Monday, April 13, 2009

Report from ... French Wine Trade Tasting (11 Tables) - April 07, 2009

A quick rundown of some of French wines tasted at this event. These are mainly producers/suppliers who are looking for representation here in Ontario. A buddy of mine once pointed out, "there's a reason they aren't represented," while that is true for most, here are some that are standouts. A went from table to table (eleven in total) and for the most part picked one shining star from each – quotes come from the event program:

Table 1: I don't do Cognac so I left this one alone.

Table 2: Chateau Castigno
The Quote: "Their ambition is to arouse feelings and share them."
The Wine: Terra Casta Rouge 2007 Chateau Castigno … 100% Carignan - lots of pepper, plum, and black fruit - smooth with chocolate on the finish; delicious.

Table 3: Cyril Labeille Distribution
The Quote: "We make sure that vine growing and wine making practices ban every "artificial" intervention that would spoil the wine of its natural characteristics and would damage the vines and its soil over the time."
The Wine: Rose Row – Marie Niel – Viognier 2008 … 100% Viognier - a delightful summertime white, lush tropical fruit - easy drinking style, amazing banana/pineapple finish.

Table 4: Vignobles Dubard
The Quote: "The rich personality of our wines is brought to light by numerous medals and good reviews earned in the wine press over the past few years."
The Wine: Chateau Nardou – Cuvee du Bois Meney 2007 (Bordeaux) … smooth wine with juicy red fruit as its mainstay.

Table 5: Domaine de la Dourbie
The Quote: "Our philosophy and our search to produce authentic wine that beautifully reflects the Languedoc growing area.”
The Wine: Domaine de la Dourbie Grande Cuvee – Coteaux du Languedoc 2005 ... a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Cinsault - great smells and flavors here: spicy, leathery and pepper nose follows through on the tongue with a balanced fruit to acid ratio.

Table 6: Flavones-MWC
The Quote: "Distributor of an exclusive selection of up and coming mid-range wines from individual family run vineyards in Bordeaux."
The Wine: Sorry, not much here - I tried to play it safe by going with the Chateau Condom, but alas nothing came out of it. (Rim Shot)

Table 7: Chateau des Seigneurs de Pommyers – PIVA SCEA
The Quote: "We are certified in France, Europe and USA Organically by Ecocert.”
The Wine: Chateau Pouchaud-Larquey 2005 … 50% Cabernet Sauvignon / 10% Cabernet Franc / 40% Merlot - quite smooth through the palate with a little bite at the back – nice cinnamon, woodsy, black fruit mix.

Table 8: Chateau Rousselle
The Quote: "Has existed since 1636 … the wines are already sold in 20 countries and over three continents, and to guarantee the quality of business relationship, Mr. Lemaitre is always the direct contact (no French traders, no agents)."
The Wine: Chateau Haut-Vigneau 2005 (Cotes de Blaye) … lovely wine here - sweet vanilla oak, touch of spice and wild raspberry, full of delicious flavors: touch of cinnamon/nutmeg, sweet wood and lovely fruit - balancing acidity makes this one age-worthy and great with food.

Table 9: Selles Vins
The Quote: "The Selles family is from four generations wine producers and wine merchants."
The Wine: Domaine Dieumercy 2007 (Cotes du Rhone) ... fabulously smooth, beautiful red fruit nose and red licorice Nibs flavours; not too much of the drying sensation on the tongue makes for juicy fruit in the mouth - good everyday sipper with or without food.
And Another: Cotes du Rhone Villages 2007 (Plan de Dieu) … from the little heard of Plan of God appellation - this wine totally rocks and is said to be a third the price of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. Touch leathery, but a smooth supple leather - a little floral, a little mint, a whole lotta flavour with great balancing acidity – I’d take a case of this beauty (actual retail price dependant of course).

Table 10: Vinovalie
The Quote: “Vinovalie is a group of 4 leading wine cooperatives from the South West of France."
The Wine: Astrolabe 2005 Malbec … a welcome surprise addition to the tasting list that the rep secreted into the country via her suitcase, good thing she did. Purple in color with spiced blackberry lots of mouth drying tannins but ultimately rich flavor and all black based.

Table 11: Rivoyre & Varenne
The Quote: "Specialized in Bordeaux wines since 1865."
The Wine: Les Cedres D’Hosten 2004 … a little perfumed but with enough acidity and fruit stuffing to make it enjoyable.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Great selection of French wines with interesting flavour. Ch√Ęteau Haut-Vigneau is highly recommended :)

Rocket French