Laguille Rouge de Plaisir Merlot 2016
Guy Vignoli greeted me warmly at about 5pm on a cold November afternoon. We said goodbye at 1am.
Such is the pace in Gascony, France's great southwest. Why rush when we can get to know each other a little bit?
Guy and his wife Colette farm a beautiful 70 hectare farm in the Gers, approximately 2 hours from nowhere and are one of the finest distillers of Armagnac in the area. Their 200 year old copper still is worth the visit on its own and the range of distillates is truly wonderful. This is how Guy has made a name for Domaine de Laguille over the years.
But I showed up looking for everyday red and white wine....this time. What I found were wonderful everday examples of dry reds and whites, the same grapes that become Armagnac, but loooooong before those would ever see market. In fact, Guy explained that most local distillers didn't even bother with regular wine until about 25 years ago, preferring to concentrate only on distilled wines.
But then a funny thing happened. Somebody figured out that the wines were pretty good. And they decided to sell them pretty darn cheaply too. What we get from Laguille at just $13/bottle is kinda sorta remarkable!
Now don't be concerned that this one says Merlot on the label. But also, don't be fooled that this one will age like a Petrus or Cheval Blanc! Instead, you'll find the ultimate bistro red, a juicy, fruit-powered Merlot that helps to wash down a big, hearty cassoulet, the famouse Gascon dish of duck, sausage, and white beans. Yum!