Showing posts with label Bourgogne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bourgogne. Show all posts

Friday, February 23, 2024

Bursting with youth and audacity... Francois Martenot's Crémant De Bourgogne

Francois Martenot Crémant De Bourgogne (AOP) Brut,  2021, 12% ABV

€20.50 Dunnes Stores

€16.50 in last Autumn’s French Wine Sale

..bursting with youth and audacity..

Made in the traditional Champagne method, this Crémant is dry with beautiful flavours of lime and pear. The AOP generally encourages a wine bursting with youth and audacity…freshness and vigour. And that is exactly what you get when you pour this beauty, a pale gold colour and a fountain of bubbles rising to form a necklace around the edge of the glass.

And, with this Brut, that vivacity continues through the aromas and onto the palate which is full of flavour and is fresh and elegant with a lively acidity. Better than most entry-level champagnes and without the hefty price tag. The grapes used here are Chardonnay and Gamay,

Crémant as you know is an excellent aperitf. The French also recommend matching with main dishes such as stewed poultry with pears and dried fruits (confit de volaille aux poires et fruits secs). Serving temperatures: 4 to 8°C as a pre-dinner drink, 6 to 9°C with main meal.

Maison François Martenot is located very close to Beaune, the capital of the Burgundy wine region, in the heart of one of the nicest vineyards of France. Between Auxerre and Mâcon, Burgundy proudly offers some of the most prestigious AOPs of the world.

Check out  our Top Wines 2024 list (with stockists and short reviews) here 

Looking for better value? All under 20 euro. Click here

Crémant de Bourgogne was first made, using the Traditional vinification method (same as Champagne), at the beginning of the 19th century. The AOC status granted in 1975 laid down strict conditions for its production based on meticulously applied traditional skills to achieve high-quality vinification. Only whites and rosés qualify for the appellation. They may be blanc de blancs (from white grapes) or blanc de noirs (from white-juiced black grapes). Most are classed as brut or, less often, demi-sec. The production area is the same as that for the appellation Bourgogne.

Oh by the way, these crémant wines are not confined to Burgundy and there are quite a few to choose from including Bordeaux, Limoux, Savoie, Die (Rhone), Jura and Alsace.. even Luxembourg! You may read a little more on the subject here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Xarel-lo Still Wine. And two other whites.

Xarel-lo Still Wine 
And two other whites.
Albet i Noya Curiós Xarel-lo Penedes (DO) 2016, 12.5%, €13.90 Mary Pawle Wines

This is an organic wine, made from Xarel-lo, the grape synonymous with Cava, in the Penedes region of Catalonia. 

Colour is light straw, very light. Fresh fruit, green and citrus, in the aromas, floral elements too. Fresh too on the supple palate, the flavours combining with the initial aromas to pleasantly surprise the taste buds, lively acidity also, and this lovely white also finishes well.

Food advice comes from the producers: on its own or serve with chicken or risotto dishes. Get a few of these in for the warmer days ahead (coming soon!!!). Highly Recommended. Well priced too, by the way.

Gitton Chantalouette Pouilly Sur Loire (AC) 2013, 12.5%, €20.65 Karwig

A pleasing light straw colour. White fruit aromas of moderate intensity, hint of honey. Smooth on the palate, good mix of white fruit flavours, slight sweetness, and lively acidity before a lip-smacking dry finish. Recommended.

It is a blend of mainly Chasselas and Sauvignon Blanc (10 to 15%) and has spent 3 months in barrel. While there is a town called Chasselas in the French region of Maconnais, Wine-Searcher reckons the grape originated in Switzerland where it is the “most important and widely planted white grape variety” and matches well with traditional local cuisine like fondue. My match: Knockanore Cheddar and a few dried apricots from Lenny's  stall in the Mahon Point Farmers Market.

If you go reading up on this little known grape, avoid Grapes and Vines (Oz Clarke and Margaret Rand). “Suffers from a certain folie de grandeur” is one put down, referring to a Swiss wine. Delusions of grandeur. Don't think that Gitton Père et Fils would agree!

Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits (AOC), 13%, €27.45 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

This wine is limpid in the glass, the colour a light to mid yellow. Nose is attractive, fresh, peachy. Superb fresh flavours (stone-fruit, citrus) in the mouth, no shortage of acidity either, all the way to a lip-smackingly finish. Recommended.

Maison Ambroise owns organically certified vineyards on some of the finest sites of the Côte de Nuit. I also spotted a mis-translation on the label. Their wines are generally “aged in French oak barrels to give addiction depth and complexity”. You have been warned!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Burgundy Bourgogne. Five of the Best

SuperValu Feature Burgundy
Some of Bourgogne's Best

The French Wine sale is underway at SuperValu until the 23rd of the month (September). The focus here is on Burgundy (Bourgogne) and indeed mainly on the whites of the iconic area.

Burgundy and Bordeaux are perhaps the best known wine areas of France but there are major differences. Bordeaux is the area of the the big chateaux, the extensive vineyard. But Burgundy is the land of the small holder.

In Bordeaux too, they blend both reds and whites. In the Bourgogne region, the wines are mainly single varietal. This “purity of expression” means that each plot gives each vintage its own personality and unique characteristics. Chardonnay (48%) and Pinot Noir (34%) are the most widely grown here.

The current sale gives you, and me, a great opportunity to sample the superb wines from the region. Andre Goichot, best known as a negociant but who is also a producer, has been here since 1947 and all the wines below are his.

