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In 1977, the Dubard family settled as winemakers on the hillsides overlooking the right bank of the River Dordogne, in south west France, and set up the cellars in 18th century stone buildings typical of the area. Nowadays those old stones house the modern, efficient winemaking equipment (stainless tanks, press, bottling line etc) essential to make high quality wines. Cuvées are aged in French oak barrels in the underground cellar. The Dubards are proud of their blend of tradition with modernity.

Today they own 83 hectares of vines planted on calcareous-clayish soils, and the family themselves control every single step of the process from vinegrowing through harvesting and winemaking to bottling. The vineyard is made up of 50% white grapes (Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle) and 50% red (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec).

The result is a high qualty range of white, rosé and red wines available under the Domaine du Gouyat and Château Laulerie labels, which are produced in two different wine appellations: AOC Bergerac and AOC Montravel, which is a small area included in the western part of the AOC Bergerac.

Located 50km east of Bordeaux and 10km from Saint Emilion, AOC Côtes de Francs is one of the smallest appellations in the Bordelais. It benefits from a special micro-climate, and has the lowest rainfall and the most hours of sunshine in the area. Château Nardou was acquired by the family in 1988 and is managed by Florent Dubard, who has retained traditional methods of vinification. The vineyard at Chateau Nardou covers 8 hectares of clay-limestone soil.

The 500 hectare Pécharmant AOC area is the most ancient of the Bergerac region. In 2000, the Dubards revived the Chateau les Farcies du Pech' wine estate; the vineyards and cellar were restructured, resulting in Les Farcies du Pech' becoming one of Bergerac's top wines. Laid out in south-facing hillsides, the Pécharmant area is blessed with a great terroir; its distinctiveness lies in the Périgord sand and gravels which derive from the slow transformations of granite rocks, along with a deep and impermeable ferrugineous-clay layer, giving Pécharmant wines their authentic and typical taste.

The Oxford Wine Company stocks these wines made by the Dubard family:

Domaine du Gouyat Dry white, Bergerac - £6.75
50% Sauvignon, 50% Sémillon.
Wine and food matches: seafood, fish, aperitif.
serving suggestions: temp 10 to 12°C, to be drunk in the first 3 years.

Domaine du Gouyat Rosé, Bergerac - £6.75
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Malbec.
Wine and food matches: buffet meals (pork, summer salads...), barbecues, exotic and spicy dishes.
serving suggestions: temp 10 to 12°C, to be drunk in the first 3 years.

Château Laulerie Sweet white, Côtes de Montravel - £7.99
100% Sémillon.
Wine and food matches: Aperitif, duck liver, chocolate.
serving suggestions: temp 10 to 12°C, may be cellared for 10 years.

Domaine du Gouyat Red, Bergerac - £6.75
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine and food matches: white meat, roasted poultry or served in a sauce.
serving suggestions: temp 18°C, may be cellared over the next 5 years.

Château Laulerie, Comtesse de Ségur Red - £9.99
60% Merlot, 30% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc
The special reserve 'Comtesse de Ségur' honours the brand new AOC Montravel Rouge, created in 2001. The old vines (40 years old), which face south, are selected for this wine. On the nose, lively blackberries are complemented by spicy French oak. The palate reveals a complex wine with strong fruit, powerful but silky and round tannins, with a long and ripe finish. The Malbec gives a menthol taste in the middle palate. The cuvée 'Comtesse de Ségur' is best served at 18°C and given a little time to breathe. It is a good accompaniment to red meat, duck liver, duck confit, game, and artisanal cheese.

Château les Farcies du Pech', Pecharmant - £8.99
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot.
Château Les Farcies du Pech' offers power and charm, with intense aromas and complex fruit. Wine and food matches: This intense and deep red wine is an ideal accompaniment to terrine dishes, roasted poultry, and cheese. Les Farcies du Pech' will be best enjoyed at 18°C. It has the structure to age gracefully for 5 to 15 years.

Château Nardou, Bordeaux Côtes de Francs - £9.95
90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
Château Nardou has a nose of deep ripe blackcurrant, cinnamon and violet. The palate displays a typical Bordeaux blend with succulent sweet fruit and elegant tannins.
Wine and food matches: game, savoury dishes, duck liver or magret or to be enjoyed on its own.

James Fleetwood