You know the bottle. It was not familiar to me, but from a ‘new to me’ producer, causing a “Hum, I wonder what this is about?” kind of thought. Domaine de Joÿ from Southwest France in Gascony and their L’Envie white wine was that bottle for us. What a delicious surprise! Price: $18 / 15€
French Winophiles Focus On Southwest France
The Sud-Ouest of France is a mélange of things… climate, landscapes, foods, people and definitely wines. Our group, hosted by Linda at My Full Wine Glass, explores the area this month. I know, having visited several times from Bordeaux where I live, the wine surprises are many from the 42, name-protected wine appellations. You can find a list of articles from others in our Winophiles group at the bottom of this post.
The Southwest of France is alive with both wine and food appellations. Map source: Vignobles-Sudouest.fr
A Land Called Joÿ
Swiss family Gessler arrived in Gascony in 1927 in search of land. Their route led them to a dormant property called Joÿ. They revived the exposed slopes, the vines regained their vigor and two years later, they distilled their first Armagnac. Around 1946, they added Colombard and Gros Manseng to the Joÿ vineyard repertoire of grapes. Then in the mid-seventies, they bottled their first white wine and planted red grapes.
Over the years, all generations made improvements including the most recent fourth, who took their operation and 160 ha (395 acres) of Colombard, Gros and Petit Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc, Baco, Folle Blanche, Cab Franc, Syrah, Merlot, and Tannat grapes to earn the highest Haute Valeur Environnementale (HVE) level- number 3. This environmental certification addresses four elements: preservation of biodiversity (insects, trees, hedges, flowers, etc.), plant protection strategy, and management of fertilizer use and water.
The family produces white, rosé and red wines, plus Armagnac in this area having both Atlantic Ocean and Pyrenees mountain influences. They bottle with the Côtes de Gascogne IGP designation, which is used for wines produced in the Armagnac region, as there is not a specific AOC (appellation) for wine.
Vinification: 100% stainless vat fermentation with 4-months of lees aging in the same.
A sniff of L’Envie is like sticking your nose in a bowl of fruit surrounded by flowers. It is ripe with layered aromatics – lemon and lime, kiwi, lychee, citrus blossoms and lemon curd – which follow to each dry sip. The acidity is bright with soft edges. The finish lingers with a stony minerality lightly wrapped in lemon and orange blossoms. Just a lovely bottle for under $15 / 10€. A nice solo sipper and darn good with grilled salmon!
As we were blown away by this wine, we had to open the second.
Domaine de Joÿ Attitude, Terroirs d’Argile, 2018 (Petit Manseng 70%, Colombard 30%)
Put these two high-acid grapes together that are produced on sandy clay soil (Argile) and you get a fresh, bold, high-acid wine. Yet fermentation in new oak, followed by malolactic fermentation, then aging on lees in used oak for twelve months soften it into a beautifully complex wine.
Aroma heaven here: white peach, sweet tea leaves, and brioche wrapped around a core of mixed citrus fruits. I found this wine delicate, yet powerful, the acidity precise and persistent. The crisply mineral finish dusted with white pepper lingers, dancing on your tongue.
“We simply try to pair Joÿ with happiness, whether you are a beginner or an expert in wines and spirits.” Domaine de Joÿ
More to help you discover Sud-Ouest France wines:
- Combel La Serre, A Fresh Perspective on Cahors
- Two Bargains From Bordeaux and Bergerac
- Basque-ing in the Sud-Ouest: The Wines of Irouléguy
- Coteaux de Quercy Road Trip
Enjoy Southwest France wine articles (with pairings and recipes) from other #Winophiles via the links below!
Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Garlic and Herb-Rubbed Standing Pork Rib Roast + Château Laulerie Bergerac Rosé 2020
Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles: Fish, cheese, and red wine. Exploring the Basque region of Irouléguy
Jeff at Food Wine Click!: Deconstructed Tartine & Domaine de L’Astré Pèlroge
Deanna at Wineivore: Organic Negrette & Manseng Wines from SW France Paired with Southwest Sliders
Jane at Always Ravenous: Affordable Wines from Southwest France: Tasting & Pairings
Cindy at Grape Experiences: A Taste of Southwest France: Nature Secrète Saint Mont 2018 and Sauteed Duck Breasts with Mushrooms
Nicole at Somm’s Table: Encounters with Tour des Gendres Pét-Nat with a Side of Risotto
Gwendolyn at Wine Predator: Mauzac? SW France’s Domaine du Moulin Features This Unusual Grape in Methode Ancestrale Sparkler
Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm: Visiting the Wines of Southwest France outside of Bordeaux
Lynn at Savor the Harvest: Gascony Surprise: Meet Domaine de Joy in Southwest France
Linda at My Full Wine Glass: Two Tannat-based wines from Southwest France