In wine bards and specialist shops in the region
The name Bergerac strikes a chord but its fame is much older than Cyrano. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the Dutch had a great fondness for wines from this magnificent ‘Purple Périgord’ region.
On both sides of the beautifully calm river, the Dordogne, nearly 14,000 hectares of vines encompass other appellations occupying the hilly landscape.
The terrains are very varied with limestone on the left bank of the Dordogne and some Périgord sand on the right. These are predominantly gravel, limestone and valley slopes. ‘Bergerac’ red is a refined, fruity wine with strawberry, blackcurrant and other red berry fruit aromas. It spends a period of time in barrels, developing vanilla notes. Bergerac rosé is a more recent production. It has a delicate salmon colour and an especially aromatic freshness.
Naturally, the terroir, but above all, Bergerac’s late season climate, has always allowed this region to produce semi-sweet white wines. It was not until the 1950s that consumer tastes changed and Bergerac winemakers began to develop dry white wines. Brilliant and almost clear in colour, dry Bergerac wines are fresh with a wonderful bouquet and distinctive for their lively attack and long-lasting flavours on the palate. Côtes de Bergerac white wines may be semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet depending on their residual sugar content. More colourful than ‘dry’ Bergerac wines, Côtes de Bergerac wines have body, a notably refined juice and a pronounced bouquet.
South of Bergerac, located on the left bank of the Dordogne stretching across the hillsides up to the clay-limestone plateaux, is the Monbazillac A.O.C. In autumn, the area is frequently swamped with morning mists followed by sunny days. This heat and humidity encourage botrytis to develop which is an essential element of all great sweet wine production. Its straw yellow colour darkens and enriches over time and provides a gentle sweetness, powerful, long-lasting flavours on the palate and generous honey, peach and acacia aromas. Already enjoyable in its youth, it gains finesse with ageing, developing a delicate and subtle almost sublime bouquet over time.
Predominantly Sauvignon, blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle, this special Montravel terroir produces dry ‘plaisir’ white wines and richer dry whites, aged in barrels. Their distinctive feature? It is, without doubt, their freshness and incredible minerality! Montravel red is a sumptuous wine that responds to very demanding production conditions. The blend includes at least 50% Merlot, particularly suitable for the wonderful hillsides that make up the appellation, creating a supple and elegant wine.
Côtes de Montravel are semi-sweet wines and therefore a little less rich and sweet than Haut-Montravel sweet wines. But what an attractive alternative. A bright yellow straw colour in appearance, they combine aromatic freshness with a roundness on the palate!
Haut-Montravel is a small appellation dedicated to the production of sweet wines across the exceptional area of Montravel. This corresponds to a designated area on the best Montravel terroirs on a crest. Endowed with a beautiful aromatic complexity, Haut Montravel has an excellent ageing capacity. To obtain this Haut-Montravel sweet white wine, like Monbazillac; our winegrowers look for ‘noble rot’ developing. The grapes are harvested exclusively by hand and with successive sorting. Yields are therefore very low. It is through the attentive care our winemakers bestow on the wine during this slow development period that provides such an outstanding character: Sweet, naturally, but also and above all complex aromas of toasted almonds, peaches and dried apricots which are usually enhanced through gentle ageing in barrel.
The originality of this appellation doesn’t need to be demonstrated as it sits on beautiful hilly landscape with very special subsoils (a hard ferruginous layer). A true icon for the region, Pécharmant is looking to the future to maintain its high standing and reputation.
Pécharmant is a powerful, generous and unique wine, with an impressive aromatic intensity and good ageing capacity. Beautifully made, some vintages have a hint of vanilla, fleshy on the palate and aromatic notes of violets and liquorice.
Slightly straw yellow in colour, Rosette is a distinctive semi-sweet wine with a balanced, supple and round character. Rosette semi-sweet wines offer an attractive alternative to more concentrated sweet wines to enjoy on any occasion. Today the men and women making wine in Bergerac have developed the best ways to enhance these wines through their own experience and by taking advantage of modern wine-making techniques giving these wines their own unique personality.
This less known yet essential appellation is located in the South West of Bergerac, set in the hills following on from Monbazillac. Saussignac has around fifteen producers, a large number of whom use organic farming techniques. 13% of the Bergerac vineyard is organically farmed which includes over 30% in the Saussignac appellation!
Saussignac is an exceptional sweet wine which comes from grains with noble lines, picked by successive sorting. This crafted sweet wine is characterised by a full and rich attack on the palate and more notably a remarkable balance between sugar and acidity.