Showing posts with label Vouvray. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vouvray. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Superb Riesling and Chenin Blanc from Karwigs.


Superb Riesling and Chenin Blanc
from Karwig Wine.

Carl Ehrhard Rüdesheim Riesling (Rhinegau) 2017, 12%, €16.90 Karwig Wine

I’ve long been a fan of Carl Ehrhard’s wines. I met the man himself at a Ballymaloe wine event a few years back and there he described Riesling as “the most fantastic white variety”. This particular bottle is one of his everyday wines but an above average one, well priced too.

The Rheingau is the spiritual heart of German wine, the birthplace of Riesling, according to the World Atlas of Wine. The area in general is well known for its dry Rieslings - “full bodied with racy acidity”.

Colour is a light straw with greenish tints and you'll note micro bubbles clinging to the glass. Aromas are a gentle mix of apple and citrus, with the slightest hint of diesel. There is that trademark tingle on the palate. Intense fruit, now led by citrus, and that bracing and refreshing acidity combine well all the way to a long and satisfying finish. This dry wine is Very Highly Recommended. 

Might be no harm, I say to myself, to get a few of these in for the summer evenings in the back garden. Perfect for aperitif and with seafood and Riesling is regularly recommended for Asian food. The vinification is directed towards preserving the natural fruit and, not for the first time, Mr Ehrhard succeeds. One of the most reliable winemakers.

Some helpful German wine words:
Rüdesheim is the town.
Riesling is the grape.
Trocken means dry.
Rheingau is the wine district.
Ehrhard - you’re on a winner!

Bourillon Dorléans “La Coulée d’Argent Vouvray” (AOC) 2015, 13%, €21.50 Karwig Wines

We’re on a good thing here. I’ve given the 2013 vintage a big thumbs up in the past and this 2015 is also Very Highly Recommended. I have the guys at Grape and Wines “behind” me as the book lists Bourillon as a leading maker of Chenin Blanc and, in addition, lists this Coulée d’Argent as one of the top five classic dry Loire wines. 

Chenin was first planted in the Loire in the 15th century and still the best Chenin wines come from here. Quite a range actually as the grape is used to make sparkling wines, dry wines, even sweet ones. But this one is dry, very dry, you’ll note the sec on the bottle. You’ll also see the words Vieilles Vignes (old vines) on the label.

It has a mid straw colour. Moderate aromas, with quince, apple and pear to the fore. On the palate, it is bone dry with mouthwateringly high acidity. That expected minerality is not shy either though it is moderated by the fruit and even a touch of sweetness. It has quite a strong character, the body having a little more heft than expected, and also an invigorating finish. It is made from those old vines and has been aged on its lees for six months. This bracingly dry Chenin Blanc, from what is regarded as the homeland of the variety, is excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lovely meal at Au Chapeau Rouge. Also Vouvray and Vendome

Day 12

Lovely meal at Au Chapeau Rouge. Also Vouvray and Vendome

Au Chapeau Rouge (The Red Hat), in the heart of Chinon and one of the best restaurants in the town, was the venue for this evening’s excellent four course dinner (€29.00).  You can see the picture of the menu above but briefly, after an Amuse Bouche, our starters were Marinated Mullet and Fondant of Rabbit with Foie Gras. 

Marinade de Mulet, almost a carpaccio.
Main courses were outstanding. CL enjoyed her Roasted fillet of young duck while my Mousseline of local fish with a saffron sauce was delightful. The local cheese, St Maure, was served with pear and was gorgeous. The desserts were perhaps the weakest course but were still good. And the wine. A 2008 Chinon by Philipe Brocourt, was light, bright and excellent.
 Mousseline of local fish with a saffron sauce

Chocolate and cherries. Great combo!
First call of the day was to Vendome, about one hour forty minutes from us but about half that for Parisians who have made it a popular weekend retreat. Sometimes called “Little Venice”, the pretty town (Pop. about 18,000), stands on a group of islands on the River Loir (yes, that spelling is correct, it is a different river!).
A beautiful children's garden at rear of abbey in Vendome
First call of the day was to Vendome, about one hour forty minutes from us but about half that for Parisians who have made it a popular weekend retreat. Sometimes called “Little Venice”, the pretty town (Pop. about 18,000), stands on a group of islands on the River Loir (yes, that spelling is correct, it is a different river!).
A 15th century wash house in Vendome
Flowers and water are well used by the council and there are some ancient buildings in the town that changed hands many times during the Hundred Years War. The best known is the Abbaye de la Trinite with its striking ornate facade. It dates back to 1034.

With the visit to Au Chapeau Rouge, we had to go easy at lunch time and found just the solution in the middle of Vendome, a €3.90 deal. It included a sandwich (mine a 12” baguette) with two fillings of your choice, a drink (eg Coke or organgina) and a cookie (from a choice of three). Good stuff and very good value.
At Domaine du Clos de L’Epinay in Vouvray with David (right)
Vouvray, where they put the white grape Chenin Blanc through its paces like nowhere else was an obvious call on the way back. We drove around the little town and then into the heart of the vineyards. Thought that the Domaine du Clos de L’Epinay looked inviting and we called in there.

Got a very warm welcome indeed from David who told us it is a small operation, just two of the family and two employees involved. They were badly hit by the hail earlier in the summer and may salvage just ten per cent of the crop. “That’s nature,” he shrugged.

We had a very good tasting here in a small and homely room. Started with the sparkling and here our purchase choice was the Tete de Cuvee Brut. The demi-sec Cuvee Marcus is a house speciality (named after one of the children) and is a gorgeous drink and the 2009 too formed part of the purchase as did their dry Vouvray 2010.