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Domaine de Ménard Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Marine 2013

Domaine de Ménard Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Marine

I’ve been asked to sample the wines of Gascony. Tuscany? No Gascony, or Gascogne in Southwestern France. Starting with Domaine de Ménard Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Marine

Like France’s better known viticultural regions, wine has been produced in Gascogne for hundreds, er, thousands of years. But I only knew of Gascogne’s wine production as the basis for making Armagnac. Turns out, there are many lesser known grape varietals that together or alone create very good quality, very well priced dry wines. And we all know how I appreciate a good QPR!

Greg’s mussel dish cries out for a crisp and citrusy wine that can also stand up to crunchy sweet apple and rich savory bacon. A nicely chilled 2013 Domaine de Ménard Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Marine does the trick. Similar in style to a Chablis or Sancerre (at a much friendlier price) the wine provides that nice minerality that goes so well with shellfish. Heck, it’s a “Cuvée Marine” after all! Which makes sense once you know that the Domaine de Menard is situated on a geologic seabed replete with limey soil studded with the occasional fossil.

Domaine de Ménard Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Marine

A blend of 60% Colombard, 20% Ugni Blanc, and 20% Gros Manseng provides balance and complexity: on the nose you smell the sea, on the palate you taste lush tropical fruit, apple, and red grapefruit peel for a good measure of acidity. A pleasantly tart finish prompts you to reach for another mussel or two. At a mere 11.5% alcohol you can also reach for another glass (or two). And at under $10 a bottle, this particular wine very well could be sold out when you search for it– be prepared for the next release!

Another plan would be to explore the region more broadly. You can find similarly bracing blends at Domaine du Tariquet and Domaine de San de Guilhem. If seafood isn’t on the menu, try the unusual red blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Tannat (one of my new faves, having just returned from a fabulous wine tasting, beach going jaunt to Uruguay) from Domaine Chiroulet– Terroir Gascon, bien sûr! KEN

Domaine de Ménard Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Marine

 

Pairs With Mussels, Bacon and Apples Baked in Parchment

Price $9

Also pairs well with seafood, shellfish and an aperitif

  • Category White Wine
  • Varietal Colombard
  • Region Gascogne France