Marmandais, Côtes du

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Bordeaux satellite aoc in south west france on either side of the river garonne. The town of Marmande, on the Garonne, gave it its name and provided a ready means of transporting the wines to Bordeaux and then to northern Europe, especially the netherlands, from the Middle Ages until the early 19th century. The arrival of the phylloxera louse caused many farmers to abandon viticulture, however, and vines are just one of many crops in these gentle Marmandais hills. Geographically the region is simply an extension of eastern graves in the south and entre-deux-mers in the north. Bordeaux grape varieties cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot predominate, and the cooler climate here tends to result in light versions of red, and some rosé, bordeaux. But these varieties may not exceed 85% of a blend, and Côtes du Marmandais’s distinction is in the local variety abouriou, which, with fer, Cot (Malbec), Gamay, and Syrah, must make up the rest. Total vineyard area increased sharply in the 1990s but declined again so that by 2012 it was only 787 ha/1,944 acres. A very small amount of white wine is made, mainly from Sauvignons Blanc and Gris.