Les 5 du Vin

5 journalistes parlent du vin


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Blois is 60% cinq

Loire Millésime

2018 Loire Millésime  

It is good to be back in the Loire for the first time since late October 2017. The occasion is the second edition of Loire Millésime. The first edition was held at the Abbaye de Fontevraud near Saumur. This year we are much further up the Loire at Blois and amongst the assembled journalists – some 70 from around the world – I have been joined by fellow Les Cinqs – Hervé and Marc, so 60% of us are present here.

Unlike last year there is no threat of frost the days are hot and the nights are much milder – well above freezing. In contrast last year the days were wonderfully bright but the temperature plummeted at night giving the producers a series of frosts to fight.

 

Hervé-towers overNotre grand chef blaguer towers over Blois 

 

Marc- ancient & modernAncient and modern – a young journalist amid a classic 

IMG_6585An inspiration for one of Les 5 – Château de Blois

We started this three and a half days of tasting on Sunday evening with a look at Chenin Blanc along the same format as last year at the Domaine de Rocheville in the commune of Parnay. The tasting included some of the Loire’s best exponents of Chenin Blanc in its diverse facets.

Producers present at the event included Claude Papin, Jérôme Billard, Francis Jourdan, Jean-Max Manceau, Olivier Lecomte, Ludovic and Joël Gigou, Philippe Porché, Patrick Baudouin, Tessa Laroche, Julien Fournier, Xavier Frissant, Nicolas Paget, Marielle Henrion, Alexandre Monmousseau, Vincent Lebreton and Alexandre Cady, There were many exciting and diverse wines to taste.

Monday has been given over to tasting the 2017 vintage from wines that were entered in the 2018 Concours de Vins Val de Loire, This doubtless is a good way to encourage producers to enter the competition and is admirably democratic but it does mean the wines from some of the best and most famous Loire producers are not in the tasting. It is a given for all wine competitions that many of the top producers do not enter them. After all they may well have more to lose than gain and furthermore they rarely need the publicity as their established renown sells their wines. However, this format does give me the chance to discover good producers that I don’t already know.

Monday’s tasting confirmed that despite the April frost 2017 completes a quartet of good vintages in the Loire with successes in both the dry whites and the reds.

Hervé-enfant

H+M-offices

Hervé et Marc in front of the newly opened
offices of the Touraine branch of Les 5 du Vin

 

Some favourites from 2017: 

Haut Bourg Pavillon

2017 Pavillon, Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu sur Lie,
Domaine du Bourg, Hervé et Nicolas Choblet
– elegant and with real character 

Grolleau Robineau

2017 Grolleau IGT Val de Loire, Michel Robineau
Fine example of why Grolleau can be an excellent quaffing wine 

Côt Garnon La Chapinière

Côt Garnon, Touraine, La Chapinière
This promising 2017 underlines that Côt (Malbec) 
is very well suited to the Cher Valley.
Also that La Chapinière is a consistently good producer

Touraine Mesland-Rabelais

Barrel-aged Cuvée Anais Touraine Mesland, Domaine de Rabelais 
Good concentration and structure  

 

Chinese cap

Les 5 - trio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Domaine Chiroulet, how to make Gascony great (and good)

The church of Heux, in Tanarèze, next to Domaine Chiroulet. Looks like a house with a bell-tower, welcoming you.

With my apologies both to Philippe Feazs and to the current US President for using and abusing a slogan of the latter’s campaign. Fezas is (thankfully) in no way comparable to Donald Trump, so do not get this allusion wrong! What he has achieved, however (and not just said that he would achieve) is to show the small world of wine just how good the wines from the Armagnac region of Gascony, both white and, more unusually, red, can be. He has done this by a combination of vision, competence, thought and hard work, to which one must naturally add the potential of his specific territory. And he has done this without the aid of any spectacular financial means: just his and his family’s hard-earned pennies and loans from the bank.

Philippe Fezas in front of some of his vessels

So where and what is this small pearl called Domaine Chiroulet? About 10 kilometers west of the ancient and sedate town of Condom, south nd a little inland from Bordeaux, and which is capital of the part of the Armagnac region know as Ténarèze, on rolling hills where vineyards are intersperced with pastures and fields of cereal crops, and the hilltops and crannies are covered with woods. The house and winery lie in a tiny hamlet called Heux (you pronounce the final consonant in Gascony), whose magnificent small charch that dates back to the 13th century is another local treasure. And Philippe Fezas’s top dry white wine comes from this hillside and goes by the name of « La Côte d’Heux ».

