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Donibane - Irouleguy



The Irouléguy appellation is one of the smallest appellations in France but also one of the oldest ones. Nestled in the confines of the Pyrenean piedmont, the basque vineyard could be the cradle of Cabernet Franc, founding grape of the Carmenères family. The blending of Tannat and Cabernets gives Donibane both structure and finesse. Aromas of small black fruits dominate. The liveliness and temper of this wine makes it the ideal companion of the basque & sout west cuisine.pdf_icon


Viticulture :
Grapes : 60 % Cabernet franc, 40 % Tannat
Terroir : The Irouléguy appellation only represents 200 hectares ; however, nature has given the Irouléguy vineyard one of the most beautiful soil mosaics that you can find in France. Almost exclusively grown on terraces, due to the area topography, the vines are grown at altitude to avoid the risks of spring frost.
Climate : The Irouléguy climate is very influenced by the Ocean presence and of the Pyrenees chain of mountains. Rain falls are high but regular throughout the year. Usually tempered, risks of frost where the countryside begins are not to be excluded. Summer is mild and autumn brings its share of very beautiful days due to the warm winds coming from Spain.

Winemaking and fermenting :
The mildness of the climate allows a slow and homogeneous maturation of the berries. The harvest begins in early October. The vineyard topography requires manual harvesting. Cabernets Francs are always the first ones to be cellared followed 10 days later by Tannats. Winemaking is traditional. After being put into a tank, the musts are cold stirred to extract colour and fruit. Winemaking is done in thermo-regulated tanks and maceration lasts about three weeks. Wines are then aged, some per separate vines. The most concentrated batches are aged in wood barrels. The fermentation period lasts 9 months, the wines are assembled and kept in tank during the summer before being bottled on the eve of the following harvest.

Tasting note :
The colour is black with purple reflections. The nose is precise with notes of slightly acid black fruit (blackcurrant, blueberry). Both opulent and lively on the palate. The structure is present and balances intimately with the richness. A homogeneous wine on the whole characterized in the mouth by a good aromatic length.

Serving recommendations, food and wine matching :

  • Ideal temperature: 16°C.
  • Keeping potential: 36 months
  • Food & wine matching: veal axoa, roast leg of lamb, pigeon stew, piperade, cheese…




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