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2010 Colombelle Blanc Sec and Rouge – Côtes de Gascogne - Review

Two wines from South West France.

Last week I had the pleasure to participate in a virtual wine tasting of wines from the South West region of France. This was a live tasting with Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer. He broadcasted video from a kitchen in Brooklyn, New York while I tweeted from Washington State. The twitter hashtag used for this virtual tasting was #SWFrance. Many who participated in this tasting received samples of wine. Wines were tasted and commented on via twitter, food pairings, information about the region and grape varietals were also discussed for each wine. My tasting was truly “virtual” because my samples did not arrive in time for the tasting. Now that my samples of wine have arrived, I will be reviewing them as time permits.

2010 Colombelle Blanc Sec.

Colombelle Blanc Sec 2010
This wine is a blend of 80% Colombard and 20% Sauvignon et Ugni Blanc at 11.5% alcohol. This is the first time I recall tasting these varietals. The wine was easy to access with a screw cap closure. On opening the bottle I was greeted by aromas of tropical fruit and citrus. The wine had a pale straw color and the tropical fruit and citrus followed through ending with a lingering mango note. On day one I paired the Colombelle Blanc Sec with fried Yakisoba noodles and chicken. While it was a good match, I think a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza would work better, or a dish with mango chutney. I enjoyed this wine over three days. It held up well and remained crisp all three days. I should add that the wine developed a prominent lemon zest character by day two, which I thoroughly enjoyed. On day two and three I'd suggest pairing this wine with a Greek style lemon chicken and a feta salad. Priced at $10, this is a recommended buy.

2010 Colombelle Rouge.

Colombelle Rouge 2010
This red wine is a blend of Tanat 60%, Merlot 20%, and Cabernet Sauvignon 20% at 12.5% alcohol. This is the first wine I have tasted with Tanat and the experience was positive. According to the twitter discussion on Tanat, this is a much softer expression of the varietal. The Colombelle Rouge is a clear, light red wine. It too had easy access via the screw cap closure. I think of this wine as a table wine. It’s not heavy or complex, but friendly and fresh with red berry flavors. This was a tasty pairing. I made a hamburger with caramelized onions, added a slice of havarti cheese and brushed olive oil on the buns. My hamburger was tender and the onions sweetness complimented the wine. Making my way past the first glass, flavors of currant and coffee bean emerged along with a subtle aroma of orange blossom. Priced at $10, this is a recommended buy.

Côtes de Gascogne is a wine-growing district in Gascony producing principally white wine. It is mainly located in the département of the Gers in the French region Midi-Pyrénées, and it belongs to the wine region South West France. It is one of seven main appellations, which includes: Madiran, Saint-Mont, Fronton, Gaillac, Irouleguy, Côtes de Gascogne and Cahors. The South West region is France’s fourth largest in terms of volume and sales. There are close to 30 acknowledged varietals in this region, although 200 more are under consideration. After many years, the South West region is gaining recognition in the production of diverse, authentic wines. This region is still gaining in popularity, so expect to find affordable priced wines. I’ll share more about South West wines in future posts.

Here's a map of the region. An interesting site, especially if you read French.


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