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Showing posts with label Sauvignon Blanc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sauvignon Blanc. Show all posts

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):

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)...

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.

18 August 2016

White grape varieties 'of the moment'

Updated 03.09.16 - see two wines added at the bottom (Oz Viognier and Chile Chardy)...

Workhorse Chenin Blanc 2015 Stellenbosch South Africa (13.5% abv): Made by Chenin maestro Ken Forrester for Marks & Spencer, this dry white shows a bit of class and character with honeyed melon vs yeasty tones, fairly rich yet has fresh finish too. £8.50

04 November 2015

North & South America: 'wines of the moment'

Argentina
2012 Catena Zapata 'High Mountain Vines' Malbec – Mendoza (13.5%) - Quite expensive but definitely a superior version of Malbec. £12.79 WineMark
2012 Viñalba Malbec-Syrah Bodegas Fabre – Patagonia (14.5% abv) - Very good value and fairly serious too. £8.98 Asda

31 December 2013

S Africa, Italy, France, Chile: 'whites of the mo' Chenin, Fiano, Sauvignon.

Following in the red-tinted wake of my previous New Year-y Italians of the mo type posting, here are a few gratuitous and varied white recommendations sampled recently hailing from the deep Italian south (Puglia, Sicily), South Africa, Chile and France...

The Garden Route Chenin blanc 2013 Western Cape (13% abv) –

02 December 2013

New Zealand: TerraVin, Lay of the Land, Rod Easthope


TerraVin
TerraVin was acquired by a partnership of "Pinot enthusiasts," as their blurb puts it, in 2011 including "several British businessmen." They humbly describe themselves as a "boutique Marlborough winery with a dedicated focus on growing and making world-class hillside Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc." My notes would suggest they're on the right track, by the way...

07 January 2013

France: Loire, 'old' Sancerre

Not a spotlight on cobwebbed-infested bottles of the Centre-Loire Valley's best-known dry white wine, but an intriguing vertical tasting of Sancerre ranging from a youthful seven to brooding sixteen years old (and juxtaposing a variety of very different vintages). You wouldn't usually expect anyone to talk about Sauvignon blanc wines and bottle age in the same sentence, but it just goes to show what a surprising variety Sauvignon can be. Tasting these wines, some of them wonderfully quirky rarities from top producers by the way, a few months ago now in London (although I doubt any of them has changed much since then), reminded me of some gracefully elderly New Zealand Sauvignons I once sampled; as they'd developed in the same way showing lots of intricate unexpected aromas and flavours, and how alive some of them still were/are. Commercially speaking, I imagine you'd be hard-pressed to find any of these vintages on sale of course... But, if you visited the winegrower and got on the right side of them over dinner, it's the kind of bottle they might suddenly reveal in a moment of enthusiastic conviviality (now that sounds a bit French)! More generic info on the region's wines: vins-centre-loire.comor browse around the webosphere for individual producers' sites/blogs mentioned below.


Picking at henribourgeois.com
2005 Joseph Mellot Châtellennie - 'oily' vs greengage aromas, almost Riesling like nose actually! Quite juicy and yeast-lees edged with a touch of mineral bite vs rounded with ripe kiwi fruit. Wow, still looking towards superb.
2004 Château de Sancerre / Marnier-Lapostolle - 'burnt' toasty notes, developing 'sweet' gooseberry fruit vs richer toasted side vs surprisingly fresh acidity; good and interesting wine even if that aged character vs acidity clashes a little.
2003 Domaine Fouassier Les Chailloux - ripe kiwi and quite exotic papaya type fruit, perfumed vs sweet profile; a bit weird toasty and fairly punchy (alcohol?), still has some acidity underneath though vs almost creamy texture. Odd but quite good.
2002 Pierre Prieur et Fils - developed greengage and towards toasty notes, still has very fresh acidity vs richer almost toffee like flavours; again odd but I like it! Very good.
2001 Domaine du Carrou - weird 'sweet' vs vegetal nose, ageing characters yet nicely perfumed, rounded and creamy vs crisp and mineral. A surprise, never had anything like this before! Good + perhaps.
2000 Domaine Bailly-Reverdy - I think this was a little corked, as it had musty background notes and was a bit stripped of flavour on the palate. Certainly quite rich and concentrated though.
1999 Domaine Gitton Pere et Fils - Fairly oxidised nose with Fino tones vs sweet green fruit vs toasted hazelnut; still showing a tad of freshness on the palate though, almost like old Burgundy although perhaps over the hill? Yet it's pretty long intense and interestingly quirky!
1998 André Dezat et Fils - toasty yeasty notes vs 'sweet' and rounded with pineapple vs green fruits, again it's interesting although a touch flabby in the end.
1997 Jean-Max Roger GC - much livelier than the previous two vintages, showing ageing gooseberry fruit with toasty nutty edges then crisp mouth-feel. Difficult to believe this is a 97, still has structure and freshness vs lovely maturing fruit. Very good.
1996 Domaine Henri Bourgeois La Bourgeoise - oily 'petrol-y' Riesling-esque nose, gets richer toastier and creamier in the mouth vs lively structured mouth-feel and bite. Pretty amazing really, still alive and very long. Superb.

More Centre Loire here - Pinot rosés and reds & "silex" tasting...

