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Posts Tagged ‘chardonnay’

What are the odds of tasting three faulty wines in the space of a week?  One was in a pub/restaurant where I just thought the wine was crap but it was only after I had left that I started to think about what might have been wrong with the wine. Another I bought in a good independent wine shop and the final wine was one that I regularly drink. Apart from being oxidised the other common denominators were that they were all chardonnay and all from Burgundy – albeit one from Macon and the other two were Chablis.

I tend to drink Chablis regularly so am attuned to the taste and profile, what I found most surprising was that in the space of a week a wine that I had regularly tasted up to that point was still fresh with good fruit and indications that it would last another year or 2. Now it may be that I was unlucky and that other bottles of the same wine will be ok but it has made me change my preference for a particular Chablis producer

There has been much discussion about prematurely oxidised Burgundies or premox if you like. The alledged causes vary from lowered sulphur levels, corks to battonage – especially extensive stirring of the lees after malolactic fermentation.

The main detectable fault for oxidised wine is the darker colour, the sherry nose and the flavour of bruised apple. With age this is what can happen to wine anyway; it is a problem when the wine should have potential to age.

Here is a Chablis that is not oxidised and one which is fast becoming my new favourite. Drouhin Reserve de Vaudon 2008. Typical Chablis flavours of citrus and green apple, but soft as it has been aged 12 months in oak – none of which is new. Available is most good independent off licences and wine shops

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We are have just taken stock of Longue-Dog today. For the uninitiated these wines come from the same stable (kennel?) that brought you Chat-en-Oeuf. A play of words on the Languedoc region in France that may not be obvious to everyone.

The design and packaging have won numerous awards including Gold in the Roses Design Awards.

We have taken in the red and white and may look at the Rose next year.

The white is made from a blend of Colombard and Chardonnay while the red is a blend of Grenache and Syrah. I have yet to taste both but will update this post once I have. In the meantime here is the background from the winery for each wine

This scrumptious dry white wine was reared in vineyards near the Etang de Thau, an extensive lagoon in the heart of the Languedoc, made famous by the plentiful oysters and mussels. Made up of a blend of cool-fermented Colombard with a dash of Chardonnay.

Fruitiness streaked with fresh, zingy citrus characters on the nose and palate and rounded off by a zesty flourish on the finish.

  • This scrumptious red wine is made from specially selected parcels of grapes sourced from the Gard region in the Languedoc. Vines flourish in this warm, sunny littoral hinterland of southern France, also known as “The Midi”, where wine has been made for centuries.
  • This blend of Grenache and Syrah is at once intensely fruity, warmingly southern and slightly aromatic on the nose. The palate is plump and juicy with a luscious texture and subtle twist of warming spice. It’s a very easy, fruit-driven style brimming with blackberry flavours, yet underpinned with a backbone that hints at something more serious.

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PETIT CHABLIS CHATELAIN 07Chablis for less?

The vineyards of the Petit-Chablis appellation lie on either side of the River Serein. These carefully selected terroirs occupy the higher portions of the winegrowing slopes at altitudes of between 230-280 metres and are planted on mixed limestone soils.

This AOC was instituted in 1944 and is considered to be bottom of the rung of the Chablis Appellations. So is this Chablis for less? From a good producer I would agree but there is a lot of disappointing Petit Chablis being made. I would certainly be suspicious of seeing bottles of Petit Chablis for €8 or €9 and this is even more pertinant for bottles of Chablis under €10.

This Christmas we will see a swathe of Chablis and Chateauneuf du Pape etc at fantastic prices. Most of these will be Buyers own Brand or specifically created labels for a multiples or discounters. These will look great but tasted in context they will fall short. So when is Chablis not Chablis so to speak?

The laws of a particular appellation are in place to safe guard the traditons and quality of that region but there are some flaws.

