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Raffiat de Moncade


Name & Etymology
It is necessary to split the name of this wine in two.  Raffiat is to be linked to the Gascon “Arrufe” meaning “proud”, “tough” or “rough”.  If the etymological root is comparable, it doesn’t seem that Arrufiac and Raffiat de Moncade have any relationship.  Moncade refers to the viscount family “Des Moncade” having reigned from Orthez all over the Béarn in the middle ages.  There also remains a tower bearing this name on a headland in the centre of Orthez.

The synonymy is weak probably because the origin of this vine is relatively recent and that the latter hasn’t had the opportunity of travelling much.  It can be called “Rousselet” or even “Portugal”.

Colour: White

Geographical origin:
It was discovered in the region near Orthez.

There is no clear filiation today.  However, there are strong ampelographical similarities between Raffiat de Moncade and certain members of the cotoides family.  Yet, this vine also shows a few similarities with white Gouais.  It can therefore perhaps be found at the crossing of two great families of French vines.
It is to be noted that Raffiat de Moncade has served as the basis of the creation of new vines such as Arriloba (crossing with a Sauvignon Blanc in 1954 by Mr Durquety) or even Perdea (crossing with a Chardonny by Mr Durquety). Let’s note however that these new vines haven’t yet encountered any important infatuation.

Appellations using it and / or major production areas abroad:
Raffiat de Moncade is little cultivated nowadays.  It remains confined to the right bank of the Gave de Pau between Béarn and Landes.  It is therefore found in appellations Béarn and Tursan.

Potential production
Raffiat de Moncade is in the line of the Pyrenean vines.  It is however distinguished by a lower acidity than Mansengs.  The berries are small and the bunches of grapes are loose, which gives it a certain resilience to botrytis and enables it to be harvested at a good maturity.

Best expressions / Oenological potential:
As a blending vine, it lowers the acidic perception of the Mansengs and brings an aromatic complexity in the nose as well as in the mouth.


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