February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:44 pm

I was fortunate to find some of Jon`s wines here in Edmonton (after talking to a rep) so here is a TN on his One Block Grenache, which I guess one could say is entry-level, but I stand to be corrected!!

WTN: `08 Domaine Treloar One Block Grenache, Cotes du Roussillon.

Diam cork, $25 Cdn, 13.5% alc, opened one hour but not decanted. I served slightly chilled, 80% Grenache with syrah and mourvedre blended in. I liked this comment on Jon`s website...."area is more Spanish than French". Lots of in-house info here...> www.domainetreloar.com.

The color is a light ruby-red, watery pale strawberry rim. On the nose, fragrant violets, berry and some chocolate. Some spice and herbs...."strawberry here" from across the table. One note I saw on the UK forum mentioned fennel, I can see that. Nice fragrance here indeed, no change overnight though.

Initial entry thought was soft tannins, some ripe fruit, medium-bodied, v good acidity. Drinks nicely now with plum, strawberry and it all shows some nice individually. Probably a lot cheaper across the pond! Grenache has its naysayers but I liked this. Went quite well with pork tenderloin scallopini, mushrooms and penne pasta. Bravo Jon!
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:39 am

Jon Hesford wrote:
Traditionally, many of the wines here were made and stored in concrete tanks or massive oak vats that would impart little oak flavour. To make red wines that have mellow tannins without long oak ageing, you have to have very ripe tannins and gentle maceration. It is perhaps a misconception that barrels add or increase tannin. They actually help soften wines by converting the short-chain phenolic compounds extracted from the skins into long-chain tannins. At the same time they add richness and spiciness.


Jon, does in your view the wood have to be new to achieve these more desirable tannins? I feel that, unless the choice and use of new barrels is very skilful, the resulting wood flavours tend to spoil a wine for me or at least diminish its individuality, especially when young, thus offsetting other benefits. One person in Languedoc whose use of new wood seems to me to become just right after a few years' ageing in most vintages is Alquier; even with him I find young Maison Jaune or Bastides quite difficult to taste.

In the 1990s quite a lot of better funded wineries sought to emulate the wines of other regions by introducing oak barrels. This was follwed pretty quickly by the use of oak chips to emulate the popular New World brands. Some were successful and some were less so. Nowadays we have quite a lot of high-end producers making elegant wines with no oak, some making


I'm deeply prejudiced against chips and staves because I can see no other purpose for using them other than as a flavouring additive. However, I suppose that there is no law of nature which means that discreet use cannot yield an good result.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Jon Hesford » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am

That's the crux of the matter, Tim. I think there has been a backlash against oak barrels in the south because too many people jumped in the deep end without really considering the nature of their base wine.

My view on oak is that it's like makeup. You can use it carefully to really show off a beautiful wine but you can also slap it on with a trowel. In some cases no amount of makeup is going to turn the ugly duckling into a swan and some beauties don't need any at all. It's also inappropriate on wines to be enjoyed young.

I don't want to give away too many secrets but certain berrels bring out the best in certain wines. I've found, by experiment and experience, which types of oak, chauffage and age of barrel suit each grape variety and that it is always wise to hold off purchasing new barrels until I know how the wines are after pressing. The One Block Grenache that Bob mentions above is aged in oak barrels, but only ones that are at least 3 years old. The flavour they add in almost imperceptible but the affect on the mouthfeel makes it worth the effort of all that barrel work. I'm told that you can acheive a similar effect with micro-oxigenation and fining agents but that's not my metier.

I'm averse to the use of oak products too. I think they add flavour and aroma at the cost of mouthfeel and length. However, using my makeup analogy, they can be used to make a very average wine look attractive, in the right situation. They fool a lot of people, including competition judges, into thinking the wine is something special. Many of the gold-medal winners in the LR sections of the IWC, Brussels Concours Mondial, Decanter Wine Awards and the numerous French wine competitions are soft, ripe, fruity wines with some oak chip flavouring.

I don't necessarily think there is anything bad about them. At the end of the day they make wines that people want to drink at prices they want to pay. That doesn't mean they are capable of making the kind of wines that can be acheived through judicious and careful ageing in barrel or, in some cases, inert tanks.

