A Couple Of Excellent French Wines To Consider, from Burgundy to Bouche du Rhone
|Cowboy of the Rhone Delta
Domaine Ambroise Lettre d’Eloïse Chardonnay Couteaux Bourguignons (AC) 2018, 13%
Light gold is the colour of this Chardonnay from Burgundy. Citrus and floral notes in the aromas. A citrus-y tingle as it hits the palate, an excellent acidity. This fresh and lively wine, a wonderful drop indeed, is very well made and Very Highly Recommended. The wine is fermented in 1-, 2- and 3-year-old 400-l oak barrels, where it stays for a period of 10 months and we benefit beautifully because of it. The wine is not fined and only lightly filtered. The fruit for this excellent Chardonnay, one of around nine produced by Domaine Ambroise, comes from young vines.
Le Caveau say: Harvested manually, neither filtered nor fined, the wines are classic and expressive with distinct terroir-influenced personalities.
Maison Ambroise is a long established, small négociant house, who operates on 21 hectares of their own vineyards and purchase grapes from another 3. They own vines in Prémeaux, Nuits-St-Georges, Ladoix, Meursault, the hill of Corton, Vosne-Romanée (with some Grand Cru Echezeaux!), Gevrey-Chambertin, Vougeot, Beaune and as far as Saint-Romain. Bertrand Ambroise has been a key figure in the development of the estate and this wine is named for his grand-daughter.
Some official info from the area: This appellation Coteaux Bourguignons, created in 2011 covers red, white, and rosé wines, grown over four départements. The Coteaux Bourguignons appellation covers wines that can be blended or come from a single varietal, and which can use some more old-fashioned varietals. The word rosé can be replaced by the word Clairet.
This Bourgogne blanc is very adaptable at the table. It makes it a delicate and tasty pre-dinner drink while its wide-ranging and persistent aromatic spectrum (thanks to the Chardonnay grape) makes it a team player in the kitchen, especially with fish and shellfish. Its native power enables it to prevail over onion tarts as well as over a wide variety of soft and hard cheeses such as Brie, Vacherin, Saint-Nectaire, Mont-d’Or, Beaufort, Comté and all varieties of Gruyère.
Serving temperature: 11 to 13°C.
Saint-Cyrgues, Saint-Cirice 'Syrah - Grenache’ VdP du Gard (IGP) 2019, 13.5%
Cherry red in colour, this blend from Costiers de Nîmes is produced with 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Marselan and 10% Merlot. Cherry and raspberry in the aromas. 'Saint Cirice' is the estate's entry level red and is rich and a little spicy. A good finish too.
Costières de Nîmes is in the Rhone delta and has those rounded pebbles (decent sized stones!), indeed the terroir is very close to that of Côtes du Rhone. It is well known over the decades for producing good wines and is one place in France where you can get exceptional value and this Highly Recommended bottle is an excellent illustration!
Le Caveau sum it up well: It will have broad appeal and would be a perfect choice for a house wine, or for any occasion where the need for a pleasurable drop and a keen price are essential.
St Cyrgues is an estate with vineyards along the southern slopes of the Costières de Nîmes which has a history of vine cultivation dating back centuries, and it was bought in 1991 by a young Swiss couple, Evelyne and Guy de Mercurio, and is run along organic lines.
Quite a versatile wine at the table. Suggestions noted are to serve it with wild mushroom risotto, gardiane ( a local stew made from smoked bacon, black olives and garlic) or a chunk of tomme cheese. Should perform well when matching up with roasted or barbecued meats so would do well during your Sunday lunch.
Nimes is the major city in the area in the eastern Languedoc, the city where denim (de Nimes) was invented. If you go to see the local bullfights (spectacular action fests where the athletes are more at risk than the bulls) you’ll note that the people involved with the bulls and the horses (paraded through the town before the spectacle), are kitted out in
denim just like your cowboy.
|Under Pont du Gard - definitely not a cowboy