The 2012 Burgundy vintage continues to provide very enjoyable wines that have sufficient fruit and charm to be approached now. From Domaine Faiveley, the 2012 Échezeaux grand cru has ethereal aromatics of cherry, blackcurrant and undergrowth befitting of this esteemed appellation. The palate is also delicious, with firm tannins and good length suggesting a long life ahead. I would cellar this wine for a further 5 to 8 years, but certainly I would not hesitate to drink now if you would prefer not to wait. Rating: Very Good to Outstanding. Abv: n/a. Price: high. Website: https://www.domaine-faiveley.com. Reviewed: December 2019.
Schlossberg is an 80 hectare grand cru in Alsace that is situated eight kilometres from Colmar, overlooking the Weiss Valley. The Vins Alsace website actually has a lot of further information, including some very cool interactive maps that highlight the region’s stunning beauty. You can find it here. This wine from Paul Blanck is a very good wine. A yellow gold in colour, it has aromas of lemon and touch of honey. The palate is rich and mostly dry, with flavours reminding of lemon, stones and tropical fruit, supplemented by fresh acidity and long length on palate. Ready to drink now, this wine can be approached over the next decade or more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: not recorded. Price: $60. Website: www.blanck.com/en/
This is a good malbec from Cahors in south western France. Less deeply coloured and fruity than its equivalents in Argentina, it has restrained aromas of red berries, earth, herbs and oak. The palate is earthy and savoury, with liquorice overtones. Some mid weight tannins and good length complete the picture. This wine can be approached now and represents good value at this price. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $28. Website: https://www.chateauducedre.com.
The number and variety of Provençal rosés available in Australia seems to be increasing. This is the best I have tried recently. A blend of cinsault, grenache, syrah and merlot, it is from the Méditérranée IGP region, which includes the Provence wine region in southern France. The label was founded by some serious names, the founder of Domaine Dujac and Aubert de Villaine. In the glass, the wine has salt, mineral and floral overtones. The palate has good and refreshing acidity. This wine is recommended. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $20. Website: www.triennes.com.
This Provençal rose (from the Alpes de Haute Provence IGP in France) is so pale it almost resembles a white wine in colour. Grape varieties are not specified. However, this region is known for grenache, syrah and cinsault blends, so this is presumed. Its aromatics remind of gentle florals. The palate is flavoursome with nectarine notes and fresh acidity. A pleasant rose for immediate consumption. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $20+.
|The picture shows the 2016 vintage. The 2015 vintage is reviewed here.|
This is another interesting Vin de Pays d’Oc from the south of France. Organically grown, it is a blend of 40% syrah, 40% grenache, 10% carignan and 10% mourvèdre sourced variously from Roussillon, Corbières and La Livinière and is a deep purple in the glass. The wine opens to aromatics of pepper and spice, but mostly spice. The underlying fruit is ripe, fresh and fruity. The palate is full bodied and the length and savoury balance satisfying. Rating: Good. Abv: 14%. Price: N/A. Source: Sample.
I wasn’t entirely convinced by this sauvignon blanc from François Chidaine in Touraine. It opens to a typically sauvignon blanc tropical aroma, but overlaid with a green streak. The palate is medium bodied with a bitter edge. Neither Sancerre, nor NZ in styling, it presented as an amalgam of the two. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: N/A. Price: $20s.
This is a very moreish Bourgogne from Pascal Marchand. From the highly regarded 2015 vintage, it is a good example of a Bourgogne rouge, if expensive. In the glass, it is faintly meaty, with raspberry notes. The palate is fleshy, medium bodied and with enough flavour and acidity to both resolutely signal Burgundy and interest. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $50s.
A second wine review from Thierry Germain Cep by Cep in the Loire Valley. This wine is an Anjou rouge, which is an organically tended 100% cabernet franc. Alas, the words “cabernet franc” do not appear on the front label like Thierry Germain’s chenin blanc. I have not found this style of cabernet franc being made in Australia. The 2015 vintage tasted here is all raspberries, strawberries, medium bodied and with a crisp smokey/twiggy fruit overlay. This is recommended and lovely current drinking and a typical expression of Loire cab franc. The vintage shown on the label photo is the 2014 vintage. Rating: Good. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $30.
This is a delicious Anjou blanc from Thierry Germain in the Loire Valley. The label is simple too – “Anjou blanc” needs to be at least 80% chenin blanc and many French producers leave it at the former regional description. This label helpfully states that’s what’s in it – i.e. chenin blanc. It has aromas of lemon, wool and yeast. The palate is very refreshing with high acidity and a yellow grapefruit expression. It calls out for seafood. Rating: Good. Abv: 12%. Price: $28.