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Saint-Mont, Les Vignes Retrouvées 2018

White Wine from France - SW France (excl. Bordeaux)
Dry and full-bodied white from Gascony in the French south-west, with complex aromas of nectarine and citrus.The Plaimont co-op is at the centre of a vineyard that had never regained its confidence following the phylloxera catastrophe of more than a century ago, and Saint Mont had to be reconstructed from scratch using the traditional grape varieties on show here: gros manseng, petit courbu and arrufiac.
Price: £8.95 Bottle
Price: £53.50 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: FC39341

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Manseng
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

South-West France (ex Bordeaux)

Most of the wine regions representing the south-west of France are linked by river to Bordeaux and were once rivals of the Bordelais for trade. It was certainly not unknown for some of these wines to be brought to Bordeaux in order to stiffen the sinews of some of the thinner clarets in days gone by. However, there is more to the region than those appellations and the Vins de pays/ IGPs up-river of their erstwhile rival.

The south-west can be roughly compartmentalised in to four categories, as follows:

Bergeracois: running along both banks of the Dordogne River and including Bergerac, Monbazillac and other ACs where Bordeaux varieties proliferate, ably and interestingly supported by some local varieties.

Garonne: running along both banks of the River Garonne as far as Agen and featuring Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet.

Haut-Pays: the area north and north-west of Toulouse including Gaillac, Cahors and the Côtes-du-Frontonnais.

Pyrenees: in the area between Adour and the Pyrenees. ...
Most of the wine regions representing the south-west of France are linked by river to Bordeaux and were once rivals of the Bordelais for trade. It was certainly not unknown for some of these wines to be brought to Bordeaux in order to stiffen the sinews of some of the thinner clarets in days gone by. However, there is more to the region than those appellations and the Vins de pays/ IGPs up-river of their erstwhile rival.

The south-west can be roughly compartmentalised in to four categories, as follows:

Bergeracois: running along both banks of the Dordogne River and including Bergerac, Monbazillac and other ACs where Bordeaux varieties proliferate, ably and interestingly supported by some local varieties.

Garonne: running along both banks of the River Garonne as far as Agen and featuring Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet.

Haut-Pays: the area north and north-west of Toulouse including Gaillac, Cahors and the Côtes-du-Frontonnais.

Pyrenees: in the area between Adour and the Pyrenees. Here you will find Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran, Jurançon, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Irouléguy, the latter of which is in real Basque country in the foothills of the Pyrennes, close to the Bay of Biscay.

The influence of the Atlantic Ocean is surprisingly strong even this deep inland and it merges with continental and alpine elements across such a large area to provide moist spring weather and wet winters counterbalanced by hot summers and long, sunny autumns just as the grapes are ripening. Naturally, the area is great enough in size for the soils to be incredibly varied across it. Alluvial and marine soils, often gravel and limestone respectively, are common factors in many areas, the former often on rising terraces above rivers or ancient watercourses.

In many appellations and IGPs it has taken the dynamism of forward thinking, passionate cooperatives and visionaries to save the vineyards and indigenous grape varieties of these regions from serious neglect or even extinction. The devastation of phylloxera around the end of the 19th century was particularly bad in these areas and it was not really until the 1970s, and even later in some cases, that a turnaround in fortunes occurred. The roll call of local varieites is impressive and promising – abouriou, arrufiac, baroque, duras, fer servadou, jurançon noir, len de l’el, petit manseng, gros manseng, mauzac, négrette, tannat and peiti courbu. It is a region that should make a curious wine lover’s mouth water.
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Plaimont Producteurs

There is an ancient tradition of winemaking in Gascony but by the third quarter of the 20th century the vast majority of the wine made there was destined to be distilled into the region’s distinctive brandies, which was not always a profitable business for most growers, though it has seen a recent resurgence.

When the spirit market became depressed in the wake of the oil crisis of the early 1970s there was a need to consider other outlets for the grapes, and this is where André Dubosc came in. As a native of the area and a man of great determination and vision, he set about changing the way he and his fellow growers perceived their terroir and their grapes.

In 1979 he persuaded three co-operatives, those of Plaisance, Aignan and Saint-Mont, to join forces in a merger that was named Plaimont Producteurs. The name was taken from the three constituents (PL-AI-MONT) and the aim was to provide growers with a fair deal and to market the wines with more professionalism. Their success in doing both led to three more co-operatives coming into the fold in 1999.

They now represent 98% of total Saint-Mont production, and nearly half of all the production in Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. Over 1,000 growers contribute their fruit to the co-op and adhere to strict rules and supervision over their combined 5,300 hectares of land. Payment for the grapes that come in to the winery are higher for better-quality fruit, which incentivises growers to give their best.

