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Plaisance Penavayre Bouysselet '21
Louis Penavayre, a self-taught wine grower, converted his family’s entire farm, about seven hectares of vines, animals, and fruit trees, to vines and making wine 1971. The estate is located in Vacquiers, in the Fronton appellation, on the left bank of the Tarn River, in southwestern France. Fronton is the closest appellation to the city of Toulouse and is considered to be the city’s local wine. The appellation does not allow for white wines even though whites are produced in the area, so they are labeled as Vin de France.
Louis’s son Marc is the current owner, having taken over in 1991, with a focus on gentle cultivation and the health of the vineyards and grapes. The 2006 vintage was the first under organic conversion, with certification in 2011, and the estate also follows biodynamic principles (cover crops and plants and essential oils are used). The vineyard area is now around 26 hectares, and Marc works with his son, Thibaut. The name Plaisance refers to the vineyards Marc started with, which were mostly located in the lieu-dit Plaisance.
Bouysselet is a local white variety that was rediscovered by Château La Colombière only a few years ago on a small patch of pre-phylloxera vines. Its parents are Savagnin (Jura) and Plant de Cauzette (Béarn). Plaisance Penavayre makes this wine from fruit grown on 0.50 hectares planted in 2017 and 0.60 hectares planted in 2019. The soils are clay-limestone, with gravel and cobbles from the alluvial deposits of the Tarn river. After harvest, the grapes are destemmed, and fermentation is carried out with ambient yeast. Malolactic fermentation takes place in sandstone amphora and stainless steel vats. The wine is aged for 10 months on the lees in sandstone amphora and 500-liter casks.
The nose shows aromas of white peach and pink grapefruit, as well as apple, pear, and quince. Medium bodied and dry, the wine has fresh acidity and a round and textured finish. Pair this wine with everything from oysters to crab salad, lobster rolls, baked white fish, savory vegetarian dishes, and semi-soft cheeses (the goat’s milk cheese Chabichou du Poitou is well worth seeking out).
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