I have to admit that between talking with a lot of people, listening to David Bouley and tasting an array of delicious appetizers, I didn’t get much beyond the white wines. And that is why I’m going to focus on them here, although it is for such red appellations as Cahors, Madiran and others that the region is mainly known.
The most interesting of the whites was the 2009 Saint-Mont “Les Vignes Retrouvées,” also from Plaimont, with apple, pear, honey and spice notes and a good deal of minerality that comes across on an impressively long finish. Made from 70 percent gros marseng, 15 percent petit courbu and 15 percent arrufiac, it was subtle and complex and was an excellent match for a number of appetizers. It’s also a great value at $13. (Imported by Jerome Selection Wines, Brooklyn, New York.)
One red I did get to enjoy was from the Gaillac appellation, Chateau Sainte-Cecile’s 2006 “Cuvee Allegro,” a medium-bodied $13 wine with delicious red berry fruit, violets and lots of earth. It’s a blend of 40 percent syrah, 40 percent braucol and 20 percent duras. (Imported by Jerome Selection Wines, Brooklyn, New York.) When it comes to original wines at relatively modest prices, this and other reds from South West compete very favorably with wines from Bordeaux, the region’s famous neighbor to the north. And the whites are true bargains.