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October 20, 2011

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Good vintages from Bergerac

THE wine in Bergerac, a sub-prefecture of the Dordogne department in southwest France, inspired Edmond Rostand to write the romance "Cryano de Bergerac."

The area's wine-growing region encompasses 93 villages over 12,000 hectares. It extends from the Bordeaux appellations of St Emilion, west along the Dordogne river to Le-Buisson-de-Cadouin lying in the east.

Terroir and climate

Bergerac features either a limestone or sandy gravel soil, which are suitable for various grapes.

Water permeable limestone soil, mainly in the left riverbank, gives the landscape a chalky white appearance, which is suitable for cultivating rounded and fruity Merlot while the sandy gravel soil is perfect for Cabernet Franc.

The local continental climate goes well with the soil. In the winter, the vines get a long rest while in the summer, the abundant sunlight helps the grapes reach ideal maturity.

Grapes and wines

Generally, the red wine produced here blends Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The white wines blend Semillon, Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc.

The following three representative AOC wines from Bergerac are available in Shanghai.

? Foncaussade Rose, Bergerac, 2009

The wine, blending Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, has a bright pink red color, a sweet litchi fruit aroma and touches of strawberry on the palate. It's an easy drinking rose with balanced structure and good length, going well with seafood and cold meats.

? Chateau Poulvere, Bergerac, 2009

This is a wine using Bergerac style vinification. Grapes are pressed first and then kept in barrels for fermentation. The fermentation is slow and controlled at 18 degrees Celsius so that the fruit fragrance can be well kept.

The wine using Sauvignon Blanc as the main variety, is bright pale yellow in color, releases a fruity fragrance of lemon and grapefruit, gives the palate a lively and energetic sense. It can be an aperitif or paired with seafood and fish.

? Arnozan, Cotes de Bergerac, Moelleux, Cotes de Bergerac 2010

It's a wine blending Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, with a brilliant golden color, intense note of creamy vanilla and sweet honey and a balanced taste. The vineyard's limestone gives the wine a smooth character.


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