This is a Cahors Malbec from "Vieilles Vignes" of at least 30 years of age.  Aromas are of peonies and ripe dark fruits and flavors include a combination of very ripe stone fruits and black fruits such as blackberries.  There is a very well balanced medium mouthfeel, nice acidity, and interesting tannins on the finish.

Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York steak, rib eye, roast beef, beef stew, short ribs, pork chops, pork ribs, cassoulet, Asian beef dishes, vegetable stir fry, onion soup, and sheep's cheeses.

Impernal 2014

This is a Cahors Malbec from "Vieilles Vignes" of at least 40 years of age.  There is a nice aroma profile of old roses, vanilla, and cocoa and rich flavors of blackberries and dark plums along with hints of dark chocolate and coffee.  There is a medium to full mouthfeel, good balance and a sense of "lightness" as the wine dances across your palate, and flavorful tannins on the finish.  

Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York steak, rib eye, roast beef, beef stew, Mexican food, vegetable stir fry, and hard cheeses. 

Terre Metissee 2016

  

This is a fun wine that mixes two cultures (Southwest France and Languedoc), four types of different soils, and seven types of grape varieties.  Terre Metissee is a collaborative efforts between grape producers in Gaillac and Vignobles Dom Brial in Languedoc near Perpignon who have jointly introduced this blended cuvee.

 

The overall blend is of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Carignan from Languedoc and Malbec, Negrette, and Braucol from Southwest France.  The color is sumptuous, of a deep black, and the nose is characterized by intense aromatics mainly of cherry kirsch, blackberries, and cassis.  The mouthfeel is round and full and the finish is velvety and with great finesse.  This elegant cuvee goes perfectly with grilled meats such as filet mignon, New York steak, lamb, veal chops, roast pork, hamburgers, game such as duck and elk, Asian beef and pork dishes, fine chesses, and chocolate desserts.

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