For a long time, the South West wine region lived in Bordeaux’s shadow. While Bordeaux has developed wine trading for centuries with England and the Netherlands thanks to its geographic location on the Atlantic coast, the South West could only use its waterway which led to… Bordeaux !
This secondary role of being only a reserve when times were hard for Bordeaux and/or its offer needed to be complemented is now over. Over a past few decades, winegrowers from each terroir in the South West started to look for their identity through their ancestral culture and own particular nature. Local old grape varietal made easy the identification of each of the identities. Winemakers also began to produce less Merlot and Cabernet.
This is what makes the South West vineyard unique. Contrary to the other French vineyards for which unity is linked to their common grape varieties, South West is a patchwork of specific terroirs and appellations, all of them growing their own grape varieties. Malbec in Cahors, Negrette in Fronton, Tannat in Madiran, Braucol and Duras in Gaillac etc…
This re-discovering of local vine is still in progress. Prunelard Noir (or Prunelart) is the most recent red grape concerned. Absent in the old Gaillac AOC dating from 1970, Prunelard was close to extinction at the end of the 80’s because of its very low yield : it is very sensitive to flower abortion. However, the replant began in the early 90’s. In 2008, the total cultivated surface of Prunelard was 12 ha and it had been reintegrated within the new Gaillac AOP rules. The total cultivated surface is now more than 30 ha.
Prunelard is actually one the oldest grape varietals still living. It was already cultivated by the Romans to make an intense, fruity and colored wine. Its name comes from the french “Prune” (plum) because of the resemblance of the berries. Like its son Malbec (also called Cot), Prunelard is a coloring grape. It is indeed very rich in anthocyanins. And a non-intuitive property is that its concentration in tanins is low. Prunelard is also very resistant to oidium and rot because the berries are small. It thus requires nearly no treatment to the vine.
Wines made with Prunelard have purple glints in their colour. Their flavours are both spices and black wild or riped berries such as blackberries or prunes. A very amazing feature is the violet flower perfume.
The Cedric Carcenac Cuvée we introduce there is a 100% Prunelard, very fruity with a light structure and a nice final acidity. It is perfect in summer with tapas.
Prunelard 2013, Domaine Carcenac