Château le Tap - Bergerac

A day of visits, today. Here are M. and Mme. Olivier Roches of Château le Tap, who were kind enough to come down to Cork to let us taste their wines. We enjoyed an informal tasting, and discussion of what sells and what doesn't, and how to crack the Irish market. I showed them the two Rioja labels (see previous post) and persuaded them to stick with the 'classic' label they currently use, on the grounds that French attempts at 'modern' are by no means always successful outside France.

I liked their wines, though the red, which Olivier considers light, would be astringent by Irish standards. We'll mull it over, and also taste two other Bergeracs recommended to me by Patrick Kelly, an Irish wine agent living in France, who always picks the good ones.

Olivier's brother Didier also makes wine in the little Pécharmant AOC, and you can read about his estate (in French) here. Olivier brought some of his brother's wine with him, and it's what they call a vin de garde, ie one for keeping. We tried a 2002, which is still young - fine stuff, big and structured. We'd have to hand-sell it - no-one's going to ask for a Pécharmant!

1 comment

  • Paul
    Well…yesterday evening, we had a bottle of “Jolie Julie” 2003. Splendid wine! I had expected rather the “severeness” of the Bordeaux-style, given the relative geographical proximity of Bergerac with this region, expecting the grape varieties to be similar etc. but …well… in a blind tasting, I would easily have mistaken the origin of the wine for some of the (many) better products coming from … Spain. With 14% alcohol, the wine’s initial restraint and severity quickly rounds out into a warm-hearthed full-bodied mediterranean wine, rather than one associated with the Atlantic style of wine. Yet another example of how France, in spite of everything and against all apparent misjudgement, remains a winegrowing land full of surprises and producing, quite often, exquisite quality.

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