Showing posts with label Moulis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moulis. Show all posts

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Marvels of Moulis

Marvels of Moulis
Moulis is not the first name that trips off the tongue when you are asked about Bordeaux. It is indeed the smallest appellation in the area but that doesn't prevent it from producing some very fine wines. I got to know the little village fairly well this summer, driving up and down the street quite a few times in a vain attempt to find the region’s Maison du Vin (closed down, methinks).

If you’d like to try a wine from Moulis, you could well be in luck as my search on revealed that both wines below (maybe not the exact year) are available in Ireland. If you do get your hands on the 2006 Brillette, decant and make sure it is at room temperature before pouring.

L’Oratoire de Chasse Spleen, Moulis 2011, 13%

Chasse Spleen, according to Hugh Johnson, is “one of the surest things in Bordeaux” and the current edition of the Wine Atlas says “it can be viewed as an honorary St Julien for  its smoothness, its accessibility”. High praise indeed for the chateau with the unusual name, sometimes credited to Baudelaire, sometimes to Byron.

This is a second wine of the estate. Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Merlot (40) are the main players in the blend. The chateau says the Cab Sauv helps make it fresh and velvety while the Merlot is credited with giving it opulence and smoothness.

But I've been told forget the label: “Listen to your palate”. So here goes. The wine is a brilliant medium red with fruit aromas, including plum, some mint and pepper. On the palate, there is no shortage of fruit flavours; fine tannins are present but nothing too gripping. This is a fresh well-made well-balanced wine with a persistent finalé. Wouldn’t mind renewing acquaintance with it in a few years time.
Chateau Brillette, Comte de Perier de Larsan, Moulis 2006, 13.5%

This wine, a blend of Merlot (52%), Cabernet Sauvignon (40) and Petit Verdot (8), comes well recommended. A Jancis Robinson tasting gave it 16 out of 20 which equates to “distinguished”. She also advised drinking it between 2012 and 2018. Guess I got that right!

This is a dark rich red, lighter towards the rim, and it has complex fruit aromas (mainly plum, for me). Rounded fruit flavours on the palate, generous with notes of pepper and wood, soft tannins and good acidity. Decent enough finish as well. Think I’d be happy to agree with the rating by Jancis!

Friday, June 13, 2014

In the Medoc today. €1439.80 wine. €14.00 lunch.

In the Medoc today. €1439.80 wine. €14.00 lunch.

Fri 13th June 2014

Cherry Cake
I have neglected talking to you about the Menu du Jour in French cafés. You’ll have no choice but you’ll have a very satisfying meal for somewhere between ten and fourteen euro.

Our latest example came today in the Medoc wine village of Listrac. They had a board outside offering the Plat du Jour for €7.50. We had already bought some local wine there, from the small Listrac and Moulis appellations, before sitting down for lunch in Le Relais de Listrac. The Menu du Jour offered the first two courses for €11.00 euro, the dessert for just three.

The opening salad was promising. The main part was a tasty duck terrine and the salad leaves were fresh and every well dressed and the gherkins added to both the textures and the flavours.
The main, Sautée de Veau, was a little gem. The perfectly cooked veal was accompanied by some excellent Medoc mushrooms (full of flavour) and a spoon or two of mash, all in a lovely sauce.

We were offered desserts off the other menus but I had a feeling that the one cooked for today would be good and so it proved. It was a cherry cake, according to the friendly waitress. In fairness it is packed with cherries and served with a cold custard. I think we met everyone in the house, including the chef who shook hands with the two of us as we left.
Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudiere
By the way, not too much white in the Medoc but do look out for the Chateau Saransot Dupre 2012. This is a quote from the chateau website: The Château produces an excellent dry white wine from old Sémillion, Sauvignon and Muscadelle vines. The harvest is vinified and aged in oak barrels. This wine, which enjoys a great popularity among connoisseurs recalls the fine white wines that Listrac produced in the second half of the 19th century, wines that were almost as famous as the commune's reds. Well worth a try. If the proprietor of the Relais had produced it earlier we might have bought it but by then our reds were safe in the car.

The roads in the Medoc were quiet, just as they had been last Monday and you wonder what kind of landscape you'd see here if there wasn't a wine industry. We headed for the village of Margaux, one of the capitals of that industry, and for Maison du Vin in particular.
On the wine route
The tourist office is also incorporated in this fine building and they sell a large range of the local wine. But they don't do tastings here. We worked our way through the display. By the way, the bottles are empty. I checked the Chateau Margaux Premier Grande Cru Classé 2005!

We reckoned Margaux could do without our custom but we did buy a selection across the range, including a Chateau Kirwan 2010. We Irish have to stick together!

Got a few photos around the town and, with the temperatures again up around the 30s, headed “home” to Arcachon, buying a kilo of mussels (€4.95) on the way. That should keep us going through the World Cup. A bientot!