I've not taken any time to read up on whether oak chips could impart hystamines to the wine. I totally agree that hangovers are nearly always caused by alcohol and dehydration but these oak-chip hangovers are different. There is no headache, just a flushed feeling and a slight nausea the next day.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:33 am

Jon Hesford wrote:I've not taken any time to read up on whether oak chips could impart hystamines to the wine. I totally agree that hangovers are nearly always caused by alcohol and dehydration but these oak-chip hangovers are different. There is no headache, just a flushed feeling and a slight nausea the next day.


Sounds like cheap wine remorse! :mrgreen:
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:19 pm

Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel 2009 - Mas Jaume - Alc.14% -(€4), raised and bottled by Delhaize SA at Brussels, made from roughly equal proportions of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. This was the second of my random purchases and I enjoyed it more than the Fitou, subject of my TN a couple of days ago.
Colour was a purple/red of medium depth and the nose showed bramble style dark fruit and some liquorice. The palate was medium bodied and mouth filling showing pretty sweet dark fruit with blackberry notes, hints of pepper and garrigue (Mediterranean bush) and liquorice towards the finish. There was not a lot of structure and I guess that it was made from quite high yields but it was more attractive than most concentrated wines in their youth and it tasted of Roussillon; 15/20 QPR

(I don't know if Mas Jaume is a real estate or just a Delhaize brand name.)
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:04 am

WTN: `05 Domaine Borie de Maurel Reve de Carignan, Minervois.

Do not expect we will see too many Carignan based wines this month, more in blends I suspect.

$19 Cdn, SC!!, 14% alc, opened one hour not decanted. Website has some strange rather black magic tones about it!! Was this SC wine produced just for export market, nothing on the website?
I think that Carignan gets some getting used to when not blended? One writer in the UK thought it is being heavily cropped but BdM has turned out a nice red here which was way better on day 2.

Color is an almost opaque deep black with light cherry on the rim. On the nose, earthy, herbal, cherry, black berry. Hint of licorice on second day.
Initial entry thought was dry, earthy, good tannins, blackberry. Better acidity on day 2, softer finish too/not as austere. This carignan has good backbone, would like to try again in a year or two but drinks rather well now. Not for the faint-hearted however. Wish I could be more precise but busy fund-raising for kids outings right now.

Food was plain simple roast chicken!

Chris Kissick writes.....>

Domaine Borie de Maurel

Borie de Maurel is one of the leading domaines in Minervois, and in particular the new Minervois cru La Liviniere. Its proprietor, Michel Escande, has taken on the presidency of the sub-appellation, located in the northwest of Minervois, and he leads a group of over twenty winemakers committed to producing wines of quality. It is no surprise that Escande has taken on such a leading role in the development of the Minervois; it is reported he started making wine at the age of twelve! His own property comprises 11 hectares inherited from his father, together with a further 17 hectares Escande has since purchased.

There are a number of red cuvées produced here, some of very high quality indeed, as well as both white and rosé wines. The entry level Borie de Maurel red is the Esprit d'Automne, which is a heart-warming wine based on Carignan with a little Syrah. There is an excellent Carignan cuvée called Reve de Carignan, and top of the tree is the Syrah (with a little Grenache) flagship Cuvée Sylla, first produced in 1992. In general the reds tend towards a lushly textured, voluptuous style, although not without the necessary structure to balance it out. The white Minervois produced is a Marsanne-Rousanne blend, and there is even a vin de paille made here. (28/6/04)
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:36 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `05 Domaine Borie de Maurel Reve de Carignan, Minervois.



That sounds a very interesting wine, Bob. Old Vine Carignan is capable of really fine wines of great personality. I attach a couple of TNs, one of which is not from Languedoc (sorry from Sardinia) but which is interesting not only for the quality of the wine but also as an illustration of a quite aged example and of how quite heavy oaking can sometimes become acceptable with time.

