Friedrich Nietzche once said, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” Nothing could be closer to the truth for the families associated with Domaine du Tariquet, one of France’s truly iconoclastic wineries. The winery’s history is a ripe one, featuring one founder who was a 19th century bear trainer and another who was injured so badly in World War I that he suffered from amnesia for years. It is no wonder that this producer of Bas Armagnac brandies began to make white wines in 1982, and in doing so, the winery turned a number of preconceptions about French wines on their heads.
If there was a bad boy of French wine, then in 1982, Yves Grassa, the winemaker at Domaine du Tariquet, was definitely that person. Gascony was considered the land of armagnac brandy, not wines, and especially not wines that made shocking combinations, such as pairing chardonnay with sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc with chardonnay. Such things were simply not done. The passage of time has proven that the Tariquet way is successful, and these cutting-edge wines are especially popular in the United States. Even better given their French provenance, Tariquet wines are surprisingly affordable.
Here are a few Domaine du Tariquet wines to keep an eye out for;
- Classic is the signature bottling of Domaine du Tariquet. A blend of ugni blanc, colombard, sauvignon blanc and gros manseng, this wine is characterized by floral and fruit overtones and would be a great pairing for shellfish, poached chicken, and seafood.
- Cote is Tariquet’s famous chardonnay and sauvignon blanc blend. Apparently, it was first created by accident during a particularly stressful harvest when the winemakers were trying to finish before an oncoming rainstorm. However, Cote proves that the unusual blend of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc can and does work when vinified correctly.
- Chenin-Chardonnay is a chenin blanc-dominant wine that pairs Chenin’s native minerality with the richness of chardonnay. A food-friendly white wine, try this with chicken, seafood, and charcuterie dishes.
Disclosure: I received a sample of these products from Domaine du Tariquet for review. No other compensation from Domaine du Tariquet was received.