French Wine- Various Regions
This week we will sample a variety of French wine, one sparkling, one white, and four reds, from various regions of the country including Southern France (Vin de Mediterranee), the Rhone Valley, Loire Valley, Bordeaux and Auxerre near Chablis in Burgundy.
Four of the wines are imported by Philippe Bourgeois of Bourgeois Family Selections, one is a Daniel Johannes selection imported by Michael Skurnik, and finally the sparkling is brought to the U.S. by William-Harrison Imports. We hope to see you there!
Elicio– “Raphaël Trouiller uses his experience as a “vigneron” to produce Elicio in the south of the Rhône Valley. The project Elicio is the newest and most value-driven line from Raphael under the structure of Caravinserail. The name comes from a little play on the word Caravanserail, a resting place for a Caravan but also a meeting place, a place to exchange experiences, cultures…. to mix. Here it is expressed with wines. Caravinserail indeed produces with the partnership of talented winemakers, wines of pleasure form the Southern Rhone valley, primarily the Ventoux region.”
Elicio Blanc 2011– Vin de Mediterranee, France. 100% Vermentino. “Clear golden color with an intense nose of exotic fruits (passion fruit and pineapple) and white fruits. A very refreshing wine, round on the palate, with sweet pear notes with a touch of citrus, followed by a nice acidity. A very crisp, light and flavorful modern white wine that will be a delight with all your summer and light dishes, or by itself.” Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. $8.99
Elicio Rouge 2010– Vin de Mediterranee, France. 50% Grenache, 50% Merlot. “This wine is made from a careful selection of young vines growing on chalky and clay soils in the Southeast of the Rhone Valley. Aged in concrete tanks 8 months with temperature controlled fermentation. This fulfilling wine evokes the warm and fruity flavors of its sunny region. A young wine, packed with fresh notes of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry wrapped up in a tornado of intense flavors and soft white and black spices. Round, very fruit forward, this extreme value wine can be enjoyed with your everyday meals or by itself. Elicio, simply delicious!” Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. 3 Stars (out of 4) Decanter Magazine “Deep and rich colour, closed nose. Slight over extraction, but an interesting wine that has good fruit.” $8.99
Chateau la Faviere– Located on the northern flank of the plateau of Saint-Emilion, Château La Favière includes an area of 65 hectares including 18.5 vineyard in AOC Bordeaux Supérieur. The property was bought in 2011 by the Russian businessman Stanislav Zingerenko. He chose as the French director Christophe Bedouet. Their different backgrounds make their alliance [beneficial for the chateau].”
Chateau la Faviere Bordeaux Superieur 2009– Bordeaux, France. 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. “60% of the blend aged for 6 months in 1 year old French oak barrels, 40% aged in concrete vats for 6 months. Intense bright color with aromas of ripe red fruit and soft toasty notes with dark spices. On the palate, this wine is lush, round and substantial with a lingering fine finish. This is a great value Bordeaux to be enjoyed with all your read meats and cheeses. Enjoy now or cellar for 8 years.” Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. $18.99
Domaine de Chateaumar– “For many generations the vines at Domaine de Chateaumar have been cultivated by father and son. Today it is Jean-Felix and Frederic Souret who manage the vineyard, always maintaining the greatest respect for nature: vineyards run for generations without any chemical weedkillers. The family estate is located some 9 km from Orange, on the D72 departmental road, in the heart of the production area for AOC Cotes du Rhone. The vineyards of the estate include:
• 25 acres of AOC Cotes du Rhone, on stony clay-limestone soil.
• 12 acres AOC Chateauneuf du Pape. The soil of this prestigious appellation being red clay and large round cobbles.
The vineyard is naturally established from several noble varieties, principally Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Absolutely no herbicide is used here. The soil is turned several times during the year– providing aeration and suppleness– this allows the vine stocks to draw a wonderful energy from deep down to create beautifully formed grapes. Once fully matured the grapes are hand-picked; selected and sorted with great care. The vinification is carried out in our “wine-house” over more than 15 days. The grapes give us powerful wine with pepper and spice highlights, and the aroma of ripe red fruits. The wines are stored with great care. They are aged over 12 to 18 months before bottling at the Estate (Domaine).”
Domaine de Chateaumar Cuvee Vincent Cotes du Rhone Syrah 2010– Cotes du Rhone, France. 100% Syrah, sustainably farmed. “A Custom Cuvee for the Bourgeois Family made from a single vineyard of Syrah vines on the terroir of Chateauneuf du Pape. Only 550 cases were made of the 2009 vintage. 100% Syrah from hillside vineyards with a south, southwest exposition. Aged for 8 months in concrete tanks (85%) and 15% aged in one year old French oak barrels from Allier. A true and beautiful expression of Syrah from Chateauneuf with a high end Northern Rhone feel!” Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. $12.99
Domaine Les Hautes Noelles– “From his 24 hectares of vineyard land centered in the Cotes de Grandlieu sub-zone, proprietor Serge Batard crafts staggeringly intense Muscadet that nonetheless displays all the zingy acidity and palpable minerality you’d expect from this seaside appellation. By working the soils throughout the vegetation cycle, they are able to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and weed killers in the vineyards. Prolonged lees aging and bottling without racking give the wines extra texture and richness. Furthermore, Batard vinifies his parcels separately, harvesting by hand and blending just before bottling for maximum control over the final wine. Truly stupendous quality here! Now add to that the exciting red wines we now carry from him (the Gamay Rouge and the charming Hého Rouge), Serge Batard is now truly a force to be reckoned with for quality wine from the Loire – at a bargain.”
Domaine les Hautes Noelles ‘Heho’ le Rouge 2011– Vin de Pays de Loire Valley, France. 45% Cabernet Franc, 45% Grolleau Noir, 10% Gamay. “The Gamay and Grolleau noir are fermented used carbonic maceration while the Cab Franc is vinified in the traditional fashion.” “Bright red fruit notes on the nose and palate are accented by hints of rose petal, tobacco and earth that merge with chalky minerality and a hint of spice on the finish.” Matt’s note- “Little acidity and an interesting candied flavor.” A Daniel Johnnes Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. $12.99
Bailly-Lapierre Saint Meyland– “Saint-Meyland is a sparkling wine that meets the same special requirements of the Crémant de Bourgogne, including the méthode Champenoise. Since the grapes are grown outside of the appellation, it is simply a sparkling wine, aged over a year in the bottle. The primary and secondary fermentations, and disgorgement are carried out in the same fashion as the more expensive Crémants, but the price is much more reasonable. This lovely sparkler is made from hand-picked grapes, with a delicate and elegant bubble. Pale gold in color it has powerful aromas of acacia, vanilla, and other flowers, with a soft, round middle, and a long, balanced flavor.”
Bailly-Lapierre Saint-Meyland Brut NV– Auxerre, France (just outside of Chablis). “This lovely sparkler is made from hand-picked grapes, with a delicate and elegant bubble. Pale gold in color it has powerful aromas of acacia, vanilla, and other flowers, with a soft, round middle, and a long, balanced flavor. Don’t confuse this with the cheap Charmat or Bulk Process sparklers that often have off odors or flavors.” Imported by William-Harrison Imports. $15.99