Every summer la famille Yapp retires to a sleepy backwater of La France Profonde that lies roughly between the small towns of Nontron (knives) and Thiviers (foie gras) to enjoy the not so Grandes Vacances where the biggest decisions of the day are what to cook that evening and what to drink with the meal. Unfortunately, although less than 100 miles from Bordeaux, Perigord Vert is not exciting wine country and even if we stock up in the Loire valley en passant things can get pretty desperate after a week or so.
Fortunately, there is one long-serving and ultra-reliable Yapp supplier within strike range in the form of Christian Roche whose Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure lies beside the route nationale 21, just south of Bergerac. Here Christian fashions a superb Bergerac Sec from an un-oaked ‘Bordeaux’ blend of 70% Sauvignon and 30% Semillon. It is dry and fruity and what the locals call ‘vif’, with an attractive citrus fruit bouquet and a clean, zesty palate. I can testify beyond any shadow of a doubt, over numerous vintages, that it makes for decent holiday drinking and is a jolly versatile crowd-pleaser.
Christian also produces a sublime botrytised Monbazillac from a blend of 80% Sauvignon and 20% Muscadelle. It has a lovely tawny colour and is richly honeyed with complex notes of dried fruits, nuts and caramel with a heady orange blossom bouquet. Traditionally it is served chilled in small glasses to accompany tartines of pâté de foie gras but it also makes a splendid accompaniment to salty blue cheeses (especially Roquefort) and all manner of fruit-based desserts.
So if you are holidaying in the locale and see a battered Peugeot estate containing a border terrier and a couple of bored kids loading up beside the RN 21 it might well be me on a mercy mission to re-stock the cave personelle.