Bergerac: How good is your nose?


Let’s start with being away – away on hols, that is. In the Dordogne, next door to Bordeaux. Bergerac is right up against the Bordeaux vineyards and in the old quarter, there is a House of Wines. Maison de Vins is right on the quays where in former times, the barrels of wine were loaded on river boats for transport to Bordeaux and beyond.

That quay now is a parking lot but was full when we arrived. Still, we easily found a place on the riverbank nearby and made our visit. It is in an old religious building, the Cloitre des Recollets and, if you enter from the back, you will be in the old courtyard. A long panel tells the story of wine through the ages in French and English.

At the end of the visit, we came to the shop. There is a huge stock, all of the area’s AOCs and many of the producers represented. Already pretty well off in some of the AOCs, I concentrated on Montravel and went to choose a few bottles.

One was Terre Bleue white 2008 which was only polished off this week here in Cork. Colour is an inviting light gold and it has a citrusy nose. On the plate it is floral (modestly European style), crisp and clean with excellent length on the finish. Sauvignon dominated, the blend won a Gold Medal in Paris in 2009 and I’m happy to agree with the experts. Forget the price but I think it cost about five euro.

Now, we go even further away. Unfortunately not us, but to the source of our next wine. This is the Xanadu next of Kin Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2009 from the Margaret River area of Australia, another lovely white. Colour is pale straw. Citrus notes on the nose and on the palate where you notice the grapefruit. It is a refreshing lively taste and crisp with good length on the finish. Bought this 12.5% bottle some time back from Bubble Brothers and I think the cost was in the €12-14 bracket.

A much newer arrival on the local scene is the Rojo Mojo Tempranillo 2009, imported by Wine Alliance and available in places such as Bradley’s in North Main Street and in 1601 in Kinsale. This 13% newcomer is fast becoming the new house wine in this abode though personally I also enjoy the same label’s Shiraz.

The deep red Tempranillo has a red/black fruity nose. On the palate, it is plums and berries. It is full-bodied, smooth and well balanced with very satisfactory length at the end. Well worth the €8.99.