How it all started at Chiroulet, back in the late 19th century. Now tractors rule

The Chiroulet vineyards cover about 20 hectares, which is a surface that has been multiplied by four since Philippe’s father took over the estate that used to be a mixed farm and whose wines were mostly distilled to produce Armagnac. Armagnac is still produced here, but Philippe saw the possibility of also producing good wines, having started his professional career, having obtaned his enology diploma in Toulouse, at Tariquet, one of the the pioneers and current leaders of the local Côtes de Gascogne designation. The first step was to gradually reshape the vineyard by planting lower-yielding and more suitable varieties and clonal selections. Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng have partially taken the place of Ugni Blanc for the whites, whilst Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Tannat have been planted to produce the red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, also trialed here, has a hard job ripening here and has almost been abandoned after some years. The name Chiroulet comes from the Chiroula, a local cold wind that flows northwards from the Pyrennes to the south and probably just drops the temperature below the range needed for fully ripening Cabernet Sauvignon. Local climate explains a lot of things.

My tasting

The white wine range of Chirolet includes two dry and two sweet wines.

Terres Blanches 2014

Gros Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc (retail cellar-door price : 7,20 euros)

Quite firm and its natural acidity is still well in place. Clean and well made with fruit flavour still fresh, if a little simple, and a pleasant hint of bitterness on the finish (13/20)

Terres Blanches 2016

Slightly fuller in body, softer and rounder with lots of charm and good complexity. I also found the flavours more precise and the length superior to the 2014. A good wine at this price. (14,5/20)

Terres Blanches 2017 (recently bottled)

Still very pale in colour and with some CO2 lurking inside. The texture has not yet smoothed out and it seems dominated by that slightly grassy Sauvignon character. Not quite in place yet for me.

La Côte d’Heux 2016

100% Gros Manseng (retail cellar-door price 9,50 euros)

A different style of dry white wine here with fuller body and a rich feeling of tropical fruit flavours on the palate that totally avoids any heaviness thanks to its crisp freshness. Lovely balance and good finish (15/20)

La Côte d’Heux 2012

Just to show the fine ageing capacity of this wine! Point well made here with glorious richness and intensity of flavours. Deliciouly fresh and long. Excellent (16/20)

Soleil d’Automne 2016 (semi-sweet white)

Gros & Petit Manseng (retail cellar-door price : 8,70 euros)

The flavours are intense and complex in a fine balancing act that shows fruit and roundness to the fore, then lingering freshness to lift the finish. Good and easy to dring (15,5)

Vent d’Hiver 2014 (sweet wine)

100% Petit Manseng (retail cellar-door price : 15,50 euros)

Another delicoups wine, with even more intensity in both the fruit flavours and the freshness. As long as it is lively. (16/20)

A Rosé

Le Temps des Fleurs 2017

Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tannat (retail cellar-door : 6,25 euros)

Fne texture for this delicously crisp rosé that combines floral and fruity flavours with excellent precision. Good persistance. As with so many contemporary rosés, I would love to see a bit more colour here, and this would also bring more flavour elements. But fashion seems to rule the rosé market, sadly! A very good buy. (14/20)

Red wines (range of 3 wines)

Terroir Gascon 2016

Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tannat (retail cellar door price : 7,70 euros)

Fermentation, maceration and mturing in a mixture of concerete and wooden vats plus some used wood barrels.

Quite an intense ruby red colour. Flavours of plums and prunes. Slightly rustic texture but very precise and fine fruit quality. Good value (14/20)

Grande Réserve 2015

Merlot, Tannat (retail cellar door price : 13,50 euros)

Intense ruby to purple colour. The nose still shows some influence from the barrel ageing, but the textural effect of this is most beneficial, making the sensation on the palate smooth without destroying the impression of freshness. Careful extraction has not impeded excellent length and the fresh silky finish signs a very fine wine et this price level. (15,5/20)

Grande Réserve 2014

The colour does not seem any older than the 2015. The wood ageing is still very noticeable with its added flavours of spices. Rich and suave on the palate, very juicy and flavoursome (15/20)

Terra Nostra 2009

Tannat, Merlot (retail cellar-door price : 23,50 euros)

