The soil of the Côtes d'Auvergne is very varied. Around the town of Clermont-Ferrand two different types can be found : volcanic strata and chalkbearing marl. Both originate geologically from enormous volcanic eruptions during the Quaternary. The landscape around here is extremely hilly, making a visit of great interest. The winegrowing area is about 500 hectares, stretching from north of Riom to south of Issoire. The vineyards are situated at a height of 984-1,640 feet (300-500 metres), between the ancient volcanoes of the Chaine des Puys and the river Allier. Rainfall is similar to that of the Sancerrois. About 90% of the vines planted are Gamay. The remaining 10% consist of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Côtes d'Auvergne appellation mainly consists of generic wines but there have been five recognised crus since 1977 that each has its own personality. The generic white, rose, and red wines may come from throughout the area. White Côtes d'Auvergne are made with Chardonnay and they are very fruity, legant, and fresh. The best of these are aged in oak and can be laid down and kept for ten years. Drink this French wine at 48.2-53.6°F (9-12°C).
Côtes d'Auvergne rose is made from Gamay grapes and it is fresh, very fruity, generous, and easily consumed. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 50-53.6°F (10-12°C). Côtes d'Auvergne red can be made with Gamay, Pinot Noir, or a blend of both. This French wine is surprisingly fruity and fresh, while at the same time supple and fresh. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).
From north to south the crus are: Madargue (above Riom) both rose and red wines. Both characterised by deep colour, seductive fruitiness (raspberry and redcurrant), full and rounded flavour with muted tannin. Drink this French wine 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).
Chateaugay (between Riom and Clermont-Ferrand) where white, rose, and red French wines are made. The most interesting is the dark ruby red with characteristic spicy bouquet including cinnamon and nutmeg and an elegant and wellbalanced taste. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 57.2-59°F (14-15°C).
Chanturgue (above Clermont-Ferrand) produces only red French wine. This is dark ruby coloured and very aromatic with red fruit such as raspberry and cherry. The taste is fresh and fruity. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 55.4-59°F (13-15°C). Carent (between Clermont-Ferrand and Issoire) is the rose domain.
This wonderful rose will silence all sceptics immediately with its superb bouquet containing citrus fruit, hazelnut, cherry, apricot, peony, and fresh butter. This French wine is full-bodied, broad, and almost fleshy and has a very lingering aftertaste. Discover this fantastic French wine during a visit to the Auvergne. Choose the best of them such as those of Jean Pierre and Marc Pradier. Drinking temperature for this French wine at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).
Good white and red wines are also made in Corent, but less special than the rose. Boudes (below Issoire) produces white, rose, and red French wines. The lower quality Boudes wines are interesting and well made but not exciting. The top quality French wines by contrast are veritable jewels. Consider the white and red wines of Claude and Annie Sauvat, who perform miracles in this small wine area. The Chardonnay white can easily compete with the best white Burgundy The red Gamay is deeply coloured with wonderful bouquet containing raspberry, red currant, spices, vanilla, and pepper. The Pinot Noir wines exude scents of plum, cherry, leather, liquorice, wood, coffee, and toast.
Do not anticipate a light-footed feminine French wine. These red Boudes are sturdy but with yielding tannin and have a full, fatty, and complex taste. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).