Everyone is talking about the wines from Cotes de Gascogne, and it's easy to see why; there's no better quality-price ratio in France. Whites are fresh and lively; rosés are pretty and red wines are structured and fruit-forward.
What was once a region devoted to producing Armagnac, a fine grape-based spirit with similarities to Cognac, is now a playground for talented winemakers making superb wine with local grapes in a splendid terroir with no equal.
The very same Atlantic influence that makes wine from Bordeaux so exclusive is felt in Gascony too. It clashes with the warm breeze coming up from the Mediterranean for a unique terroir. Added to that, you have varied soils and altitudes, and that right there is a recipe for success.
Cotes de Gascogne is challenging France's wine laws, producing wine way above its supposed quality level, the Vin de Pays. Gascony is stealing the spotlight from more prestigious regions with their own appellations. Amateurs and Connoisseurs are finding in Gascony's hills a source for delicious wine of great value. Here's all you need to know about Cotes de Gascogne.
Cotes de Gascogne was recognised as a quality wine-growing region in 1968 and gained its actual name in 1974. One of France's most exported wines for its immense quality and extraordinary quality-price ratio, Cotes de Gascogne has positioned itself as a source for fine wine in the Sudoest and it's vastly superior to others in its quality tear.
Cotes de Gascogne is not an AOC (yet) but an Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP), known earlier as Vin de Pays. This gives winemakers abundant freedom to develop wine with the local grapes available to them in a more relaxed frame with extraordinary results.
The most exclusive producers in the area have an ancient relationship with the Armagnac industry, which shares Cotes de Gascogne's production area. The vineyards that give birth to the acclaimed wine-based spirit are behind Gascony's most delectable wine.
Cote de Gascogne’s IGP covers a total 11,700 hectares around the towns of Cazaubon, Condom, d'Eauze, Fleurance, Jegun, Lectoure, Montesquiou, Montréal, Nogaro, Riscle, Plaisance, d'Aignan, Valence-sur-Baïse et Vic-Fezensac.
An Oceanic climate blesses the whole region with Mediterranean Influence for ideal humidity levels and warmth that give birth to extraordinarily fresh white wine and robust, age-worthy red wine.
Grape Varieties and Blends
With similarities to neighbouring Bordeaux and the Sudouest, producers at Cotes de Gascogne have an array of grape varieties to play with, both white and red.
The most important white grapes are Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc, but the autochthonous Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Ugni Blanc play a part, too.
Other allowed white varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Gris, L'arrufiac, Chenin, Clairette, Courbu, Petit Courbu, Folle Blanche, Sémillon, Viognier and others.
The most grown red varieties are Merlot, Tannat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Côt (Malbec). Other allowed red varieties include Manseng Noir, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Courbu Noir and others.
Producers can make rosé with the same red varieties as above, with the addition of particular white grapes for up to 20% of the final blend.
As an IGP, Cotes de Gascogne producers have more grape varieties at their disposal than the region's AOCs. Still, most of the wine is based only on a handful of varieties that ripen in the area with an aim on the highest quality possible.
Buy Cotes de Gascogne IGP Wines from Hourlier Wines
Hourlier Wines is always on the hunt for the most prestigious wine producers globally to develop close, long-lasting relationships. We’re proud to work with a select group of producers in each wine region of France.
Cotes de Gascogne is no different; the region has countless large and small producers, from which Domaine Horgelus stands out. The family-owned operation has been making wine in the region since 1978. Joseph Le Menn is one of the most dedicated winemakers in the area championing rosé, white and red wine. Here are a few exclusive Cotes de Gascogne wines to try from our extensive catalogue.
This fantastic Rosé made with 30% Merlot, 35% Tannat and 35% Cabernet is bracing and fruity with lovely mineral undertones that give new layers of pleasure to the palate. With a mild-to-moderate alcoholic warmth and all vegan ingredients, this stunning example of Gascogne's hillsides is ideal as an apéritif and with light sea-scented appetisers.
The region's famous blend of 75% Colombard, 25% Sauvignon come together for the most prized type of wine in Gascogne — white wine. Light, refreshing, herbal and displaying white fruit in the nose. This one is a crowd-pleaser. Elegant and easy to drink, Horelus white wine is all about versatility. Enjoy with white fish, prawns and lobster.
This towering red wine is built to last and provides endless nuanced aromas of currants, blackberries and tobacco leaves over a structured, bold palate. A 60% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 40% Tannat blend, this black beauty displays Gascony's generous fruit and is a perfect match for grilled meats, barbecues and duck confit.
Where does Cotes de Gascogne IGP wine originate?
Cotes de Gascogne wine is produced in a large region overlapping the AOCs Armagnac, Madiran and St-Mont. The area is known for its grape production for spirits but has gained popularity recently for its delicious wine.
What does Cotes de Gascogne IGP wine taste like?
Producers at Cotes de Gascogne can make rosé, white and red wine. The white wine is the most impressive for the fresh Atlantic winds that cool down the vineyards. Expect the rosé to be light and fruity, the white wine to be utterly refreshing, and the red wine to be bold and robust.
Which food groups pair well with Cotes de Gascogne IGP wine?
White Cotes de Gascogne is the ideal partner for light dishes, including salads, fresh cheese and pâté. They're also wonderful with raw fish, sushi, sashimi and whitefish.
Red Cotes de Gascogne can tackle the heartiest of preparations, including grilled beef, pit-fired goat and lamb, and hearty meat stews.