Last night we had a great bottle of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh for the second time! Pacherenc is a dry, white wine with a very characteristic herby flavor, not unlike Viognier.
We had Pacherenc for the first time at De Witte Uyl a few months ago. That night we had decided to order a bottle of Viognier which they had run out of. As always, sommelier Annemieke came up with an alternative suggestion that was spot on – a bottle of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. It was a 2006 Château de Viella and we loved it.
Pacherenc is not very popular yet in Amsterdam so we had pretty much forgotten about it – until last night when we were looking for a good and somewhat different white wine to bring along to a dinner party. At – of all places – Gall & Gall that was pretty much the only place left open…
The Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh we got last night was a 2006 Torus, made by Alain Brumont. Everybody loved it! It’s a light white wine with surprising depth and flavor. The nose is pleasant and subtle. The first taste is light and fruity which later develops into a surprisingly spicy and floral aroma.
Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is an AOC region in the Madiran, in the very south-west of France, below the Armagnac. The Manseng grape gives the Pacherenc wines their characteristic, spicy flavors. Like Viognier, Manseng is quickly becoming popular again, its revival being led by Californian and Australian winemakers.
Rediscovering an old favorite and – as he states himself – “thumbing a nose at New World wine” Alain Brumont and other south-west winemakers will surely produce some great Manseng and Viognier wines in the near future.