André...
There is an ancient tradition of winemaking in Gascony but by the third quarter of the 20th century the vast majority of the wine made there was destined to be distilled into the region’s distinctive brandies, which was not always a profitable business for most growers, though it has seen a recent resurgence.

When the spirit market became depressed in the wake of the oil crisis of the early 1970s there was a need to consider other outlets for the grapes, and this is where André Dubosc came in. As a native of the area and a man of great determination and vision, he set about changing the way he and his fellow growers perceived their terroir and their grapes.

In 1979 he persuaded three co-operatives, those of Plaisance, Aignan and Saint-Mont, to join forces in a merger that was named Plaimont Producteurs. The name was taken from the three constituents (PL-AI-MONT) and the aim was to provide growers with a fair deal and to market the wines with more professionalism. Their success in doing both led to three more co-operatives coming into the fold in 1999.

They now represent 98% of total Saint-Mont production, and nearly half of all the production in Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. Over 1,000 growers contribute their fruit to the co-op and adhere to strict rules and supervision over their combined 5,300 hectares of land. Payment for the grapes that come in to the winery are higher for better-quality fruit, which incentivises growers to give their best.

André Dubosc was also keen to retain, and where necessary to recover, local varieties like petit courbu and pinenc and they have contributed uniquely to the flavours and character of the wines. Research continues into other varieties.

As the co-operative moves into the future following Andre Dubosc's retirement, they have sometimes struggled to maintain the trajectory set for them by their mentor and The Society only buys when we are sure that the quality is good.
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2018 vintage reviews
2017 vintage reviews
2016 vintage reviews

Wine-pages.com

The entry level forthe white wines tasted here is a blend of 70% Gros Manseng, 25% Petit Courbuand Arrufiac. Lovely and appealing nose, plenty of zippy but tropical fruit,peach and nectarine over-flowing...
The entry level forthe white wines tasted here is a blend of 70% Gros Manseng, 25% Petit Courbuand Arrufiac. Lovely and appealing nose, plenty of zippy but tropical fruit,peach and nectarine over-flowing with these primary aromas, then a lovely hintof oiliness to the texture, a real bitter orange tang to the acidity, pithy andzesty, and a keen, long edge to the finish. Great value and very stylish.
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88/100 Tom Cannavan

The Observer

Bordeaux hogs the limelight in South West France. But if you come inland from the Gironde, there’s a patchwork of too-often overlooked vineyards producing, between them, some of...
Bordeaux hogs the limelight in South West France. But if you come inland from the Gironde, there’s a patchwork of too-often overlooked vineyards producing, between them, some of France’s most distinctive, even eccentric, and hugely diverse wines, often made from local grape varieties that you just don’t find elsewhere. One example is the Saint-Mont appellation of Gascony, which used to be part of the engine room for the Armagnac industry, until sales of the Gascon brandy began to nosedive in the 1970s. These days the vines have been revived and repurposed, led by the local co-operative, Plaimont, which is behind some superb-value wines both red and white. Among my favourites from a recent tasting of a batch of Plaimont wines, Les Vignes Retrouvées is made from a trio of “rediscovered” white varieties – gros manseng, petit corbu and arufiac – that between them make a dry white of Lilt-like tropical-fruited fleshiness and grapefruit tanginess.
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- David Williams

Manchester Evening News

A blast of summery freshness in the depths of winter. This is made by Plaimont, a consortium of producers in the south west corner of France. It's made from gros manseng, arrufiac and petit...
A blast of summery freshness in the depths of winter. This is made by Plaimont, a consortium of producers in the south west corner of France. It's made from gros manseng, arrufiac and petit courbu which are native to Gascony and rarely seen elsewhere. This vintage is perhaps a little more muted than earlier examples, but still offers floral aromas and vibrant breezy pineapple fruit with lime-like acidity.
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- Andy Cronshaw

Sunday Telegraph

Best spring wines for £10 and under: From the cooperative that supplies successful supermarket whites, this is full-flavoured and tastes of sunflower seeds and grapefruit pith.

- Victoria Moore

Western Mail

A blend of gros manseng, arrufiac and petit courbu from the Saint- Mont commune in the Gers department in southwestern France. The Plaimont co-operative is at the heart of this versatile white...
A blend of gros manseng, arrufiac and petit courbu from the Saint- Mont commune in the Gers department in southwestern France. The Plaimont co-operative is at the heart of this versatile white showing soft honeyed fruits on the nose with some dried apricot notes and a little mineral character. Initially some citrus bite on the attack and then more generous and softer honeyed fruit  drifts over the tastebuds adding weight and interest through to a long generous finish. Winemaker Patrick Azcure has made a good value drop that can bridge many a foodie gap - a wine for all seasons, if you will.
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- Neil Cammies

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