About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jurancon: Great White Wines with a great history!

image from winery website
Located in the southwest corner of France near the Spanish border and close to the Pyrenees Mountains is a French wine appellation with a storied history. Jurancon is home to some of France’s best tasting white wines and is also rich in wine history.  The first written references to organized viniculture in the area date back to 998 AD.
image from winery website

While Jurancon became a French A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Controlee’) officially in 1936, it’s first government recognition as a designated wine growing and production region occurred in the 14th century under the reign of the Princes of Bern and Navarre.  It was in this area of France that the French term “cru” (“growth place”) was first applied on wine labels to designate wines reflecting a specific terroir.  This easily makes Jurancon the oldest of the French wine appellations.  Adding to that history is the established legend that Jurancon wine was used for the baptism of the renowned French king Henri IV.

The three principal grapes utilized in the wines of Jurancon are Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and sometimes Courbu. These grapes, in varying combinations, offer the fruit tastes of apricot, mango, pear, pineapple and quince, often laced with honey, particularly in the sweet versions.  While it was the silky elegance of the sweet dessert wine produced there that first brought international attention to Jurancon, the region also produces superb dry white wines.  In fact the drier style of Jurancon account today for about three-quarters of the regions wine production.  The Wine Guy’s first exposure was to the sweet style in a wine from Chamarre, a modern day consortium founded in 2005.  This group gave great exposure to the region before entering into receivership in early 2010.  Fortunately they were bailed out in the fall of last year by the noted designer and entrepreneur Alain Dominique Perrin.

Here are two recommendations from The Wine Guy if you want to experience the unique quality and palatability of this region’s wonderful white wines:

Dry:   Chateau Jolys Jurancon Sec

Sweet:   Chamarre Jurancon Tradition

Try a Jurancon soon.  As you savor the aroma and taste, reflect upon the storied history of this wonderful wine region in south-west France.  Enjoy!

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