Three wines from Bergerac
Bergerac sits as an eastern rump-end beyond Bordeaux; further inland, with a more continental climate but mostly the same Bordelais grape varieties, it makes wines with a bit more gutsy effusiveness than its more-aristocratic neighbour.
Mayne de Beauregard, Bergerac 2013 (£7.99, Marks & Spencer) Pale in the glass and light at just 12.5% - more fresh and Loire-esque than southern. A blend of Cab, Merlot and Cab Franc, the Cab Franc seems to dominate, with cherries, red plums and classic pine needle aromas.
Juicy and refreshing - a classy, well-balanced and enjoyable quaffer.
Bergerac Rouge, Château Tour des Gendres 2013 (£7.95, The Wine Society) A darker, bigger, more-substantial beast from an unusual blend of Merlot and Malbec.
Complex nose of dark fruit, spice and undergrowth; more ripe dark fruit, spiciness, concentration and grip on the palate with a persistence and firmness on the finish.
More plumpness, presence and complexity than the Beauregard. Good.
Matches well with toad-in-the-hole.
Château Les Sablines Monbazillac 2012 (£9.99 / reduced to £7.99 until 30/12/14, Waitrose) Golden Sandy yellow, with aromas of orange blossom, musky roasted peaches and beeswax. Sweet ripe peaches, barley sugar, candied lemons and tropical fruits with good freshness.
A less expensive, if less-complex, alternative to Sauternes.
Match with creme brulee or lemon torte and Chantilly cream.
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