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Wednesday, October 31, 2018
La Boussole Pinot Noir Les Grandes Cotes (Pays D’Oc, IGP) 2015, 12.5%, €13.45 Le Caveau
Colour is a bright ruby and the aromas feature strawberries and raspberries. It is medium bodied, smooth and juicy. Light fruit flavours much in evidence as is a lively acidity, a little spice and an excellent fruity finish. Very Highly Recommended and great value too.
Winemaker Claude Serra employs, among other things, low yields and “a ruthless approach to quality control” to ensure a wine that reflects the variety and its terroir. And that terroir is in the Ardeche region of western Provence. The fact that it’s a cool-ish area helps the Pinot Noir.
By the way, if you ever have the good luck to be in the area, try the clafoutis! And try everything else as well. All with a glass or two of this Pinot, a very good food wine. Bon Appetit!
Domaine Ste. Croix “La Serre” Vin de France 2016, 13.5%, €20.75 Mary Pawle Wines
La Serre is the name of the limestone hill which overlooks the village of Fraïssé des Corbières. The wine is blended from the fruit of old vines grown on a limestone influenced terroir : Grenache Blanc (50%), Grenache Gris (35%), Terret Bourret (15%). Under the hot Midi sun, the vineyard produces delicious ripe fruit to make this organic dry white wine.
Colour is a mid straw and you’ll note lots of micro-bubbles hanging around in the glass. It has an aromatic nose with hints of honey. Citrus fruit flavours and a striking minerality share the spotlight on the palate. Lively acidity too and a long lip-smacking finish with the aromatics lasting the pace too. Very Highly Recommended.
M. Chapoutier Gigondas (AC) 2015, 14.5%, €34.95 Bradley's Cork
Like most Southern Rhone wines, this is a blend, mainly Grenache plus Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. And it is made by a man whose philosophy is summed up by this sentence: I will not use the power of death (herbicides, pesticides, other -ides) but I will use the power of life.
And, from the dry hot Provencal climate (2,800 hours of sunshine each year), this dark ruby wine is full of life. Aromas of ripe red fruits, mainly strawberry, hints of kirsch. And magnificent fruit flavours feature prominently on the palate, well-balanced though. Chapoutier is always worth following, right to a very satisfying finalé in this case. No hesitation here: Very Highly Recommended.
The VHR was always on the cards here as both Chapoutier, “the Poet of the Rhone” and Gigondas are among my favourites. For more on this fascinating winemaker check here.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Carl Ehrhard Spätburgunder Blanc de Noirs trocken, Rüdesheimer, Rheingau (DQ) 2011, 12%, €17.80 Karwig Wines
A rosé by any other name.
Blanc de Noirs: a white wine made from red grapes! The Pinot Noir grapes are pressed and left on the skins for only a small amount of time, giving this red wine a clear colour with a hint of rose. The wine is fermented 50% in stainless steel and 50% in mature oak barrels giving both a freshness and maturity.
Rose/gold is the attractive colour and you’ll see lots of micro bubbles hanging around. The inviting floral aromas are the next sign that this is going to be good. And your feelings are soon confirmed by the beautiful concentrated fruit flavours, with a pleasant tingle. It is smooth, with a gorgeous balance. Crisp and refreshing from start to long finish, this is a treat and Very Highly Recommended.
Pair with fresh cheese, salads, poultry, seafood or enjoy on its own.
Chateau Paul Mas Clos du Mures, Coteaux du Languedoc (AOP) 2013, 14.5%, €21.15 Karwig Wines
You’ll see Vinus the heron on the front label of these wines. The story goes he preferred eating grapes grown on the clay and limestone hills of the hillsides of the Hérault Valley to the fish from the river. And so the heron was adopted by Paul Mas as the symbol of the quality of the fruit.
The fruit in this case is a blend of Syrah (majority) and Grenache, “a marriage made in heaven” with the promise “of some delicious pleasures”.
Colour is a deep purple and there is an intense nose, mainly of dark fruits. On the palate it is rich fruit, some spice, toasted notes and fine tannins; it is well balanced and the finish is strong and long. This smooth customer certainly delivers on pleasure and is Very Highly Recommended.
Food pairing suggestions: 17 to 18°C with preferably pasta dishes, beef stews, red meat, game, pate and soft full flavour cheeses.
Jerome Quiot Gigondas (AC) 2010, 14%, €25.15 Karwig Wines.
First things first: decant this dark red, a delicious blend of Grenache and Syrah, vinified “according to traditional methods”. Serving temperature should be about 16 degrees and do serve it “in large glasses”. Matches recommended are cooked pork, lamb, red meat, duck and olives, cheeses.
Rich fruit and warm notes of the local scrub (garrigue) abound in the aromas. All that is found too on the palate, some spice too; quite a Rhone classic really with a long finalé. Very Highly Recommended.