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Gascony – wines from Plaimont

Map of the Gers departementThe epic story of the Côtes de Saint-Mont vineyards began in the fourth century BC, when the first plants were imported by the Greeks. It is thus one of the oldest vineyards in France. Then one witnessed an important development from 1050 with the founding of the Saint-Mont Abbey by Benedictine monks. The monks were particularly interested by an area already colonised by the vine. The ‘crus’ developed and these ‘fine wines from Gascony’ were exported to the United Kingdom as early as the 14th century. Today the appellation Côtes de Saint-Mont stretches over 49 villages in the Gers. Wines are considered as ‘discovery wines’ or ‘terroir wines’ and are experiencing a promising revival. As far back as the 11th CenturyLogo the arrival of Benedictine monks (from the Abbey de Marcillac in Burgundy) helped to improve the wines of the area, and being on one of the roads to Santiago de Compostella they quickly acquired a reputation
In the heart of Gascony (Gascogne) the landscape is of gently rolling hills with good soil and exposure to the sun. The climate is gentle and ideal for maturing grapes in late season.
VDQS is the abbreviation for VIN DÉLIMITÉ DE QUALITÉ SUPERIEURE – a classification which is slightly more generous than full Appellation Controllée (AC) status. As such it is a guarantee that the wines come from a small specific geographical area, and must contain certain minimum percentages of specified grape varieties (usually traditional to the area), and hence conform broadly to a particular style, However, there is more flexibility for the winemaker in yields and the addition of other grape varieties in the blend. We like to think of them mainly as Very Delicious Quaffing Selections, but are also capable of producing some really fine and serious wines. This is another example of the French classification system becoming less relevant, as all three wines which we stock from the Côtes de St Mont are much better than many other wines we have tasted which are classified as “Appellation Controllée!

VIGNERONSPRODUCTEURS PLAIMONT. We generally prefer to work with smaller individual domaines, but the Plaimont co-operative is streets ahead of other co-ops – producing excellent and distinctive wines of consistent quality at keen prices. It has had the benefit of good management and leadership, which has ensured that, unlike many co-operatives, it does not work at the comfort level of the weakest members. Instead it has been visionary and innovative, and most importantly places the highest emphasis on wine quality.