Burgundy, Cahors and Madiran wines have been trending lately among wine consumers; first and foremost because of the undeniable high quality of their wines, but also for the “old timers” – the comfort of a classic, for the Millennials – the appeal of the discovery of a classic.
But there is a new reason lately, of which the consumer is becoming increasingly aware of: health benefits.
It’s a fact that red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) boasts the highest levels of resveratrol, a type of natural antibiotic contained in the grape’s skin. Madiran reds on the other hand are proven to contain the highest quantities of polyphenols in general and procyanidin in particular. The Madiran wines are made from the native Tannat grape and often blended with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Studies show that regions of the world with the greatest longevity also correspond to those with the highest procyanidin flavonoids in their wines. These areas were recently referred to by Dr. Oz as the “Blue Zones” of the world.
The polyphenol Procyanidin may provide cardiovascular benefits; its effects on the human body include neutralizing oxidants and free radicals, depressing blood fat and inhibiting destruction of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body.
Procyanidin is the most potent polyphenol for improving cardiovascular health and is in its highest natural levels in the Madiran wines, according to researchers of a study published in “Nature” journal in 2006.
Researchers of this study found wines from Sardinia and South West France to have the highest procyanidin levels, likely as a result of climate, soil and the traditional vinification methods. Among these wines, they found Madiran wines to be the highest in procyanidin.
For those reason (and others) one of the best finds and a personal favorite from ViniSud a few years back was a 100% Tannat from a small family domain in Madiran called Domaine de Poujo.
Domaine de Poujo has been the property of the Lanux family for three generations. Claude Lanux vinified his first vintage in 1981 and his son Philippe settled at the estate in 2000. This small estate’s vineyards are shown a lot of care, and investments have been made, including the development of the barrel cellar, the purchase of tanks and renovation of the reception room for guests.
Domaine de Poujo currently has 10 hectares under vine: eight in Madiran and two in Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. The vineyards are located on slopes of clay-limestone soils with a south/southwest exposure.
Vinification is traditional, with special attention being paid to harvesting grapes at optimal maturity. Harvest is done solely by hand. In the two to three months following the harvest the wines are blended and matured in oak barrels, 30 to 35% of which are renewed each year.
And the most important part of all this is that Domaine de Poujo Madiran 2011 is now available in select ABC Fine Wine & Spirits stores for an incredibly low price of $10.99! what I like to refer to as “everyday-useful” price.
Atanas Nechkov, Fine Wine & Spirits Supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineatanas