An excellent trio of wines from the Laffitte family in Gascony feature
in SuperValu’s French September Sale
|Some of the Gascony vineyards stretch to the foothills of the Pyrenees|
Brothers Christophe and Sebastien Laffitte are producing these “Tandem” wines in Gascony (SW France), in a village where the family’s history can be traced to the 15th century. The three wines featured here are “about pleasure and togetherness. We hope you enjoy it at your table with the special people in your lives.”
If you do get to holiday in Gascony, you’ll find the locals very keen to talk about rugby, once they know you’re from Ireland. What they are not keen to talk about is Cognac! So be careful when ordering brandy, you are in the land of Armagnac, Cognac’s big rival. Indeed, some of the grapes that the brothers grow (Colombard, for example, are used in the spirit). Similarly, if you are in the mood for a sweetish drink, be sure and ask for Floc de Gascogne (not the Pinot des Charentes of the Cognac area).
As the Laffittes indicate, these three wines are meant for regular celebration rather than meditation. A recent CNN article says that, in up and coming Gascony, this "everyday enjoyment" extends far beyond just a daily glass of wine. Pursuit of pleasure is seen as a key part of the Gascon lifestyle. And that fits in too with the aims of Supervalu wine buyer Kevin O’Callaghan who says he has wines in the French Wine Sale (5th to 25th September) that will excite all tastes, from the novice to the most experienced.
Watch out too for the 12 Special Guest Wines - their run is limited to the duration of the sale. Kevin: “These wines offer amazing value..with customers able to explore the different French regions at prices ranging from €8-€50 and all in between.” The three below are listed as Guest!
Domaine Laffitte Rosé, Côtes de Gascogne (IGP) 2018, 11.5%, €8.00 (11.99).
The grapes for this rosé (screwcap closure) are Cabernet Franc, Marselan and Tannat. The Tannat will surprise some people as it is regarded as a tough grape. But not in these parts. A few years back, I drank a rosé (Argi Dansa), a very good one I thought, in Irouleguy, and that was made with 80% Tannat.
Colour of this Laffitte is a pale pink. It is sweetly perfumed, mainly with strawberries/raspberries, hints of sherbet. On the palate it is soft and fruity, plus hints of citrus, refreshing and easy-drinking with a decent finish. One to enjoy, for sure, especially during our Indian summer!
This red is an excellent blend of smooth Malbec (80%) and fresh Cabernet Franc (20%). Nose is full; you get the vivid cherry and a whiff of spice from a foot or so away, a little vanilla too. Smooth and elegant on the palate, silky tannins and rounded fruit all the way to the finalé. Versatile: white or red meat, lunch or dinner
Domaine Laffitte Sauvignon Blanc, Côtes de Gascogne (IGP) 2018, 12.0%, €8.00 (11.99)
This Sauvignon Blanc, with its pale gold colour, has surprisingly intense aromas, with citrus prominent. It is ample and lively on the palate, a tangy touch, minerality present, with a decent finish to boot. Not bad as an aperitif and a sure bet with fish and seafood.
Another easy-drinking wine to complete the Laffitte trio, all excellent value. These are among the guest wines, just for the duration of the sale. Try them and if you like them get a few more in. Stock up the red and white for Christmas and a rosé or two as an aperitif when there is more heat in the house than outside!
Great Chance to Explore French Wine Regions
|At the entrance to Vacqueyras.|
Unfortunately, that's water coming out
of the tap, not wine!
With reductions on over forty wines, the SuperValu French sale provides quite the opportunity to go out and explore the various regions. Of course, Burgundy and Bordeaux will always have their followers. But do have a look at lesser known areas.
I am especially drawn to Burgundy but don’t forget that next door is Beaujolais and I always enjoy a well produced wine from that region’s Gamay grape. André Goichot is a reliable name here and you could do worse than try his Fleurie or the Moulin à Vent (one of the 12 guests!) and both are substantially reduced.
The Loire is well represented in the sale. No shortage of Sancerre on the list. If you like to move off the beaten path there the Coteaux Du Giennois (one of the lesser known areas here) and the Alchimie Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t disappoint.
I’ve always been a fan of the Rhone reds and SuperValu have an impressive quartet lined up for you: Vinsobres, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Chateauneuf itself. My favourite is probably the Vacqueyras. A good bottle to have on your table this Autumn, great with duck and roast meat dishes.