Thursday, June 11, 2020

Top Co-ops Come Up With Little Beauties

Top Co-ops Come Up With Little Beauties
Once upon a time, the word cooperative was frowned on by wine importers. But, in recent decades, many coops have favoured quality over quantity. Importers, such as Kilkenny's Le Caveau, have long been among those who go off the beaten track in search out the good stuff. Below, we have two very good ones indeed.

Labastide “Terrane” Terres du Tarn (IGP) 2017, 12%,
Located in the heart of the historic Gaillac vineyards, the Cave de Labastide was founded in 1949. Today it is the oldest cellar of the Gaillac appellation. It is made up of about a hundred cooperative winegrowers with an area of around 1,000 hectares of vines.
Colour is mid to dark ruby. Lovely red fruit on nose and on the palate. It is hard to fault this one. Much smoother than expected, slight spice, well made everyday easy-drinking wine. I’d say many a lunch in the area has been polished off with a carafe of this one, obviously an excellent house wine (yet another one!) on the Le Caveau list. Highly Recommended.
You may be wondering about the little known grape varieties that have been used here: it is a blend of indigenous varieties Braucoul (Fer Servadou) and Duras. The former contributes perfumed blackcurrant fruit while the Duras is peppery and structured.
So, enjoy it with your lunch or dinner or just a simple honest baguette with some fresh cheese on the side. Should go well too with charcuterie. Also as an aperitif though perhaps chill it a little if the summer is good!
Madregale Terre di Chetti Bianco (IGP) 2018, 12% abv, €11.95 at NeighbourFood Cork
Spritzer with Chambord

This white wine is obtained from a blend of Chardonnay (the dominant partner according to the label) and Trebbiano, the grapes cultivated within the municipality of Tollo in Chetti (a province of the Italian region of Abruzzo). I have long been a fan of this Le Caveau “house wine” and of its companion red. Watch out for it as restaurants reopen, along at the stockists above. Highly Recommended. And well-priced too!

Colour is a clear light gold. Moderately intense aromas with a citrus touch. Fresh and lively on the palate, with an unexpected smoothness. Good acidity too and that helps it match with the suggested light seafood or pasta dishes like spaghetti with clams. But it may also be appreciated as an aperitif.

It was hardly out of the NeighbourFood delivery box when I was pressing it into use as part of a spritzer where its minor companions in the glass were Chambord (the black raspberry liquor from the Loire Valley), ice (lots of it) and soda water.  Quite a pleasant opener to the evening and might well have been more appreciated had I presented it a few days earlier when the temperatures were about 50% higher than they are this breezy evening (June 6th, 2020).

Madregale is produced, using organic principles, by the award-winning Cantina Tollo, one of the biggest and best co-operative wineries in the Abruzzo region, covering 3,200 ha owned by 800 farmers.

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