Monday, October 16, 2017

Domain Duffour 2016 Cotes de Gascogne Blanc

Cotes de Gascogne is a region for French Vin de Pays, or “country wine.” A humble origin, however, doesn’t make this wine less satisfying.

Interesting Cast Of Characters

Cotes de Gascogne is in the Gascony region in Southwest France. It produces mostly white wine – but the allowed grapes are not your typical ones. That’s what attracted me to this bottle.

The permitted white grapes include: Colombard, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Len de l'El, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle, and Ugni Blanc. So sure, you’ve heard of Sauvignon Blanc – but Len de L’El, no way. The Domaine Duffour consists of Colombard, Gros Manseng and a dash of Ugni Blanc (also known as Trebbiano).

Colombard, also called “French Colombard” was popular in California jug wines in the 1980s. It also is used in France to make Cognac.

The Judgement Of Gascogne

The Colombard on the label caught my eye and so I grabbed a bottle of the 2016 Domaine Duffour from Cellar 55 in Fuquay-Varina for about $10. It was part of my wine booty to be enjoyed at a family event in upstate New York. I had plenty of reds on hand and needed to equalize.

In the French wine world, Vin de Pays is the next step up on the ladder from table wine. It can be labelled with a geographic indication, which is usually pretty broad. Unlike the top notch AOC wines, Vin de Pays can usually be had for a song.

I recall my friend Jim, who would frequently lament that people just don’t realize how much affordable good French wine is available. I must agree. Some folks are intimidated because of the French labels with the region as opposed to the grape. Certainly the top quality French wines do carry a serious price tag. That shouldn’t deter you from scoring some excellent French wines for under $15 – and Domaine Duffour is a good example. The bargains are out there.

The Domain Duffour (we can call it the Twin-D) came through in the clutch. My family members are a diverse bunch. I needed a wine that has some degree of sophistication but also delivers easy to enjoy flavors. Check and check. This wine has juicy flavors of melon and citrus. This is a dry wine, but with mild acidity. The fruit flavors come through cleanly as this is a young wine and hasn’t undergone any oak aging.

This can be classified as a PNP (pop and pour) wine and at a price point (around $10) that you can pick up a half dozen bottles for your next party. It works well with light appetizers, vegetarian dishes, chicken or seafood. In fact, we can call this Triple-D, because Domain Duffour is a Dependable pick for your next social event.

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