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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Château de Tiregand Pécharmant 2006, Bergerac

The little written-about region of Bergerac is just up the road from Bordeaux and makes use of much the same grape varieties to similar effect. It is potentially, then, a better-value region than its more illustrious neighbour.

This Château de Tiregand Pécharmant 2006 from Tanners Wine Merchants, like a similarly-aged Bordeaux, is still quite youthful. It's made from mainly Merlot, but with some Cabernet Sauvignon and lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec in the blend.

The Little Prince by Antoine
de St-Exupery
In his 1971 World Atlas of Wine, Hugh Johnson gives about a paragraph to Bergerac, but does single out Pécharmant as producing the best reds.

The chateau de Tiregard has 31 hectares of red vines in Pécharmant and is run by cousins of the aviator and novelist, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, best known for his children's fable, The Little Prince.

Dark purple in the glass with hardly even a hint of the rim that shows up in aged wines, immediately on opening, it has a rich, complex and seductive nose with vanilla, bramble fruit and prunes, toasty oak, truffley earthiness, hints of forest floor, cloves and spice.

On the palate, it is still quite young with dense, chewy tannins and dark fruit and coffee. A fair amount of acidity and tannic grip on the finish at this stage, needs something like roast beef to show its best.

Re-corked and sampled again the following day, it is quite a different proposition - the nose is much more restrained, but both the palate and the finish have become more integrated, balanced and beautifully smooth. The wonderful mouthfilling texture is something I am increasingly associating with next-door region Bordeaux and clearly the same can be achieved here in Bergerac which is no surprise really as the grape varieties are broadly the same and the vineyards are only a few kilometres away and enjoy a similar terroir.

This time it was slightly overwhelmed by the sweetness of a slow-roast chicken (not the first time I have found that, in fact) - perhaps we should have gone for beef.

A further 24 hours later there was a small amount left and it was at a peak with sweet prune fruit and a wonderfully soft but full texture - we had it with sausagemeat baked in pancetta with pasta and a tomato-and-basil sauce which matched with it really well.

It also has a silver medal from the Concours de Bordeaux Vins d'Acquitaine.

£11.50 from Tanners Wines - supplied for review.

Links

Tanners Wine Merchants - http://www.tanners-wines.co.uk/

Concours de Bordeaux Vins D'Acquitaine - http://www.concours-de-bordeaux.com/

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