2010 Robert & Bernard Plageoles, Le Duras, Gaillac, France.
There is an amazing long history of winemaking and native grapes in Gaillac, in southwest France, it was first recorded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, though the region is somewhat a mystery. The Duras grape is a red variety that was recently DNA tested and found to have some related history with Petit Verdot and Trousseau, most likely being a parent grape to both. It is extremely rare now, as most of the old native grapes were lost to phylloxera in the 1800’s and then to fashion, as better know grapes were planted, but Duras survived and is championed by a tiny few vignerons in the Gaillac region. Robert Plageoles and Bernard his son, are making a 100% Duras wine, an all natural red in the new wave style of natural wine, and it is truly unique and seriously good with interesting rustic textures and spicy. Robert is also a local vine historian and has even written a huge volume of local Gaillac wine through the 2,000 years, including a catalog of all the know types of grapes that were originally found in the region. The 2010 Plageoles, Le Duras, Gaillac is darkly colored and rich in ripe fruit and savory spices with hints of dried flowers, lavender, red berries, plum sauce and red pepper. This wine proved to be the most interesting of three I tried of Plageoles recently and I am glad it will be available in the US soon, it is being imported by Charles Neal. This is a most for any wine geek and natural wine lover, and for the curious few that are looking for something outrageously different and fun.
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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