Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Béarn, rarely exported wine made in south west france either in the madiran or jurançon zones, or in a third zone around Salies-de-Béarn and Bellocq dedicated exclusively to the production of Béarn-Bellocq. Characterful reds (often very similar to Madiran) and firm rosés are made with up to 60% Tannat grapes blended mainly with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, with Fer, Manseng Noir, and Courbu Noir, while the very rare, tangy white wines are made from such classic south west white grape varieties as Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and Raffiat de Moncade which are conserved in the letter of the appellation law if not in the reality of the vineyard. Total area of vineyards had fallen to below 200 ha/500 acres by 2011. Most Béarn wines are quite concentrated enough to go with a steak and Béarn’s famous sauce, and most of them are made by the co-operative at Bellocq.