Manseng Noir (Black Manseng) is a wine grape variety of Basque origins that is grown primarily in South West France. It is allowed into Béarn AOC wine but very little used. Manseng Noir is deep in colour and tannic.
Like Pinot Noir and Muscat, the grape mutates easily and has spawn several additional grape varieties that are more commonly used in wine production, most notably Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng.
Originally from the western Pyrenees, Manseng Noir, a grape variety close to Tannat, is part of the Cotoïde family
It was grown in haughty or low vines in the old Pyrenean vineyards. Many authors report it before the 19th century; it is also mentioned by the Marquis de Montesquieu, but did he not confuse it with the Mancin N found on the alluvial soils of the Gironde valley? In Viala & Vermorel (1910), this variety was sometimes called Manseng Noir sometimes Manseng Rouge. According to Henri de Lapparent, it was widespread in Chalosse.
The denominations Manseng, Mansès, Mancin, Mansois, and their spelling variants have been considered by some, following Levadoux (1960), as coming from the Latin mansus (manor), and designating grape varieties specific to the masters, often not very productive but producing quality wines. This hypothesis is not absolutely proven and there remains a part of mystery in the etymology of these terms.
Cottony white budding with a pink border. Young downy leaves with bronze spots. Adult leaves entire, blistered, petiole sinus in lyre. The leaf could be confused with that of the Tannat if it is not that the latter has a very pronounced and revolute median blade at its end in the shape of a goatee (beard). Medium clusters with small round berries.
On the nose, Manseng Noir IGP/PGI (protected geographic indication) often reveals types of aromas of plum, black fruit or black currant and sometimes also aromas of red fruits, black fruits. The structure in the mouth is fine and complex with a lot of savoriness.
Faithful to its desire to promote and develop the native grape varieties of the South-West, Plaimont Producteurs revives forgotten grape varieties within its Ampelographic Conservatory. Among them is Manseng Noir, a grape variety that gives wines with a deep color, a silky taste, and a moderate alcohol content. An exceptional eponymous wine made with grapes from young vines, aged 3 and 4 years, planted mainly on clay-limestone hillsides around Condom in the Gers.
Production area: 25 ha (62 acres), soon to increase to 80 ha (198 acres)