Domaine d’Aupilhac “Le Carignan” VdP du Mont Baudile 2005 – Alc. 13.5% - (approx € 18) is made 100% from old Carignan vines. This is a fascinating bottle; colour is and opaque dark purple; aromas show red fruit, particularly raspberry and damson, and tar, liquorice and faint rubber; acidity is quite marked, body is deep and full and the tannic structure quite strong. Elegant and refined are not descriptors which come to mind but this wine is highly enjoyable being gutsy, complex and original in flavour with, I guess, some development potential; 16/20. Aupilhac is a fine estate and arguably the best in Montpeyroux. Link in English- http://www.aupilhac.net/anglais/?page=domaine .

I have unearthed a forgotten bottle of 1994 Terre Brune, pure Carignano from Sardinia. I plan to open it soon as, after this young Aupilhac, I am curious to see how Carignan responds to such accidental ageing.
(July 2008)

And now for the Sardinian -

Terre Brune 1994 Vino da Tavola di Sardegna – Cantina Sociale Santadi – Alc. 13%; in 1994 the varietal make-up wss 80% Carignano old vines and 20% Bovaleddu. I do not know whether this composition was unique to 1994 or whether it happens every year.

This wine is brilliant. Even after the excellent Aupilhac Carignan du Mont Baudile 2005, it comes as a surprise that this grape is capable of ageing so gracefully and of taking on real elegance and such a velvety texture.
C: Deep red just beginning to show signs of bricking at the rim.
N: Complex rich red fruit with floral (roses) and herb notes and fine oak patina perfectly integrated.
P: Rich, deep, velvety, seamless and long with slightly sweet fruit, aromas as on the nose and touches of tar and leather; again the oak patina is obvious but by now perfectly integrated – a lesson of how to use wood. This wine has real distinction and reminds me of top class Bandol in a sweeter, less austere vein with slightly less tar and leather; we could have drunk another bottle but alas it was my only one; 17/20+.

Is there another wine as good as this made from Carignan elsewhere in the world?
(Sept 2008)

Another well-know Languedoc Carignan is Les Vignes qu'on Abat from Domaine de la Marfée, Thierry Hasard. I really enjoyed the bottles I bought from La Vigneronne in the late 90s/early 00s but more recent vintages tasted have been heavily oaked; perhaps like the Terre Brune, this will integrate well with time but I was discouraged from buying by it.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Joe Moryl » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:05 pm

On the Terre Brune: could it be the Bovaleddu that makes it great?

Several years ago we used to pick up Cline's Ancient Vines Carignane, made with grapes from Oakley in CA. It was pretty good stuff, but I don't see it in my market these days.
A look at the Cline website shows that it is still being made and still reasonably priced; Ridge and some others also make similar wines.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:47 pm

Vin de Pays de l'Hérault 2006 – J-M Alquier, Faugères – Alc.13.5% (€19), made from Roussanne 60%, Marsanne 40% - (€19).
This white is definitely Mediterranean in style. Colour was a deepening yellow. Aromas on the nose were initially quite muted but blossomed somewhat with air and warming to give some mild marmalade and pineapple impregnated with cedar. The medium/full palate with its smooth acidity was likewise aromatically quite muted on entry at first but the mid-palate and the finish already showed some dark and richly burnished exotic fruit, spice, firm backbone and good persistence. With a couple of degrees warming up to some 15°C and airing the wine filled out. I suspect that I caught this bottle in a closed phase; decanting would have been useful but more ageing would be better; 15.5/20++ now with + potential.

IMHO, white wines have made even more progress than reds in these regions. About a generation ago they were mostly flabby and bland.
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[WTN] Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue 2006 "Tradition"

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:51 pm

Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue 2006 "Tradition" Coteaux du Languedoc ($10.99)

Dark purple shading to a clear garnet edge. Good black-plum aromas, and, I'd swear, a hint of the "garrigue" that lends the chateau its name: The Southern French scent of mixed fresh herbs, rosemary and thyme, growing on the dry summer hillsides. Tart black plums and black cherries on the palate, fresh and bright, a rational 12.5% alcohol, laced up with mouth-watering acidity and softly astringent tannins. This is a benchmark Coteaux du Languedoc, ready to drink and a natural at the dinner table. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2011)

FOOD MATCH: Naturally matched with red meat or roast poultry; it couldn't have been better with a Barr Farm Kentucky free-range roasting hen, simply prepared by splitting down the backbone, butterflying, stuffing garlic under the breast skin, rubbing with olive oil, sprinkling with coarse black pepper and kosher salt and roasting at 400F.

