Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New from Vanguard Wines

Vanguard Wines Imports is proud to present our first arrival from France. Domaine de Pajot is organic and biodynamic Vin Blanc from the Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne. It is our first forray as an import company into the world of French wine, and we are pleased to bring this wine to you without the use of importers, brokers or agents of any kind. It is Damien Barreau of Domaine de Pajot's promise to you that he will create the finest wine possible from these windswept fields in southwest France, and it is our promise to provide this wine to you at the lowest price possible.

Located just to the south of Bordeaux, the region of Gers and the Gascogne has a history of wine production that dates back some 1,500 years, or about 500 years before their more healded neighbors in the Medoc to the north.

Through the centuries the Gascogne has lost favor to Bordeaux because of their port, to the Languedoc because of their rail system built in the 1950s, and to the crippling effects of phylloxera.

But with the protection of the Landes forests to the west and the Pyrenees Mountains to the south the Gascogne is a perfect spot for all sorts of gastronomic delights- from the famous oysters of the Bèlon River to the local Foie and cured meats which rival the best in France to the local Armagnacs- the Gascogne is a hotbed of culinary treasures.

This includes wines, and in particular the wines of Domaine de Pajot

The fine sand and silt soils of the Pajot estate provide a perfect base for some of France’s least heralded grape varieties- Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng and Colombard. But like many things in life, it is not the hand we are dealt it is how we play the cards. Damien Barreau exemplifies this idiom as he crafts sensuous and delicious wines from his family’s estate. Barreau is now the third generation in his family to farm these vines. He chooses to do so Organically and Biodynamically for many reasons, chief among them that it increases the quality of the grapes and makes them more resistant to diseases, but also because Organic farming to Barreau “increases the trust between producer and consumer.” It is his promise to provide to you the finest quality product possible from his vineyards and that it will be free from pesticides, chemicals or other non-natural ingredients.
The Les Quatre Cepages (or The Four Grapes) is a blend of the aforementioned Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng and Colombard but also with one quarter Sauvignon Blanc. These grapes, which he calls the “Four Musketeers” (this is the land of Alexandre Dumas!) each offer a unique yet critical element to the overall harmony of the wine. The Ugni Blanc offers light floral notes and a silky texture. The Colmbard brings to the table citrus, mango and tropical fruit notes, while the Gros Manseng adds ripe apricots and lime zest as well as a touch of glycerine in the mid-palate. Finally the Sauvignon Blanc ties it all together with acid and balance.

The finished product is light, refreshing, flavourful and quite possibly the greatest value in wine.

2008 DOMAINE DE PAJOT Les Quatres Cepages

$6.66 wholesale $9.99 retail

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