Braucol home in the south-west of France is known as Fer Servadou. Earth of the farm soon fades on decanting to add to the juicy blue fruits and soft spice. Love the fine-boned feel in the mouth with silky tannin and acid structure keeping the wine fresh. Think Beaujolais. We drank in winter with a casserole, but the lighter mouthfeel would go equally well in the summertime. 13% alc. Slurpable! - Michael L
Appearances can be deceiving. The unique wines of the Plageoles family may seem to be just one of many curios on the market these days; in fact, they are a striking reminder of the wonders of the Gaillac terroir and of why this region was once so famous.
Viticultural Gaillac is a horseshoe arc of land high above the Tarn river in southwest France (northeast of Toulouse). Though relatively close to Bordeaux, few people outside of the southwest of France know this region's wines well. It was the Phoenicians, then the Romans who first planted vines in the Gaillac region. Vines here predate Bordeaux, and like Cahors, Madiran and other wine regions in southwestern France, it might have achieved the same fame had it not been for a quirk of historical fate. If only those shifty Bordelaise on the Garonne river had not first expropriated the wine of this region (by blending it with their own) and later taxed it to death before it went through their port. Then Phylloxera came to town, which pretty much delivered the coup de grâce to Gaillac.
Today's Gaillac is many things to many people. To the wine buyers from British supermarkets it's simply a cheap, inoffensive refreshing, fruity white or rosé from the local Mauzac Blanc or Gris. In France, outside Gaillac, it's a robust, aromatic red made from a blend of local and interloper varieties to wash down a simple plat de jour; to the esoteric sommelier, it might be the source of some compelling regional oddities and yet for Robert and Bernard Plageoles, and now Bernard's sons Florent and Romain, it's a fanatical, lifelong passion. Robert Plageoles (father of current patriarch, Bernard) also seems to be many things to many people. To wine lovers, he is the most famous and widely admired grower in Gaillac, to the Gaillac faithful he is an iconoclastic ampelographer (an expert in the identification and classification of grape varieties), who has been almost solely responsible for resuscitating many of Gaillac's indigenous, almost extinct grape varieties. To the Gaillac AOC committee, he is probably viewed as a hopeless anachronism or wine outlaw!
No matter, the Plageoles' have managed to recapture some of the historic recognition that Gaillac wines had in the past by producing outstanding wines and through their work of bringing many of their region's distinctive grape varieties back from oblivion. Robert researched and replanted over a dozen varietals (seven in the Mauzac family alone) indigenous to Gaillac that had all but vanished ‚– for example grafting and growing Prunelart (for red wine), seven variations of the Mauzac grape (Roux, Vert, Jaune, Noir, Melon, Gris and Rosé), and Verdanel and Ondenc (for whites), and in doing so, is responsible for bringing these rare varieties into the 21st century (some Ondenc has of course also survived in Australia). Robert's son, Bernard, took over Domaine Plageoles around ten years ago and now, along with his sons, is taking this Domaine to yet another level. All of the Plageoles' share an obsession for the Gaillac region, its native grape varieties, organic viticulture and low-tech, natural-yeast winemaking. Rather than blend their wines, they choose to bottle each wine as a single variety, putting them at odds with the AOC, but also allowing them to market the distinctiveness of the Gaillac grape varieties. Most of the wines are therefore bottled under the Vin de Pays des Côtes du Tarn AOC. - Importer Note
|Product Type||Wine Red Other Varietals & Blends|
|Region||South West France|