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Sweet fortified tannat from Château d’Aydie in Madiran. Very black, very fruity and delicious with dark chocolate.
Product Code: QVT-FC38691
View all products by Château d'Aydie
With the Pyrenees as its backdrop, Château d’Aydie nestles in the hillside of the tiny commune of Aydie, just a few kilometres west of the village of Madiran in southwest France. This town has had its own AC since 1948, but the Laplace family has been making its mark on Madiran wines for three generations, since Frédéric Laplace breathed life into the family vineyards in 1927. The family has earned worldwide acclaim for its mastery of tannat – Madiran’s signature grape variety, which now must constitute a minimum of 50% of the blend, and the grape responsible for the AC’s famous dark, deep, elegant powerhouse reds – to the extent that renowned critics such as Robert Parker have claimed they are one of the best producers of red wines in southwest France.Frédéric’s son, Pierre Laplace, took the helm in the 1950s, and it was he who replanted many of the vineyards and modernised winery practices. Like their father, Pierre’s children (sons François, Jean-Luc and Bernard, and daughter Marie) followed in their father’s footsteps, joining the team in the 1970s. It was this third generation that first experimented with planting tannat on different soil types, giving the château a head-start on many neighbouring properties, and establishing that clay-limestone soils worked best.Today, the property has 58 hectares under vine: 49 of which are under Madiran AC, and the remaining nine of which are part of the neighbouring white wine appellation, Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl. Château d’Aydie vineyards possess a richly diverse array of soil types, from gravel on the hills – providing good drainage, and adding a roundness to the wines – to the sandy, moisture-retaining boulbènes soil on the lower lands, which gives flexible, fruity wines. The moderating influence of the Atlantic means the climate is also ideal for vine growth.Within the Madiran vineyards, tannat is the star, along with cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, whereas in the white vineyards it is ugni blanc, petit manseng, gros manseng and ugni blanc that take centre stage. In the winery, Château d’Aydie knows it needs to soften the highly tannic tannat grape, and has become proficient at doing so: the team employs uses both oak-ageing and micro-oxygenation (introducing small, controlled levels of oxygen to the wine) to create a rounder, more approachable wine that both suits modern tastes and shows the tannat grape at its sophisticated best.The whites are also aged in oak after a low-temperature maceration that retains their aromas and keeps them deliciously fresh.Maydie Tannat, the family’s fortified wine, is hugely popular with members, and is a festive treat with blue cheese or Christmas pudding. The family have been experimenting with wines like this since 1941, and it has now been perfected into a delicious, decadent blend.
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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"Heaven in a glass! The tip to drink with dark chocolate was inspired and it was no challenge finishing the bottle between 4 of us at one sitting. Will stock up and certainly try with some blue cheese and Christmas pud too when the time comes."
Mr Paul Tipler (10-Aug-2019)
"The bottle is a beautiful shape and size, and intensely dark. Lovely.
In the glass it looks dark and heavy.
The smell is of raisins.
But the taste, oh my. It compliments chocolate and adds complexity to sweetness, bringing more than individual elements to the experience. Not for everyday, but fabulous to enjoy with people who get to this point in the evening ready for a little bit more. "
Dr Huw M A Evans (17-Feb-2019)
"More than just a novelty sweet red, the Maydie is a genuine match for chocolate. There's a short pause from your guests as they peer quizzically at their glasses but once tasted any previous hesitation is swiftly overcome. We had this with chocolate roulade and a sprinkling of raspberries and it was much enjoyed. See it as an alternative to ruby port. "
Mr Simon Gill (17-Dec-2018)
"Very very happy with this. Dark, delicious, tannins under good control. Like a vintage port - but not really. I also like the Maury sweet red wines such as Mas Amiel."
Sir Kieran Prendergast (19-Oct-2018)
"Colour: Really dark, almost opaque inky black.
Aroma: Initially a strong hit of alcohol followed by a musky damp decaying forest floor aroma. Also savoury dried figs, ripe black fruits, fruit cake and lots of spice.
Taste: So rich, luscious and warming. Well rounded as the low tannin, sweetness and acidity almost nullify the high alcohol. Sticky sweet caramel and raisin flavour with a hot lingering after-taste.
Overall: My God, my first dessert wine and what a hit. So much more pleasurable to taste than on the nose. Smooth and mouthfilling with a lovely touch of sweetness. Had as an aperitif but it would really pair well with choclate."
Mr Gabriel Higgins (07-Oct-2017)
"I finally made the pilgrimage to the Stevenage showroom and spotted in the corner of my eye the Maydie Tannat. Years ago I had the 2009 vintage and I succumbed to temptation and the 2013 snuck it's way into my mixed case.
Good news - just as good as it has always been. It is a more interesting alternative to Port bursting with dark fruits and while sweet it is not sickly. Alcohol is well balanced; it is not immediately obvious that you are drinking a 17% wine. I tried it with some sea-salted dark chocolate and it worked a treat; the salty-bitterness of the chocolate really highlighted the fruitiness of the wine. I will have to whip up some kind of unctuous dark chocolate pud for *scientific* reasons......
Mr Richard Pfleger (05-Aug-2017)
The Observer (10th Dec 2017)
"I loved Château
d'Aydie's fortified tannat for its inky dark, finger-staining, black
fruit-compote style. - David Williams"
Newcastle Journal (2nd May 2017)
"It's made in a very
similar way to Port. Instead of allowing the sugar in the grapes to turn into
alcohol - and tannat has a natural tendency to produce a lot of sugar - almost
neat alcohol is added to the vat to kill off the yeasts and leave the sugar intact.
The young wine is then aged in oak casks to round it out a little, but it
remains deep coloured, sweet and slightly bitter. Maydie is not quite as
alcoholic as Port, but is rather more exuberantly fruity in a damson and
blueberry way. AT £13.95 for a 50cl bottle it is dear than a good LBV Port, but
I think it's worth every penny, and not just because it's rare. The bottom line
is that it tastes great. - Helen Savage "
"Blueberry, blackcurrant, bitter cherry with a hint of rubber. Not overly sweet, but an excellent match with dark chocolate mousse, as recommended. Will purchase again for sure."
Mr William Barraclough (19-Feb-2014)
Kent & Sussex Courier (11th Apr 2014)
"Dark and brimming
with cherries, chocolate and fruit cake. Complex and a superb pairing for
chocolate mousse and artisan dark chocolate.- James Viner"
Absolutely Cracking Wines From France (23rd Sep 2013)
a vin doux naturel from a grape usually better known for tannic, dry wines.
The wine has flavours of blackberry and damson which mesh well with the sappy
sweetness and a structure reather like a young vintage Port.
"As a connoisseur of the Tannat variety in all its forms, I got very excited when I saw that the Wine Society stocked a Tannat Vin Doux Naturel. Think of a ruby port but replace those jammy red fruits with cassis. Lots and lots of cassis. This is like drinking alcoholic Ribena or Vimto but with those juicy chewy tannins you come to expect with Tannat. I would definitely recommend this to fellow chocoholics and those who like their youthful ruby port rather than a mature vintage. I found dark chocolate a better match but each to their own.
Mr Richard Pfleger (28-Dec-2012)
Sunday Express (10th Feb 2013)
"This is a stunning sweet red. It's rich, deeply coloured and well structured, with a bitter damson bite on the finish, as well as some blackcurrant jam notes.- Jamie Goode"
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