One of the virtually forgotten appellations of southwest France that is known to many French consumers but deserves to be rediscovered internationally. It is argued that Gaillac is the birthplace of wine in France, perhaps pre-dating the Romans, and in years gone by the rich, dark Gaillac wines contributed to the success of the much younger Bordeaux region where they were blended with the local, paler wines prior to export, but they have failed to maintain much of a name for themselves since. This is partly because the local varieties are little known and barely ever planted elsewhere, but it’s also due to the difficulty of competing against the massive Bordeaux marketing machine.
Spread out across 1,600 ha of rolling hills north of Toulouse, fed and influenced by the Rivers Garonne and Tarn, the modern-day Gaillac AOC is home to the full gamut of red, dry white, sparkling and sweet wines. Indigenous grape varieties used include Mauzac, Len de l’El and Ondenc for the whites and Duras and Braucol for the reds, all of which are increasingly blended with Cabernets, Sauvignons, Gamay and/or Merlot. The distinguishing feature of the red wines is their spiciness and depth, and they gain in structure from being aged in barrel.
Anyone fond of Bordeaux and open to new ideas will find plenty to excite their palate in Gaillac.
Our Gaillac Selection
|Harmonie, Dom René Rieux, Gaillac rouge, 2014|
|Hyperbole, Dom René Rieux, Gaillac rouge, 2008|