Between Two Wine Giants

Between Two Wine Giants

With Saint Emillion to the right of them and Medoc to the left the six appellations that lie between the Dordogne and the Garonne rivers find themselves  overshadowed. However highly productive wine makers operate in a landscape dotted with picturesque villages, historical buildings and spectacular châteaux.

 Entre-Deux-Mers AOC

The largest of the six statutory controlled wine areas situated between two tidal rivers, the Garonne and the Dordogne. The soil is Predominantly argillaceous limestone (heavy clay and gravel) and occupies a substantial slice of the Bordeaux region, stretching from the edge of Bordeaux city to the farmlands of Bergerac. The Entre-Deux-Mers label  is only used for white wine produced from Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle. Lively aromatic wines; they go well with seafood.

Merlot dominated red wine is also produced but is usually labelled Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur. Around 70 percent of all white wine marketed with Bordeaux AOC labels and 40 percent of the red originates in the Entre-Deux-Mers area.

Andre Lurdon a native of the region produces wine across Bordeaux . He is a gaint on the global wine scene and big in Pessac Legonan an upmarket Bordeaux wine making region he helped create. His wine making alma mater is the archtechully grand Chateau Bonnet in Entre-Deux-Mers.

Wine wise Entre-deux-Mers has little presence in the London Independent wine sector, though its wines will almost certainily be found in various bottles labled Bordeaux sec or rouge. Bibendum (on line sales only) stock, Chateau Bonnet Reserve. For something a bit special one has to turn to the sub region, Graves de Vayres to the northwest of  Entre-Deux-Mers . Recognised as a special area and awarded appelation status alongside Entre-Deux-Mers in 1937. It produces supple well balanced, merlot dominated, red blends and crisp, fresh well balanced whites. Famous for its imposing renaissance château overlooking the river, it recently moved from producing sweet wine wine to mainly dry.  London Independent wine merchant Bottle Apostle stock, Chateau Toulouze 2006, Graves de Vayre, France 75cl, £12.15.

Premières Côtes de Bordeaux is a  narrow strip of predominetly red wine producing land,  comprised of twenty different soils (limestone,gravels and clay).  White wine may be  sold as basic Bordeaux, while sweet wine can carry the Cadillac label provided it meets the required grape growing and winemaking standards. Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux has amalgated with other similiar Bordeaux areas to form a new appelation Cotes de Bordeaux.

The sweet  wines of the Cadillac label are produced in an area of limestone gravel slopes, situated between the Garonne and the Entre-Deux-Mers plateau. Being near the river the area creates its own micro climate whch in turn produces ideal conditions for the development of moulds that cause noble rot. Sémillon the grape used in Sauternes the worlds greatest sweet wine is tempered with small quanties of Sauvignon blanc, Pinot gris and Muscadelle. Vinoteca offer, Chateau Fayau, 2008 Cadillac, France 75cl £15.95 inc tax.

Loupiac another area producing sweet wine on the right bank of the Garonne, lies to the east of Cadillac. It is the best known of the sweet winemaking areas located on the right bank of the Garonne, its South facing slopes ensure good conditions for over ripeness and botrytization. They are different  Sauternes and Barsec both in concentration and structure yet posess strong fruit aromas.

The German Food and wine writer Andre Domine regards Sainte-Croix-du-Mont as an appelation with potential. This is the third of the sweet wine areas which lie on the right side of the Garonne . Situated opposite Sauternes on thick layers of Limestone at the foggy confluence of two rivers, creates a local microclimate that suits the production of sweet wines. Although generally they will not age as well as good Sauternes they are cheaper and can match them on sweetness and natural alcohol content. Particuarly good value we think is, Château de Bern, Saint Croix du Mont 2007, France, 75cl, £8.91, from The Sampler, costing a bit more Lea and Sanderman, Château Laurette, Sainte Croix du Mont, France, 75cl, £12.95.

Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux is an appellation in search of a wine identity, it used to be known for its sweet wines but nowadays produces mostly red and white. Although officially part of the sub Bordeaux region, Entre-Deux-Mers, it lies a few miles west of Bergerac and makes comparable wines.


Chateau Toulouze 2006 Graves de Vayre


Chateau Toulouze 2006 Graves de Vayre