Monday, June 21, 2010

Report from ... French Wine Connection – May 4, 2010

Yup, we all know the French make good wine (still).  Through the bad publicity, the strange reports of country gone crazy when it comes to new wine laws being passed and news of their wines continuing to be beaten in competitions by New World wines – France can still make a more than decent drop of wine.  Today, in Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, the French Wine Connection came to town to showcase their regions and 41 producers.  Here are the best wines of the day …

4½ Star Wines:
Domaine Bott Freres 2008 Gewurztraminer Reserve Personnelle (Alsace) – a pretty floral nose leads to a fruity palate, this one doesn’t hit you over the head with its rose petals; it’s delicate and subtle with a hint of spice on the finish.

Chateau Fongraves Vignobles Tabbacchiera 2007 Chateau Julien Du Pey (Aquitaine) – leathery nose leads the charge here followed on the palate with leather, vanilla, cedar, spice and nice fruit.

Chateau Montdoyen (2) …
2005 Chateau Montdoyen (Aquitaine) – raspberry and spiced cherry on the nose, leather, licorice, chocolate and nicely spiced red fruit on the finish.
2005 Monbazillac (Aquitaine) – a nice white sweetie here with sweet pears and apricots on the nose, a subtly honeyed palate with lovely pear and floral nuances.  Great wine to end a meal on a high note.

Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre 2008 Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent (Bourgogne) – this Chardonnay delivers a full on fruit assault to the senses: fresh apple, vanilla and lemon-mineral notes with a lovely fruit driven finish and lemony linger.

Domaine de Bellevue 2009 Sauvignon AOC Touraine (Centre) – hints of New Zealand-style tropical fruit with good acidity, finish is fresh and fruity – this is a lovely sip.

4 Star Wines:
Baronne Guichard 2006 Chateau Vray Croix de Gay (Aquitaine) – good black fruit and cedar along with a sprinkle of cinnamon make this one quite enjoyable.

Chateau Donjon de Bruignac Premium, AOC Bordeaux Superiore (Aquitaine) – very smooth with white pepper and spice cherry.

Chateau Vieux Mougnac 2005 (Aquitaine) – good fruit here, mainly black, with black licorice and nice spice.

SARL Vignoble Dubard (2) …
2009 Chateau Laulerie, AOC Bergerac Sec (Aquitaine) – nose of pure fruit while the palate delivers pineapple and peach with a citrus splash.
2008 Clos de L’Eglise, AOC Lalande de Pomerol (Aquitaine) – licorice and black cherry take charge of the round and supple mouthfeel, nice white pepper notes on the finish.

Scodex Wines 2005 Moulin Galhaud, AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru (Aquitaine) – sweet succulent black fruit (mainly cherry) with a touch of sweet licorice on the finish.

Domaine familial Louis Duponot Cidre Dupont Bouche de Normandie (Basse-Normandie) – talk about storming the beaches, this is a very good apple cider to rally the troops around.  Good acidity balances the apple sweetness making this a pleasure to drink by the boat load.

Kovo-France Champagne Haton Brut Classique et Brut Reserve (Champagne-Ardenne) – an equal blend of all three traditional Champagne grapes, this bubbly has a nice toasted apple and yeasty note with a vanilla biscotti finish.

Earl Domaine la Prada Mari 2006-2007 Conte des Garrigues (Languedoc-Roussillon) – black fruit, plum, chocolate, vanilla bean, more black fruit, there’s even a hint of spice by way of nutmeg – tasty.

T.O. Terroirs d’Occitanie (2) …
2008 Terrasses du Rieutor, AOC Faugeres (Languedoc-Roussillon) – lots of tannins and firmness in this wine, there was also red licorice, black fruit and cocoa notes.
2007 Mas Olivier Grande Reserve, AOC Faugeres (Languedoc-Roussillon) – pretty nose, good red fruit flavour with a touch of pepper.


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