Great Values from France $8.99 – $12.99

This week’s tasting will feature six outstanding values from various regions of France including three whites and three reds from the Rhone Valley, Loire Valley, Languedoc, and Talus (between Bordeaux and Languedoc). The wines are all priced under $12.99; four are imported by Bourgeois Family Selections and the other two by Luneau USA.

Philippe Bourgeois, owner of Bourgeois Family Selections, is one of our favorite French importers for value and quality (however, he carries some great high-end wines as well). He is a sixth generation Frenchman “legacy in the beer, wine and spirits industry in his native country. He has spent years traveling the wine regions and countless time scouring the back roads of Gaul for unique, hand selected, organic wines. [His goal] is to bring you what only a Frenchman can; the most exciting undiscovered gems of the old world; beautiful, passionately hand made wines, never before available in the US market.” From Bourgeois Family Selections we will sample two whites and two reds including a Vermentino (white), Chardonnay, red blend, and Cotes du Rhone (red).

Luneau USA specializes in providing American consumers with “quality wines from a trusted source. With the assistance of the Nicolas oenologist, Luneau has picked a selection of wines that truly represent the major French appellations and perfectly reflect the unique characteristics of each wine varietal… Here in the United States, Luneau USA Inc. is the sole importer for Castel Freres, the owner of the Nicolas wine shops [Nicolas was established in 1822 when it opened its first three stores in Paris. Today there are over 400 stores throughout Europe] and the largest wine negociant in France, as well as the fourth largest wine company globally. Castel is also the largest owner of wine in the Medoc region, and the owner of 14 Chateaux in Bordeaux.” From Luneau USA we will try a Vouvray (white made from Chenin Blanc) and Malbec.

The wines for this week are great for the money and excellent examples of their variety and region. We hope you will join us Thursday night!

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Elicio Blanc 2010– Cotes du Luberon, Rhone Valley. 100% Vermentino. “Raphael Trouiller uses his experience as a “vigneron” to produce Elicio in the south of the Rhone Valley. A clear golden color with an intense nose of exotic fruits (passion fruit and lychee) and white flowers. A very refreshing wine, round on the palate, with sweet pear notes with a touch of citrus, followed by nice acidity. A very crisp, light, and flavorful modern white.” Jen’s note- Beautiful aromas- tropical and floral. Reminds me of Willamette Valley whites with it’s suggestions of melon fruit, lavender, and spring herbs. Bright, very lean and fresh. Good acid. Friendly and juicy. Notes of wet stone and hay linger on the leesy finish. Outstanding value. Sustainably farmed. Imported by Bourgeous Family Selections. Tasting $8.99

Louis Laurent Vouvray 2010– Vouvray, Loire Valley. 100% Chenin Blanc. “Light yellow straw color. Medium bodied, with aromas of fresh apples and pears. Well balanced with good acidity. Crisp and gorgeous finish.” 88 Wine Spectator- “A bright, floral style, with honeysuckle, green fig and pear notes and a lively, juicy finish. Drink now.” Jen’s note- Fleshy, peachy nose, pineapple hints. Gentle, bright acid. Leesy texture. Great Value. Imported by Luneau USA. Tasting $10.99

Cuvee Stephi Chardonnay 2010– Languedoc. “This wine wakes up your palate with a combination of fruit and great acidity. Lots of green and citrus aromas, including pineapple and lemon on the nose, with a hint of spice. Medium-bodied and balanced, it has straightforward, juicy tropical and citrus flavors, and a clean, refreshing finish. From 20 to 25 year old vines, unoaked. Aged for 8 months in stainless steel tanks with 3 months on its lees.” Jen’s note- Sweet tropical nose, lemon cream. Nice melon fruit flavors. Full-bodied, soft, bright and creamy. Leesy, juicy finish. No oak. Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. Tasting $10.99

Elicio Rouge 2010– Southeast of the Rhone Valley. 50% Grenache and 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.” Jen’s note- Dark color, opaque center. Rustic berry fruit scents. Generous briary fruits and juicy, bright acid (on palate). Balanced finish, juicy and mouthcoating with tannic structure. A true bargain. Sustainably farmed. Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. Tasting $8.99

Castel Malbec 2009– Talus (between Bordeaux and Languedoc). “This is ripe and fleshy with boysenberry and dark cacao notes. Its long finish hints at tobacco and flint. Toasty, and stays very solid…” Jen’s note- Beautiful, dark red/purple. Spicy perfume, terroir notes. Blackberry, blueberry, dark fruits. Juicy yet dry, grainy tannins. High acid, juicy finish. Good value. Imported by Luneau USA. Tasting $10.99

Domaine de la Berthete Sensation Cotes du Rhone 2010– Rhone Valley. A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 20% Carignan, and 5% Cinsault. “A custom Cuvee for Bourgeois Family; 15% of the cuvee aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. With a profile of a baby Chateauneauf-du-Pape it can be served throughout the meal. Drink within 3 to 5 years.” 88 Wine Spectator- “This dark, toasty style offers espresso and roasted spice notes, but shows good cut to the currant and fig fruit as a graphite edge stretches out the finish nicely. Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault. Drink now. 300 cases made.” Jen’s note- Dark fruits/spice on the nose. Opens with blueberry and ripe berry fruits. Soft and friendly palate, big fruits. Sustainably farmed. Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections. Tasting $12.99

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