Uncorked: Under this heading we collect various wines that we have tasted, and liked, recently. It can be wines that we have had during dinner at home, at wine tastings, press lunches, visits to vineyards, or other occasions.
We describe the wines just with a few short sentences, tasting notes that we hope will give you a short but accurate impression of what we thought of the wine, without delving into finer points tasting notes.
Some inspiration for more wine discoveries! As well as a perspective on what to expect from older wines.
Some very, very good, and even exclusive wines, whites as well as reds. But also some very affordable ones. Young as well as old.
- Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes blanc, Costières de Nîmes 2012
Michel Gassier at Château de Nages is one of the stars in Costières de Nîmes, the district located on the border between Languedoc and Southern Rhone Valley. Here we have 50 % Clairette, blended with Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc. The nose has the aromas of an exotic fruit salad and the taste is long and intense. Balanced freshness and acidity. The property is organic.
- Les Bergères, Anjou-Chenin 2009, Domaine FL
This is a very typical dry chenin blanc, the way we like them. Full-bodied, aromas of beeswax and almond, a little hint of honey. Delicious. Organic farming. Domaine FL (FL stands for Fournier-Longchamp) is an interesting Loire firm run by Philip Fournier and his son Julien.
- Mâcon-Chardonnay Les Beluses 2012, Cave de Lugny
Very good, unoaked Chardonnay. Full-bodied wine with a nice mineral tone, aromas of citrus, mango and melon, good length. From Cave de Lugny, an ambitious cooperative in Mâcon that is worth watching.
- Domaine de Palayson 2012 blanc, Vin de pays d’Argens
This white Provence wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. Domaine de Palayson in Roquebrune sur Argens was purchased around 15 years ago by Christine and Alan Rudd. After years of hard work by this American/Swedish couple, it is now a gem that produces high-quality wines, red, and white and rosé. A big part of the production is red wine, which is unusual in Provence. This white wine is delicious, fruity and elegant with a good balance and length.
- Château La Louvière 1993 blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Fine maturity, aromas of honey and apricot. Full-bodied, tasty and perfect to drink now.
- Lugana Cá Maiol Riserva 2011
The district of Lugana is located on Lake Garda in Northern Italy and produces only white wines. They call their grape Turbiana. The wines are still rather unknown and this wine was my first experience of Lugana. But I wouldn’t mind some more. This is a very good, completely dry and slightly oxidized wine with dark colour, very flavourful with aromas of ripe apricots. An exciting discovery.
- Chardonnay Beaujolais Blanc 1999, Domaine des Terres Dorées
We paid 65 FFr for this wine in 2001. Wine producer Jean-Paul Brun is one of our favourites in Beaujolais and although his wines don’t cost much, they have the ability to age gracefully for many years in the cellar. This wine was still young and bright. Very balanced, very pleasant.
- Alsace Trapet Ox Pinot Auxerrois 2008
Nice citrus aromas and a good acidity. Full-bodied and well balanced. Auxerrois is a grape in Alsace which is often blended with Pinot Blanc. Winemaker Jean-Louis Trapet is better known from Burgundy (Gevrey-Chambertin) but he also makes wine from six hectares in the heart of Alsace.
- Menetou-Salon 2012, Les Bornés, Domaine Henry Pellé
A pleasant and typical Menetou-Salon, fresh and aromatic. You cannot mistake it for anything else than a Sauvignon Blanc. Les Bornés means clay soil in the local dialect.
- Roussanne 2012, Domaine Yves Cuilleron, Les Vignes d’à Côté, Vin de France
A “Vin de France” wine from one of the best producers in the northern Rhone Valley. Quite full-bodied. Discreet on the nose but quite intense on the palate with a balanced oak character. Fermented and aged in oak barrels.
- Roussette de Savoie 2010, Château de la Mar, Cru Marestal Le Verney
A full-bodied, powerful wine with rich flavours, like melon, mango and citrus. Delicious.
- Champagne Leclerc Briant Rosé Brut
Very light pink colour. A rather unusual rosé in a personal style. Rich on the palate with toasty aromas. It actually feels more white than rosé. Champagne Leclerc Briant is situated in Epernay and the vineyards are biodynamic.
- Bourgueil 2011, Le Haut de la Butte, Domaine de la Butte
The village of Bourgueil in the central Loire makes red wines from Cabernet Franc. This wine, from renowned winemaker Jacky Blot, is light in style with cherry fruit. Quite elegant.
- Domaine des Roches Neuves Terres Chaudes 2012, Saumur-Champigny
Another delicious red Loire wine from Cabernet Franc. Very drinkable, elegant with lively acidity and minerality. Feels refreshing.
- Collioure 2012, Cuvée des Peintres 2012, Cave Abbé Rous
Warm Grenache fruit, some dried fruit, good balance, pleasant. A southern style wine from the beautiful village of Collioure in French Catalonia, close to the Spanish border.
- Château Vignelaure 2005, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
Well-structured wine with plenty of fruit. Cabernet sauvignon is leaving its mark on this wine from Provence. It feels quite young still.
- Mas de l’Oncle Sélection 2012, Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
Medium bodied, pleasant wine with plenty of fruit and good balance. Pic Saint Loup, just north of Montpellier, is one of the Languedoc’s most successful regions.
- Chassagne-Montrachet 1999, Domaine Vincent Prunier
Very good and still vibrant and young in style. Feels almost Bordeaux-like with aromas of tobacco and cedar. Delicious.
- Fixin 2009, Domaine du Clos Saint Louis
A Burgundy in a pleasant easy-to-drink style with lots of red fruit.
- Chiroubles 2012, Domaine Cheysson, Beaujolais
Pleasant, easy to drink with cherry fruit and some spiciness. Juicy. A certain elegance.
- Domaine Mastrio 2011, Dynamique, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Caramany
An organic wine made with mostly Syrah. And there is a lot of Syrah character here. Aromas of dark berries, violets, freshly ground pepper. And tannins. If you like Syrah you will like this wine. With an alcohol content of only 12.5 %, it is easy to believe that it comes from the northern Rhone Valley instead of from southern Roussillon.
- Syrah Les Monestiers 2011, Domaine Les Bruyeres, Les vins de pays des collines Rhodanienne
Here also we have a lot of Syrah character. Typical aromas like charcuteries, spices, black pepper, lots of dark fruit. Appetizing. The winemaker is David Reynaud and his vineyards are close to Tain l’Hermitage.
- Coteaux de Languedoc La Clape L’Epervier 1999, Chateau Pech Redon
Aged with grace and still vibrant with an elegant fruit. Southern style aromas of wild herbs, good length and balance, full-bodied. Lovely.
- Château Pichon Lalande 1975 Pauillac
An interesting year, known for its powerful tannins. And for its ageing potential. We expected a lot from this prestigious second grand cru classé 1855 of Pauillac and we were not disappointed. Balanced, smooth in flavour, perfectly ripe. When you drink a wine like this you understand why people lay down Bordeaux in their cellars.
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