Archive for the ‘France’ Category

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Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2007

Vintage: 2007

Style: Dry White

Country: France

Region: Alsace

 

Overview: Schlumberger. I love saying that name, it’s probably half the reason I love this wine, it gives me a reason to say Schlumberger. You would be right to think that Schlumberger does not sound to be a French name. That is because Alsace has jumped countries over the past 141 years. While Alsace is a region in France it was in1871 that it became part of Germany during the Franco-Prussian war. After World War I Alsace became part of France for a short time until World War II when it became of German ownership once again. In 1945 Alsace was returned to France where it has remained…for now.

It’s hard to believe that between all this, time was found to make wine. Alsace’s primary varietals are Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris. The region is known for drier styles of Riesling whereas Germany is known for off-dry to sweet styles. Perhaps this is in defiance to the border tug-of-war?

Anyway, enough with the history lessons, let’s talk wine.

 

Tasting note: A nose of kerosene, that’s right, kerosene is a common descriptor for aged Rieslings (it’s a good thing, not a bad thing…unless it is present in a young wine), citrus and green apple. As per normal these characters join the palate and are complimented by mineral tones, talc, a rich mouth-feel and a soft acid.

Final Say: While some beginners might think that kerosene is an undesirable flavour in a wine it is very common in dry style Riesling. I was once told that I was a heinous human for using kerosene as a descriptor, (it was printed in a tasting note I had written and a ‘lady’ had a good mind to email the place selling the wine to tell them that I did not know what I was talking about) but guess what, it’s there and cannot be mistaken for anything else, it’s a good thing so shut up and drink it. It sells for around $35 a bottle.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100)

 

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Jack Davis

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Pierre Amadieu Roulepierre Côtes Du Rhône 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium to full bodied red

Country: France

Region: Rhône Valley

 

Overview: Winter is coming. Not only is this a line from a popular TV series/novel but it also speaks of my recent wine selections. There is nothing better than a hearty meal and a full bodied red as the temperature drops which is why I always find my hand closing around wines from the Rhône Valley at this time of year.

The Rhône Valley is broken into Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. Northern Rhône is known for Syrah (Shiraz) and Syrah Viognier blends and Southern Rhône known for blends of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. Grenache, Syrah and Mouvèdre being the predominate varieties, Carignan and Cinsault are added in smaller quantities. Both regions grow white varieties but we’ll save that for another blog.

The wine I am reviewing is a Southern Rhône wine which is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. This wine of velvety goodness represents one of the best value Rhône Valley wines I’ve tasted in a while. Fit for a King…

 

Tasting note: Aromas of raspberry, strawberry, violets and subtle pepper. This myriad of flavours joins the palate in balanced harmony with additional characters of blackberry and lifted spice. It’s velvety on the tongue and finishes with soft tannins.

Final Say: For $20 a bottle this wine is a must try, especially in the winter months. While I find the lifted, up-front characters this wine displays in its youth it will benefit from 3-4 years cellaring.

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Jack Davis

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Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages

Vintage: 2009

Country: France

Region: Beaujolais

 

Overview: Beaujolais is by far one of my favourite styles of wine. If a masked gunman held a gun to my head and forced me to choose the one style of wine to drink for the rest of my days I would choose Beaujolais. It is a region that overlaps with Rhone and Burgundy but is considered separate from both. The grape used to produce Beaujolais is Gamay. I’m not sure if there is a word like onomatopoeia that, instead of meaning a word that sounds like it spelt, means it taste like it sounds, but for some odd reason I find that Gamay tastes like it sounds. I have created my on term called onomatosippa. Typical characters of Beaujolais are strawberries, pepper and strawberry yoghurt.

Beaujolais uses a winemaking technique called carbonic maceration, when harvested the grapes are poured into vats. Gravity causes the skins of the bottom third of the grapes to split and the juice ferments in the skins of the fruit. Carbon Dioxide, a by-product of the fermentation process, rises through the vat and permeates the skin of the unbroken grapes to create a ferment within the individual berries.

I’ve notice that there are people who vehemently hate Beaujolais, when I’ve probed for details I have discovered their only interaction with the style is Nouveau. Nouveau is released very young for ‘Beaujolais Nouveau Day’, which is a Beaujolais harvest festival of sorts, and is very light and supposed to be drunk as young as possible. Thus by the time a Nouveau Beaujolais reaches our shores it is past its prime.

The Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais in this review is a Village which sits between Nouveau and Grand Cru.

Tasting note: A nose of strawberry and white pepper, it is typically lighter in style with the characters of strawberry and white pepper as the dominate flavours on the palate and are joined by spice and soft tannins.  

 

Final Say: This is one of the best value Beaujolais’ I have tasted, you can pick it up for around $18 a bottle. It’s a light style and goes with a range of dishes from salads to pork and can be chilled.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100) A damn good drop.

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check you the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

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