Chateau L’Ermitage 2012 “Sainte Cecile” Costieres de Nimes White

Posted in French Wine Reviews

Chateau L’Ermitage is the classical type of French winery. Nothing exciting except the wines they produce. For the past thirty years, Michel and Jérôme Castillon have owned the winery and made the wine.  Their vineyards span 80 hectares through the Nimes region, which is on the southern side of the Rhone valley. They are the third generation of the Castillon family to tend the vineyards at Chateau L’Ermitage. The Castillon family clearly have  wonderful and...

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Evening Land 2011 Pouilly Fuisse

Posted in French Wine Reviews

Way back when I was in my early twenties,  Pouilly-Fuissé was all the rage. The restaurant I was working at had  three on their wine list.  One of the greatest points of being a chef at such a young age was that I got to experience a lot of great wines early on.   Drinking good wine didn’t mean I knew anything about wine, but  I did know that Pouilly-Fuissé was the finest Chardonnay I had ever experienced by that point.   And like all guys in their 20′s, I...

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Domaine Forca Real 2011 “Mas de la Garrigue” Côtes du Roussillon-Villages

Posted in French Wine Reviews

For a  hot moment in the late 90′s, France’s  Mediterranean vineyards were trendy, in particular the Languedoc-Roussillon. The good folks at Wine Spectator and Wine  Advocate couldn’t rate the wines high enough, new wineries were popping up every day, and prices were going through the roof.  For a wine region that was principally known for jug wines previously, this was a remarkable turn around. The hype has cooled down since then. The big-ticket luxury...

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Château de Belcier 2011 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Posted in French Wine Reviews

I discovered the wine company  Gironde et Gascogne   at a trade tasting a few years back.  This is a boutique operation with  two chateaux on their roster, both in Bordeaux:  Château Ramage La Batisse in the Haut Medoc and Château de Belcier  in Castillion. I was impressed wit  Ramage La Batisse, which is a very nice Cru Bourgeois. I strongly considered purchasing it for Bacchus Selections, but I couldn’t get the vintage I really wanted. However, it was the Château de...

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Paul Jourdan 2010 “Cuvee Papale” Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Posted in French Wine Reviews

This wine is something of a mystery. There is no winery in Chateauneuf-du-Pape with the name Paul Jourdan.  There was a man by that name who owned Domaine Chante Cigale from 1920 t0 1950. He even gave the winery it’s name. My guess is that this wine is a export-only wine label for Chante Cigale. This wouldn’t be the first time they have created a new brand in this way. For instance, the   Favier Reserve Des Oliviers Chateauneuf du Pape came into the PLCB system...

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Chateau Moulin de Clotte 2010 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Posted in French Wine Reviews

Hmm. Seems like the chateau owner may be in a financial pickle. First, her bottlings from Chateau Ambe Tour Pourret showed up in the PLCB system at stark discounts. That was some great Bordeaux for the money, and was featured here a while ago. Now, this bottling from another of their properties pops up as a Chairman’s Selection in PA. This type of inventory dumping doesn’t happen unless someone in the distribution chain needs some quick money. I did a bit of...

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Domaine Des Ardoisieres 2010 Argile Blanc, Savoie

Posted in French Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

Domaine Des Ardoisieres is a tiny, 17 acre winery in Savoie. This mountainous French wine region is located near the border of Switzerland, below Jura, and is producing some of the most exciting white wines in France right now. This wine is a vineyard blend of Jacquère, Mondeuse Blanche, and Chardonnay from forty-year old vines. It is one of the most beautiful white wines to be found under $50. The flavors and scents of this wine are truly transformative, pushing to a...

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Domaine Durand 2011 Premices Cornas

Posted in French Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

Domaine Durand is an old family estate that was taken over by the dynamic duo of two brothers, Eric and Joel Durand, in 1991. It’s a small, 13 hectare property that straddles the wine regions of Cornas and St. Joseph. Here, the approach to winemaking is modern and minimalist. Their moderate yields and judicious use of new oak frame their remarkable wines perfectly. Deep layers of black currant, burnt sandalwood, and fennel open into a loose framework of rosemary,...

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De Chanceny 2011 Brut Excellence Vouvray (Loire, France)

Posted in French Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

A lovely bottle of dry bubbly. This is the top bottling of the Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray, which itself is run by Alliance Loire. Made from Chenin Blanc, the flavors veer toward quince, hazelnuts and ginger. While the bubbles are not as tight as Champagne, the wine is well-structured and delightful. A zing of lemon and wet stone in the finish is coupled with a touch of spice. A great bottle of bubbly for the price.

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