Showing posts with label Vacqueyras. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacqueyras. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2016

April is the Real Wine Month

April is the Real Wine Month


April, the Real Wine Month, is up and running!


Real Wine Month is an exciting, innovative promotion of artisan wines which have been produced sustainably by organic, biodynamic viticulture and low intervention (a.k.a. 'natural') winemaking. It is being run across Ireland and the United Kingdom by specialist importers Le Caveau (Ireland) and Les Caves de Pyrène (United Kingdom).


From 4th-30th April, selected wines will be poured by the glass or featured on wine lists,  in tastings and themed events in over 200 restaurants, independent retailers and wine clubs across the U.K. and over 50 in Ireland.


This, the third Real Wine Month in Ireland, is shaping up to be the best yet. From pubs, bars and bistros to Michelin-starred establishments, to independent retailers and wine clubs, we have seen increasing interest in the quality, authenticity and diversity of these small-scale, artisanal wines.


Through participating restaurants and retailers, the promotion represents a great opportunity for wine-drinkers to taste and explore a diversity of wines that are not mass-distributed due to small-scale production, or indeed are in short supply due to global demand particularly from cities like New York, San Francisco, London and Paris.


To see what’s on in your area, the events, the participating restaurants, wine bars and stores, please click here for the full press release. I hope to have another post or two over the month.


In the meantime, here are some of the wines that you may well come across. There are some real beauties here!


Chateau Turcaud Entre-Deux-Mers sec 2014, 13%, €14.90 Le Caveau


I didn't know it then but I was looking down on this vineyard less than two years ago. After a visit to Gavin Quinney’s Chateau Bauduc, I had climbed to the top of the famous local abbey Le Sauve Majeure and, from the final 159th step, had a great view over the surrounding countryside. April is Real Wine Month and, as part of the fun, Chateau Turcaud will be represented at events in Dublin and Cork.
Le Sauve Majeure
This particular wine is a classic Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc (60%), Semillon (35%) and Muscadelle (5%) and, having been fermented and aged on the lees in vat,  the result is very crisp and fruity.


You'll note a good depth of yellow in the colour with aromas of citrus fruits, some blossoms too. On the palate, it is more intense, more assertive than the nose, with a lovely wave of fruit flavours, an excellent mouthfeel, well balanced and with a good finish. Highly Recommended.


Serve this delightful wine well-chilled as an aperitif, with all sorts of seafood, or with goat cheese, sheep cheese, and hard cheeses.


Isabelle and Stéphane Le May are eager to safeguard the local soil and terroir they have inherited: they’ve come back to mechanically weeding, and fight vine diseases with sustainable methods.


Chateau Beauregard Mirouze Tradition 2013 (Corbieres AOC), 13.5%, €14.85 Le Caveau


Winemakers Karine and Nicolas Mirouze have blended 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah (over 40 years old) to make this excellent organic wine.  Mirouze will be another of the French wineries to be represented here this month. Their favourite pairing for this wine is Duck breast accompanied by a ratatouille of vegetables from the garden.


Colour is a deep red, almost purple. The aromas, savoury and spicy, puzzled me a bit and the chateau says they are “nose dashing”!  A mingling of the scents of red fruit and garrigue (the local scrub). So there you are. On the palate, you find intense dark fruit flavours, spice too, tannins noticeably in play, yet overall invigorating and with a very good finish. A really warming satisfying wine and Highly Recommended.


Clos de Caveau Carmin Brillant 2012 (Vacqueyras AOC), 14.5%, €24.50 Le Caveau


Vacqueyras village, under the shade of its large trees, stays cool when the vineyards all around are warm. And this is one cool wine, coming from a height of 200m, higher than most of its neighbours.


The vineyard is naturally isolated by a belt of Mediterranean forest, making it ideally suited for organic viticulture, for which the domain obtained full certification in 1989. Most of the work in the vineyard is carried out by hand and the yields are very limited. Clos de Caveau too are coming to Dublin and Cork in April.


Colour is a dark red and the aromas feature red fruit and some hints of herbs. It is very smooth and concentrated on the palate, lush fruit flavours with spice and herbs, and fine tannins. An excellent finish as well and Very Highly Recommended. The blend is 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah and it is 100% organic.


Chateau Tour des Gendres, La Gloire de mon Pére Cotes de Bergerac Rouge (AOC)  2007, 12.5%, €21.30 Le Caveau


The aromas are intense and very pleasing, one that invited me to take off my glasses! Like the wine, I’m getting on; by lifting the glasses, my nose works that little bit better! It is quite a dark red with a lighter rim - it is after all getting on in years!


On the palate, it is very very smooth and rounded, gentle too, nothing extreme, still fresh but ready to enjoy and appreciate, with an excelling lingering finish. Very Highly Recommended.


Bergerac, perpetually in the shadow of neighbour Bordeaux, produces many excellent wines, mainly from much the same grapes. This blend of Merlot (45%), Malbec (35%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Cabernet Franc (5%), is an excellent example. By the way, the proportions of the blend vary from year to year. It spent eight months in oak. Viticulture is biodynamic.

A word from the makers: This wine, quite powerful in the mouth, will accompany venison, duck, the stews and cheese. It will be better if decanted for within hours, and can be kept  between 5 and 8 years. The eight years is up! But no panic at all.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Jingle Bell Rhone. Two for the red stocking

Jingle Bell Rhone
Two for the red stocking
Fountain in memory of a local troubadour
at the entrance to Vacqueyras

Remy Febras Vacqueyras 2013 (Rhone, France), 13.5%, €10.00 SuperValu.

Colour is ruby red and cherries stand out in the inviting mix of aromas. There is a great balance between lively fruit and spices plus a hint of liquorice, impressive blend, full bodied and rounded and a good bottle to have on your table at this time of year. Very Highly Recommended.

Regulations governing the AOC allow the use of up to 22 grape varieties but the three main ones in Vacqueyras rouge are Grenache (at least 50%), Syrah and Mourvedre, hence the term GSM wine,often tossed about by experts to the confusion of us amateurs.

Vacqueyras is one of eight villages in the Southern Rhone that has its own name as the AOC name. The others are Rasteau, Vinsobres, Gigondas, Beaumes de Venise, Lirac, Tavel and Chateauneuf-du-Pape and all eight are regarded as Crus.

The village itself is small and tree lined. Indeed, when I called there a few years back, the canopy of leaves had the centre in deep shade in the early afternoon. Looked a bit unreal.


Vines in the Southern Rhone

Chateau Goudray, Seguret Cotes du Rhone Villages 2012, 15%, €10.00 SuperValu

This is another of the Rhone’s GSM wines (we’re learning fast!). Minimum ABV for Seguret is 12.5% so this is comfortably above that! Hillside Seguret, like Vacqueyras, is a village in the Southern Rhone but, unlike its neighbour, is not allowed to go solo on the label. It can only append its name to the more general Cotes du Rhone Village labels, a step down on going solo but a step up on the basic Cotes du Rhone.

This too has an inviting fruity aroma and a ruby colour. Another very handy one for the Christmas, it is fruity, spicier than the Vacqueyras, well rounded, well balanced (no hint of that higher alcohol), dry, and with a decent finish. Could be an interesting match-up with that new local spiced buffalo by Eoin O'Mahony in the English Market. Again, Very Highly Recommended.

The World Atlas of Wine says that Seguet develops quickly. You've been warned!