Wednesday, April 15, 2009

French Wines

We all know France is king when it comes to wine. They have more land under vine than any other country, they started the modern model for wine laws and regulations, and tout some of the biggest names in the business. Before the Easter break, we covered French wines in class- everything from Champagne to Bordeaux. Here are several that we tasted and I liked:

  • 2003 Chateau Trianon Bordeaux- from St. Emilion, and a Grand Cru. This wine has heavy notes of leather, cedar, and lead on the nose. Upon tasting, you will get a well balanced fruit, cocoa with a medium acidity. This wine is predominately Merlot with a little Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carbonere thrown in. 
  • 2003 St. Estephe Bordeaux- Wow! This wine was amazing. Also a Grand Cru, it is oaked with a floral and slightly smokey aroma. On the palate, it is earthy with soft tannins and an incredibly long finish. 68% Cab Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc. Unfortunately, I won't be purchasing this wine anytime soon, it's worth over $200! It was great to have a taste though. 
  • 2005 Chateau Doisy Däene Sauternes- From Barsac, this wine was surprisingly very complex. Definite notes of botrytis (a disease that sucks the water out of the grape, leaving the sugar highly concentrated- in this case, a good thing). Tangerine, fig, agave, pineapple, pear, brown sugar, honeysuckle- the list goes on. The layers and complexity were endless! A lot of people turn their nose up at sweet wine, but wines like this one can be very good- especially if paired with the right thing. This would be excellent with foie gras. 
  • 1998 Cantemerle Pinot Noir- from the Haute Medoc region. The brettanomyces was definitely noticeable with the aroma of band-aid or animal. Some people like this, others don't. I'm not crazy about it, but it's ok in small doses. Hints of tobacco were also evident. This wine had sediment, and a little cloudy- probably due to age- but still very good. I would say drink this now, it's probably on the way down after this year.
  • 2005 Amiot Guy et Fils Alligote- another sweet wine, although, this one is from Burgundy. A musty, aged aroma, with notes of coffee, fig, and raisin. It has a sweet, birthday cake finish with notably high acid. 
  • George D'Boeuf  Moulin-A-Vent Gamay Beaujolais- Most people think of the light and fruity, inexpensive, picnic wines of Beaujolais, but this one is quite different. It is purple in color, with a spicy nose. It has soft tannins with notes of black pepper; a medium bodied wine. I was glad to discover a higher end Beaujolais that breaks common perceptions.
  • 2006 George D'Boeuf Pouilly Fuisse- from Macon in Burgundy, made out of the chardonnay grape. Light oak with a touch of vanilla on the nose. I love, love, love me some Pouilly Fuisse, and this one is no exception! 
  • 2003 Clos des Vignes Franches Pinot Noir- A Premier Cru from Beaune. Garnet color with a mushroom, cherry, and carmelized nose. Complex, soft and spicy- notes of dried fruit, and light tannins on the palate. 
  • 2005 Joseph Drouhin Chablis-Sechers- We'll finish up with this Premier Cru from Cote D'Beaune. There is banana, apricot and a floral aroma on the nose. Maybe a little hint of oak, but it was definitely not aged in new oak barrels. Sweeter, but not overbearing. A high acid wine that would be paired nicely with oysters. 
Go ahead, set up a little cafe table, pretend you're on the streets of Paris, dine on some fromage and pate, and enjoy a nice, French wine! Give yourself a little mini-vacay, even if you can't afford that flight to Paris.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, all these wines sound amazing! Let me know if you ever have any to share! :)