Bergerac & southwest France, France
Chateau Grinou- 2016
Named after the young partridges that are often spotted amongst the wild flowers in their vineyards. A hugely enjoyable red Vin de France from the south west of the country that is similar in style to a good Bergerac (its near neighbour) but much more affordable. The excellent length of flavour belies its modest price tag.
It was back in the early 1980s that Guy and Catherine Cuisset first set about changing the destiny of the idyllically situated Château Grinou in the hamlet of Monestier. Having inherited the 35 hectare estate from his father, Guy was adamant that he did not want to continue to sell his fruit to the local co-operative but instead he wanted to produce and market his own wines under his own estate label. A bold decision back then. Ever since Château Grinou has been on a upward trajectory of quality. A second major step-change came in 2009 when Guy decided to convert to organic viticulture and winemaking, having been greatly encouraged and helped by his two sons, Gabriel and Julien. The health of not only his vines, but also the flora and fauna of his vineyards and the immediate surrounding environment as well as his family and team was and always will be of paramount importance. Situated within the Bergerac appellation Guy and family may well benefit from good tourism trade, especially visitors from these shores, but the underlying international reputation of the Bergerac name has been greatly undermined by the low-price bulk-wine of the large negociant businesses over the last 25 years or so. As a result, the Cuisset family decided to add two eye-catching, contemporary 'Vins de France' to their wine portfolio in order to offer an alternative vision of wine that can be produced in this region - namely the deliciously drinkable pair of 'Les Petites Perdix' wines, one red and one dry white. The label translates to ‘the young partridges’ often seen sheltering in all the friendly ‘weeds’ growing amongst their vines. Working with more freedom and flair than the rather dated laws of the Bergerac appellation permits, they have been able to coax even more expression out of their terroir whilst offering excellent value at the same time.
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