Where To Find Wine in French Basque Country

Eric Asimov of The New York Times travels to French Basque Country to search for wines of Irouléguy. Although grapes used to produced wine in the region are common throughout France, Asimov finds the finished product distinctly lively; “Yet the land, the climate, the language and the culture remain apart, isolated by the Pyrenees…The wine expresses those differences as plainly as the Basque differs from the French on the region’s dual-language signs.”

First encountering Irouléguy’s wines five years ago in Bordeaux when a restauranteur offered him a glass of rosé as a palate cleanser, Asimov was hugely impressed with its minerality and savory qualities. Most of the wines produced in Irouléguy are reds, “limber, marked as much by acidity as by tannins, with an almost exotic flavor of flowers and red fruits laced with that bloody iron tang.” Asimov finds the whites equally as impressive. “They were savory, sometimes saline, yet fresh and lively.” He also finds rosés earthy and worthy of aging—something worth traveling to Basque country for. [The New York Times] [Photo: Flickr/Vincent]