Wine Searcher

  • Andalucia Spanish Wine

    Andalucía region

    Andalucia Wine RegionOur journey through Spain ends in the extreme south of the Iberian Peninsula and on the Canary Islands which lie off the Atlantic coast of Morocco. As wine territories Andalucía and the Canary Islands have two entirely different stories to tell. While the Canary Islands are mainly known for their white, rosé, and red dessert wines, Andalucía almost exclusively produces fortified wines (Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlcecar de Barrameda, Huelva, Montilla-Moriles, and en Málaga).

  • Anjou-Saumur French Wines

    ANJOU-SAUMUR

    Great French wines were made here more than fifteen centuries ago. With its 27 appellations the area around Anjou and Saumur has something for everyone. It is a true journey of discovery from which newcomers to wine drinking and connoisseurs will both experience pleasure. The underlying ground is extremely complex around Anjou. Crudely speaking there are two main types: the 'blue' of Anjou which is blue slate and eroded igneous rocks from the Massif Central, and the 'white' Anjou of Saumur, Vouvray, and Montlouis with underlying beds of chalk and tufa.

    The most widely grown variety of grape is Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) for white French wines and both Cabernets for reds French wine. You will also encounter some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines here and there and some Gamay for red wines.

  • Australian Wines

      Australia produces and sells many different types of wine. Those that come from one area are characterised by the combination of terroir and grape variety.

    The wines are very aromatic with characteristic vegetal undertones such as freshly sliced green peppers (paprika).The taste is fresh and lively and less taut than that of a white Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8- 10°C) .The type of oak (French, American, or  German) used for the casks is also very important. Pinally, the price of the wine also has a great bearing on the eventual complexity of the wine but in general every bottle of Australian wine offers value for money or even better.

    The following descriptions are intended to stimulate you to do your own research.

    SPARKLING WINES

    In view of the remarkably low price it is best to choose a true traditional method sparkler that has undergone a second fermentation in the bottle. The white Brut sparkling wines are usually fresh and fruity with sometimes vegetal undertones. Drinking temperature is 46.4°F (8°C). The Rose Brut sparkling wines are generally somewhat less dry than the whites. The nose is very fruity with a slight hint of acid drops, strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.Drinking temperature is 42.8-46.4°F (6- 8°C) .

    CHARDONNAY

    This is the success of the Australian wine industry in the past twenty years. The simple, young, Chardonnay that is not cask aged is a nice wine that can be very pleasant but the best ones are cask aged. The wine is fully ripened with an intense colour, very complex structure, and wonderful nose containing exotic and citrus fruit with earthy undertones and suggestions of toast and nuts. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F/10- 12°C (unoaked) or 53.6-57.2°F/12- 14°C (barrel select).

    SEMILLON

    As strange as it may seem this typical Bordeaux grape used in e.g. Sauternes, produces a surprising wine in Australia that closely resembles a white Burgundy. This is why it is often blended with Chardonnay.

    Semillon is a somewhat strange term in Australia though for some areas call it Chenin Blanc, Crouchen, or even Riesling, such as in the Hunter Valley. The true Australian Semillon though is superb. The bouquet is reminiscent of ripe and sweet fruit with suggestions of citrus fruit and flowers .

    Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (10- 12°C) .

    SEMILLON/CHARDONNAY

    This is a popular blend in Australia. This aromatic wine smells of fresh citrus fruit, peach, apricot, and tropical fruit. The Chardonnay imparts a buttery character and the complexity while Semillon and the oak provide smoothness and the rounded taste. A little Colombard is also often added to this blend to make the wine slightly fresher. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (10- 12°C).

    SAUVIGNON BLANC

    Australian Sauvignon Blanc resembles a good Sancerre rather than a white Bordeaux. Both these French areas grow Sauvignon as their basic variety.

     The wines are very aromatic with characteristic vegetal undertones such as freshly sliced green peppers (paprika).The taste is fresh and lively and less taut than that of a white Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8- 10°C) .

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  • Bâtard Montrachet - Red French Wine

    BÂTARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU

    This other member of the Montrachet family needs to be laid down for some years before it can be fully enjoyed.

