Have you ever tried the warm, authentic, and inviting wines from Southwest France? In 2017, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Southwest France Wine Region of the Year. After attending a small party back in April where wines of Southwest France were served, I can certainly see why!
In today’s article, I am discussing two different types of red wines. Some of the world’s most well known and most-planted red grape varieties originated in Southwest France are Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Tannat. Even more are not found anywhere else in the world, like Duras and Négrette.
Although this article is on reds, the Southwest of France has something for everyone: From effervescent bubbles to lively rosé, crisp white wines to hearty red blends, even sweet wines! Trust the wines from Southwest France to be a huge hit at your next holiday party or a quiet night in.
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The region of Southwest France grows many of the same grape varieties as Bordeaux but with the addition of more rare varieties that you may never have tried before. In terms of geography, the region is all of Southwest France with the exception of Cognac and Bordeaux. Additionally, Southwest France boasts 120,000 acres of land that is not densely populated. In other words, the grapes have peace and quiet to grow. 😉
Cahors is an appellation that produces exceptional Malbec. If you enjoy Malbec from Argentina, perhaps try it from Cahors? They are the OG after all!! It has a lighter and leaner style than its South American cousin and is sure to be a fantastic and welcoming crowd pleaser.
Another interesting Appellation to explore is Madiran. This is where the grape Tannat is grown. Most red blends contain a minimum of 60% Tannat. Like the name alludes, Tannat is a tannic grape and therefore produces wine with lots of tannins (which I personally love). BONUS: Tannat has FOUR TIMES MORE the amount of cancer protecting polyphenols than both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Wine not open up a bottle of Tannat tonight?
These are three different examples of wines from Southwest France. I’m not promoting these particular wines (although they are very good) but just showing them as examples of different reds from Southwest France.
Tannat Cab Franc Blend: Herbaceous with notes blackberries, vanilla, peppers, red fruits fruits. The Tannat tannins are softened by the addition of Cab Franc, high acid and a full bodied wine.
Malbec: Very fruit forward Malbec, notes of plum and vanilla. lively and enjoyable.
Malbec Merlot Blend: This wine is more lean than an Argentine Malbec, notes of plum, blackberry, and blueberry, nice finish
Well everyone thanks for reading! I really enjoyed sharing what I’ve learned so far on Wines of Southwest France. If there’s another wine region that you all are interested in learning more about, please reach out to me and I’ll be happy to write a future article!