Maison Andre Goichot Mercurey (AOC) 2013, 12.5%, €18.00.
Colour is a light, and bright, red while the aromas give you a nice mix of raspberry, cherry, strawberry. Red fruit flavours, cherry prominent, on the palate, light as you'd expect, the lightness of a classic youthful Pinot Noir; acidity and tannins combine well as you go into the dry finish. Very Highly Recommended. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better example at or about this price - if you do, let me know.

Don't think I'd go as far as to say it's a divine wine but the village of Mercurey is named after a local Gallo-Roman temple to Mercury, the messenger of the gods.

Did you know that Pinot Noir juice is clear? The grapes must be macerated in vats to put the skins in contact with the juice. The colour is in the skins and, without this maceration, the Pinot Noir would produce a white wine. Pinot Noir accounts for about a third of the Burgundy harvest.

Maison Andre Goichot “Les Petit Meix” Chablis 1er Cru 2014, 13%, €18.00.

This, of course, is a Chardonnay, dry and fresh. If this is your first Chablis, you’ll probably find it much drier and fresher than the non-burgundian Chardonnays you've been drinking. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the wines of Chablis are surely the most flattered in the world - according to DK's French Wines 1999.

Colour is pale gold and it has the characteristic mineral aromas that hint of the dryness and freshness to come on the palate. It is quite a gorgeous mouthful, fruit and acidity in good balance and a super dry finalé.
Matches indicated include fine poultry, oysters and veal in a white sauce. But this is a complex wine, very versatile (you'll have no problem with duck or pork) and Very Highly Recommended.

Maison Andre Goichot Meursault (AOC) 2014, 13%, €35.00.

Colour is a greenish gold, limpid and brilliant, and here again the fruit and acidity match up in an exceptional balance. Fresh and smooth it has an excellent refined mouthfeel with a streak of minerality and a long finish that keeps giving.

On the area’s website, I read: “Nowhere in the Côte de Beaune does the Chardonnay grape do better that its does here”. Maybe a little early with this one, as they say “it is a great white wine for laying down”. It is indeed excellent now, and Highly Recommended, but whether it is twice as good as the Chablis or Montagny is debateable. Perhaps its best days are in the future! So maybe I’ll buy a few of these for that special occasion in a couple of years and lots of the Montagny for the here and now!

Former US president Thomas Jefferson once visited the region and reported: " Meursault only white wines are made, because there is too much stone for the red".

Domaine Les Guignottes, Les Resses Montagny 1er Cru 2014, 13%, €20.00
Not too much to say about this - just go out and buy and enjoy! This classic Chardonnay has beautiful intense white fruit aromas, peach the most prominent. Colour is a bright gold and there are amazing fruit and nut flavours, some spice too. The acidity too is outstanding. Fresh, with  a gorgeous mouthfeel and a long finish. Very Highly Recommended.

Domaine Les Guignottes, Montagny Les Guignottes, 13%, €18.00
Falling in love with Montagny, for sure. Tried this out with a trio and they all loved it as well, its amazing colours, brightness and aromas but above all for the outstanding flavours and acidity and that long finish. Great value too. Very Highly Recommended. 

Montagny (in the Chalonnaise region) produces white wines only - fresh, young, alluring classic burgundian. Very versatile as a food wine, including seafood, many cheeses (including goat) and it won't be intimidated by paella.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Great Rhone Run Continues. Bourgogne Angels Deliver

Great Rhone Run Continues

Bourgogne Angels Deliver For Christmas
Domaine Chaume-Arnaud, Vinsobres Rhone (Fr) 2012, 14.5%, c. €21.00, Le Caveau Kilkenny.

Vinsobres (once famous for its olive groves) is a hillside village in the Southern Rhone, just to the south-east of Montelimar (famous for it nougat). It obtained its local appellation (red wine only) as recently as 2005. Minimum alcohol content, according to AOC rules, is 12.5% but that is well exceeded here. I've had a great run on the Rhone recently and this is another excellent bottle. Very Highly Recommended.

There are generous red-fruit aromas from this ruby wine, spice too with vanilla and pepper prominent. This is the Rhone, powerful and refreshing, in a glass and on a palate. Rich fruit flavours abound and no shortage of spice either. Full bodied and earthy, with fine tannins, it has a quality aftertaste. Pair it with red meat, game, cheese.

The blend is the usual Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre but with a splash of Cinsault. No chemical fertilisers are used and harvesting is by hand on this biodynamic vineyard run by husband and wife team Philippe and Valerie Chaume-Arnaud.

Les Couteaux Des Anges, Pinot Noir (Bourgogne) 2013, 12.5%, €10.00 SuperValu ‘til 31st Dec.

Burgundy is the place for Pinot Noir and this is a very good example. Colour is the typical light red, clean and bright and the aromas are of red cherry. There are beautiful soft fruit flavours and a lovely balancing acidity. This medium bodied wine is a real pleasure on the palate, light and fruity, and it has quite an elegant finish to boot. Don't be afraid to agitate it slightly while in the mouth - you’ll be well rewarded! Very Highly Recommended.

SuperValu recommend you try it with their Salmon Mulled Wine Christmas dinner. I think it would also go well with Scallops and Truly Irish Rashers (of which we’ve had some recent experience!) Generally though, it should match with meaty fish, mushrooms, soft cheese, poultry and cured meats.

Speaking of matching, the recently reviewed Vinha de Foral Moscatel de Setubal is a natural with mince pies!