Tag Archives: Wines of Provence

Spring Values & Delicate Flavors

15 Mar

Cartlidge and Browne 2011 North Coast Chardonnay, Healdburg, CA. 13.5%ABV, $11/bottle locally.

The color is pale sunlight and is matched by a delicate, lemony nose with a hint of lavender. Meyer lemon and green apple fruit are up front; both fruit and cutting acidity balance nicely and are sharply tart on the back palate with a medium residual finish. Good minerality, focus and clarity on the finish, followed by notes of baked bread and hint of young oak.

Ideal for late afternoon or as an aperitif, this will pair nicely with fish, white meats, and simple pasta dishes. I enjoyed this wine with baked cod served with dill and lemon, boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli. It was an ideal match of clean, pure flavors. This chardonnay is definitely made in a classic style, and is a good choice for white wine drinkers who enjoy taut, focused wines that stay lean and muscular without drifting into the savory, buttery styles. At this price, it provides an excellent value and reminds us that California’s wines can also be enjoyed at “vin du table” pricing.

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Chateau Montaud 2013 Côtes de Provence Rosé, Pierrefeu du Var, France. 12.5% ABV, $10/bottle locally.

The color is light pink. Fresh rosebush, passion fruit and a hint of violet on the nose. Delightfully clean with a hint of orange peel; bright with good clarity. No wood influence shows on this pure and young rosé. Drinks like a beam of sunshine, gentle finish with stone, bright and lingering fruit on the tongue. A delightful choice to enjoy spring weather and pair with light food options. Looking for a nice, very affordable bottle of pink sunshine from Côtes de Provence? This might be the bottle to make your spring!

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à votre santé!

Chateau De Berne: Terres De Berne, 2010 Côtes de Provence

25 Jun

Chateau De Berne Terres De Berne, 2010 Côtes de Provence
Sample Provided by Wine Chateau. $14.97/bottle (reg $25). 13%ABV

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Pale straw color with a hint of amber. Very light nose: a touch of citrus with notes of lychee and banana peel. The mouthfeel is a very balanced sense of gentle fruit, and acidity. The finish provides a nice tannic pull in the mouth with an aftertaste of pear, green apple and lime. The first thing you notice is the subtley of the wine; it is very balanced, seemingly discrete. The delicacy of this white was an immediate huge hit with two others who tasted with me, without any prompting, voiced their appreciation from the first sip. One liked the easygoing quality and how well it matched our meal (cucumber/tomato salad with balsamic vinegar, baked salmon with lemon, sides of mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli).  Yet another commented on the wonderful, gentle flavor, then on the unusual design of the bottle- with squared edges, looks more like a European olive oil bottle (perhaps a nice recycling option).

This is a perfect wine for sipping in the afternoon sunshine or pairing with light seafood.  I tasted this wine over several days and really enjoyed it; it remained perfectly consistent over three evenings, paired beautifully with food and was very enjoyable at twilight in the backyard. While subtle and demure in character, please note that the crisp acidity will allow it to accompany white meats and stronger fare without being lost, which allows for great flexibility. Chateau de Berne’s Terres de Berne AOC Blanc is comprised 50% Ugni Blanc and 50% Semillon grapes.

Provence is the southeastern region of France that site between the Mediterranean sea and the Rhone River. Chateau De Berne sits just north of the quaint town of Lorgues, about 70 km west of Cannes. A delightful area to visit, its wines are one of the regions that have managed to not explode in hype or price as of yet. This wine is a great example of  a well-made vintage that offers tremendous value: this kind of delicacy could be found possibly in a burgundy or bordeaux blend, but those would price at more than double or triple the price of this wine. It is quite simply, a very nice wine and a huge value.  

You can check out the winemaker’s website (unlike many other winemakers, they actually did a good job on theirs!) and you can also buy the wine directly from Wine Chateau at a price that I consider a good bargain. If I had the room in my cellar, I’d buy a case. Hmm, maybe a good tasting party could solve both those issues… but I digress.

à votre santé!

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