Grape(s): 34% Braucol, 33% Duras, 33% Prunelart
Localization: Gaillac, Southwest France
Tasting Notes: Fresh and juicy with wild strawberries, sour raspberries, and rose petals with a touch of vanilla blossom. Cumin and peppery notes, juicy tannins. The ultimate juicy light red that drinks like Sunday morning, no matter which day it is.
Notes: Bush vines on clay limestone. Estate-owned, certified organic, and farmed by the Plageoles family themselves. The grapes are hand-harvested and vinified separately: both receive 24 hours of skin maceration and then the free-run juice is fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks where it rests for about 9 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with a tiny bit of sulfur (15ppm total).
The Domain: The wines of Gaillac as a whole are on the map today as wines of quality due to the hard work and adventurous spirit of the Plageoles family. It all started with Robert Plageoles, who took great pride in bringing back the lost indigenous varieties of the area. He researched and replanted over a dozen varieties (7 in the Mauzac family alone) indigenous to Gaillac that had all but vanished. Robert did painstaking work, often going into the forest to find wild vines growing, and going to seed banks to resurrect these grapes. Robert’s son Bernard continued this work, and now his sons Florent and Romain have taken up the cause of natural wines in Gaillac.
The terroir in Gaillac is made up of clay, limestone, sand, and silex soils. Gaillac receives more sunshine than Bordeaux and is graced by a cool maritime climate. Between the historic family vineyard of Très Cantous and the Roucou-Cantemerle vineyard totaling 20-hectares, they farm Mauzac Vert, Mauzac Noir, Ondenc, Duras, Muscadelle, and Prunelart. To drink the wines from Plageoles is to experience the fruit and terroir of living history.
The Plageoles are one of the oldest winemaking families in the AOC, and they are thoroughly invested in retaining the traditions and quality of the AOC that had been often overlooked, however, have now been receiving well-deserved praise.