VALUE: You won't get much better value than this in the $10 range.

WEB LINKS:
Importer Kermit Lynch's August 2008 newsletter has an article on St. Martin de la Garrigue.
http://www.kermitlynch.com/0808-August2008.pdf

Read more about "garrigue" in this excellent article by Master of Wine Juliet Bruce Jones, who lives in the Languedoc Roussillon region.
http://languedocwinetales.blogspot.com/ ... is-it.html

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Compare prices and locate vendors for Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue "Tradition" Coteaux du Languedoc on Wine-Searcher.com.
http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/Marti ... g_site=WLP
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby John Bojanowski » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:07 pm

Ah, now this is getting interesting, the talk about carignan (and other not syrah grapes) has begun ! I'm delighted to learn here that Michel Escande (a precursor in bold syrah wines down here) is dedicating some love to pure carignan, something that I think falls completely out of his role as leader of a grand cru (as pure carignan isn't allowed). Sylvain Fadat at Aupilhac was the model for many of us who have staked our reputations on making elegant wines from this grape. There are several very good carignans in california too, the best I've tasted yet are Porter Creek and Bonny Doon (a cuvee Rand Graham only released in the UK). And they are rumored to be planting carignan in mclaren vale. An outofdate carignan list can be found at http://www.carignans.com

There has been huge pressure in Languedoc over the past 20 years to "modernize" and many of the more unusual, interesting or climate adapted varieties have suffered. There are not 1000+ domaines in Languedoc but 3500, according to 2009 CIVL stats, which makes piloting this region more like sailing a rusty battleship than a competition yacht. And the institutional methods of reform, I think, reflect more on that inertia than on pressure from "big players". How do you turn around a battleship? Plant syrah...and create grand crus. You can't just wait for the ship to sink and the steel to be recycled.

Back to old grapes, France is in the process of completing its 10 year agricultural census (my wife and i make wine in Languedoc and just got counted/interviewed). The census taker left a book of statistics which shockingly showed that in 10 years, our beloved carignan here has been halved, from almost 30% of the languedoc vineyard surface to 3rd place, just slightly behind syrah (growing) and grenache (declining slowly). Aramon and Terret have all but disappeared and the wonderful light spicy cinsault has dropped behind grapes like viognier that didn't even exist here 20 years ago.

But the striking other side of the story is that as late as 2004 there were only about 20 "out of the closet pure carignans" in Languedoc and now there are at least 200. Same thing can be said for Cinsault (Aupilhac again, among several), Terret, Alicante, Picpoul, and gosh would I love to have some aramon. While large producers restructure or retire, out of the cinders have sprung hundreds (and hundreds) of domaines (outsiders or offspring) willing to make wines that they like to drink, not just that they think will fit a market somewhere. The AOCs haven't grasped this, but the growers have.

Languedoc is a wonderful place to make wine (as is Roussillon). The fabulous conditions, soil and know how mean that there's a place for BOTH big and small, common and exceptional. Bordeaux and Burgundy are light years away, we're not threatened, and a few growers up there are even starting so take root down here. Tim York from Belgium, if you want to taste your way through 153 Languedoc (mostly Herault) growers (in person) at the hotel Pullman Brussels airport this Sunday or Monday, you will find a surprising (so many of us in belgium) percentage of the upcoming generation -- including some already mentioned here (champart and mont tauch), and even the new heavily carignaned Minervois of our neighbors Anne Gros and Jean Paul Tollot , each of whom has a well-known little domaine up in Burgundy...

There's an invite at http://www.ermitagepic.fr/IMG/pdf/invitationSalonBruxelles.pdf

Thanks for letting me on to the forum !
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:23 pm

John of Gravillas fame I believe?!! Good to see another vigneron here! You might enjoy this Jon Bonne write up, 5 pages though...>

http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-08-01/f ... ubscribers

Tim, your Domaine d’Aupilhac “Le Carignan” VdP du Mont Baudile 2005? Are you going to put a bottle or two away? I have just picked up 2 more BdM, price is $19, not $24. Really appreciated your TN on that there white from Alquier!
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:37 am

John Bojanowski wrote:There's an invite at http://www.ermitagepic.fr/IMG/pdf/invitationSalonBruxelles.pdf.




