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Feb 6, 2008 04:47 AM

Chez L'Ami Jean - Wine Info?

We ate at Chez L'Ami Jean last Friday while in Paris. Had a great meal, very interesting
dishes and flavors and enjoyed the frenetic pace of the place (it was our first night in Paris and the energy of the place served to energize us). Our meal lasted 3 hours and one of
the many highlights was the wine - I'm hoping someone can identify it for us: a bold red
from the southwest of France - the only southwest wine offered both in full bottles and half
bottles. Anyone know what we had? We loved it and would like to buy it or something
close now that we are back home in the U.S. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I would first guess Irouleguy, an appelation in the French Basque country. Other gueses: Madiran or Jurancon, although I do not think a lot of red wine is produced in Jurancon. I think it is mostly known for sweet whites.

    3 Replies
    1. re: f2dat06

      Thanks - do you think I have a prayer of finding these in the U.S.?

      1. re: jmk38

        Bear in mind that these are appellation names not names of specific producers. There are probably hundreds of wine makers in each of these appellations so finding the exact wine you had in France in the USA is probably not such a good chance. These are fairly obscure appellations so I do not think a lot gets exported. Having said that, yes you can find a few of these in the US. I like SW France wines quite a bit and have a case of 2003 Domain Etxegaraya Irouleguy and a case of 2003 Chateau Montus Madiran sitting on a rack in my basement I bought from

        Wine Library does not always stock these appellations but you see them in their inventory fairly frequently. Right now they have Domaine Brana Ohitza 2004 Irouleguy in stock. They ship all over the US.

        Also, these wines are blends. The tannat grape usually makes up a high percentage of the content. This grape has a reputation for requiring some aging to smooth out. My 2003 Etxegaraya is drinking well now but the Montus needs a few more years.

        And, if you can ever arrange your Paris visits to coincide with the salon de vignerons independants you should do so. This is a trade show of independent wine makers that comes to Paris about 3 times a year, is held usually in Espace Champerret. It consists of literally hundreds of wine makers selling stuff you will never see exported. It is quite a treat if you can build the dates into your travel schedule. Do a search on Vignerons Independatnts and you should find their site with salon dates.

        1. re: f2dat06

          You have been so very helpful - thank you!

    2. I really don't think your wine was an Irouleguy, but probably a wine from Languedoc which are really better and refined than an Irouleguy.I am french and this wine have the reputation to be the best purchase at the moment if consider the quality for the price...
      Few french people are keen of Irouleguy.It is not really popular, and the quality is often poor.
      Do you remenber the price you paid ?
      I am going to go there in july and I could tell you the exact reference of your wine If you want.
      I am really pleased American tourist enjoyed their trip in Paris and Had gone in very good and typically french restaurant, you really had a real glimpse of our way of life.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gaetan

        It is a restaurant with basque influences so it could well be a Irouleguy as they have a number on the list.