Domaine Capmartin, Agrumes & Caetera, AOP Pacherenc du Vic Bilh, France 2019

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The classic white from the Madiran region, full of tropical fruit and crisp acidity

Simon of Domaine Capmartin has dusted off the historic traditions of Madiran and Pacherenc de Vic-Bil into a new, more progressive age. He has set about significant changes amongst the vines and in the winery leading to his own unique versions of these truly exceptional AOP wines. Certified organic for the best part of a decade, Simon is now striving further with his sights firmly set on Biodynamic certification.

Natural, low intervention winemaking are the watchwords. No added sulphur, all wild ferments and aiming for light tannins makes for previously unknown modern, fresh and delicious Madiran Tannat. The unique white blend of AOC Pacherenc de Vic-Bilh, made in part with the rare and cherished Petit Corbu variety, is wonderfully complex and a food friendly wine that will no doubt inspire sommeliers. The soils vary from clay- gravel to clay- limestone with vines orientated East and North. Plants are sewn under the rows to avoid soil compaction as well as nutrient contribution, alternated by tillage or natural grassing every other row if necessary. Pruning is simple guyot.

After destemming, pellicular maceration is carried out, a phase right before fermentation begins that involves macerating the grape berries at a low temperature away from the air, in order to activate the first aromas. A standard fermentation process follows, with oxygen provided for the yeasts, which transform the sugar from the grapes into alcohol. Aged for 6 months on the lees in stainless steel tank.

Tasting Note: This is a blend of the two Manseng grapes along with Petit Courbu. Quite perfumed, with citrus fruits, pineapple and crisp apples supported by some spicy minerality. A well balanced wine.

Critics: 16/20 Jancis Robinson (2011)

Gros Manseng 40%, Petit Manseng 30%, Petit Courbu 30%