Tag Archives: French Loire Wine

Trois Belles Dames Françaises! (Three Lovely French Ladies)

8 Sep

Les Hauts du Tertre 2004 Margaux, Bordeaux, France. 13%ABV, $45/bottle from Xavier Wine Company.

Color is opaque garnet with purple edging, the nose offers cassis, black plum, menthol, rose bush, and stone.  On the palate, cassis and a touch of black cherry are met with forest floor, notes of eucalyptus, saddle leather, mocha, cedar plank and wet stone on the luxuriously supple and medium finish. The tannins are quite reserved and after decanting for half an hour, this Margaux drank so easily I found it difficult to put down the glass. I was impressed by this nicely-aged bottle, a second label of the fifth growth classification of Chateau du Tertre, and paired it with mild cheese, pasta and a spicy tomato sauce, and sockeye salmon but it would also pair well with red meat. I truly enjoyed it so much just by itself!

 

Tertre

 

 

Jacques Puffeney’s Cuvée Sacha Arbois 2012. ABV 13%, $34/bottle from Crush Wine Company.

Made in a classic Jura style (this is not your mother’s chardonnay), this blend of savagnin and chardonnay features sherry-like oxidation for an intense and very dry white wine. A deep straw color with a nutty almond nose that could be mis-interpreted as being off, one sip quickly proves otherwise to the savvy taster. Features the flavors of dried pear, lemon zest, saline, black walnut, and limestone. This wine, slightly tart and acidic, is best for an advanced palate and begs for fresh fish or shellfish but delights with anything that likes a dry counterpart- mild cheese, salad, cooked vegetables, tapas, etc. After a week of rationing this beauty, I finished the bottle with some grilled peaches. I’m so glad to have managed to snag a few of Puffeney’s remaining bottles, but they disappear oh-so-quickly from my cellar!

 

Cuvee Sacha

 

 

Château de Valmer Vouvray 2012, Loire Valley, France. 11.5%, ⓊP; $16/Bottle from Mayfair Wine & Liquor.

Pale straw with green tinge, the nose offers citrus blend, wildflowers and honeysuckle. In the mouth, fleshy white fruit including red pear, gala apple and quince, a solid sense of minerality, with an off-dry finish. One of the few wines my wife will drink an entire glass of, Vouvray is a wine I buy in late spring and again in late summer when I want a sweet wine that isn’t sweet, that is delightful in the afternoon sun  when the bottle is chilled and that opens up her aromatics after warming to pair perfectly with a summer salads, vegetable medly, fish or white meal entrées. Delightful from opening to empty, I don’t know why I drink so few bottles of this (perhaps the wine is too much a crowd pleaser?) but at this price, I really should have a case in the cellar when I know I like Chenin Blanc but I adore Vouvray and the Loire Valley’s more aromatic, fruitier, slightly sweeter appellation.

Vouvray

 

à votre santé!

Chotard Sancerre 2013

29 Apr

Back in the spring of 2013, I roused friends to one of my favorite rites of spring: Sancerre. I had several people reach out to me afterwards, expressing their similar joy at this regional delight. This year, seeing this bottle on a shelf and having an urge for instant-gratification, I bought this and quietly enjoyed it over a week of small sips late at night. It was most definitely a “guilty pleasure” wine, so much that I almost didn’t share it with you.

Daniel Chotard Vigneron Sancerre Blanc, 2013, Crézany-en-Sancerre, France. From Oak and Steel, NYC. $29. ABV 12.5%.  (available online and regionally from $22-29.)

Color: very pale straw with hint of gold. On the nose, meyer lemon, orange peel, mixed floral arrangement (screaming sauvignon blanc!) and a hint of minerals. In the mouth, a delicate blend of tropical fruit with bursts of limestone and saline. A white that is gentle yet firm and rich. The notes lift into the top palate while the bright lemon fruit shines again on the back palate and through the long finish. This is a beautifully made wine and the joy I experienced while tasting it matched some of the better, far more expensive chablis, white burgundies, and a few California chadonnays that I hold close to my heart. I don’t know if this wine is hitting me when I need to taste spring the most or if it’s really that darn good, but at under $30 bottle I’m about to regret posting this before trying to find out where I could secure a case for myself.

Most excitingly, it distinctly reminds me of a glass of wine I enjoyed with my new bride on our honeymoon decades ago in Rouen, France. And that, I needn’t tell you, was an unbelievable and incredibly romantic trip.

Evidently, I really enjoyed this sancerre.

Chotard Sancerre

à votre santé!

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