CHARLES HOURS, Moneim
Charles Hours now assisted by his daughter, Marie, is one of the great vignerons of the South West. Over the twenty years since he purchased the estate, it has expanded from just 3.5 hectares to the current 14 hectares.
The vineyards are planted predominantly with Petit Manseng, with 35% Gros Manseng and 5% of the indigenous Petit Courbu making up the balance. The vines are planted at a density of 4000 plants/ha and are trained high, with yields, depending on the cuvée, as little as 30 hl/ha in some cases.
Charles has not been shy of new investment, conscious of the need for good facilities in the production of great wine. He has built a smart new press house and barrel cellar between 1990 and 1996, and the domaine has been kitted out with temperature controlled fermentation equipment
and a gentle pneumatic press. The cellar sees a 20% turnover in oak each year. There are just two cuvées produced here, one dry and one sweet Jurançon, both of them are exceptional.
The Clos Uroulat Jurançon is 100% Petit Manseng, harvested at 30 hl/ha in November, and is thus a late-harvest style.
As with the dry wine this cuvée spends up to eleven months in barrel, although the proportion of new wood may be higher, up to 25%. It is one of the top sweet Jurançon available, elegant and grand, with exotic flavours of acacia, lots of minerals, quince and pineapple supported by a fine underlying acidity.
“Intense tropical fruit, citrus fruit, white flower and apricot with a discreet and elegant touch of oak, the racy acidity is ever present and complement to perfection the full body and gorgeous sweetness of the wine. With dessert, but also as an aperitif, with Roquefort cheese or ideally, with terrine de foie gras. ”
“A gorgeous sweet wine that deserves to be better-known. Charles Hours fashions subtle scented wines, full of refreshing pineapple fruits that balance sweetness with a tangy acidity. Perfect with fruit tarts.” John Wilson, Irish Times