Much has been written and commented on the subject of grape stocks. Over 150 varieties have been known, identified, and classified by the specialists, and some of the most frequently mentioned names invariably include Malbec, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, among many others. However, we have heard little of an elegant variety of grape from France that stands out for its very particular aromatic intensity and typicity that is, the Petit Manseng.

Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng are the two basic white stocks of the Jurançon liqueur. The Gros Manseng produces delicately perfumed fresh dry white wines, while the Petit Manseng carietal lends itself very well to over maturing and the production of strong wines, with typical fruit aromas. Those who describe them make reference to flowers through to grapefruit, peaches, apricots, right through to exotic fruit, jam and honey.


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Jurançon, wine of kings

In the terraces of Pau Castle on the Pyrenees Mountain chain, and along its close to forty kilometers, small plots of land are huddled together in the sunny gorges. At an altitude of three hundred meters, the climate may be associated with the rigor of the mountain and the sweet humidity of the ocean. In autumn, the beautiful Indian summer of San Martin del Beam and the southern wind allow “passerillage” to occur a overmaturing of clusters that ensures the inimitable smoothness of the Jurançon.

These local stocks are suited to the climate: very high stocks that escape the frosts of spring and very resistant grapes. The Gros Manseng is the basic stock of the smooth young and dry Jurançon. The small berry Petit Manseng produces the great smooth aging wines.

In America, the Bodega Terrazas de los Andes name from Argentina set itself to the task of bringing over the Petit Manseng stock in 2000 and cultivating at a small farm by the name of “La Yaima” at an altitude of one thousand meters above sea level. There, in small carefully selected plots, the generous Earth and the patient work of the grape growers resulted in the first production of Afincado Tardío Petit Manseng. Recently presented in the Mexican market, the Afincado Tardío is a novel natural sweet wine which, at gustative level is concerned, stands out for concentrating high sugar and acidity values in its maturity. This is the key to the natural and particular balance of elaborated sweet wines with this variety of grape.

To produce this wine Petit Manseng grape is used one hundred percent, with a fermentation of four weeks in new barrels and an aging of twelve months in new barrels made of French oak.


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Tasting notes

Very intense and complex aroma, with varied mature fruit aromas, such as melon, fresh dry peach, pineapple, and tropical fruit. After shaking slightly dry fruit such as hazelnut and white flowers, aromas such as jasmine appear.

Flavor of great volume and intensity, characteristic because it fills the mouth quickly in a very smooth velvety way. The perfect balance between sweetness and acidity make this wine an intense product that is nevertheless easy to drink. It is a very long wine with a fruity and floral sensation that lasts seconds.

Other fine quality wines by Bodega Terrazas de los Andes are: Terrazas Reservas Malbec, Terrazas Reserva Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Terrazas Afincado Malbec, all of them among the top Argentinean wines. 


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Text: Rafael Luna Grajeda ± Photo: Cortesía de Möet Hennessy