Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Marcillac isolated, small, but growing aoc in south west france whose vigorous red wines can have real character. This is the liveliest wine district of the Aveyron département (although see also the entraygues–le fel and estaing), but it can be hard to preserve the viticultural tradition here in the harsh climate of the Massif Central at elevations up to 600 m/2,000 ft. Although there were several thousand hectares of vines here in the late 19th century, by 2012 there were 188 ha/464 acres of vinifera vines dedicated to the appellation (many growers responded to the phylloxera crisis by planting hybrids). Marcillac, usually red and sometimes rosé, must be made of at least 90% fer, here often called Mansois, a hard-wooded vine capable of making peppery, aromatic mountain wines with excellent structure. barrel maturation has been introduced to temper the high acidity of wines which, unlike many of the Bordeaux duplicates produced in the south west, are highly distinctive. The local co-operative at Valady is an important producer, as is Le Vieux Porche.