John, I'd love to come to this Salon. However, I'm getting a "Not Found" message when I click on this link. I've sent an Email to an address which I found by Googling but am not very optimistic about getting a reply on Saturday.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby John Bojanowski » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:31 am

Tim, don't worry about getting a reply from the organizers--i've had two wine merchants tell me they've gotten no reply. +33 607900967 is my mobile; call it if you get any flack at the entrance and I'll come get you ! We're 150 growers ! If they don't let interested people in, we're going to be drinking a lot of each others' wines...

I refound the invitation by going to the home page and clicking on the image there for the tasting. In any case, here's the list:

ABBAYE DE VALMAGNE - AIMÉ - AMANDAIE - ANCIENNE MERCERIE - ANGES DE BACCHUS - ANNE GROS - ARJOLLE - AURELLES - AUZIÉRES - BAGATELLE - BELLES PIERRES - BELOT - BERGERIE DU CAPUCIN - BORDES - BORIE LA VITARELE - BOSC ROCHET - BOURDIC - BROUSSES - CABEZAC - CABRES -
CAL DEMOURA - CAMBIS - CAMPAUCELS - CAPRIERS - CAVE MUSCAT DE LUNEL - CEBENE - CELLIERS D'ONAIRAC - CHAMPART - CHEMIN DES RÊVES - CHEMIN FARRAT - COMBE BLANCHE - CONTE DES FLORIS - COSTES ROUGES - COTEAUX DE BERLOU - COTEAUX DE CAPIMONT - CROIX-CHAPTAL -
CYNANQUE - DAMES - DOURNIE - EMILE ET ROSE - EMINADES - ERME -ERMITAGE DU PIC - SAINT-LOUP - EUZIÈRE - FABREGOUS - FAÎTEAU - FAMILONGUE - FIGUIER - FONDOUCE - FOURQUES - GABELAS - GABRIEL - GOURGAZAUD - GRANDES COSTES - GRAVETTE DE CORCONNE - GRAVILLAS -
GRÈS SAINT-PAUL - GUERY - GUIZARD - HERMAS - ISIDORE - JEAN MARC BOILLOT - JON - JOUGLA - LA JASSE CASTEL - LACROIX-VANEL - LANCYRE - LASCOURS - LAURIERS - LIGNÈRES - LIQUIÉRE - LOUP BLANC - MADURA - MAELS - MAILLOLS - MAIRAN - MARION PLA - MARTIN - MASSILLAN -
MATHURINS - MAURINE ROUGE - MÉTÉORE - MON MOUREL - MONT D'HORTES - MONTBUISSON - MONTPLO - MOUCHÉRES - MOURIÉS - NICOLAS CHEBILLE - NINES - NIZAS - NOVI - PAIN DE SUCRE - PECH DE LUNE - PECH MENEL - PECH MERLE - PECH REDON - PERRIÉRE - PETIT CAUSSE -
PIN DES MARGUERITES - PLAN DE L'HOMME - PRAT-MAJOU - PRÉS LASSES - PRIEURÉ DE VALCROSE - PRIEURÉ SAINT SEVER-MAS GABINELLE - PUECH AUGER - PUECH HAUT - QUATRE AMOURS - RAMBIER AINÉ - RÉSERVE D'O - RIVIERAL - ROCA - ROUVIOLE - SAINT-CONTI - SAINT-DAUMARY -
SAINTE-EULALIE - SAINTE-LÉCOCADIE - SAINT-JEAN DE L'ARBOUSIER - SALADE ST HENRI - SAUVAGEONNE - SAUVAIRE - SEGUIN - SÉRANNE - SERRES - SICARD - SIGALIÉRE - STELLA NOVA - SUDS - TERRASSES DE GABRIELLE - TERRES GEORGES - TERROIRS DE MONTPELLIER - TOUR PÉNÉDESSES -
TOURELS - TRIBALLE - VALBRUNE - VALCYRE - VALLAT D'EZORT - VIEILLE - VIGNERONS DE LA VICOMTÉ - VIGNERONS DE MONTBLANC - VIGNERONS DE SAINT-CHINIAN - VILLA TEMPORA - YOLE
[size=50][/size]
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Tim York » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:28 am

Thanks for that, John. There are a lot of unfamiliar names there to explore.