I cannot do this even more ambitious wine proper justice as I tasted it during a meal. I found the oak once again a bit too invasive. The acidity is also still lively and this wine seems amazingly young for a nine-year old. Quite chunky still. (no mark, to be fair)

Conclusion
Philippe Fezas has not finished surprising us with the quality of his Gascony wines. A trip around his vineyard showed me how carefully and thoughtfully they are farmed. His modern winery, inaugurated in 2010, and totally self-sufficient in energy, uses the best of technology in a sensible way in order to make the most of his grapes. He has more ideas than I can list here, moving forward, and I am keen to see how things will evolve in the future, with his forestry plans amongst other things. For the moment, here we have a very fine range of wines from Gascony with, in all probability, even greater things to come.

David Cobbold


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Encore un petit coup de Suisse, vigne héroïque en Valais

Le Valais offre une viticulture spectaculaire, établie sur les pentes vertigineuses de la rive droite du Rhône oriental pour la majorité. Ce patchwork d’abruptes murailles est bien exposé au sud. Mais quand on croit avoir tout discerné, quelques endroits creusent encore plus fort leur à-pic insensé. Comme la Combe de l’Enfer dont le nom doit plus à la douleur des mollets qu’à Lucifer.

La combe

 

La paroi presque à la verticale regarde le gros village de Fully du haut de ses murets. Elle se dessine en arc de cercle pour mieux s’arcbouter face au vide. Une construction humaine qui remonte déjà à quelques siècles, mais que les hommes entretiennent année après année. Leur ingéniosité a transformé cette ancienne moraine glaciaire pentue à plus de 90% en terrasses viticoles. Quelques vignerons (des encaveurs, comme on dit ici)  se partagent cette raideur minérale considérée comme l’un des meilleurs terroirs de Fully.

Quand Claudine Desfayes a décidé de reprendre quelques parcelles au beau milieu de la combe, son père lui a crié folie ! Mais la passion l’a emporté et aujourd’hui, plus rien à regretter, l’endroit réclame certes une masse importante de travail pénible, mais au vu du résultat, cela en vaut la peine. Elle a été la première à planter, avec la complicité de son mari, Yvon Roduit, le Cornalin et l’Humagne rouge sur ce terrain jusque-là réservé aux cépages blancs. Ils y poussent depuis avec grâce entre 500 et 600 m, le Païen (alias Savagnin) se réserve la partie supérieure du 0,7 ha qu’ils possèdent.

Cornalin Combe d’Enfer 2016 La Rodeline

sdr

 

Le grenat sombre aux reflets améthyste de la robe renvoie l’image de l’abrupte combe au couchant. Il s’en dégage une atmosphère fumée aux accents de confitures de fruits noirs et de réglisse. Il suffit d’y plonger le nez pour en ressentir l’élégance, mais aussi la puissance et la complexité. La bouche le confirme. Tout d’abord la fraîcheur y installe un terrain propice à découvrir le fruit, gelées de mûre, de fraise et d’airelle, relevées de réglisse et de fève de tonka. La saveur subtile du chocolat vient lisser les tanins qui dans leur trame emballe toute la puissance aromatique.

Voilà un Cornalin à la fois aérien et racé au potentiel à peine dévoilé.

Le Cornalin pousse au beau milieu de la combe, à l’endroit où il fait le plus chaud. Le capricieux cépage offre-là un rendement de 600g/m2. Il se cueille bien évidemment à la main vu la pente peu mécanisable. Il est vinifié et élevé en cuve inox. Ce 2016 se boit déjà grâce à la pureté de son fruit, mais sa longueur augure d’un potentiel de garde de plusieurs années.

www.rodeline.ch

Ciao

Marc

 


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Au Château du Moulin-à-Vent

Il y a quelques semaines, je suis passé à Moulin-à-Vent où l’on me proposait de vérifier par l’exemple le bien fondé de l’éventuelle mise en place de premiers crus.

Une question à laquelle j’ai répondu par l’affirmative.

IMG_1761Vu du château

Mais ce déplacement fut aussi l’occasion d’une visite au Château du Moulin-à-Vent, et d’une dégustation de ses millésimes à la vente – à savoir, des 2014 et des 2015, essentiellement, car les Parinet aiment donner le temps au temps… Non seulement, pour eux, le Beaujolais n’est pas un vin qui se boit et s’oublie vite, mais c’est un vin qui se fait lentement, soigneusement, et s’apprécie sur la durée.

