Wednesday, March 6, 2019

French Sweetie

Monbazillac is in France's Côtes de Bergerac region, in the southwest part of the country, along the Dordogne River.  Bordeaux is to the west, with its more expensive cousin wine, Sauternes.

The wines of Monbazillac are sweet, white wines made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes.

It's a pretty good bet that a wine produced in a land that's been making wines since the Middle Ages will be a good one.  Even better when it's a sweet one, too.

Château Tirecul La Gravière Monbazillac 2013

Claudie and Bruno Bilancini leased the Monbazillac property in 1992 and bought it '97, during a time of rebirth in the Monbazillac AOC.  One of the more noted wine writers compares the outfit to Château d’Yquem, a fairly noted outfit on their own.  Their wines have been fully organic since 2012. 

The Cru de Tirecul sports, on average, 40-year-old vines of Semillon and Muscadelle.  They are harvested late in clusters showing advanced botrytis, or noble rot.  That's where the sweet comes from.  The wine bears some resemblance to the wines of Sauternes, but with less oak effect.  The wine was aged for 25 months in French oak barrels, hits 12% alcohol and retails for around 20 bucks.

This golden sweetie smells succulent, with the nose showing honey, apples and chalk.  The palate is pure dessert, with some razor-sharp acidity thrown in just to make us want to pair it with a steak or something crazy like that.  It's all sweet all the time, yet does not even go near the "cloying" signpost.

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