     Then the colour is clear, pure golden yellow and the heady bouquet is readily released from the glass. It has a nose of exotic fruit, croissants with butter, exotic wood, almond, and honey. The taste is fresh and silken with a hint of tannin and a prolonged aftertaste. Drink this French wine at about 55.4°F/13°C.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    BIENVENUES-BTARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU

    The French wine is golden yellow with a green tinge. It has a very fruity bouquet together with hints of toast, butter, citrus fruit, and sometimes a characteristic t1inty undertone.

    CRIOTS-BTARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU

    This is a very rare white wine that in many respects resembles   the   Bienvenues-Biitard-Montrachet, certainly sharing its flinty smell and taste.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET

    Once only red French wines were made here, today the reds and   whites   are   of equal   importance.   White Chassagne-Montrachet is a pale golden colour and it possesses a very intense nose in which buttered croissants, flowers, lemons, and later roasted almond and herbs can be recognised. Some wine also has a noticeable mineral scent and taste. The white Chassagne-Montrachet is generally a fresh, juicy, and very refined wine of great character.

    Red Chassagne-Montrachet is dark red and has a bouquet of ripe cherry, blackcurrant, and other woodland fruit, with a hint of liquorice. Most it is well structured, full , and fatty.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    ST-AUBIN

    Red French wine is also made here but the reputation is mainly due to the white wines. The colour is pale golden yellow and the nose     recalls  acacia blossom,   yellow plum, and almond. This later develops into dried fruit and honey. This is a fine, fresh, and generous wine, with sometimes a tendency to plumpness and mineral undertones. The taste and aftertaste are very aromatic.

    SANTENAY

    This is a ruby red wine with aromas of red fruit and fruits of the forest such as blackberry and bilberry. The French wine can be somewhat harsh in tanin when young but this changes after several years ageing i.n the bottle. Once fully mature a good Santenay develops a very exciting bouquet incorporating wild fungi including truffie.

    The white French wine is generally not among the best whites but choose one from a Premier Cru vineyard for these are well worth drinking. llis a fulsome and fruity wine with clearly recognisable Chardonnay characteristics: butter, croissants, toast, hazelnuts. citrus fruit, and white flowers.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    MARANGES

    Thisislesswell-known wine-growingareawhich producesbothred and white Frenchwines. Forthewhite wineschooseformeference from aPremierCruvineyard.Itshould thenbefruityrapricot and almond),iresh,andhave asomewhatfattytastebutbefullof tendernessandelegance.

     RedMaranges(certainlythe premier cru wines)areofoutstanding quality.Thebesthaveaveryintensecolour,nose,andtaste.Thewineisveryaromaticwithsuggestionsofriperedfruitandblackcherry,liquorice,andherbs.

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  • Beaujolais Nouveau Wine

    Beaujolais Nouveau

    This young, extremely fruity wine is sold according to tradition from the third Thursday of November.

    Clacking tongues suggest that the early sale ofthese wines is a marketing stunt to reduce French wine stocks.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     It is not surprising that Beaujolais Nouveau is nicknamed 'the third river of Lyon'. Others wax lyrical about the outstanding fruitiness of the new season's Beaujolais. Expertenced wine drinkers regard this young wine as heralding the results of that vintage and do not make such a fuss. They consider the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau more as a custom than a passing fad. It is up to you whether to buy them or not. In any event try to avoid the cheaper examples. Always drink the better Beaujolais Nouveau such as a Beaujolais ViJlages Nouveau chilled at about 50°F (10°C).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    BEAUJOLAIS

    The basic Beaujolais is produced as a white, rose, and red.. Light, fruity wines are made on more than 10,000 hectares of predominantly chalky soil. Drink these wines at approx. 51.8° (F11°C).

