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Document 52021XC1203(05)

Publication of a communication of approval of a standard amendment to a product specification for a name in the wine sector as referred to in Article 17(2) and (3) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33 2021/C 486/10

PUB/2021/814

OJ C 486, 3.12.2021, p. 39–45 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

3.12.2021   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 486/39


Publication of a communication of approval of a standard amendment to a product specification for a name in the wine sector as referred to in Article 17(2) and (3) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33

(2021/C 486/10)

This communication is published in accordance with Article 17(5) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33 (1).

COMMUNICATION OF STANDARD AMENDMENT MODIFYING THE SINGLE DOCUMENT

‘Côtes de Duras’

PDO-FR-A0165-AM01

Date of communication: 1 October 2021

DESCRIPTION OF AND REASONS FOR THE APPROVED AMENDMENT

1.   Official Geographic Code

The municipalities making up the geographical area and the area in immediate proximity have been updated in line with the Official Geographic Code.

The boundaries of the area remain unchanged.

In the single document, points 6 and 9 have been amended.

2.   Rosé wines

The grape varieties Sémillon B, Sauvignon B, Sauvignon Gris G and Muscadelle B have been added to the list of secondary varieties that may be used in the production of rosé wines.

The proportion of secondary grape varieties must not exceed 20 % of a holding’s vines.

Together, the secondary varieties must not account for more than 20 % of the varieties used in the blend; the combined proportion of the Sauvignon B and Sauvignon Gris G varieties must not exceed 10 %, and the proportion of the Muscadelle B variety must not exceed 10 %.

The addition of white grape varieties to rosé wines ensures the wines’ freshness and organoleptic profile, which may be threatened by certain fluctuations in the climate (in particular, by high temperatures after the onset of ripening).

This does not affect the quality of the product.

This amendment requires no changes to the single document.

3.   Average maximum crop load per parcel

The average maximum crop load per parcel for dry white wines has been revised downwards to match that of red and rosé wines so as to facilitate checks.

This amendment requires no changes to the single document.

4.   Oenological charcoal

Use of oenological charcoal was not permitted previously, but limited, regulated use is now allowed: ‘The use of oenological charcoal is permitted for musts in the production of rosé wines, in a proportion not exceeding 20 % of the volume of rosé wine produced by the winemaker concerned for the harvest in question.’ The aim is to ensure that any such use is targeted towards batches of lower organoleptic or analytical quality (particularly batches whose aroma has changed as a result of oxidation), but does not alter the product’s typical characteristics.

Point 5.1 of the single document has been amended accordingly.

5.   Reference to the inspection body

The reference to the inspection body has been reworded to align it with the wording of other product specifications. It is a purely formal amendment.

This amendment does not require any changes to the single document.

SINGLE DOCUMENT

1.   Name(s)

Côtes de Duras

2.   Geographical indication type

PDO – Protected Designation of Origin

3.   Categories of grapevine product

1.

Wine

4.   Description of the wine(s)

1.   Red and rosé wines

BRIEF WRITTEN DESCRIPTION

The red and rosé wines are still, dry wines. At the packing stage, the red wines have a malic acid content not exceeding 0,4 grams per litre. The red and rosé wines have a fermentable sugar content (glucose plus fructose) of not more than 3 grams per litre.

After enrichment, the red and rosé wines’ total alcoholic strength by volume must not exceed 13 %. Their total volatile acidity and total sulphur dioxide content are as laid down in EU legislation. The red and rosé wines have a minimum natural alcoholic strength by volume of 10,5 %. The red wines are generally characterised by the suppleness and roundness of the Merlot N variety and by the secondary Cot N variety, combined with the tannic power of the Cabernet Franc N and Cabernet Sauvignon N varieties. In order to limit their natural acidity, malolactic fermentation must be carried out before packaging.

The rosé wines, usually made from blends, are dry and have a pleasant fruitiness and an attractive freshness. The use of certain materials is prohibited in order to preserve the grapes before making wine or to prevent the extraction of astringent tannins.

GENERAL ANALYTICAL CHARACTERISTICS

General analytical characteristics

Maximum total alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum actual alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum total acidity

 

Maximum volatile acidity (in milliequivalents per litre)

 

Maximum total sulphur dioxide (in milligrams per litre)

 

2.   White wines

BRIEF WRITTEN DESCRIPTION

The still white wines can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet.

The dry white wines have a fermentable sugar content of no more than 3 grams per litre. The other white wines have a fermentable sugar content of more than 12 grams per litre and an actual alcoholic strength by volume of no less than 10,5 %. After enrichment, the total alcoholic strength by volume for dry white wines must not exceed 13 %, while for the other white wines it must not exceed 14 %.

