JC (NC) wrote:Bob and Joe,
Thanks for the info. I may have seen Le Petit Frog at one of the shops. Will watch for it. Do the bag-in-box wines really stay fresh for a long time? Unless I am throwing a party or taking to a church event it would take me forever to finish 3 liters of wine and I would be tired of the wine before reaching the end.
Tim York wrote:Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `07 Clos du Gravillas Sous les Cailloux des Grillons, Vin de Pays des Cotes de Brian.
Owner John Bojanowski posted here earlier this month and his wines showed up in Calgary early last year. Blend of Syrah, Cab Sauv, Mourvedre, Carignan, Counoise, Grenache, Terret Gris.
$22 Cdn, 13% alc, good natural cork, cellared one year. I decanted for an hour, no sediment noted. Unoaked, organic, domaine located in Saint-Jean area.
Color. Medium ruby-red, centre not quite opaque.
Nose. Earthy, spice, blueberry, black fruits melange. Holds up well overnight.
Palate. Initial entry thought was dry, old world style, soft tannins, plenty of black fruits here. Long finish, good acidity. Blackcurrant, cherry, not super complex but has nice old world character "Dansom plums" from across the table. Find this quite savoury, lots of appeal. Lip smacking delight on day 2, need to keep eye on Metrovino for new vintages from here.
Under the Rocks Crickets is actually so named because St Jean de Minervois is completely covered by white limestone rocks (looks like snow–gravillas means gravel in patois) and, in the vineyard in question, there are always lots of crickets (when it’s not below zero…).
This is John's entry level red, I think. I tasted the 09 version at the recent Brussels Languedoc do and described it as "seductively fruity and supple". Two extra years ageing with your bottle seems to have done no harm at all; 2007 was a fine year in the area. The two more ambitious reds were both from 2007 and showed more depth and complexity; I particularly liked the Lo Vièhl old vine Carignan.
This estate is now very firmly on my radar screen but I have to go Liège to get the wines.
Jon Hesford wrote:Tim,
The "Sud de France" marketing team are planning several things to try and address this problem of their wines not being widely available or well-regarded or sought-after in the USA. Like you I think the wines should have appeal but perhaps they are not seen as offering anything that cannot be made domestically.
They are planning 5 "actions" in the US, all in New York. Two of them are trade tasting to allow new producers to show their wares to the trade. One is strictly for organic wines. The other two tastings will be put on by Sud de France around the themes of "under $20" and "Vins Primés", which means wines which have been rated by WA or WS. The last event is a Festival in June which could be anything.
By contrast, they are holding 9 events in China and 14 throughout Asia.
The CIVR are using the same techniques they have used in the UK, which is to target "infuencers" like Sommelliers and Wine Educators, often using the Roussillon's old sweet wines to add interest and emphasising the diversity. I personally see this as a smart move. Much more effective than posters with some pretty French girl sipping wine.
In all the other countries, the primary means of promotion is the professional Salon. Importers, distributors and retailers all get to meet the producers and taste the wines. This doesn't seem to happen in the US. I assume because of the 3-tier system. The beauty of the Languedoc-Roussillon is the diversity of wines and huge number of small producers crafting brilliant wines at attractive, though not bargain-basement, prices. The US distribution model and the Languedoc production model do not seem well aligned.
There also seems to be an emphasis on American ownership or at least partnership in the vineyard. A lot of the wines from our area that can be found in the States are from vineyards notionally owned by US importers.
I'm not sure whether this comes about because of a demand from the consumer or because the importer wants to have more control over the prodcution, allocation and price of the wines they selling. My gut feeling is that it is the latter. If you look at the three-tier model, you can imagine how long it takes from an importer finding a wine they like to actually selling that wine to a retailer. In my own experience, both times I've been asked to supply an order for the US, I've completely sold out of the wine because it has been 6 to 9 months since the samples were sent with little or no communication in the meantime. On the other hand, I'm sure it's an easier sell if the importer can say the wine is from their own vineyards, showing lots of nice photos of them pretending to prune vines and tread grapes
Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Snipped [i]WTN: `07 Ch. de Lancyre La Rouviere, Coteaux de Languedoc.
Now 2 yrs later.....>
Color is a dark yellow, no gold tones yet. Hint of butterscotch on the nose, mild tropical fruit aromas, no nuttyness. Rather more minerally on opening. Some riper fruit on the entry and acidity toned down. Not a big change here really I guess, think it has more grace.
Tim York wrote:Bob,
That is an interesting report by Rosemary. As she points out, so many variables exist between St.Chinian and Faugères, particularly producer style and grape variety mix, that it is difficult to reach conclusions on the specific characteristics of the wines of one appellation against the other. It is almost as difficult between appellations which use the same grape variety, e.g. I can't differentiate between Chinon and Bougueil though identification of wines from sandy/gravelly plots which are present in both is a little easier. That is not to say that terroir differences do not exist; their presence can be demonstrated by comparison of a range of wines from different villages in a single producer's portfolio (try the ranges of some Burgundy growers) which eliminates the producer style variable.
Tim York wrote:That is a very interesting contribution, John, which really highlights the multiple choices and decisions made by a vigneron, both long term (grape choice) and short term (bottling).
Your experiment with Carignan on two different plots seems to give conclusive proof of the influence of the soil type component of terroir.
I wonder about the influence of wine schools like Davis. Fine, perhaps, if we want to industrialise the process. But very dubious for making wines with real personality and sense of place. And does not a degree of risk taking with elements like brett and VA lead to more interesting and complex wines at the cost of a few spoiled bottles?
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