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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Duras is perhaps the oldest vine variety still used in the once-famous red wines of gaillac. Its presence distinguishes them from the complex mosaic of other blending permutations that comprise the reds of south west france. It is not grown in the Côtes de Duras, nor anywhere else in any significant amount outside the Tarn département, where Gaillac is the chief appellation. In the Tarn, however, like its blending partner fer, it has steadily gained ground, thanks to Gaillac’s powerful internal lobby against incoming international varieties. Total plantings were 861 ha/2,127 acres in 2011. The wine is deeply coloured, full bodied, and lively. Varietal Duras produced in Gaillac eloquently demonstrates a marriage of cépage to terroir well worth defending. The vine buds inconveniently early but gives wines of particularly good structure and acidity.