This is a very good Saint Joseph syrah from Coursodon and the 2017 vintage. In the glass, there are aromas of baked plums and a distinctive, resonant pepper character. Although ripe, the wine remains medium bodied, finishing with medium to long length and peppery overtones. Ready to drink now and over the next 5 to 8 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Website: https://www.domaine-coursodon.com/en/. Reviewed: February 2020.
This is a sound cru bourgeois from Château Barreyres. It opens to quite an intense herbal aroma before settling to an earthy expression of red and black fruits. The palate is restrained and balanced with dry tannins. Approachable now, this wine will benefit from a further 2 or 3 years in the cellar. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Website: http://www.chateau-barreyres.com. Reviewed: January 2020.
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.