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Showing posts with label Chardonnay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chardonnay. Show all posts

13 December 2023

Languedoc: Limoux.

Château de Flandry, Limoux.

Perhaps not that famous outside of France (although many of the wines recommended here are well distributed in Europe and North America), the Limoux region stretches mostly to the south, west and north of the visit-worthy town of Limoux in southwestern Languedoc, about half an hour south of Carcassonne. The vineyards are often planted on hillsides enhancing the slightly cooler climate this area enjoys, which is home to some classy sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir among others.

16 October 2023

Argentina: Chardonnay, Torrontés, Semillon.

Chardonnay is grown in many of Argentina's wine regions north to south although most of it by far in the province of Mendoza. It's officially the number two white grape (after Torrontés), which isn't saying much: Argentina remains serious red wine country. Making a perhaps more familiar European comparison though, there's about the same amount of Chardonnay as in Chablis, but planted much higher up.

08 April 2023

New Zealand: 16 Chardonnays & Pinot Gris/Grigios.


New Zealand white wines kick off a new mini-series of postings on WineWriting.com, with further ramblings to follow on red wines - mostly about Pinot Noir and Syrah with some Cabernet Merlots thrown in - and a touch of bubbly. The source of all these tasty wines sampled and regurgitated here was a recent New Zealand Wine tasting in Dublin. Photo: New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, Elephant Hill (Chardonnay).

13 October 2022

10 wines and a cider of the moment.

D'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2021 McLaren Vale, South Australia (14% abv): Asda £10 on offer, normally £13. Stylish and unusual full-bodied white, floral nutty and exotic with zesty yeast-lees and citrus tones; generously textured mouthfeel from a small portion of each variety being barrel fermented, otherwise not noticeable.

02 October 2022

A handful of unoaked white wines

A wide variety of five good-value unoaked white wines originally featured on WineWriting.com on Facebook (more photos there):
The Winery of Good Hope Chardonnay 2021, South Africa (12.5% abv). Flavoursome textbook unoaked Chardonnay from the western Cape: £8.50 The Wine Society.

21 August 2022

Roussillon: 36 whites and rosés worthy of your fridge (but not at the same time).

Hot on the heels of two pieces showcasing 40+ stonking reds from the North and the Centre & South of the Roussillon, it's time to switch the limelight onto some of the region's flavoursome white and rosé wines. There's a blurb about the wineries mentioned here in those two previous posts: tap the links to discover more including which outlets stock their wines. So this time then, less blah blah and more wine. Photo: old vines in Les Aspres zone.

15 May 2022

More Chardonnay: France, Spain, Chile.


Following on from my '50 years of Chardonnay' in Australia feature, five other gratuitous Chardies enjoyed recently include:
Le Stopgap Chardonnay 2021 Vin de France, Jacques Depagneux (13% abv): 'Much of the blend comes from Limoux with a little from the central Languedoc and essential dash from the Mâconnais...'

12 May 2022

Australia: 50 years of Chardonnay.

Indeed, fifty years young. As Wine Australia put it in the intro to a recent celebratory tasting: "With the first varietally-labelled Chardonnay produced in Australia in 1972, now is the perfect time to revisit the story of Australia’s most iconic white wine. From the first vine cuttings in the 1830s to the big buttery wines of the 1990s, to today’s regionally distinct refined styles, Australian Chardonnay has come a long way."
(Tyrrell's, Leeuwin, Forest Hill, Penfolds, Moorooduc, Giant Steps, Shaw&Smith, Tolpuddle. And a wine geek warning!)

21 February 2022

Pays d'Oc, South of France part 4.

Poet Frédéric Mistral.
These eleven wines (we go that one extra, so "these go up to 11") were worth typing about picked from the latest batch of diverse samplings from IGP Pays d'Oc (essentially the entire Occitanie region although these are all from the Languedoc), boldly billed in the press release as 'Pays d’Oc wines for every festive occasion.' Previous posts on Pays d'Oc include these linked below (there'll be more if you can be bothered to look, use the search doofer on the right):

19 January 2022

A dozen more winter wines of the mo

Muga Reserva Rioja 2016 (14% abv) is a splendid oak-aged blend of 75% Tempranillo with Garnacha, Mazuelo (= Carignan) and Graciano. Smoky spicy oak aromas in that traditional Rioja fashion but with lots of rich dark berry fruit and beginning to show enticing balsamic maturing notes, quite dense powerful and structured with concentrated savoury fruit, a little firmness still on the finish but with lovely silky tannins too. Good with lamb shank; should benefit from another few years' bottle age. Half-bottle £9.25 (image = the Wine Society).

22 December 2021

Festive wines of the mo

Rancio Sec Arnaud de Villeneuve, Côtes Catalanes, France (16% abv) - This very dry rancio style is an old-as-time Catalan speciality - although made elsewhere in France and Spain (and Europe) in similarly tiny quantities - and is distinctly different from other traditional cask-aged bottlings from the Roussillon, which is well-known for its mostly red, fortified sweet wines. This tasty 'commercial' example is made by one of the region's biggest (if not the) co-operative wineries...

