Three French Wine Gifts – Part II

Dry white French wines

Domaine Lafage in the terroir Catalan

“He who knows how to taste will never drink wine anymore, but will taste its secrets.”
Salvador Dali

Authentic vintners seem to roll many qualities into their care of the land. Domaine Lafage describes its’ role as “Sculptors of Vines – in pursuit of a concentrated substance. Whatever their talents or choice of words, the end results of their efforts are revered and respected.

About the Domaine

As spring draws to an end, and summer peeks around the corner; the Lafage Estate vineyards reveal an excess of leaves and grape clusters, that begin to drop to ground level. To control their production, the Lafage team thins the vines in a delicate ‘operation’ that requires meticulous care. Their goal? To guarantee ripe fruit and a strong, balanced wine with a tropical alcohol blend.

Southern France dry white wine

Leaf thinning in the vineyards

The land itself plays an important role. The Lafage Estate stretches among heath and pine over a little more than 200 hectares (nearly 500 acres). Overlooking the 138-hectare cultivated vineyards is the ancient stone farmhouse, set along the road between Perpignan and the shores of the Mediterranean.The Domaine enjoys spectacular views of the Albères, an extension of the Pyrenees mountains that form a natural border between France and Spain in a region Lafage calls “the terroir Catalane.

To the hillside lay of the land, nature combines southern sunlight and a touch of briny sea breeze to enhance the novelty of the white Grenache, Muscat and Shiraz varietals. And much to the delight of those French travelers who enjoy tastings, the Estate entrance includes a boutique for tasting and learning about the Domaine’s wine offerings.

Lafage Wine Collection

Lafage Cote Est Wines

One of the most sought-after winemakers of Europe, Jean-Marc Lafage, offers his expertise with Southern European varietals to several top French and Spanish estates; but his best work centers around the Lafage Estate. The vineyards cover the eastern side of the hill with greater exposure to the morning sunlight and the benefit of cooler temperatures in the afternoon – parfait for fresh wine!

Today’s Dry White Wine Gift Suggestion

Our recommendation today is for the flavorful Domaine Lafage, “Cote Est” Blanc, 2011, a French wine (bien sur!) imported by Eric Solomon and part of the Appellation Vin De Pays Des Côtes. We prefer dry white wines, and this one is an ideal blend – bursting with citrus, minerals and with a ripe yellow peach and apricot character. The blend includes 45% Grenache Blanc, 48% Grenache Gris and 7% Macabeo varietals, fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the fresh, fruit flavors and aromas. It’s the ideal choice for seafood dishes and chicken or pork.

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