Varieties: 80 % Gros Manseng, 20 % Lauzet
Country, Region: France, South-West France
Appellation: Vin de France
80 % Gros Manseng and 20 % Lauzet, crushed and destemmed then macerated on skins for 13 hours before pressing. Cool-fermented in stainless steel, with partial malolactic conversion, then matured on lees in tank for 5 months.
The fruit for this wine is actually grown within the appellation of Jurançon, but the vines at this site are planted at 3 000 vines per hectare, whereas the appellation Jurançon requires planting at 5 000 vines per hectare. Hence the Vin de France appellation.
'A very beautiful intensity, the nose reveals aromas of white flesh fruits along with notes of citrus and spices. In the mouth, the round and supple attack leads into a complex palate of fruity and exotic flavors. A wine of conviviality and pleasure to be appreciated as an aperitif or at the beginning of a meal. Tapas, Sushi, Brunch.' Winemaker's note.
The appellation Jurançon is well-loved by sommeliers and found in all the best restaurants of France and around the world, yet sadly it remains off the radar for many wine lovers. Not so nearly 500 years ago when the future King of France Henry IV, was baptised in Pau with the traditional garlic and a spoonful of Jurançon wine. That year was 1553 and just five years later in 1558 a small rural property was entered into the register of lands under the name Caussapé. And it was on this property in 1980, then his parents’ farm, that Henri Ramonteau established Domaine Cauhapé.
Since those beginnings on just one hectare, Henri has built up the estate to today’s area of 43 ha and become the most renowned producer of Jurançon wines, both dry and sweet. Here, only half an hour west of Pau and 100 km from Biarritz, Domaine Cauhapé enjoys a temperate Atlantic climate in the rain-shadow of the Pyrenées. With the warm, dry föhn wind blowing in from the south and ventilating the vineyard, botrytis is not a factor. The sweet wines are made from late-harvested fruit picked from October onwards, in some years all the way into January, resulting in wines of great complexity and purity.
The estate is planted substantially to the exotic native varieties, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng, whilst Henri has also set about reviving three other old native varieties: Camaralet de Lasseube, Lauzet and Courbu Blanc. All vine work is done by hand and all the fruit is hand-harvested and hand sorted. The sweet wines are picked in successive tries. Vinification is done in a mix of stainless steel and barrel, depending on the cuvée, but it’s Henri’s famously meticulous nature that underwrites the legendary status of the wines.