Olly Smith and Serge Dubs blend Plaimont Producteurs’ Le Faîte

Assemblage du Faîte 2017 -web

On Monday 30th January, Olly Smith and Serge Dubs, World’s Best Sommelier 1989, Head Sommelier of l’Auberge de l’Ill, presided the annual blending ceremony of Le Faîte in Saint Mont, Gascony, South West France. Every year, restaurant owners, chefs, independent wine shops, and wine distributors from France, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK come together to blend both Le Faîte red and le Faîte white, Plaimont Producteurs’ top cuvees.

Every cuvee is a unique blend of the best terroir expressions of Saint Mont. The clay and limestone soils give power and ageing potential to the wines. The sandy soils of Aignan are well known for their finesse and elegance. The clay and pebbly soils surrounding Saint-Mont give density and character

Le Faîte 2015 Red:

The climate in 2015 was favourable with very sunny and warm days and cold nights. The blend No.5 was chosen. The final blend contains 60% pebbly-clay soils, 30% tawny sand and 10% limestone.

  • Olly Smith: ”A powerful but well balanced and structured wine. It is a wine that needs ageing; you will have to be patient.”
  • Serge Dubs: ”Its first quality is its youth. Ripe tannins, balanced and straightforward. It will keep this character and its unique qualities for many years.”

Le Faîte 2016 White:

The first part of the year was rainy until July, ideal for the varieties growing at the piedmont. The second part was dry and warm, which helped to achieve an ideal maturity. The blend No.5 was chosen: 65% Gros Manseng vinified in oak barrels (4 to 5 years old minimum), 30% Petit Corbu vinified in tanks and 5% Arrufiac.

  • Olly Smith: “It combines the freshness and exuberance of the Saint Mont wines.”
  • Serge Dubs: “It is the most thorough blend. Somewhere between caress, voluptuousness and freshness, it will offer numerous food pairings opportunities.”

THE SAINT MONT HAT-TRICK

Impression

Bouteille PlaimontThis summer a new wine has been added to  PLAIMONT Producteurs range : Le Hat-Trick.

The Saint Mont’s winemakers have achieved a “Hat-Trick” by highlighting the 3 indigenous grape varieties of the appellation :

-       Gros Manseng

-       Petit Courbu

-       Arrufiac

The rabbit is a humorous nod to illustrate the magic of 3 rare and original grape varieties of Saint Mont. When they come together, it is truly enchanting: the white wine has a great aromatic complexity.

Lively and extremely fresh, this is a rich, well-balanced wine with seductive aromas of grapefruit, peach, pear and apricot. A crisp finish.

Two new organic wines by Plaimont

Composition1

Attentive as always to defending the true identity of our wines and our terroir with the utmost respect for the environment, we have launched two new organic wines – Colombelle “Bio” – IGP Côtes de Gascogne white, and Nature Secrète – AOC Saint Mont red. Both wines received a warm welcome by journalists and customers alike during the recent Vinexpo wine fair which took place in Bordeaux in June. They highlight a new organic approach undertaken by Plaimont over the last 5 years.

11th “Golden Barrel” Auction

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The prestigious event initiated over 10 years ago by Plaimont Producteurs and the Cave de Crouseilles was held on Monday 5th November 2012 at the Château de Crouseilles, in the presence of some 200 people made up of professionals from France and around the world.

14 barrels of sweet Pacherenc and one barrel of dry white Pacherenc of the 2011 vintage, a year which has been unanimously described as exceptional by oenologists, and a lot made up of premium vintages were up for sale. Prices quickly took off once again this year….

The “Golden Barrel” went to Nicolas Tortigue from Madiran. His Pacherenc with its explosive aromas won over the assembly. A local supermarket buyer became the proud owner of this barrel for a cost of 12 000€.

Other fiercely contested lots found takers in China, England, the Netherlands, Latvia…

Once again, the success of this sale confirms the role of Plaimont Producteurs as a recognised and key player in the wines of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.

As is the case each year, the profits from the barrel selling at the highest price is donated to an association involved in the restoration of the Vic-Bilh heritage.

Saint Mont vineyard becomes a protected historic landmark

vigne pré-phylloxerique

A parcel of vines close to 200 years old in the Saint Mont appellation, South West France has become the first vineyard in France to be officially recognised as a protected historic landmark by the French government run Regional and Heritage Sites Commission of the Midi-Pyrénées (CRPS).

Situated in the village of Sarragachies in the Gers department, this unique parcel of vines of just 1/2 acre was listed due to its “exceptional character and cultivation methods over the past century”. The vineyard benefits from a sandy sub-soil which has enabled it to resist Phylloxera, the insect that decimated entire wine regions around Europe in the late nineteenth century.