La suite ICI

Hervé


5 Commentaires

Où l’on reparle de Voltaire… et de Ventenac

Ce que c’est que le hasard ! La semaine dernière, ici même, je vous parlais de Voltaire. Et voici que m’arrive par la poste cette bouteille sobrement intitulée… Candide !

Pour ceux qui n’auraient pas eu la chance, comme moi, de lire cette œuvre, et même, de la disséquer, comme on le faisait naguère en cours de français (gloire au Lagarde & Michard !), Candide est un conte philosophique de Voltaire. C’est aussi le nom de son personnage principal, un jeune homme modeste «au jugement droit mais à l’esprit simple». Un naïf mais qui se déniaise au fil de l’œuvre. Et nous déniaise avec lui. Car non, au temps de Voltaire comme au temps de Zuckerberg, tout n’est jamais vraiment «pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles».

Le rapport avec le vin ?

D’abord, sur l’étiquette, on trouve cette citation : «Il faut cultiver son jardin», une des phrases clé de l’oeuvre. Avec en dessous, ce mot du vigneron: «Ca tombe bien, le mien est grand».

Et dans la bouteille? Un vin de France – peut-on faire plus modeste ? Un 100% chenin – peut-on faire plus droit ? Je précise cependant que j’ai dégusté le vin avant de jeter un œil sur la contre-étiquette.

Mais intéressons-nous à ses arômes. Cela débute par des senteurs tropicales, si exubérantes qu’on les croirait sorties de L’Eldorado de Candide ; ananas, citron, papaye (mais vous pouvez allonger la liste).

Et la bouche n’a rien à lui envier ; exubérante, elle l’est aussi, comme si tout, dans ce vin, était un peu exacerbé : l’acidité, le gras, et la structure, quasi-tannique. Et pourtant, de tout ceci se dégage une forme d’harmonie. D’autant qu’au zeste d’agrume, en finale, s’ajoute une superbe salinité.

 

Cette cuvée fait partie d’une nouvelle gamme de 4 vins judicieusement intitulée «Les Dissidents». A savoir: «Paul» (100% Cabernet Franc élevé en jarres et en foudres),«Puritaine» (100% Syrah élevée en jarres) et «Patience» (100% Cabernet Franc élevé en foudres) et le Candide que nous évoquons aujourd’hui.

Mais laissons ses créateurs en parler : « Résolument militante, un peu anarchiste, « Les Dissidents » expriment sans contrainte ce que nous estimons être l’âme de la Maison Ventenac. Choisir nos meilleures parcelles conduites de la manière la plus naturelle qui soit, hiérarchiser nos sols pour mieux les définir, sélectionner et élaborer les vins comme bon nous semble. Ici, pas de maquillage : des élevages délicats effectués en jarres ou en foudres. Ces jus sont sans concession, pointus, précis, directs. Un uppercut …mais celui qui fait du bien ! Celui qui réveille. Celui qui vous dit que tout n’est pas standardisé, que tout n’est pas uniforme mais bien unique. »

Eh bien, pour ce qui est de ce Candide, en tout cas, c’est réussi !

Et puis, je trouve l’idée des plus sympathiques. J’avais déjà eu l’occasion de vanter ici une des cuvées du Château Ventenac – un grand domaine qui prouve que parfois, big is beautiful. Un nom qui fait honneur au Cabardès. Mais là, avec ces petites cuvées – petites par le volume, pas par la qualité – Olivier et Stéphanie Ramé ont pris le risque de sortir de leur zone de confort : plus d’appellation, plus d’assemblage…

Paradoxe: pour produire ces cuvées qui ne revendiquent aucun terroir, ce sont justement les meilleures parcelles qui sont utilisées…

Voltaire serait fier de cette audace, lui qui, justement, dans son Catilina, écrivait ceci : «Le succès a toujours été un enfant de l’audace».

Hervé Lalau


3 Commentaires

Grande Garrigue 2015, un petit bonheur

On dit que le bonheur se reconnaît au bruit qu’il fait quand il s’en va…

Pour le vin, on s’en rend vraiment compte quand la bouteille est finie, mon verre reste vide. Il faut donc que nous fassions un travail sur nous-même pour apprécier et jouir de la félicité au bon moment. Pas facile !

L’être humain laisse souvent passer l’occasion d’être pleinement heureux en savourant l’instant. Mais trêve de philosophie, parlons de ce petit bonheur rhodanien!