15 October 2021

Wines of the mo: Zweigelt, Chardonnay, Fiano & Grecanico, Pinot Noir, Riesling and more.

It's not just that desperate label which grabbed me about this Aussie white - hmm, where's that Chardy from then? Perhaps add a picture of Dame Edna sniffing it on the back-label to be sure. This tasty unoaked Chardonnay is one of Aldi's burgeoning Specially Selected range and is also great value for €7.99 at Aldi Ireland or £5.99 in the UK.

06 August 2021

Bubbly and white wines of the moment

Photo from saint-chinian.pro
Château Viranel Intuition blanc 2020 Saint-Chinian Languedoc (60% Grenache blanc, 15% Roussanne, 20% Vermentino, 5% Bourboulenc, 13.5% abv): This delicious mix of southern French grape varieties undergoes a modest 15% of the blend fermented in barrels (and all the better for it) with the completed wine stored and stirred on the yeast-lees for three months to maximise flavour and texture.

01 July 2021

Chile review 2021 masterclass

Valle de Elqui
Two tasting sessions featuring very diverse wines were held live via Zoom at the end of May, hosted by Wines of Chile UK, Tim Atkin MW and several leading Chilean winemakers also online commenting on their wines as we sampled from home. Tim picked sixteen whites, reds and a rosé to showcase the latest developments on the ground in Chile, enhanced by lots of up-to-date information on vineyards, grape varieties and wine regions. Atkin produces a substantial report every year on the Chilean wine scene, which can be purchased from this website here. Wine geek warning: this post is quite long and 'serious' (but does contain some great wines to look out for)...

20 May 2021

Miscellaneous wines of the moment

An enticing half-a-dozen of whites, red and rosés sourced from big supermarkets and one-store independents priced £7 to £10 in the UK.

Vara Rosé 2020 Cramele Recas Estate, Romania (12% abv) - Good-value dry and zingy rosé made from 65% Merlot and 35% Feteasca Neagra, which develops creamy straw-raspberry flavours followed by crisper cranberry type crunchiness. £7 Marks & Spencer (image from their site). Versatile with food.

16 May 2021

South of France: Pays d'Oc IGP part two.

The second instalment of a mini-feature on Pays d'Oc IGP wines from the Languedoc (see Part 1 for more about terminology, rationale etc.) focuses on half-a-dozen varietal wines, this time including well-known grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon blanc) and relatively new arrivals to the region or discoveries (Albariño, Marselan). Last time, my notes were mainly centred on a few different styles of Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and Viognier.

07 April 2021

Varietal wines of the moment (except Sauvignon blanc)

Finest Valle de Leyda Chardonnay 2020, Chile - Luis Felipe Edwards (13.5% abv): As soon as this delicious fruity Chardy was discovered among Tesco's large 'Finest' range, it went out of stock; hopefully just temporarily. Ripe peach and melon fruit with creamy tones then zestier citrus on its weighty but balanced finished. Oak is suggested in the blurb but it was hard to spot, perhaps adding to its rounded texture and cashew flavours. £8 Tesco. (Since then, a subsequent bottle did strangely taste oaky...)

24 February 2021

Zeitgeisty wines

Zeitgeisty is admittedly a little literary and pretentious, and I wasn't aware it was a word as such, in the adjective form with a 'y' ending, until I saw it recently in a one-line review on the back cover of a new book (quoting a well-known writer so it must be okay). Any road, this latest batch of wine buy tips kicks off with a handful of tasty drops of bubbly, which always has a certain 'spirit of the times' feel about it on any occasion and any time of year, especially to toast in winter drawing to a close sooner rather than later.
From https://www.facebook.com/vinoltrepo 

15 January 2021

White wines of the cosmos

'Here we are in the ship of the imagination...' Remember that awe-inspiring space travel programme 'Cosmos' back in the 80s by Carl Sagan (paraphrasing one of his most cosmological lines)? Don't know why I thought of that though: stellar white wines of the split-atom millisecond perhaps? Sounds more out-there than international or global, especially as these words are usually stranded with media-nouns like crisis, conflict or pandemic; or similar marketing babble (e.g. brand, product).
Photo from amazon.co.uk

30 July 2019

Ballyhackamore Belfast BYO: Rajput and Good Fortune restaurants (with wine tips to match dishes).


Ballyhackamore in east Belfast - known locally as 'Bally-snack' thanks to no shortage of eateries and cafés along this busy stretch of Upper Newtownards Road - is home to at least two recommended restaurants, where you can bring your own wine. The Rajput has become something of an Indian food institution, and I've always found the quality to be very consistent and the service top notch. It has also become one of the dearer Indian restaurants in Belfast, although no more than some fancy places with arty pretensions where you don't get enough food for the money. Whereas, even if the prices have edged up a little at Rajput, you always get good portions of tasty and varied dishes.

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