For generations, the owners have passionately protected this vineyard using traditional viticultural methods such as double vine-stock planting where two vine-stocks are planted together in a square layout rather than traditional rows. These methods have all but disappeared in modern winemaking.

Showing the biodiversity of the region’s vineyard, this plot contains around 20 individual different grape varieites, including seven unidentified to date by leading viticulture and ampelographic experts such as Jean-Michel Boursiquot, Thierry Lacombe and Olivier Yobrégat.

This recognition, a first in France, is the culmination of a longstanding commitment by Plaimont Producteurs and their desire to not only preserve the heritage of these historical vineyards but to guarantee the future of these appellations from the Pyrenean foothills.

Commenting on this recognition, Oliver Bourdet-Pees, Managing Director for Plaimont said “We are absolutely delighted to gain such a prestigious recognition. It is in this region that a great number of grape varieties used in the South-West and Atlantic coast were born, such as Cabernet  Sauvignon” he explains. “Some varietals in this ancient vineyard have been completely forgotten and we are still carrying out tests to determine what they are.” Bourdet-Pees adds.

Plaimont Producteurs are actively involved in ampelography (the study of vines and grapes) and set up the Conservatory of Saint Mont in 2002, where they have saved many grapes from extinction, including Pinenc, Petit Courbu and Arrufiac, which are now used in the majority of the company’s wines.

In 2010, Olivier Bourdet-Pees and Plaimont founder André Dubosc held the inaugural Ampelographic seminar in Saint Mont to highlight the studies and the 60 unique, lesser-known grape varieties, synonymous with the South-West of France.

PLAIMONT WINES IN PRIDE OF PLACE

Wine Enthusiast carre

2012 was once again a year of medals and awards for the winemakers of Plaimont and Crouseilles. In April a number of our wines were very well-noted in the extremely influential magazine, “Wine Enthusiast”, a veritable wine bible for American connoisseurs. The Madiran Collection 2007 was given 91 (out of 100); Saint-Mont’s Empreinte, 90 and Colombelle L’Original, 86. Such high notes for our main appellations (AOC Madiran and Saint Mont, IGP Côtes de Gascogne) are irrefutable proof of the excellent quality and typicity of our wines.

COLOMB’FIZZ

This spring, two new references have been added to Plaimont Producteurs’ already large range of wines. In 2012, Plaimont’s winemakers produced a new white and rosé cuvee which embodies the festive and convivial traditions of the region : Colomb’Fizz combines fine bubbles with a fresh, fruity, intensely aromatic wine. Slightly sparkling, low in alcohol and with a modern packaging, Colomb’Fizz is the perfect wine for a simple aperitif between friends or for life’s more intense moments.

MADIRAN CELEBRATES SPRINGTIME

Visuel Madiran Fait le Printemps

Over the last few years, Madiran wines produced by Plaimont Producteurs and the Cave de Crouseilles have been celebrated all over France during May and June. A huge poster campaign is launched over the whole of South-West France, particularly along the Atlantic coast. Events and tastings, sometimes with live music, are organised in many of the largest regional towns. This year Nantes was chosen to highlight the publicity campaign and thirty or so cafés and restaurants dedicated a week to Madiran with tastings taking place in a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. In Pau, the Maison Bachelet (with Laetitia Gaborit, holder of the prestigious title, Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Best Craftsman/Craftswoman of France) under the auspices of the renowned cheese-maker, Gabriel Bachelet, held a weekend of “Madiran-Cheese Combinations” on 27-28 April. In Toulouse, a large number of restaurants also celebrated Madiran with tastings on 23-24-25 May 2012 (Aéroplane, La Cantina, Le Grand Zinc, Bistrot de Thibault, Le First, Le Ribouldingue …) .

SAINT-MONT APPELLATION

Les Vignerons de Saint Mont

On 16 March in the beautiful setting of the Monastery of Saint-Mont, the appellation presented its first AOC vintage to local councillors, former and present-day winemakers and everyone behind the movement to acquire the status of Appellation d’Origine Controlée. Saint-Mont became an AOC wine, validated by INAO (the National Institute of Appellations d’Origine) in 2011. Having long been recognised by its peers and professionals of the wine industry, Saint-Mont is now slowly gaining a well-deserved reputation from the general public. The AOC status is synonymous with quality both nationally and internationally so, added to the appellation’s dynamic approach, it will, without doubt, help speed this process along.

SAINT MONT «EN LA TRADITION»

Etiquette En le Tradition

Within the next few weeks one of Plaimont’s leading brands, “En La Tradition” (AOC Saint-Mont available in red, white and rosé) will have an entire makeover with totally different graphics giving it a new visual identity. The new label depicting a winegrower’s hand carefully holding a grape, fully illustrates the values of the brand and, more than that, the core values of the Plaimont group: the importance of handing tradition down through generations of winegrowers with – always – the overriding ethos of quality and attention to detail.