The wines have a minimum natural alcoholic strength of 10,5 % for dry white wines and 11,5 % for the other white wines.

Their total volatile acidity and total sulphur dioxide content are as laid down in EU legislation.

For dry white wines, the range of varieties and the rules on blending favour the development of two styles of wine: a very fruity and fresh dry white with dominant aromas of boxwood or blackcurrant buds, usually produced from Sauvignon B, and a more complex dry white, in which varieties such as Muscadelle B and Sémillon B bring a little roundness and body. For both types of wine, the term ‘dry’ must appear on the label.

The vast majority of the sweet white wines are produced from Semillon B, and secondarily from Muscadelle B. They are generally fatty and concentrated, although not excessively so, with aromas of ripe fruit and sometimes candied fruit. The other grape varieties provide freshness in the mouth and thus age better.

GENERAL ANALYTICAL CHARACTERISTICS

General analytical characteristics

Maximum total alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum actual alcoholic strength (in % volume)

 

Minimum total acidity

 

Maximum volatile acidity (in milliequivalents per litre)

 

Maximum total sulphur dioxide (in milligrams per litre)

 

5.   Wine-making practices

5.1.   Specific oenological practices

1.   Specific oenological practice

Subtractive enrichment techniques are permitted for the red wines up to a maximum concentration rate of 10 %. For the batch undergoing the process, the increase in the natural alcoholic strength by volume is less than or equal to 1 % vol. The use of oenological charcoal is permitted for musts in the production of rosé wines, in a proportion not exceeding 20 % of the volume of rosé wine produced by the winemaker concerned for the harvest in question. After enrichment, the wines’ total alcoholic strength by volume does not exceed 13 % for the reds, rosés and dry whites and 14 % for the other whites. In addition to the above provisions, all wine-making practices followed must also comply with the requirements laid down at EU level and in the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code.

2.   Cultivation method

The minimum vine planting density is 4 000 plants per hectare. The spacing between the rows is 2,50 metres or less. The area available for each plant is up to 2,50 m2. This area is obtained by multiplying the distances between rows and the space between plants in the same row. This planting density may be reduced to 3 300 plants per hectare for plantations of vines to be used to produce dry white wine. In this case, the spacing between the rows must not exceed 3 m and the spacing between plants in the same row must be more than 0,85 m.

The vines are pruned using the following techniques:

single or double Guyot;

spur pruning (Cordon de Royat or fan pruning);

cane (long) pruning.

After debudding, each plant has a maximum of 15 buds for the Sauvignon B and Sauvignon G varieties and 13 buds for the other varieties.

For vines with a density of less than 4 000 plants per hectare, after debudding, each plant has a maximum of 18 buds for the Sauvignon B and Sauvignon G varieties and 15 buds for the other varieties.

Irrigation is not permitted.

5.2.   Maximum yields

1.   Red and rosé wines

66 hectolitres per hectare

2.   Dry white wines

72 hectolitres per hectare

3.   White wines other than dry

66 hectolitres per hectare

6.   Demarcated geographical area

The grapes are harvested and the wines made and developed in the following municipalities of the department of Lot-et-Garonne (based on the Official Geographic Code in force on 26 February 2020): Auriac-sur-Dropt, Baleyssagues, Duras, Esclottes, Loubès-Bernac, Moustier, Pardaillan, Saint-Astier, Saint-Jean-de-Duras, Saint-Sernin, Sainte-Colombe-de-Duras, La Sauvetat-du-Dropt, Savignac-de-Duras, Soumensac and Villeneuve-de-Duras.

7.   Main wine grape variety(-ies)

 

Cabernet Franc N

 

Cabernet Sauvignon N

 

Chenin B

 

Colombard B

 

Mauzac B

 

Merlot N

 

Muscadelle B

 

Ondenc B

 

Sémillon B

 

Ugni Blanc B

8.   Description of the link(s)

8.1.   Description of the natural factors relevant to the link

Bordered to the south by the Dropt valley, the geographical area is an extension of the ‘Entre-Deux-Mers’ plateau 70 km east of Bordeaux and halfway between the Garonne and Dordogne valleys. The north of the geographical area is marked by the watershed between the Dordogne and Garonne basins. The plateau, which is exposed to the south, has been strongly influenced by the hydrographic network of streams consisting of the Dousset to the west, the Dourdèze in the middle and the Escourrou to the east. The geographical area comprises the 15 municipalities of the canton of Duras.

The landscape is characterised by a succession of hills and valleys of varying steepness. The irregular terrain is linked to the brittle nature of the molasse outcrops and the karstification of the underlying limestone. In the middle and upper part of the slopes, hard limestone outcrops form small cliffs which are clearly visible in the landscape.

