It’s summer and I live in DC. This means white wine. But I don’t want something merely cold and crisp, I want something interesting and food-friendly. White wines from the Gascony region of Southwest France frequently deliver in this department — and they’re cheap!
All of these wines come from the Bas-Armagnac region of Gascony, perhaps better known for its spirits than its dry white wines. But if you’re in the market for value-driven, refreshing white wines to serve with salads, seafood and patio parties, I’m not sure it gets much better than Gascony whites.
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. They all come from the portfolio of DC-based importer Robert Kacher.
2013 Domaine de Pouy Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne - France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de GascogneSRP: $12
Clear lemon-lime color. Bursts of white peach, lime, lemon and flowers on the nose, some sea breeze elements. Grapefruit and white peach fruit on the palate. Tangy and bright with crisp acid, clean mountain river notes, mineral, sea shell Very crisp. Solid summer sipper for sure. 60% Ugni Blanc and 40% Colombard. (86 points)
2013 Domaine du Tariquet Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne Chardonnay - France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de GascogneSRP: $10
Medium gold colored. Bright on the nose, with margarita-like combination of salt and lime, also some sweet white flowers and orange zest. Bright, zippy acid, the buttery-creamy elements are very subtle. Green melon, green apple and lime fruit, all of it crunchy and tangy. Begs for shellfish and a patio overlooking the sea. (87 points)
2013 Domaine du Tariquet Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne - France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de GascogneSRP: $10
Nose of white peach and grapefruit, some saline and mineral notes, sweet floral perfume. On the palate this is brisk and tangy with grapefruit and green apple fruit. Lean and fresh with some minerals, crushed shells and a hint of green onion. Easy-drinking, pleasant stuff. (86 points)
2013 Domaine du Tariquet Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne Chenin-Chardonnay - France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de GascogneSRP: $10
Aromas of white peach, wildflowers (with the green stems thrown in), this wine has an interesting mix of herbal and sweet fruit notes on the nose. Creamy body but the acid is solid. Some nice honey and juicy apricot, a bit of saline and mineral notes. Rides a nice line between a mineral-driven Chenin and an apple-driven Chardonnay. 11.5% alcohol, a blend of 75% Chenin Blanc and 25% Chardonnay. (86 points)
2012 Domaine du Tariquet Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne Classic - France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de GascogneSRP: $10
Medium straw color. Smells of green pears, green apples, some honeysuckle and baby’s breath. Clean, crisp and thirst-quenching on the palate, this wine has a pleasantly plump mouthfeel. I’m impressed with the depth of the fruit (green apple, pear, melon, kumquat) and the mineral and sea shell tones. A dose of honey and green herbs adds complexity. A lot of fun, a great picnic wine, but it’s also a very well-made wine with a long, mineral-laden finish. 45% Ugni Blanc, 35% Colombard, 10% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Gros Manseng. Crazy value. (87 points)