I received the official "laissez-passer". See you on your stand tomorrow.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:52 am

Lucky you Tim! Are you making room in the car for the loot?
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Henrick » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:23 pm

Tim York wrote:
John Bojanowski wrote:There's an invite at http://www.ermitagepic.fr/IMG/pdf/invitationSalonBruxelles.pdf.




John, I'd love to come to this Salon. However, I'm getting a "Not Found" message when I click on this link. I've sent an Email to an address which I found by Googling but am not very optimistic about getting a reply on Saturday.


Tim, I clicked the link, and was redirected to the correct web page which for English readers is http://www.ermitagepic.fr/?lang=en This is a wine I really really wish I could find here.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:47 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:
Tim York wrote:
John Bojanowski wrote:There's an invite at http://www.ermitagepic.fr/IMG/pdf/invitationSalonBruxelles.pdf.

John, I'd love to come to this Salon. However, I'm getting a "Not Found" message when I click on this link. I've sent an Email to an address which I found by Googling but am not very optimistic about getting a reply on Saturday.

Tim, I clicked the link, and was redirected to the correct web page which for English readers is http://www.ermitagepic.fr/?lang=en This is a wine I really really wish I could find here.

Okay, I see the problem. John inadvertently added a period at the end of the link, and the mindless computer is trying to find a URL with a period on it. I'll try to sneak in and edit John's link so it will work in the first place.

Bob, you're apparently using a browser that detects your language as English and redirects you to a translated page. John's original link is bilingual.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:49 pm

Robin Garr wrote:John's original link is bilingual.

Errr, now that I look at it, it's bilingual, all right, but in French and Belgian/Flemish/Dutch. Not much there for obligate Anglophones. :oops: Good to have your link there for the French-impaired.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Marco Raimondi » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:25 pm

Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue, Bronzinelle Blanc 2009

Rich yellow color; lovely, expansive waxy smell of white peaches, apricots & hazelnuts; medium-full body with a broad texture and some richness/glycerin on the tongue...nice freshness, too and completely dry; a savory wine with a persistent finish! I liked this white better at cellar temp. (50-55 degrees F.) than at the colder, refrigerator temp.

This would go very well with grilled sea-food, a pork-roast, and even stand up nicely to a roast chicken or a veal-chop. As the wine has no detectable oak, it drinks very well on its own as an aperitif, too. $13-14 retail (a good buy for the excellent quality) in the Chicago area.
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:49 am

Marco, I have a couple of reds from this domaine. Your note has prompted me to think of opening one tomorrow!
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:50 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Marco, I have a couple of reds from this domaine. Your note has prompted me to think of opening one tomorrow!

I posted on one of the St. Martin de la Garrigue reds this week, Bob.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37238&view=unread#p311972
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:32 pm

Domaine des Chenes Roussillon. A good write up from Rosemary, carignan lovers will love these.....>

http://www.tastelanguedoc.blogspot.com/
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Re: February Wine Focus: France - The Southern Tier

Postby Otto » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:42 pm

Domaine de Montcalmès 2007 - Coteaux du Languedoc; 14% abv; 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache & Mourvèdre; c.33€
This certainly wasn't cheap for a Languedoc, but the wine was quite impressive, so perhaps it is justified. At first I was a little apprehensive since the initial smell was so boisterously fruity that there seemed to be nothing else in it. But it didn't take long for a savoury meatiness to appear in the scent: the Syrah became strongly evident. With further time garrigue and green tea aromas appeared - it is delightfully savoury despite the very ripe fruit. But the fruit doesn't become raisiny; it stays fresh and refreshing throughout the evening. Full bodied, but with wonderful acidity to counter the ripeness and sweetness. It is moreish - and I don't often say this about Southern wines, especially from such opulent years.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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