The most brittle geological formations are composed of ‘Fronsadais’ molasse in the lower part of the slopes and ‘Agenais’ molasse at the hill summits. The middle part of the slopes contains ‘Castillon’ limestone, which is white, chalky and contains cracks of varying size. Above the ‘Agenais’ molasse there are very occasional outcrops of white ‘Agenais’ limestone. This limestone, which is white, hard and cavernous, peaks in the form of a plateau in the municipalities of Loubès-Bernac and Soumensac and bears clays resulting from decalcification. The ‘Fronsadais’ molasse has produced brown clay soils, sometimes clay-gravel soils, which are used for vine-growing only in the parts of the Dropt valley not susceptible to frost action. The outcrops of ‘Castillon’ limestone bear very poor rendzinas that are difficult to cultivate. Such outcrops are dominated by juniper heathland. Where the soil becomes slightly thicker, the vines can benefit from a lean and perfectly drained soil. The ‘Agenais’ molasse bears decarbonised and often very leached soils. Wind-blown silt covers the ground to form fine, siliceous soils known locally as ‘boulbènes’. The demarcated parcel area, with an area of 9 871 hectares, covers only half of the geographical area.

Due to the ocean climate, rainfall is spread throughout the year, peaking in winter and again in May. Temperatures are mild in spring and encourage the vines to start growing early. The late seasons are sunny, sometimes following a rainy period around the equinox. The varieties traditional to Aquitaine have developed naturally in this area as they are well adapted to the environment.

8.2.   Description of the human factors relevant to the link

During the period of English rule in Guyenne, from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, the wine economy in Duras flourished, as wines from the ‘Haut-Pays’, a designation covering all vineyards located upstream of Bordeaux and trading via Dordogne and Garonne, were exported to England. Under the Ancien Régime, the protectionism introduced by Bordeaux was relaxed. The wines from the ‘Haut-Pays’ thus paid a ‘double marque’ [‘double mark’] duty, whereas those from the Duras region paid only a ‘demi-marque’ [‘half-mark’] duty. In the seventeenth century, the Duke of Duras even received authorisation to have 1 000 casks of ‘Duras’ wine per year placed in Bordeaux barrels.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, ‘Côtes de Duras’ production was focused mainly on sweet white wines, such as that produced in Bergerac, which was popular in Paris. However, after the Second World War, consumers lost interest in this type of product, causing the local community to change its production.

In 1924, the association for the protection of wines from the canton of Duras was set up with the objective of securing recognition of the designation of origin ‘Vin du canton de Duras’. When the designation was challenged by a broker, the case was ruled on by the Civil Court of Agen on 28 June 1927. The judgment stated as follows: ‘While the terroir of the hills of the canton of Duras does not give its wines the characteristic bouquets of the grands crus, it does make it possible to produce wines of the highest order, which are universally appreciated by consumers.’ The court defined ‘Duras’ wines as ‘fruity and full-bodied wines, bearing a seal that indicates their origin’. The controlled designation of origin ‘Côtes de Duras’ was recognised on 16 February 1937 for white and red wines. By the beginning of the 1960s, conversion to red varieties and Sauvignon B varieties was well under way in Bordeaux, and, given the growing economic prospects, the Duras economy followed suit. From 1970, dry white wines made with the Sauvignon B variety became the region’s flagship products. Advances in temperature control during winemaking, in particular through cooperative investments, made it possible to produce wines from the Sauvignon B variety, with their characteristic aromas that can be easily identified by consumers.

The Duras cooperative wine cellar was created at that time, while a neighbouring cellar in Gironde was already producing 20 % of the wines under the controlled designation of origin. In 1985, the Interprofessional Union began to promote the wines, and in 1998 the two cellars merged. At the same time, the mastery of red wine production by Bordeaux winemakers benefited operators in the neighbouring Duras region, and the production of rosé wines developed naturally.

In 2009, an average of 65 000 hectolitres of red wine was produced, while for rosé wine the figure was 5 000 hectolitres. Dry white wine production reached 40 000 hectolitres, while the production of sweet white wines was limited to less than 2 000 hectolitres, marketed directly in bottles. For dry white wines, the range of varieties, the rules on the proportion of varieties in the vineyard and the rules on blending have favoured the development of two styles of wine: a very fruity and fresh dry white with dominant aromas of boxwood or blackcurrant buds, usually produced from Sauvignon B as the sole variety, and a more complex dry white, in which varieties such as Muscadelle B and Sémillon B bring a little roundness and body. For both types of wine, the term ‘dry’ must appear on the label.

