Winery: Château Viella
Region: Madiran, Southwest France
Locale: Gers, in the commune of Viella
Site: Gravelly clay soils with lots of calcaire and chalk. Vineyards sloping gentle to steep, with southern exposure. Every other row left with the grass to prevent erosion and loss of water; lutte raisonée, traceability from grape to bottle.
Grapes: 60% Tannat et 40% Cabernet Franc; vines average about 15 years. Picked at optimal ripeness in early October.
Vinification and aging: Hand picked grapes are destemmed and given a long, 28 day fermentation/maceration. Right after fermentation, Alain gives the wine a dose of micro-oxygenation, which gives the finished product better color, softer tannins, and more fat. Elevage is 30% in 3rd passage barriques for 12 months. The rest of the wine undergoes elevage in stainless steel.
Notes: Beautiful red color, extremely complex aromatics, dark fruited with beautiful soft tannins. This wine drinks well now but will easily reward a decade in a cool, dark cellar.
Pairing: Serve with red meats of all kinds and preparations, and especially, with duck breast.