Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Patrick Rols' Chenin Blanc from the Averyron
2010 la coccinelle, Vin de pays de l'Aveyron, Patrick Rols
Back label giving brief details
Note deposit@the bottom of the bottle
This 100% Chenin Blanc from Patrick Rols in Conques in the Aveyron, which is amongst the least populated French départment is the first of a small case of samples from Les Caves de Pyrène, which I will be tasting over the next few days.
Some may be surprised that Chenin Blanc is grown down in the Aveyron. In fact it is the white variety of two small appellations nearby – Entraygues et du Fel and Estaing. Quite why Chenin Blanc ended up as the principal variety of this rather hidden part of France is something I need to research.
Here is Douglas Wregg's (Cave de Pyrène) bio on Patrick Rols and explanation about his wines:
'Patrick’s domaine is in the village of Conques, in the Aveyron, the undiscovered heart of the South West. The total vineyard area is a piffling 6 hectares. Although vines had been established in the Aveyron region by Burgundian monks in the middle ages, these were subsequently wiped out by phylloxera and the two world wars. Patrick replanted on a beautiful site overlooking the village on predominantly schist soils. He farms organically, and also uses biodynamics treatments. His vineyard received a certificate for organic farming from the agency Qualité France in 2009. Patrick uses either barriques or ’foudres’ to carry out the alcoholic fermentation of his white wines.'
La cochinelle is the French for ladybird – a very useful insect that eats many unwanted insects. Of course, if you stray weedkiller over your vineyards, you won't have any ladybirds. Indeed you vineyard will have few, if any, insects and no biodiversity. Patrick Rols doesn't use weedkiller at all in his six hectares of vines, so should get plenty of ladybirds and other insects.
Light golden colour with ripe apple aromas and flavours plus good typical Chenin acidity in the finish. Also there is a touch of sweetness in the finish and some oak. Should not be served too cool. I enjoyed this as an aperitif. It was also a fair match with a very good piece of smoked haddock (bought from Billings in Sydenham High Street) and served with a cream and horseradish sauce.
Patrick Rols la coccinelle, 2010 Vin de pays de l'Aveyron