Domaine Ilarria Irouléguy
More About Irouléguy
Irouléguy winemaker Peio Espil
One of the top independent producers of AOC Irouléguy is Peio Espil, whose tiny six hectare (15 acre) domaine is located in the small village named for the appellation, just six miles from the Spanish border. Here the slopes are steep (60 degrees) and cows fill the narrow streets.
Like most people in the area, Peio speaks the Basque language with famly and friends. He studied at La Tour Blanche in Sauternes and at Domaine Cauhapé in Jurançon before taking over the family domaine in 1988.
Certified Organic by Ecocert
Peio is a firm believer in organic farming, not because it is fashionable nowadays, but because he feels it leads to a stronger natural yeast formation within the vineyard. His wines are now certified organic (Ecocert). His vines range between 10 and 30 years of age, although some are 45-years-old.
Reds are generally split between Tannat and Cabernet Franc, although Cabernet Sauvignon often rounds out the blend. They normally display a dark red color, nuances that hint at blackberry, cassis, and raspberry, and finish with moderate tannins. They are best when drunk between their second and eighth birthdays and always provide a sturdy accompanyment to red meats, game and hard sheep cheeses.