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Say It With Me Now...

Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl Sec from Château Viella – and a perfect pairing

It had been been a long time since we’d been able to bring in one of the great white wines of the Southwest of France. We missed them, but Alain Bortolussi at Château Viella finally had enough for us to bring in a small amount of his dry, (say it with me now), Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl.

If you’ve never experienced wine like this, it’s a revelation. The most important indigenous white grapes of the Southwest in appellations such as Pacherenc, Irouleguy, and Jurançon include Gros Manseng, Arrufiat, and Petit Manseng, all grown to varying degrees depending on local preferences. They are a “Basque” tradition.

Generally the wines will have aromatics of quince and lime with good minerality, making them a delicious respite on a hot summer day with tapas and grilled fish, or as a quaffing, thirst-quencher. The Château Viella Pacherenc du Vic-Bihl Sec (dry), kicks it up a few notches, with low yields in the vineyard, (neutral) barrel fermentation and aging with battonage. All of this gives the wine a denser, plusher mouthfeel without giving up freshness. It was rockin’ last night with the poor fellow in the pan above, served with a mélange of grilled and sautée fennel, radicchio, and brussel sprouts (cleaning out the fridge:).

If we still have some of this spectacular wine by the time you read this - jump all over it. You won’t regret it– DM

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