Fer, alias Fer Servadou (and many other aliases), is a characterful, tannic black grape variety traditionally encouraged in a wide range of the sturdy red wines of south west france. In madiran, where it is often called Pinenc, it is a distinctly minor ingredient, alongside Tannat and the two Cabernets. In gaillac, where it is known as Brocol or Braucol, it has overtaken duras to become the dominant variety. It is technically allowed into wines as far north as Bergerac, but today it is particularly important to the red wines of the Aveyron département, entraygues, estaing, and the defiantly smoky, rustic marcillac. The iron-hardness of the name refers to the vine’s wood rather than the resulting wine, although it is well coloured, concentrated, and interestingly scented. Fer has also been invited to join the already crowded party of varieties permitted in cabardès.