A wine made from the Braucol variety. Braucol is more commonly known in the south-west of France as Fer Servadou (or Mansois in Marcillac).
This comes from a parcel of 30-35 year old vines grown on clay and limestone soils. You could think of it as a Gaillac Pinot or Beaujolais with some sappy stems. But of course, it has its own irresistible personality that reflects both a unique grape and its unique terroir.
Florent Plageoles now vinifies this wine as 50% whole bunch and the wine is all the brighter and more gluggable for it. Low yields, and ageing only in cement tank with no filtration begets a vibrant, red fruited, sappy and jubey wine with a crunchy, juicy and charmingly fresh personality and also a twist of something herbaceous, dark, inky and spicy to close.
"Du glouglou pour le printemps," (for glugging in the springtime) says Robert Plageoles, father of Florent and Romain. We agree.
"Appearances can be deceiving. The unique wines of the Plageoles family may seem to be just one of many curios on the market these days; in fact, they are a striking reminder of the wonders of the Gaillac terroir and of why this region was once so famous.
Viticultural Gaillac is a horseshoe arc of land high above the Tarn river in southwest France (northeast of Toulouse). Though relatively close to Bordeaux, few people outside of the southwest of France know this region’s wines well. It was the Phoenicians, then the Romans who first planted vines in the Gaillac region. Vines here predate Bordeaux, and like Cahors, Madiran and other wine regions in southwestern France, it might have achieved the same fame had it not been for a quirk of historical fate. If only those shifty Bordelaise on the Garonne river had not first expropriated the wine of this region (by blending it with their own) and later taxed it to death before it went through their port. Then Phylloxera came to town, which pretty much delivered the coup de grâce to Gaillac.
Today’s Gaillac is many things to many people. To the wine buyers from British supermarkets it’s simply a cheap, inoffensive refreshing, fruity white or rosé from the local Mauzac Blanc or Gris. In France, outside Gaillac, it’s a robust, aromatic red made from a blend of local and interloper varieties to wash down a simple plat de jour; to the esoteric sommelier, it might be the source of some compelling regional oddities and yet for Robert and Bernard Plageoles, and now Bernard’s sons Florent and Romain, it’s a fanatical, lifelong passion. Robert Plageoles (father of current patriarch, Bernard) also seems to be many things to many people. To wine lovers, he is the most famous and widely admired grower in Gaillac, to the Gaillac faithful he is an iconoclastic ampelographer (an expert in the identification and classification of grape varieties), who has been almost solely responsible for resuscitating many of Gaillac’s indigenous, almost extinct grape varieties. To the Gaillac AOC committee, he is probably viewed as a hopeless anachronism or wine outlaw! "