Tour de France | Tasting Review | August 2019

This week’s tasting featured a “Tour de France” of wine, hosted by importer Jean-Christophe Poizat. Great wines and another great tasting presented with Jean Christophe’s in-depth knowledge of the wines and regions along with some tantalizing food match suggestions…  read about the wines below.

Tariquet Côtes de Gascogne Amplitude 2017

A refreshing, delicate Riesling from a single vineyard in the Blind River area of the Awatere. Made in the German ‘Kabinett’ style – early pick fruit fermented to 8.5% alc. with 25gms rs. A pale colour with plenty of yellow citrus fruit/ pineapple flavours bound with juicy acidity. The wine has tension and length. A delicious Riesling that is perfect as an aperitif/lunchtime wine.

Cave de Buxy Montagny 1er Cru les Coeres 2016

Cave de Buxy is a co-operative of 120 family farms based in the Côte Chalonnaise just south of the villages of Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet. Here the soils are a mix of clay and limestone – perfect for Chardonnay.

Quite a savoury style of Chardonnay with cashew nut, white flesh nectarine and peach. Nicely rounded mid palate with ripe fruit balanced by acidity and subtle oak. Good value. A classic match for poultry.

Cassagne de la Nerthe Côtes du Rhone Blanc 2018

Cave de Buxy is a co-operative of 120 family farms based in the Côte Chalonnaise just south of the villages of Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet. Here the soils are a mix of clay and limestone, perfect for Chardonnay.

This is a vibrant, fresh wine with an abundance of apricot, ginger and cardamon spice; hints of fennel, fleshy fruits. The wine is dry and very well balanced with good freshness with a lingering spicy finish. Jean-Christophe says it is an excellent match with salty/spicy foods – anchovies, sardines, Mediterranean fare.

Alexandre Burgaud Beaujolais Villages Langtignié 2017

Beaujolais is probably one of the most mis-understood wines around. Some wines can be simple and tutti-fruit, but not ones like this. The wine comes from old vines in the village of Lantignié which is regarded as being the best location for Beaujolais Villages (it is about to become the 11th Beaujolais Cru very soon).

The wine is made in classical Beaujolais manner with whole-berry fermentation and no oak.A deep dark violet colour, the aromas are immediately evident. Cranberry, strawberry/cherry, firm black plums, liliac florals. It is bright and fresh (there’s a hint of firmness from the addition of stalks) on the palate. The low tannins in the wine allow it to be served cool and is a perfect match with Indian curries or if you want to be more traditional things like charcuterie and fritures.

Château la Bastide Corbières 2016

Located in the north of Corbieres appellation of the Languedoc in the South of France, the domaine is spread over 180 hectares. Protected from the winds by forest, the vines are planted on gravel terraces with a southerly aspect. The low yielding Syrah and Grenache vines are 30+ years old with the Carignan being well over 80. This 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 10% Carignan.

Dark in colour with flavours of dark fruits – boysenberry, plum and meaty, earthy, savoury spices. There is a gritty saline quality to the wine. The palate is quite full with those dark fruits flavours carrying through the palate finishing with soft tannins. Perefect with lamb chops.

Château du Cèdre Cahors Heritage Malbec 2015

Cahors is home to the malbec variety and whilst Argentina may have taken the limelight in recent years, Malbec is making a real comeback in Cahors after nearly disappearing. Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe’s Chateau du Cedre is regarded as the region’s leading light. This is 95% Malbec, 5% Merlot with fruit grown by local organic producers that Pascal consults to. About 70% is lighter and finer material from the limestone plateau (the causses) and 30% richer and denser fruit from the iron-rich gravelly terraces of the Lot River valley.

Darkly coloured, this has flavours of aniseed/fennel, liquorice, cured meats. There is plenty of ‘rustic charm’ and a tight, but mouthfilling structure. This is a wine that will sing with game dishes – duck cassoulet, rabbit  and BBQ meats.

Pascal Lafond Roc-Épine Lirac 2016

The Lafond family has a long history in the Southern Rhone Valley that dates all the way back to 1780. Lafond family created Domaine Lafond in Roc-Epine in 1970. Lirac is on the western side of the Rhone river (opposite Chateauneuf du Pape). This is a blend of Grenache 80%, Syrah 20% aged in older oak.

This is a dark and generous wine reflecting the outstanding vintage. Ripe raspberry, boysenberry fruit; liquorice, vanilla and spice. The wine is smooth and rich but also has freshness. A very good wine.

Château la Tour Bessan Margaux 2015

From the famous Margaux appellation of Bordeaux. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. This is a wine of some complexity. An engaging nose of cassis, perfumed and floral. There are flavours of cigar box and truffle. The palate has fine grained tannins with earthy savoury complexity. Still youthful it opened out as it sat in the glass and best enjoyed in a large glass or decanted. This shows what you can get from Bordeaux from a very well run estate not far from the big names.

Cazes Rivesaltes Ambré 2003 (375ml)

100% Grenache Blanc, fermentation is stopped with the addition of a neutral spirit to give an alcohol of 16.5% and sweetness of 130gms/litre. It is then aged in large format foudres in an oxidative style for many years before bottling.

The Rivesaltes Ambre has a deep, attractive amber colour. There are apricot, caramel, nutty aromas on the nose, with a fig and citrus peel complexity on the palate. The wine is smooth and mellow, with a lingering hint of caramel adding to the rich finish. A distinctive style that is like a mix of dessert wine, sherry and port styles.