Jeez, I’ve been on a roll with the obscure grapes, huh? If you liked hearing about Romorantin (who doesn’t?!?) but were hoping to discover something in a red also from France, get ready to be excited. As part of the Happy Dance Wine Club (real name) I received a bottle of 2012 Domaine Plageoles Braucol from the little-known Gaillac region. I went to the website of the importer, Jenny & Francois Selections, to learn more.The Grape? It’s Fer Servadou. (Known locally in Gaillac as Bracoul, which you’ll see on the label.) Also, where is the winery? It’s here:
What’s it like? Well the note that came with my wine club shipment said this:
“Think of it as a rustic cousin to Syrah It possesses earthy spice, woody floral tones, with a graceful texture. It is almost reminiscent of that fresh fragrance of crisp fall leaves”
I had to admit I was a little nervous when I read “rustic”. Would it be overly funky? Would I have to feign feelings for Fer? Face frowns from fellow Fer fanatics? (Fernatics?) I need a Fernet!
Tasting Fer Servadou
Fortunately, the Domaine Plageoles ($19, BTW) dashed all my fears by delivering waves of deliciousness. I was really impressed with this very drinkable red. Not light and shrill, nor heavy and ponderous, it had a Goldilocks-esque just-rightness to it. Did the Domain Plageoles have a touch of earthiness, some non-fruity flavors? Yes. But more along the lines of sitting on a forest floor, casually leaning back against a tree rather than spastically rolling around in barnyard mud. The wine just got better the longer it was open, too.
So go forth and try a new grape, however strange and unfamiliar the name might be. Brave Braucol! Find Fer Servadou! Don’t worry, Cabernet* will still be there when you get back.
*I’m actually thinking about Cabernet Franc. Aren’t you curious about a wine called “Drunken Nights”?
“Green Living Room” photo via Denis Collette.