Impressions: Domaine Illaria has long been the benchmark producer in Irouléguy. This cuvée is a 60/40 blend of Petit Courbu and Petit Manseng. While their blanc is led by pleasant tropical aromas, the structure of this wine is has always been the star of the show. The texture is extremely mineral forward with a hefty, slightly oily feel that glides to a floral, slightly nutty and salty finish. Its richness is countered by delicate aromas, and it’s the perfect white wine for chilly nights.
About The Producer: One of Irouléguy’s longstanding producers is Peio Espil at Domaine Ilarria. In fact, until 1990, he was one of just 2 independent producers in the appellation. In this part of the Pyrénées, where the mountains begin to lose altitude as they weave their way toward the north of Spain, large domes of green grass cover the mounds—more so than snow that covers the granite peaks seen further east. It is a bucolic setting, with hundreds of sheep grazing the hills and where elongated white houses with red tile roofs dot the countryside.