Madiran wine from Southwest of France

December 26, 2010
About Wines from Southwest wine regions of France
Best wine supplier in Philippines discusses wine related topics

Madiran Wine
Madiran is an appellation for robust red wines from a particular area around the village of Madiran, in the South West of France. Madiran represents very well the rustic character of southern French wine, with its dry, tannic red wines, which are a contrast and complement to the white wines of Jurancon, just 25 miles (40km) to its south.

The terroirs of Madiran are divided into two clear types; those on the higher ground in the hills and those in the valleys and lower-lying land. The flinty, sedimentary rock of the hills gets very hot and dry in summer, and provides distinct growing conditions from the heavier, cooler, moisture-retaining clay soils in the valleys. The two soil types are reflected in the wines they eventually produce, and many Madiran winemakers blend them together to achieve a balanced style.

The climate here is maritime, but becomes more continental to the south west and north east of the area, giving an overall average annual temperature of 54.5°F (12.5°C). The region’s rainfall is on average 1000mm per year, and is biased towards a wetter spring and a drier summer.

The grape varieties which are sanctioned for the creation of Madiran’s wines are Cabernet Franc (also known as Bouchy here), Fer Servadou, Cabernet Sauvignon and the all-important Tannat. Tannat must make up between 40% and 60% of the final blend, which is what makes the resulting wine so characterful and distinctive. The Tannat grape, as its name suggests, is very high in tannins, and brings a certain astringency to Madiran wines. Historically the wines have been famous for needed many years’ bottle ageing before becoming palatable. The thick skin of the variety, and its numerous pips are the source of these tannins. The stems of all grape varieties naturally contain high levels of tannin, so destemming (or egrappage in French) is required under the Madiran appellation law. This measure is intended to balance out the overall tannin levels in the finished wine.

Modern producers employ several methods to make their wines approachable at a younger age. In the early stages of production, these methods include the vigorous selection of only the ripest grapes, whose tannins are less astringent, and avoiding the intensive pressing which squeezes the tannins out from the skins and pips. Micro-oxygenation and barrel maturation in new oak are two methods which are being engaged at the later stages of the winemaking process, resulting in a more rounded, supple style of Madiran which is appealing to the modern wine consumer.


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How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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