(2023) Purchased in the region in 1998, this is one of those fabulous 'cellar discoveries', a wine I'd completely forgotten about and now on the very last day of 2023, surely past its best? In fact it was glorious. Mostly the local Fer Servadou with 20% Syrah and Merlot, aged one year in barrel, the nose has the iron oxide and dried blood character of the grape, but lively red fruit luminescence too. Pert and fine on the palate, still enough fruit, and lovely balance with sweet damp earth and floral notes. A fabulous surprise.
(2023) From an estate run by the Ferret family for six generations, this wine comes from Armagnac country, where more and more estates are adding table wines to their brandy production. Composed of 80% Colombard and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, the nose is all about typical Sauvignon aromatics of elderflower, passion fruit and gooseberry, before a ripe and fresh palate where juicy and zippy grapefruit is the driving force. There is a hint of nectarine sweetness through the mid-palate, before citrus - mainly grapefruit- kicks in once more.
(2023) The very high quality cooperative of Plaimont are dedicated to preserving local varieties of the French South West, in this case a wine made from 25-year-old Gros manseng, Petit Courbu and Arrufiac. Some skin maceration has added melon rind and lemon notes to otherwise peachy-ripe fruit. The palate is like some cross between a juicy orange and burstingly ripe peach, succulent and fleshy, yet with mouth-watering clarity. What a lovely little all-rounder white wine. Watch the video for more information.
(2023) The Plaimont cooperative in Southwest France produces this crisp but easy-drinking white from Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng.  With only 11.5% it's a lighter, summery style, but some skin maceration adds a little texture and complexity. Fresh, melon and lime aromas run to a palate that echoes that along with some tropical guava. A nicely pithy lemon acidity and perhaps the merest smidgen of residual sugar just softening the finish to let the fruit show through. On roll-back to £6 at time of review. Watch the video for more information.
(2023) Champions of heritage grape vine varieties, Plaimont bottle this Manseng Noir, an almost forgotten indigenous variety which has been nurtured as part of their conservation project. The vines are young, and the unoaked 11.9% abv wine is dry and fresh. The colour is a strikingly vivid magenta. The nose and palate have an Indian ink dryness, tart plummy flavours and a combination of tannin and high-ish acidity that adds to the dry but juicy character. An unusual style, perhaps a theoretical cross between Beaujolais and one of the red Vinho Verde's made from the Vinhão variety?
(2022) A rare Gamay from southwest of France, a little meat and pepper character to berry fruit, just a hint of florals too. In the mouth the sweetness is what strikes the palate first, a bursting berry sweet juiciness, cherry-ripe and charming. There's no tannin to speak of, but nicely judged acid and a bit of dark chocolate character gives some weight and smoothness.
(2022) Really breezy and fresh, lots of ozoney freshness and cool, clean fruit that has hints of greengage and gooseberry, but linear and taut. The palate has beautiful clarity, a ripe peachy juiciness and fullness, but then a lovely blast of mineral-fresh acidity, but staying so juicy and well balanced.
(2022) Lovers of the Gamay grape variety have all of Beaujolais to explore, but outside of south-eastern French region, there's not a lot of choice to be had. This comes from a producer in Gaillac in the southwest of France, originally planted to soften some of the more tannic local grapes. Vivid crimson in colour, the nose has a little meat and pepper character to berry fruit, just a hint of florals too. In the mouth the sweetness is what strikes the palate first, a bursting berry sweet juiciness, cherry-ripe and charming. There's no tannin to speak of, but nicely judged acid and a bit of dark chocolate character gives some weight and smoothness to the finish. £10.49 as part of a mixed dozen. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) From one of the great estates of Madiran, this is a blend of 60% tannat, 20% cabernet franc, 20% cabernet sauvignon aged 12-16 months in barrel, then eight months in large wooden vats. Big, meaty and chunky on the nose, there is depth here but a sense of polish too. Hints of violet lift lead on to a palate of svelte and full dark vine fruits, forceful but relatively svelte tannins and lovely acid balance. Powerful and another food wine, but lovely.
(2021) Quite a distinctive peach tone to the colour of this certified organic rosé, a blend of Tannat, Pinenc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Small redcurrant aromas are joined by a little pomegranate, before a palate that is bone dry, again focused on those smaller red berries - redcurrants and raspberry - with plenty of pithy, sour orange and lemon acidity.