    Since the most southerly white Burgundy appellation of St-Veran came into existence the production of white Beaujolais has been significantly reduced. Beaujolais Blanc is made with Chardonnay grapes (and occasionally a little Aligote). The wine is fresh and fruity in taste and nose. Experienced wine drinkers may detect a hint of hazelnut, mint, butter and sometimes green vegetal such as green pepper (paprika).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     

    BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES

    There are 39 communes which are permitted to call themselves AC Beaujolais Villages. The wine is soft and generous with a delightful cherry red colour and considerable scent and taste of fruit such as blackcurrant and strawberry. Drink at 51.8-53.6°F (11-12°C).{jcomments on}

  • Binissalem Spanish Wine

    Binissalem Wine Region

    Binissalem is relatively small DO area of just 312 hectares on the island of Majorca (Mallorca) in the Balearics, making it the first of DO to gain recognition in the Balearic Islands and moreover the first Spanish DO outside the mainland. Wine-growers have made wine for local consumption in the Balearic Islands for many years. Once these islands became home to the package holidays and Club Med in the 1960s the local wine trade went into top gear. Most of the bodegas are happy with this situation with just a few far-sighted growers believing better results were possible. Their struggle for better quality was rewarded in 1991 with the award of the highly coveted DO status.

     Binissalem Spanish wines

  • Blayais and Bourgeais French Wines

    Two Bordeaux French wine areas are situated south of Charentes Maritime (the area famous for distilling Cognac): the larger Cotes de Blaye (including the Premieres Cotes de Blaye) and the smaller Cotes de Bourg. Both lie on the right bank of the mouth of the Gironde. Red French wines are produced in the south of this area and dry white French wines in the north.

     

    COTES DE BOURG

    This 3,600 hectares wine region is often called the 'Switzerland' of Bordeaux, because of the many rolling green hills. Both red and white French wines are produced here. The white French wines are extremely rare and to be honest best ignored as they offer nothing special in terms of quality. This Sauvignon white French wine is extremely fresh tasting and pleasing but best drunk as an aperitif. Drinking temperature: 9-10°C (48.2-50°F).

    The red French wine is deeply and attractively coloured and fairly aromatic. When young it is quite rough but after several years ageing in the bottle the harsh tannin mellows. The taste is then rounded, full, and sometimes even seductive. The better quality for this French wines possess class, refinement, and elegance. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8 °F).

  • Bordeaux Supérieur and Bordeaux Rosé

    BORDEAUX & BORDEAUX SUPÉRIEUR, BORDEAUX ROSÉ & BORDEAUX CLAIRET (A.O.C.)

    Bordeaux Superieur WineThe Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs are the largest of the French AOCs in terms of both surface area and volume: more than 50,000 hectares (44 percent of the region’s vineyards) produce more than three million hectoliters annually. Their surface area is equal to the total surface area of all the other appellations in the region.

    The only way to describe these wines is to speak of the diversity of the terroirs (soil and conditions) cov-ered by the title. The vast range of terroirs is united by the vision and passion of the men who grow the grapes and make the wine.

    To describe a Bordeaux AOC wine fully, you would need to speak of each of the two thousand vineyards covered by the label. Red Bordeaux wines are easy to drink: they can be supple, fruity, or rich, depending on the vintage. 

  • Burgundy French Wine

    Burgundy grapesThe hallowed ground of Burgundy(French Wine) is home to the greatest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world. Sadly though, in recent years not all of the French wines made here have met the standards of their predecessor. Having said that, there are some smart up-and-coming young producers around and today Burgundy finds itself on a bit of a roll.

    Burgundy was one if the first French wines regions to be know for its wine outside its boundaries. Favoired by kings and queens, the much sought-after wines of Burgundy werw also a passion for Thomas Jefferson. Situates in central France, Burgundy stretches from Dijon in the north, to just south of Macon in the south, The districts of Chablis, sixty miles to the northwest of Dijon, and Beaujolais, to the south of Macon, are both considered part of the region. Due to the influence of the church and the France law of inheritance, the wineyards of Burgundy are very fragmented.

     

    Did you know?

     The French wines in Sauvignon de St Bris, an Appwllation Contrôlêe in Northern Burgundy, are made from Sauvignon Blanc.

     

     Therefore the ‘nêgociant’ has an important role in the making and selling of the wines. ‘Domaine’ bottled Burgundy is a direct reflection of an individual grower, who often tends the vines, makes thewine, and bottles it.