19 May 2012

France: Centre-Loire "silex" tasting

Silex? Sounds like a distant planet in an implausible sci-fi movie, but silex actually comes from the Latin for a kind of hard flint, although it can also mean silica in modern English according to Wikipedia. Anyway, this wasn't a rock-sucking tasting but of ten 2010 vintage whites from the Menetou-Salon, Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre regions in the central Loire Valley, where in places this type of soil crops up mixed with clay. Well, do these wines really taste "flinty"?
Photo © Benoit Roumet
The science behind any possible correlation between soil, vines and actual flavour in wine is complex and, as yet, not very conclusive and probably not that helpful either. And this sort of geological jargon only helps perpetuate old clichés about soil being more important than anything else in growing grapes and making wine. However, you'll notice the regular use of words like "chalky," "steely" and "mineral" in my tasting notes below; maybe because I knew these wines were from 'silex' and inevitably you're influenced by this? What they do have in common is high quality, with some excellent wines in the line up, and showing intense expression of the Sauvignon blanc grape variety (they're all made from 100% SB, steeped in flint chips of course...). I see that, on the vins-centre-loire.com site, they don't go overboard about silex in the glossary simply saying: "...Wines sourced from these soil types generally have good ageing potential," which I wouldn't disagree with.
Being intense concentrated and well-built like this also makes them great food dry whites, including the usual fish-pairing suggestions but should handle rich or full-flavoured sauces well (wine, sherry, cream, black pepper, parsley, basil etc.). And why not try with e.g. a succulent pork rib roast, rabbit stew or duck/goose even. Or anything with cheese in it... I've included a few UK distributors and prices where available.

Domaine Pellé Le Silex du Carroir, Menetou-Salon - grassy gooseberry aromas tinged with intense citrus and lime even, crisp chalky mouth-feel with long finish and subtle ripe green fruits. Very good.
Domaine de RiauxPouilly-Fumé - more fragrant gooseberry / kiwi style, concentrated vs crisp palate with lingering citrus and ripe greengage flavours, oily notes too vs steely and intense. Very good. Layton's Wine Merchants.
Domaine ChampeauPouilly-Fumé - similar profile to above although "flintier" perhaps, certainly has zesty chalky texture vs nice green fruit depth vs oily notes too, crisp elegant finish. Lovely wine.
Domaine Masson-Blondelet Pierres de Pierre, Pouilly-Fumé - showing yeast-lees edges and vibrant gooseberry fruit, steely mineral palate vs concentrated and ripe, great balance and length. £16.95 from Stone, Vine and Sun (appropriately as the wine's name is "stone stones" or "Pierre's stones" perhaps...)
Domaine Michel Girard et Fils Silex, Sancerre - leesy and "flinty" nose, subtle green fruits vs a riper side vs nice crisp length. Good stuff although less expressive than some of the others at the moment. Boutinot.
Claude Riffault Les Chailloux, Sancerre - blackcurrant leaf aromas, quite intense and chalky mouth-feel to start although falls away a little perhaps. Flint Wines (ho ho).
Vincent Grall, Sancerre - nettley gooseberry tones, steely chalky and intense with crisp long finish vs tasty concentrated fruit. Very good. Jascots, Decorum Vintners, Avery's of Bristol. About £16.
Domaine Vacheron Les Romains, Sancerre - don't mention the Romans! More closed up on the nose, moves on to an intense palate showing green vs oily combo, elegant crisp length with underlying green pepper / sweet gooseberry flavours. Stevens Garnier.
Domaine Laporte Le Rochoy, Sancerre - screaming gooseberry and greengage fruit, builds up to lively zesty finish with steely chalky undertones, very long and classy wine. Auriol, Roberson, Jascots, Ellis, Cellarrange/L'Assemblage. About £19.
Serge Laloue Cuvée Réservée, Sancerre - smoky notes plus gooseberry fruit, pretty intense and "flinty" actually with lovely bite and length vs riper rounder side too. Grands Vins de France.

More Centre-Loire posts: Pinot Noir rosés and reds and Sancerre vertical tasting (2005 to 1996 vintages).

19 May 2011

Black cats and black grapes

Black grapes refers to a lively little Italian rosé - sorry, Sicilian (oops, there go the kneecaps...): 2010 Nero d'Avola made by Cantine Settesoli. Weighing in at 12.5% alc. and £4.99 a bottle at Tesco, this zingy vs creamy fruity rosé delivers plenty of redcurrant and raspberry with crisp finish; and is fairly versatile as a foodie wine (venison & red onion burgers from M&S, fish & chips, prawn Balti...).
From http://snickrt.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/gato-negro1.jpg
As for black cats, the Gato Negro range from Vina San Pedro in Chile's Central Valley is an all-round crowd-pleaser with attractive, well-made and easy-drinking wines; especially at  Wine Mark / Russell's Cellars in Belfast where you get a '2 for £9' deal. On the red front, try the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (13.5%) or the quirkier purple-black 2010 Carmenere (13.5%); and for whites, there's a zesty dry grapefruity 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (12%) or peachy citrus-edged 2010 Chardy. And not forgetting their almost delicious creamy red fruity vs crisp 2010 Cab Sauv rosé. Mini-feature on Chilean rosés / rosados here.
More @ gatonegro.cl

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