Symphonie: A Galliac Wine
Posted by fromagebob on June 12, 2009
The day before we left Galliac, we stopped at a wine shop to try some wine. It had been recommended by Patricia, our hostess at La Bastide de Servidou. I like Galliac wines; they’re rustic but tasty, and very pleasant. Not expensive, and a great everyday wine. They’re impossible to find in the US, although I am trying, and – to my great distress – being in the region during a holiday, and getting Napolean’s Revenge on the only day we might have tasted just bummed me out.
However, all was not lost, as we drove into Galliac on our way back from Cordes sur Ciel. The shop is owned by a winemaker, and the tastings were of his wines. They were actually quite good, but quite tannic, which is a characteristic of Galliac wines. Myriam did not like them, but I thought they had possibilities. We bought a bottle of a more mellow wine to have with dinner, and a white that Myriam liked, and started to leave, when I remembered that Patricia had given us a coupon for a free bottle of wine.
Back I ran, and was handed a bottle of Symphonie, a white wine by Alain Gayrel. We opened in the other day with some food Myriam picked up from Daily Bread, the middle-eastern restaurant we like. I knew that Riesling was a good pairing, but figured – given the whites we had tried in France – that my Symphonie might prove up to the challenge. I was right.
The wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Mauzac, 50-50. It had a bright yellow-gold color, and a vibrant flavor. If I had to pick something close it would be a tangy Pinot Gris. The wine had the influence of the Sauvignon Blanc, but was a little fruiter and sweet, but not too sweet. There was a hint of grapefruit and citrus, but also a fleshy fruit – perhaps under-ripe peaches. I was hard pressed to pinpoint. The finish was nice, and it really went well with the food. We had spinach pie, kibbeh, labneh, hummus, and baba ganoush, with pita bread.
Gayrel’s Domaines are Les Meritz and Vigné-Laurec. He also makes Galliac reds, blending Braucol, Merlot, Syrah, and Durus. Didn’t try those, but I wouldn’t mind!
Mauzac: According to Jancis Robinsons Oxford Companion to Wine, the Mauzac grape is grown in Galliac and Limoux. It is a traditional grape of both areas, and is usually blended with Len de l’lel in Galliac, and with Chenin and Chardonnay in Limoux. Mauzac ripens latem and was traditionally picked late in the season, but is now picked earlier, giving it fewer flavors and more acidity. The grape is especially suited for sparkling wines. The grape is perhaps best known as one of the components of Blanquette de Limoux sparkling wine, which has been produced since about 1530.