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Mar 23, 2014 01:42 PM

Bergerac and Monbazillac wines plus ?

For our May visit, we'd like to enjoy the local wines in the Dordogne and Lot. Can someone offer a few favorite reccos? Starting with general table wines under 10 or so euros and a few upward from there? What I'm really looking for is your favorite every day wines from the Bergerac region and maybe a few from the Lot. We'll be "at home" for most dinners, so will need to buy wine in some quantity to consume there.
This is a wine region that has evaded us so far. Thanks again for any assistance.

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  1. Do you mean Monbazillac ? Or do you mean something else entirely I keep guessing and guessing. Sorriest I go back to the Barça-Real game.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parigi

      Certainly. I meant Monbazillac, the sweeter wine from the region (for selected foods such as foie gras and strong cheeses). Can also use a recco for the sauvignon white types for cocktail embibing. In other words, all local wines that are great values for every day drinking plus a few specials. Our male companions prefer reds. So this is really a request for "Bergerac Wines for Dummies."
      Sorry Parigi, I don't know about the Barca-Real game. That one went over my head.
      Thanks for asking for clarification. My spelling error.

    2. Bergerac is the easternmost of the many Bordeaux-like appellations - emphasizing Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon in white and Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Cabernet Franc in red.

      My experience with Bergerac blanc is that the wines lack intensity. I don't know the reds as I rarely consume Cabernet Sauvignon (I do drink all the other grape varieties).

      Monbazillac, however, known as the poor man's Sauternes, seems to fill the bill with foie gras and yellow/orange fruit desserts.

      My preferred wine from the area for decades is Cahors, a great companion to duck. Another good duck-friendly red from the area which often needs more age is Madiran.

      Interesting whites both dry and sweet come from Jurançon (also Irouléguy and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh). I recommend all of them.

      Finally there is Tursan in white and the new appellation of Fronton in red. I have yet to open my first award-winning bottle of each, but I did buy them.

      Personally I avoid wines, mostly uninteresting whites IMO, from the Cotes de Gascogne.

      I think that's a pretty good summary.

      3 Replies
      1. re: collioure

        Collioure, thanks for the information! You are broadening our horizon, and will be on the lookout for these. Are there any particular labels you regularly buy? I think we may rely on supermarkets for the bulk of our buys. There are definitely Cab-drinkers in our group, if any other CHounders have Bergerac cab ideas for us, too.

        1. re: ScottnZelda

          Deluca's recommendations are on target, but probably not in your price range. Triguedina is just wonderful.

          Cahors is now 70% Malbec or Cot with 30% Tannat and Merlot. It is no longer that mysterious black wine but often quite approachable when young.

          However, Madiran is primarily Tannat and needs time (5 years, I think)..

          I recommend you not buy your wine in a supermarket, but at a wine shop where you can count on the proprietor's selection.

          The label I prefer in Jurançon is Cauhapé. Try one. The Petit and Gros Manseng grapes are hardly cultivated anywhere else.

      2. Madiran- tannat needs time, get older ones from Aydie, Bouscasse, or Montus. Recommend decanting them the morning of use, regardless of age. Aydie sweet one interesting but not great.
        Monbazillac- Tirecul is considered one of the best, if you can find their Cuvee Madame consider it a splurge and try it.
        Cahors- Should be great but can be tricky, many producers are eschewing the old and rich style for lighter and less interesting wines but do need lesser aging periods. Look for Cedre and Clos Triguedina.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Thanks, Deluca! Back "in the day" my memories of Cahors were very deep and heavy. The "Black Wine" right?
          Will definitely look for Cuvee Madame from Tirecul.
          BTW, are you in Napa? We were through there a few weeks ago.

          1. re: ScottnZelda

            Will be back there in July.
            Yes the Black wine was correct, and just as with Argentinian malbecs, some are inky but many insipid, who knows which, must taste.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Remembering the CA cabs from the 60's/70's that were once our house wines (BV was a big label then), it was a shock to see the "Big Napa Cabs" selling for $100 (really?) at the vineyards. France should be a relative bargain. You've given us a good excuse to try many labels. Thanks.

        2. Since you are in the area, try Pécharmant - it's a fairly small growth within the Bergerac area but offers good price/value ratio for Bordeaux style wines (merlot plus). Not often found outside the area but usually a good choice in local restaurants - try Ch de Tiregand if you see it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kerriar

            Thanks, Kerriar. Definitely will do. I'm looking forward to it.

          2. Does anyone have any supermarket reccos???

            6 Replies
            1. re: ScottnZelda

              seriously -- don't buy at the supermarket -- look for the signs saying "vin à vendre" (wine for sale) or "degustation" (tasting) -- pull in.

              At the very least, find a wine vendor -- Nicolas is a national chain, Roxanne et Cyrano is a local seller in the area....but grocery wines are grocery wines.

              1. re: sunshine842

                I would kind of argue with this. We have found that the big chains in the country include wine in their showcase of local products. We have bought some real sleepers while on the road, unfortunately not the kind one is likely to fall over again. Not saying that supermarkets are your best venue, only that they can offer some happily surprising bottles.

                1. re: mangeur

                  but when you're heading down a complete random roll of the dice (because unlike you and me, it sounds like the OP isn't familiar with the areas or the winemakers) -- I'd rather roll the dice on Roxanne et Cyrano's cheap-and-cheerful vin à vrac in a plastic cubitainer for €1,50 per litre than an unknown bottle down at the Intermarché

              2. re: ScottnZelda

                Hey, I live in France. I drink bottled wine every night. The only wines I buy at supermarkets are at the fall wine sales, and I'm cutting that source way back now. Too many disappointments - and I buy wines someone knowledgeable recommends.

                Go to a wine shop and if money is a problem, buy the less expensive selections. Someone who knows decided to put them on the shelf.

                Maybe at a few supermarkets, as mangeur says, you'll find a wise selection of local bottlings, but how will you know?

                1. re: collioure

                  I'm happy to have this input. We've had occasional luck with supermarket sales on St Barth's, which is why I posed the question. (There are really only 3 wine cellars on the island). I'm also wondering how many small wine merchants there are in the mid Dordogne. We know Nicholas. Does anyone have a wine merchant to recco?
                  And where? Thanks again, everyone.

                  1. re: ScottnZelda

                    How about Roxanne et Cyrano, which has several locations across the Dordogne and has now been mentioned several times.

                    Walk down the street -- find a wine merchant. The Dordogne is pretty rural, and there's not much value placed in web pages.