Les Premières Grives

November 7, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

2007 Domaine du Tariquet, Famille Grasse, Les Premières Grives. (Gers) France. 11%  €16.85 (menu price, not shop)

According to the label’s directions, you should “serve cold and consume as an aperitif. Good with foies gras, fromages à pâte, desserts, fruit salads. Round, structured, rich, a big fresh taste that is dynamic all together.”

It was full-flavoured, juicy and sweet and did make a good aperitif when we had this wine at Brasserie Le France in Narbonne. My father had it pegged as a late harvest. Upon further research, I found out that this wine is made with Gros Manseng and other late-harvest regional grape varieties.

Tracking down where this wine came from was a bit confusing, but I think I have it sorted out. Domaine du Tariquet grows, produces and bottles the wine.  This all takes places in the Bas-Armagnac appellation, or growing area. That area is located in the Gers, which is one of 83 departments created during the French Revolution in 1790.

The Gers was created from what used to be Guyenne and Gascony, and the area is often still referred to as “Gascony.” It is one of the most rural areas of France. It’s in the southwest, about half way between Bordeaux and Toulouse. The department belongs to the Midi-Pyrénées region.

The wine is called “Premières Grives,” which translates to first thrushes. It’s a reference to the birds that arrive late in the fall and eat the mature grapes. Since these grapes have had more time to ripen they have become very sweet, making them irresistible to thrushes and the wine irresistible to all at our table.

For more ideas, read over the France by the Glass wine list.