The maxium yiled for Chablis is 58hl/ha (60hl/ha for Petit Chablis both yields incresed from 50ha/hl!!) so why is some better than others. There are 2 ways of achieving your maximum yiled. One is to prune and green harvest so that you do not overproduce bunches of grapes and maintain the concentration of flavour. The other way is not to debud or control the number of bunches per vine.  This will save labour costs etc and you then pick the maximum bunches of grapes and leave the remainder on the vine. Under the appellation laws your yield is 58hl/ha but one is going to be far more dilute and less concentrated than the other. Hence you can make a Chablis than costs less which can be sold for less. Stupid and flawed.

This Petit Chablis from Domaine Chatelain has great length, good concentration of flavour and all the attributes you would expect from a good Chablis. At €16.99 I would much prefer to taste a good wine than buy a cheap imitiation at half the price.

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Ad Hills Map

 A Morning in the Adelaide Hills was hosted by John McDonnell of Wine Australia Ireland and presented by Marty Edwards of the Lane Vineyards http://www.thelane.com.au/. Marty tasted through a number of wines that are typical of the styles that most represent what the Adelaide Hills are best at.  The Adelaide Hills is a narrow corridor 70 km x 30km with over 2000 hectares  under vine that was first planted in 1839. The vines are planted between 400 and 600 metres above sea level. The high altitudes regulate the temperature and with a diurnal difference of nearly 20C it maintains the natural acidity of the grapes. It also has a longer hang time than the Barossa or the McLaren Vale. The hang time or ripening period is significant as flavour develops better when the grapes are allowed to ripen over a longer period of time. A shorter ripening time with higher temperatures can effect the aromatic compounds of the grapes and produce very high sugar content. Therefore the wines of the Adelaide Hills are not your typical Aussie but are more European in style being fresher, aromatic and having balanced, natural acidity.

There are 95 Growers and 20 Wineries in the Adelaide Hills producing roughly 70% White wine to 30% Red, no mention of rose but Sparkling Wine is on the rise . The main grape varieties planted are Sauvignon Blanc (Regional Champion), Chardonnay, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Cabernet and New Italian varietals.

The Lane Gathering Sauvignon/Semillon 2007tl-gathering-sauv-blanc-sem-08The first of Marty’s own wines that we tasted was The Lane Gathering Sauvignon/Semillon 2007. The aromas were of lime with vanilla notes in the background. The palate had rich flavours of apricot, lime and a nice streak of minerality. There was a certain creaminess derived from the oak treatment

The Lane 19th Meeting Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 the-lane-19thmeeting

 

 Had an opaque core with a near tawny rim showing it age. There was quite a bit of sediment in the glass. There was a typical Cabernet Sauvignon nose of blackcurrant with some herbaceous notes. The tannins were less than medium and on the plate the plum flavour was more dominant with some blackcurrant and a slight mushroom character. The wine had a great length in sync with its overall quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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fevre chablis 2007 copy

William Fevre are synonymous with making excellent wines and their reputation is well deserved. The Champs Royaux are select parcels that come from some of their own vineyards and grapes that are bought in by Fevre separately. This is a step up from their entry level Chablis and is treated in the same manner as their Premier Cru wines. The must is  fermented in stainless steel and 10% is aged in French oak barrels, presumeably old ones.  2007 has been hailed as a classic Chablis vintage with minerality, linear fruit and a good dose of acidity. The high acid is not as prevelant due to the percentage of oak treatment that softens out the acid. I tasted the basic Chablis in June and there is a marked difference between the two wines in terms of acidity. The Champs Royaux is an excellent wine and at €18.99  ( Redmonds of Ranleagh) represents great value when you consider most Premier Cru are above €20.

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acheter-bouchard-p&f-lugny-st-pierre-ref-9528_1A general rule of thumb regarding the purchase of burgundy is to look out for a negotiant that has a good reputation but like all rules there are also exceptions. I have had many great wines from Bouchard Pere but unfortunately this wine left me a but deflated. 2007 delivered bracing acidity for Chablis but futher South the whites tend to be less acidic anyway. This macon was so flat on the palate with none of the refreshing acidity you would expect. Possibly they went overboard on the malolactic to counter the generally higher acid levels of the vintage

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