Posts Tagged ‘french wine’

Louis

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Louis Roederer Brut NV

Vintage: NV

Style: Sparkling

Country: France

Region: Champagne

 

Overview: Special occasions urge us to reach for Champagne. New Year’s Eve, Christmas, birthdays, stubbing your toe and successfully completing a working day without sneezing can all be seen as good reason to pop a cork… I wish.

It may be because we save this sacred drink for special occasions that makes it so damn good but if you are a wine nerd like me it’s also the work that goes into these wines that makes them so exceptional. Blending, riddling, disgorging, dosage and secondary fermentation, all terms that may not mean much to most people but they are all related to how Champagne is made.

Because I save Champagne for celebrations, and true celebrations are few and far between, I always find that I have my ‘go-to’ Champagne and rarely deviate from this, so for this review I’ve chosen something that I haven’t tried in a few years.

 

Tasting note: A delicate, elegant nose comprised of toasty aromas, peach, melon and a touch of yeast. A fresh, clean palate with a fine, gentle bead. Flavours of honeysuckle, melon and citrus with a slight bready undertone.

 

Final Say: Get some fizz in ya! Reasonably priced at around $70 a bottle.

 

Score: 18.5 out of 20 (93 out of 100)

 

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Saint AIX Rosé 2011

Posted: November 13, 2012 in France
Tags: , ,

 

Spitting: Optional

Saint AIX Rosé 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Rosé

Country: France 

Region: Provence 

Overview: The Rosé Revolution. A great piece of marketing that makes us feel as though we’ve been missing out on something and we have. A few older wine drinkers will remember when sweet rosé was all the rage but this Rosé Revolution is aiming to turn us back to the drier styles and where better to look for a great rosé than Provence of France. Forget about the likes of Mateus and other pink lolly waters Provence rosé is the real deal.

Typically lighter in colour, dry with great length this is not a quaffing wine but a great food wine. Think seafood and light chicken dishes; possibly at lunch time and you’ve got the best combination for a long afternoon.

The Rosé Revolution is charging at us at full force, I’ve had four marketing emails this week using this tag line but will Australian drinkers actually start buying more rosé? Che Guevara, Karl Max and Spartacus certainly hope so and what better way to kick of the revolution with a glass of this great Provence rosé says Stalin.

Tasting note: Lighter in colour, typical of the region. A nose of straw, raspberry, subtle strawberry and light confectionary tones. The raspberry characters really shine on the palate with straw and a touch of citric-like acid. A great example of not only a dry rosé but a great wine from Provence.

Final Say: With warmer months approaching this wine is a must to have on hand, well chilled in the fridge.

Score: 17.5 out of 20

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Jack Davis

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Les Courtilles Côtes du Rhone 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: France 

Region: Rhone Valley 

Overview:

Drinking a wine like this reminds us that oak is not the be all and end all. Sometimes simple, upfront fruit can be more appealing than dense oak characters. Aging in oak would tone down those pretty, perfumed, luscious characters that many of the Côte du Rhone wines display.

As I have said before some varieties just need a little extra to express their potential. Grenache is quite pretty and shows delectate red fruit flavours but can be a touch light. Shiraz has pepper and dark fruits but can be overpowering. Mourvedre sits between these two but has great structure. With their powers combined they summon forth Captain Côte du Rhone or Captain GSM, the younger, Australasian cousin of Captain CDR (Côtes du Rhone). Somehow it doesn’t have the same ring to it when I sing the Captain Planet theme song.

Fruit is king in this wine, it uses oak as its royal footstool. Using the barrel to stand taller but never steal the show. Just recently in Australia we have accepted that 10 years ago we were over oaking our Chardonnay and now it is considered a wine fault. This is because the fruit disappears into a mire of cedar, woodchips and pencil shavings and stops being Chardonnay. All varietal character was lost. This will never happen when drinking wines from Cote du Rhone, especially those as reasonably priced as this one.

Tasting note: Musk, strawberry and white pepper rises from the glass to fill the nose. The palate is soft and elegant with red fruit characters such as strawberry and raspberry. A subtle spice and pepper rounds out this wine. Don’t bother cellaring this wine, it’s too enjoyable now.

Final Say: Sing the Captain Côtes du Rhone song all the way to the bottle shop to buy this one. Enjoy with lighter red meat dishes. Sells for around $16.

Score: 16.5 out of 20

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Jack Davis

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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)

 

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Jack Davis

Spitting: Optional