Il tenait dans une bouteille de 75cl, c’était un 2015 de la Maison Alain Jaume, un Vacqueyras cuvée Grande Garrigue, reçu un matin d’hiver et bu un soir de printemps. Pas d’un coup, heureusement, il en restait un verre oublié au fond de la bouteille qui attendait seul, un peu déboussolé de ne pas avoir été bu. Mais son incompréhension s’est transformée en joie, celle de donner une dernière fois un instant de plaisir. Et de me permettre d’en rédiger le commentaire pour en partager l’impression qu’il me fit et vous faire, un peu, envie.

 

 

Grande Garrigue 2015 Vacqueyras Alain Jaume

Rubis aux nuances sanguines, il se love avec grâce au creux de l’orbe cristalline. Ses fragrances évoquent avec subtilité les épices et les fruits secs avant de prendre le chemin de la garrigue. Le serpolet et le romarin s’y maculent de fraise et de cerise, le cade et le ciste se colorent de figue noire et de prune sombre. Le fruit garde toute sa fraîcheur, son charnu en bouche. Il apporte du volume en bouche, sphère délicate aux contours moelleux qui semblent sucrés sans l’être. La fraîcheur doit beaucoup au minéral qui vient tendre sur sa portée cristalline toutes les notes parfumées. Équilibre subtil des accroches terriennes et des envolées aériennes reliées par le fil gracile des vivacités aux accents d’agrumes.

Le vin assemble Grenache noir, Syrah, vieux Cinsault et Mourvèdre qui poussent sur le plateau des Garrigues, du côté de Sarrians, non loin de Gigondas, là où les sols argileux mélangés de cailloutis calcaires sont peu profonds. Vinifiés en cuve, il macère 18 jours avec remontages quotidiens. Quant à l’élevage de 14 mois, il se fait majoritairement en cuve, le reste en pièces de 1 à 4 vins.

Il coûte 13,50€, pas trop cher pour un petit bonheur (mais le bonheur a-t-il un prix ?)

Ciao

Marco

 


19 Commentaires

Tavel, real rosé wine

 

I may as well admit it right away: I am not a great fan of rosé wines, as a rule. Of course there are some good ones, and I drink those with pleasure. But the current fashion (like most fashions in fact) for those wishy-washy but often over alcoholic rosés passes me by totally. No wines should be judged by their colour, or the lack of it. I thus admit to a slight bias here, but I will justify this as a reaction against the massive propaganda churned out by the producers (and some retailers) of pale rosé wines and their often stupid rejection of those rosés which show deeper hues. Because there is something absurd, and even totally dishonest, in making people believe that a rosé is better for being pale in colour. Do they really believe that alcohol goes hand-in-hand with colour in a wine? Because I cannot think of any other explanation for such silliness. Thus, when I was invited recently by the Tavel appellation (from the southern Rhône region) to taste a series of their wines, I trotted along gladly in the certainty that I would find wines not only with some depth of colour, but also with greater depth of flavour and complexity than is the case for most of those coming out of neighbouring Provence these days, not to mention the various pale imitators that keep arriving from elsewhere, since fashion seems to rule most people’s minds, in wine as elsewhere.

Tavel is a rare appellation in several ways. Not just because it covers quite a small area, but especially because it only exists for one colour and type of wine: dry rosés. What is even rarer, especially nowadays, is that the colour of these wines has to be deep to meet the local rules. So what are these rules? The Tavel production area lies just across the Rhône River from its prestigious neighbour, Châteauneuf-du-Pape which produces only white and, mainly, red wines. In fact I believe that the « rosé only » Tavel set-up was part of a deal made years ago with this bigger neigbour who did not want to be associated with the then low reputation for the pink stuff. The area covers about 930 hectares, almost all of which lie on the eponymous commune, plus a little on that of Roquebrune, just north of Avignon The wines must have an alcohol level of at least 11%, but they usually have quite a bit more these days. The authorized grape varieties are those of this region in general :  Grenache (the most important), but also Cinsault, Mouvèdre, Syrah, Calitor and Carignan, for the red grapes, plus Clairette, Picpoul and Bourboulenc for the whites. I have never understood why the powers-that-be in Provence kicked up such a fuss about their wish to stop anyone from blending red and white wines to make rosé when all these southern appellations for that colour allow white grapes in their local rules. Another French paradox probably, but I cannot see what difference this makes.

