January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Deep in an area renowned for its independent and strong ancestral culture, the Basque Country is in the southwestern-most part of France, just half an hour from Spain. Here, Irouléguy received its appellation contrôlée in 1970, with about 250 acres of vineyards cultivated by 60 growers. Jean-Claude Berrouet is an Irouléguy native who left home to serve for more than three decades as the winemaker at Château Pétrus. But the Basque region has a powerful pull, and Jean-Claude eventually returned home to his native soil. Appropriately, he named his estate “Herri Mina”; in Basque, herri means “country,” and mina means…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

On some of the most beautiful land in southwest France, Château Tour des Gendres sits in the appellation of Bergerac. This centuries-old stronghold of classic French food and wine culture is located on the bank of the Dordogne River, a 90-minute drive east of Bordeaux. The de Conti family has run the farm here since the early 1900s, but only in 1986 did Luc de Conti and his brother, Jean, decide to plant the vineyard and embark on a new adventure of viticulture and winemaking. In 1994, they became the first in the region to move away from pesticides and…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Pascal Verhaeghe and his brother, Jean-Marc, bring a welcome refinement to the wines of picturesque Cahors, located about an hour and a half east of Bordeaux. Their father began making wines at Château du Cèdre in the 1970s, and the fun-loving sons took over in the 1990s, banning all herbicides and chemicals, and adopting a domaine motto: “Move forward, experience new ways.” Cahors wines are made predominantly from Malbec and known for being powerful, rich and dark. Pascal and Jean-Marc build on these terroir-driven qualities to produce wines that are very polished and remarkably balanced. These wines are quite approachable…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Like generations of growers before him, Charles Hours takes great pride in the rich history and quality wines of Jurançon, a hilly, relatively cool region in southwest France, at the base of the Pyrénées Mountains. Charles is friendly and kind, often found wearing his signature smile and beret while working in the vineyards. For his dry Jurançon Sec, called Cuvée Marie, he employs Gros Manseng. The wine is very expressive, floral and mineral, with great weight on the mid-palate. For his sweet, late-harvest Jurançon, Clos Uroulat, Charles takes several passes through the vineyard, hand-selecting grapes. The small, thick-skinned Petit Manseng…