Bordeaux co-operative puts Rhone varieties in its Vins de France

Friday February 19 2021 by Vitisphere

 The new label’s retail price is €6.40 /bottle. The new label’s retail price is €6.40 /bottle.

If ever one technique was associated with Bordeaux it is the art of blending. But that technique has been taken into uncharted territory by the Bordeaux Families co-operative group (formerly Union de Guyenne). Under the new Malette brand, the Louis Vallon and Sauveterre-Blasimon-Espiet wineries “are blending local grape varieties with varieties from other regions to avoid simply replicating Bordeaux red wine and labelling it Vin de France”, sums up Bordeaux Families MD Philippe Cazaux.

The wineries have thus launched a complementary blend offsetting the potency of Cabernet-Sauvignon from Bordeaux with the sweetness of a Rhone Valley Grenache. Another label focusing on the roundness of Gironde Merlot and the power of Rhone Valley Syrah is due to be released. “We are combining the coolness of the Ocean with the sun-kissed ripeness of the Rhone Valley”, stresses Cazaux, who claims that the idea stemmed from a stand the Bordeaux co-operative shared with Brunel Père et Fils based at Château de la Gardine in Châteauneuf du Pape.

This approach to blending French wines, which is deliberately modern and undeniably iconoclastic, aims to diversify Bordeaux Families’ range of wines to respond to new drinking occasions. “Bordeaux is the perfect food-friendly wine – it has an identified style and time-honoured grape varieties. To target the aperitif and other drinking occasions [without food], we are not focusing on concentration but aromatic expression”, explains Cazaux. The winery director, who advocates a multi-faceted array of wines, is working on new projects under the Vin de France designation, but also IGP Pays de l'Atlantique.

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