Duras, Côtes de

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Duras, Côtes de, red and white wine appellation on the north eastern fringe of bordeaux which is regarded as one of the wine districts of south west france. It is bounded by Côtes du marmandais to the south, bergerac to the north, and entre-deux-mers and Ste-Foy-Bordeaux to the west. The town of Duras, with its impressive castle, marks the eastern extremity of the Entre-Deux-Mers plateau and the 1,545 ha/3,816 acres of vines are planted either on limestone hilltops, mainly for white wine grapes, or on slightly more sheltered limestone and clay slopes for red wine grapes. The vine varieties are essentially those of Bordeaux, and a specifically Duras character in the red wines is certainly difficult to discern (although more luxurious winemaking techniques such as barrel maturation are increasingly employed). White Côtes de Duras can display originality, however, in fresh, dry Sauvignons and the sweet or moelleux wines sometimes produced from the Bordeaux grape varieties Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle together with the south western specialities ondenc and mauzac. Some Chenin Blanc has also been imported from the Loire. Historically, the region was commercially penalized by the Bordelais as part of the haut pays, but the Huguenots who fled to the netherlands remained faithful to its wines.