Archive for the ‘France’ category

Joseph Drouhin Chablis 2006

January 28, 2009

img_5231In the category entry-level French Chardonnay, this is another revisit to a wine which quality amazed me last vintage. Again this unoaked Chardonnay shows the usual concoction of lemon, pear, mint and floral aromas recurring on a medium-bodied palate where softly textured fruit is balanced with minerally acid. However, where the 2005 cashed in on the vintage with clear focus, concentration and depth, I would label this edition as solid but less exciting. 87 points

Source: Fine Wine Partners  Price: $45  Drink: Now-2010

Other vintages: 2005

Web: www.drouhin.com

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Domaine Leflaive Macon-Verze 2006

January 21, 2009

img_5226I was pleased to find the 2006 edition of this wine at my local liquor shop the other day, as I remember the one from the stellar 2005 vintage as an absolute cracker. After reading the raving (95 points!) review by Wino sapien a few weeks ago, I decided to check things out myself. This light straw coloured wine shows a nose that runs through aromas of citrus, melon and ample stonefruit, all to be found back on a palate where round, somewhat plumb fatness is balanced by mineral-infused purity. There is no doubt that this wine is seriously good, made with integrity, authentic and true to its appellation, but I tend to prefer the leanness of the 2005Don’t get me wrong, this wine is still very good and absolutely worth every cent, it’s just my preference… hence 89 points.

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $49  Drink: Now-2011

Web: www.leflaive.fr

Other vintages: 2005

Domaine de Rimauresq Blanc 2006

January 21, 2009

The solid Domaine de Rimauresq now has 57 hectares of vineyards in the AOC of Côtes the Provence for the production of red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Carignan), rosé (Cinsault, Tibouren, Grenache and Syrah) and white wines. This one is made from 90% Rolle – as Vermentino is called in Southern France – and 10% Ugni Blanc. The wine has a straw yellow colour with aromas of stonefruit, citrus, herbs and straw following through to a palate where a soft texture is added by extended lees contact and regular battonage, offering an interesting contrast with the more mineral vivacity on the finish. Drink this one now. 87 points

Source: Fonty’s Pool  Price: $34  Drink: Now

Web: www.rimauresq.com

Borie de Maurel Minervois la Liviniere “La Feline” 2005

January 8, 2009

img_5241The young appellation of Minervois La Livinière is considered to produce some of Languedoc’s best wines. From its leading producer comes La Féline, a deep crimson coloured blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache. Where the wines from the Southern Rhône already offer the distinctive characters of garrigue and Herbes de Provence, to this one the ripeness and fulness of sun-drenched grapes is added, however, balancing acidity is always in sight due to the relatively high altitude of the AOC’s vineyards. On the nose aromas of cherry, blackberry, plum, herbs, pepper and exotic spice seem to grow more complex with some time in the glass, perfectly balancing the fragrance of primary fruit with spicy-savoury notes. The palate is smooth, round, ripe and powerful with grippy tannins building towards the finish. Its austerity suggests it can easily be cellared for 5 years or more. This is actually a quite fantastic wine at this price. 90 points

Source: Vintage Cellars  Price: $26  Drink: Now-2014

Web: www.boriedemaurel.fr

Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage 2006

December 22, 2008

img_50932The story of Domaine Yann Chave is similar to that of many wineries in this appellation: an ambitious young son joins his father in the family business, stops selling grapes to the local cooperation in Tain while improving viticultural practices by using organic standards and drastically cutting back yields. The new approach has clearly paid off, resulting in impressive wines from both Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage and making this domaine one of the northern Rhône’s fastest rising stars. Chave’s standard Crozes-Hermitage is all about maximum expression of fruit with basically no oak  used. Fragrant and intense aromes of violets, blackberries and spices follow through to a medium-bodied palate with a round and supple mouthfeel, grainy tannins, bags of ripe fruit and very well balanced acidity. The peppery finish gives this wine plenty of regional personality. 89 points

Source: The Prince/Swanbourne Cellars  Price: $60  Drink: Now-2011

Alphonse Mellot Sancerre La Moussiere 2007

December 3, 2008

img_5110The first time I tasted this wine was at Bibbendum’s trade show last September in Melbourne. At tastings like this you get to see a fairly big number of wines, so the ones I remember best are those that have clearly marked characters like La Moussière. I was surprised to find it at my local Vintage Cellars and was keen to have a look at it again. Things are done with great attention for detail at this domaine, both in vineyard and cellar. All grapes, including the ones from the closely planted, low yielding and biodynamically farmed single-vineyard La Moussière, are picked and sorted by hand before gentle pressing and settling of the juice occurs. Fermentation takes place in both vat and new casks in which the wine spends a further 7 to 8 months on its lees before bottling. The resulting wine has a light golden colour with all aspects of terroir, fruit and winemaking fabulously balanced. Intense aromas of flowers, grapefruit, mineral and lime peel follow through to a soft, dense and textural palate that fills your mouth but never dominates the complex blend of fresh, vibrant fruit, precise minerality and a touch of spice towards the middle and back. This wine is a clear step up from most other regular available Sancerre, an absolute steal regarding pedigree and quality. 92 points

Source: Bibbendum  Price: $49  Drink: Now-2010

Web: www.mellot.com

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2007

December 2, 2008

This entry-level wine from Pascal Jolivet is made from grapes grown on the three different soil types found in the appellation of Sancerre. Although it understandably lacks the same complexity of his single-vineyard wines like Chêne Marchand or Clos du Roy, it still offers finesse and distinctive flair. The wine has a pale straw colour and displays aromas of white flowers, citrus fruit, goosberries with hints of aspargus and snowpeas. The palate is smooth, supple and well balanced with ample grapefruit, vegetal tones and mineral, crunchy acidity at the finish. I reckon there is a touch of residual sugar left in the wine that balances quite well against the zesty acid. Straightforward and uncomplicated this is made to be drunk within the year. 88 points

Source: Negociants Australia  Price: $45  Drink: Now

Other vintages: 2004

Web: www.pascal-jolivet.com