The vast majority of the semi-sweet white wines are produced from the Semillon B variety, and secondarily from the Muscadelle B variety. They are generally soft and full and concentrated, although not excessively so, with aromas of ripe fruit and sometimes candied fruit. The other grape varieties in the blend provide freshness in the mouth and thus age better.

The red wines are generally characterised by the suppleness and roundness of the Merlot N variety and by the secondary Cot N variety, combined with the tannic power of the Cabernet Franc N and Cabernet Sauvignon N varieties. In order to limit their natural acidity, malolactic fermentation must be carried out before packaging.

8.3.   Factor

The rosé wines, usually made from blends, are dry and have a pleasant fruitiness and an attractive freshness. The use of certain materials is prohibited in order to preserve the grapes before making wine or to prevent the extraction of astringent tannins. The Dropt and its tributary valleys have carved out rounded hilltops, enhancing the well-oriented slopes. The demarcated parcel area thus takes topographical criteria into account, and the best parcels are often in competition with well-developed tree crops. The production of sweet white wine is justified by the fact that the Semillon B variety is being grown in an ocean climate, in which the early morning autumnal humidity and the sunny afternoons are conducive to overripening and the possible development of noble rot caused by Botrytis cinerea.

The various molassic levels, which are leached to varying degrees, and the variable levels of clay content present in the boulbènes support the cultivation of the Sauvignon B variety, helping it to develop its aromatic potential which is essential for the production of expressive dry white wines.

The clays resulting from decalcification and the favourable conditions created by the sunny late season help the red grape varieties to ripen, thus providing the red wines with a good tannic base.

Producers have been able to exploit their land’s potential by selecting the parcels most suitable for vine-growing and by developing techniques for controlling fermentation temperatures for white wines and tannin extraction techniques for red wines.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, wines referred to as ‘Bordeaux’ included those from ‘Graves’, ‘Médoc’, ‘Blayais’, etc., as well as those from the region known as ‘Pays de la nouvelle conquête’ [Land of new conquest]. This ‘conquest’ concerned the conversion of the downtrodden populace, and was based on several influential parishes and jurisdictions, such as Montravel, Sainte-Foy and even the Duchy of Duras. Francis I encouraged the planting of vines on the hills of the Duras region, and the Valois Court relished it as a ‘nectar’.

Since then, the Duras region has been hit by a string of crises (wars, trade restrictions and phylloxera, with the exception of the ‘Haut-Pays’), but wine-growing has resisted and adapted. Production is divided almost equally between cooperatives and independent cellars. The development of agro-tourism has made it possible for direct sales to become the predominant marketing avenue, accounting for 60 % of the volume sold. With 15 % of sales going to northern Europe, the wines’ reputation goes far beyond Aquitaine or Île-de-France, which is where the reputation of wines with the controlled designation of origin ‘Duras’ was built.

9.   Essential further conditions (packaging, labelling, other requirements)

Legal framework:

National legislation

Type of further condition:

Additional provisions relating to labelling

Description of the condition:

The word ‘sec’ [dry] must feature on the labelling of white wines with a fermentable sugar content (glucose + fructose) less than or equal to 3 grams per litre.

Wines with the ‘Côtes de Duras’ protected designation of origin may specify the broader geographical unit ‘Sud-Ouest’ [‘south-west’] on their labels. This broader geographical unit may also feature on any leaflets or containers. The size of the letters for the broader geographical unit must not be larger, in either height or width, than the size of the letters forming the name of the protected designation of origin.

Legal framework:

National legislation

Type of further condition:

Derogation concerning production in the demarcated geographical area

Description of the condition:

The area in immediate proximity, defined by derogation for vinification and the development of wines, comprises the territory of the following municipalities (based on the Official Geographic Code in force on 26 February 2020):

Department of Dordogne:

Entire municipalities: Sadillac, Thénac.

Municipality partially included: Saint-Julien-Innocence-Eulalie for the sole territory of the former municipality of Sainte-Eulalie-d’Eymet, which became a delegated municipality within Saint-Julien-Innocence-Eulalie on 1 January 2019.

Department of Gironde: Dieulivol, Landerrouat, Les Lèves-et-Thoumeyragues, Margueron, Monségur, Pellegrue, Riocaud, Saint-Avit-Saint-Nazaire.

Department of Lot-et-Garonne: Lévignac-de-Guyenne, Mauvezin-sur-Gupie, Monteton, Roumagne.

Link to the product specification

http://info.agriculture.gouv.fr/gedei/site/bo-agri/document_administratif-918e1e36-8c05-4755-8ea3-a2acdf360f18


(1)  OJ L 9, 11.1.20119, p. 2.


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