Buy up this Sancerre if you are able, as it is simply delicious drinking. From Domaine Villebois in Sancerre (sauvignon blanc territory), it has aromatics of stones, lime, lemon and grass. The palate is bone dry, with a fresh petillance and terrific balance. An excellent find (and bottled under screwcap too).
It’s always a pleasure to taste rosé wines that have been made with attention to detail. This rosé from Domaine Serisier is made from 100% merlot and is such a wine. Suited to food, it has aromatics of earth, strawberries and nectarine skins. The palate is moreish with fresh acidity and terrific balance. I wrote “better than most”. An excellent rosé.
Bordeaux and Beyond continue to fish out excellent wines from the Bordeaux region. This is another. From the outstanding 2009 vintage, it’s a blend of 90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc from Chateau de la Dauphine. Specifically, the wine is from the red wine appellation of Fronsac to the west of Libourne. The vines have an average age of 33 years old and are densely planted at 6,300 vines per hectare. In the glass, the wine has aromatics of cigar box, sweet dark cherry and blackcurrants. The palate has a lovely balance to it, and good length on the finish.
There are only so many appellations I can remember and I’m afraid Luberon isn’t one of them. The possibility that it may, on examination, prove to be a planet in the Alderaan system remained a stubborn thought. Closer investigation however reveals Luberon to be a fashionable and very sunny wine region sitting between the Rhône Valley and Provence and producing reds based on syrah and grenache. The wine? The 2014 Luberon from Chapoutier has aromatics of sweet cherry, game and raspberry. The palate is medium bodied and balanced. Perfectly pleasant for the humble price of $13.
Well, it has been a fantastic week touring Burgundy’s wine regions. My bold plan to post after each day’s visits ended as it started – a bold plan. Instead, it proved to be an extensive week of learning, wine tasting, vineyard and winery visits, supplemented by an even more extensive diet and spun together by particularly sunny and warm weather and long evenings. Any complaints I realise are therefore deserving of the smallest of the violins. In terms of wine, it was a reminder that there is just so much to know, and inevitably full knowledge eludes most, me most definitely included.
To follow over the next week or so will be my various notes and thoughts from the trip, which are hopefully of interest.
Melbourne to Paris
Cycling particularly early on Sunday.
I won’t comment on the airline wines tasted, other than to say that a Californian merlot probably shouldn’t be found on a plane leaving Australia. Or perhaps it should be.
Arriving in the Paris evening, the senses slowly returned after a brief excursion into incomprehension with daylight at 9pm and the vivid aromas of summer after weeks of cold and dark in Melbourne. After navigating the seemingly customary traffic gridlock on the périphérique, eating became a priority. On a Saturday night in Paris, this proved an unusually easy task. After a rudimentary check, I found myself commuting the grand distance of 50 metres to the reliable bistro in the 6th arrondissement, the Relais Odéon. The food as might be expected is standard bistro fare, and the wine list basic sorted by regional styles. Regional styles of France, that is; foreign wines are just that. A generous pour of the Domaine du Haut-Machard Montagne Saint-Émilion, vintage unnoted, proved perfectly satisfying, albeit the generous size of the glass seemingly in suspiciously direct proportion to my weary appearance.
Paris on Sunday might be neatly summarised as “more or less closed”. Boulevard Haussmann and the grands magasins? Closed. Supermarkets except for the itty bitty ones? Closed. Rue de Rennes? Closed. Wine bars and shops? With one or two exceptions with visibly hopeful proprietors, closed. I could go on. Nonetheless, the tourist districts around Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Champs Élysées were in full swing, the Sunday “bio” market along Boulevard Raspail ever bustling and the Paris area hire bikes a brilliant way to spend a morning.
I found myself on Sunday for dinner in a different but equally close bistro, the Restaurant Pères et Filles. Almost immediately I regretted the choice upon reviewing the “by the glass” wine list: the customary excursion in French wine regions, albeit on the modest side of attractive. It provided a brief insight into raspberry and cherry flavoured rather middling (red) 2011 Anjou Villages from Domaine de la Motte and a most clearly oxidised Côtes de Blaye that I didn’t have the heart to return. Happily, however, the service was friendly and the food “good ordinary” bistro fare. Jet lag shrugged off, next stop Chablis.