Situated in southwest France between Biarritz and Lourdes is a wine region called the Jurançon. Here we find Domaine Cauhapé, a small, family-run estate owned by Henri Ramonteu whose vineyards sit facing the Pyrenees.
It’s a hands-on operation concentrating on the signature grapes of the region which are Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng. These flavoursome grapes form the basis of a gorgeous range of wines that span the spectrum from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Traditionally, Gros Manseng is for dry wines and Petit Manseng suits the sweeter wines because of its smaller size and thicker skin which can withstand the prolonged hang time on the vine as it accumulates more and more sugar.
Henri is also interested in reviving the fortunes of some of the ancestral grape varieties of the region and breathing new life into them.
They came to our winter tasting at Titanic in November and proved to be quite the hit. They brought us some Quest to try and it’s so good we had to buy it.
50% Gros Manseng and 50% Petit Manseng harvested in early October to benefit from some autumnal sun and is partially fermented in aged oak barrels for added texture and very subtle flavour.
60% Gros Manseng and 40% Camaralet. Vibrantly fresh and aromatic, will definitely appeal to Sauvignon Blanc drinkers. It’s very bright and zingy with citrus and spice and superb depth and length. Top quality stuff.
As the name suggests, harvested in October when the grapes have started to dry on the vine, which concentrates the sugars and this beautifully sweet, concentrated and flavoursome wine. Do as the French do and have as an aperitif or with soft rind white cheeses or fruit desserts.
A more concentrated, sweeter and deeply flavoured dessert wine harvested in November. With flavours of marmalade, dried apricots and pineapple this is delicious with crème caramel, blue cheese, apricot tart or sponge pudding.