Monday, July 5, 2010

Domaine Pichard Madiran 2004

I bought this several weeks ago, and when we went to drink it on the weekend, we found it was horribly corked. Luckily I had a second bottle, and that one was thankfully OK.

I wasn't sure of the returns/refund policy of the Wine Society. They are located in Stevenage, and I'm in London, so it's not really feasible to return a faulty bottle. Even more inconvenient was the fact that I didn't actually order this wine, the order was placed by a friend of mine (also a member). The order was placed over the phone in order to claim the 10% discount allowed immediately after tastings - we tried this at a London tasting of SW France wines, so there was no record of it (on our part anyway). If all this wasn't enough, the wine was no longer available and I wasn't even sure what I had paid for it.

No matter - I emailed member services, explained the situation, and a got a reply the same day stating that I had been credited with £9.50. Simply put, that is how to treat your customers.

The wine itself was lovely. Madiran to me seems like a cross between a Barolo and a Bordeaux. It has the structure and tarry character of a Barolo, but also the fruit and 'French' character (aroma, flavour) of a Bordeaux. The best thing of all is it lacks the price of both Bordeaux and Barolo. You can get good examples for £9 - £13. All this is thanks to the local Tannat grape variety (possibly blended with Bordeaux varieties). Tannat also produces good wine in Argentina and Uruguay among other places, although I've never tried a wine from the latter.

I really like this region and its wine. I think red wine should be structured as well as fruity, and obviously affordable. This region has it all. It just may well be starting to become my personal favourite wine region in France.

Domaine Pichard
Madiran 2004
AOC Madiran, South West France
The Wine Society


  1. Glad to hear the wine society were so good here. We tried this wine fairly recently too but were slightly less impressed with it. I think it is nothing more than personal taste though as I agree with your assessment. I just found the fruit a little too overripe or stewed for my liking.

  2. The Standard had a round-up of SW France Roussillon yesterday Tim - see

    Pricey wines but this one – Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir 2006, Tautavel (Waitrose, £7.99) - is affordable.

    I wonder - the others are all priced in the mid-teens - at this level are they on a another level and worth the price?

  3. Marc,

    Beat you to it:

    This is an appellation I look out for. Great value for money. A couple of others that I would recommend:

    That article you mentioned...I haven't tried the more expensive ones, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were worth the money, considering how good the under £10 wines are. I think that was supposed to be 'the best of'. Mr. Neather mentions that Roussillon wines tend to be pricey, and I'm not in a position to argue - I'm no expert on them, but as you can see from my blog entries there are certainly bargains to be had. They may not be top-drawer wines, but they are pretty much among the best you can get for that price.