My tasting of the 2017 and 2016 vintages (in the order of tasting)

Prieuré de Montézargues 2017: Rounded, with good, fullish fruit flavours. Pleasant wine (14,5/20)

Prieuré de Montézargues 2016: Similar style, very charming and easy to like, feels slightly warmer on the palate (14/20)

Château de Trinquevedel, cuvée traditionelle 2017: I found this unbalanced by its alcohol (12/20)

Château de Trinquevedel, cuvée traditionelle 2016: Better than the 2017, with a relatively firm finish (14/20)

Château d’Aqueria 2017: Very good. Juicy fruit flavours flow over one’s palate with a feeling of balance and freshness (16/20)

Château d’Aqueria 2016: Again plenty of fruit and depth here. Good length too, thanks to a pleasantly tactile finish (16/20)

Domaine La Rocalière, Le Classique 2017: Rather smoky in its aromas with a firm structure (14/20)

Domaine La Rocalière, Le Classique 2016: Also firm but seems a bit flat. Acceptable (13/20)

Domaine de la Mordorée, Reine des Bois 2017: This wine (and indeed this estate), was the star of the show for me! Beautiful liveliness, lots of intensity in its crisp flavours and very good balance and length (17/20)

Domaine de la Mordorée, Reine des Bois 2016: Beautiful nose with intense fruit aromas. Firm, fresh and long. needs to wait a little for the tannins to round out but would be fine with food (16/20)

Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine, Classique 2017: Acceptable but seems rather flat compared to most others (13/20)

Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine, Classique 2016: Rounded, supple and pleasant (14/20)

Château de Ségriès, 2017: Quite attractive with a pleasant hint of bitterness (that I like but which some might reject) that gives it good length (14,5/20)

Château de Ségriès, 2016: Similar style in a more austere vein. Well balanced though (14,5/20)

Vignobles et Compagnie, Les Combelles 2017: Very tough and unpleasant on account of far too much sulphides (8/20)

Vignobles et Compagnie, Les Combelles 2016: Slightly better now that the sulphur has subsided a bit (10/20)

Domaine Maby, Prima Donna 2017: The fruit seems rather harsh. Again over sulphured. (11/20)

Domaine Maby, Prima Donna 2016: same story as the 2017 (11/20)

Château de Manissy, Trinité 2017: Powerful and with a character that owes something to a touch of bitterness. Could please some (13,5/20)

Château de Manissy, Trinité 2016: Similar powerful style, with a touch of residual sugar I felt (13/20)

Maison Ogier, Etamines 2017: Quite good with devent fruit flavours and a firm finish (14/20)

Maison Ogier, Etamines 2016: The extra year has helped this find its point of balance (14,5/20)

Les Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac, Cuvée Royal 2017: A full-bodied and juicy style. Well made (15/20)

Les Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac, Cuvée Royal 2016: Another good wine, again full-bodied but with a more firmly structured finish than the 2017 (15/20)

Conclusions and my personal hit-parade if you are looking for a Tavel Rosé, in other words a rosé with character!

These wines have colour and character without them feeling, for the most part, heavy in any way. I love the juicy fruit flavours of the best of them and their deep colour gives me so much more visual pleasure than those watery pseudo-whites that have rosé as their name only.

1). Domaine de la Mordorée : 2). Château d’Aquéria : 3). Les Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac

Tavel and time

Some older vintages were also available for tasting, to show that good rosés, like other good wines, can last well. Not all of them had in fact, but I especially loved Trinquevedel 1990,  and liked also the Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac Cuvée Royale 2013.

PS. I also heard very good things about a producer whose wines were not shown at this tasting and which I have never tried: Domaine l’Anglore. As these wines are sold under that meaningless banner « vins naturels » I am a little wary but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt until tried. Anyone tasted them out there?

And now a wine to be avoided!

On the subject of so-called « natural » wines, I was given to taste, just last Saturday, a wine called Château Le Puy 2015 (Côtes de Francs, Bordeaux) that seems to be in high fashion amongst some drinkers and retailers. It was so full of brettanomyces that it stank of an uncleaned stable, the texture was like sawdust and it was dry and chalky on the finish. How anyone can drink this kind of thing and say that they are enjoying themselves beats me entirely. And it costs about 25 euros a bottle!

David Cobbold