It's a pleasure to do business with Domaine Laballe. We buy from the Domaine a light, fresh white wine (click either of the first two photos), which has until now been blended from Colombard and Gros Manseng into a vin de pays de Terroirs Landais
; we also keep a Chardonnay
that is normally only available to the local market (see article). The estate is in Bas-Armagnac, what you might call Gascony, south of Bordeaux in the south-west of France, and from Château Laballe
comes some of the best brandy around. This part of the business is about to pass from the expert supervision of M. Noël Laudet (below
), who visited us not so very long ago,
to that of his grandson Cyril (below
), whom we met at Vinisud in February, and who is already handling the wine part of the business with considerable - businesslike - maturity.
We'll shortly be receiving our first order of a new-style vin de pays, which contains a fair proportion of Sauvignon Blanc without diminishing the spritzy, refreshing character of the wines. We've also decided to prefer the vin de pays des Côtes de Gascogne appellation for the label, as being more familiar than the Terroirs Landais one (the wine is eligible for both).
I know Cyril is keen to come over to Ireland and do a bit of promotion. Maybe in the spring.