     

    Burgundy grapes

     Burgundy GrapesChardonnay is the principal white grape suited to the calcareous/limestone soil of Burgundy. White Burgundy combines power and elegance but early maturing wines are also produced, along with the racy, cool climate white French wines of Chablis. The Alogtê grape is also planted, This makes crisp and lively white wines and is the classical base for Kir. Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc are also planted in small quantities. The major black variety in the region is Pinot Noir, except in Beaujolais where Gamy reigns supreme. In Burgundy, Pinot Noir is capable of producing wines of exceptional class, elegance and ability to age. It’s a difficult customer though and great care is required to grow and vinify this grape. Gamay on the other hand, provides colour, lots of fruit and acidity in Beaujolais and is also used in the Mâconnais.

    The most famous and expresive French wine of Burgundy include the those the Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Lafon.

    Bourgogne Passetoutgrains is a blend of a minimum of one third Pinot and Gamay.

     Throughout Burgundy there are terroirs with chalk, marl, clay, stony ground, and iron in places. The hard winters and hot summers together with the soil ensure individual characters and personality. The grapes here are Pinot Nair, Chardonnay, Aligote, and Gamay. Near St-Bris in the Auxerrois th.ey also grow a little Sauvignon Blanc. Burgundy is a complex patchwork of vineyards, referred to here as climat, villages, clos, and crus. There are also four Burgundy-wide appellations.

     

    APPELLATIONS REGIONALES

    Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligote (for white wine), Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, and Bourgogne.Passe­ Tout-Grains can be used for the appropriate grapes from throughout the area. Tbe better Burgundies come from specific Localities (such as Côtes de uHs, Côtes de Beaune).

     

    THE 53 APPELLATIONS COMMUNALES

    These wines bear the name of the parish or community such as Chablis, Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanee, or Vougeot).

     

    THE 561   PREMIER CRU APPELLATIONS

    In addition to the village or community appellation, these wines are permitted to identify the particular piece of land or climat. These climats are of sufficient quality that their French wines may be termed premier cru. Examples of these are Chablis ler Cru Montmains, Chambolle-Musigny Armoureuses, Puligny-Montrachet Folatieres, Beaune Clos des Mouches, and Beaune Greves.

     

    THE 32 GRAND CRUS

    These climats have became very famous by their constant quality over the centuries. It is sufficient for these wines just to bear the name of the climat. Examples   are   Chablis   Grand   Cru   Vaudesir, Echezeaux, Charmes-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, Bonnes   Mares,   Romanee-St-Vivant, Carton, Montrachet.

     

    The different French wine areas

    Burgundy is divided into nine different areas: Chablis,   Auxerrois,   Cotes   de Nuits,   Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, Miiconnais, Beaujolais­ Villages, Beaujolais, and Coteaux du Lyonnais. In reality the last three fall within Beaujolais, and Auxerrois is subsumed in Chablis.

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  • Central Greek Wines

    Central Greece

    Ionian Greek wine mapThis area is the centre of the Greek mainland, bounded in the north by Ipeiros and Thessalia, in the west by the Ionian Sea, and in the east by the Aegean. Vast quantities of wine are produced here but the region only has one guaranteed source of origin wine. The other wines are all table wines or country wines. The three areas that together form Central Greece do produce an excellent Cava-style wine (Hatzi Michalis) and very good topikos oinos (Hatzi Michalis, Zarogikas, and Cambas). There are very fruity retsina (appellation traditionelle) wines from Thebe and Messoghia that are made from Rhoditis and Savatiano. There has been substantial investment in this region recently in Prench grape varieties and the better Greek ones. It is anticipated that fine wines will originate from here in the future.

     

    KANTZA Greek wine

    This is a very subtle white wine made from Savatiano and Rhoditis, that is like a retsina without the resin. Drinking temperature for Kantza Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

     

    Ionian Islands and greek wine

    The Ionian Islands lie to the west of the Greek mainland on a latitude with Ipeiros, Central Greece, and parts of the Peloponnese. Vines are cultivated on virtually all of these islands. The conquest by the Turks in this part of Greece - also known as Eptanessos or the seven islands - was of sufficiently short duration that the inhabitants were able to continue to cultivate vines and make wine.

    The wine industry in the most northerly island of Corfu (Kerkyra) has been somewhat depressed by the rise of tourism and the growing of olives. Here too though excellent white wines are made such as that from the house of Ktima Roppa. This is an oldfashioned and traditional wine with the culture of 'flor' (a film created by the fermentation) in the same way as sherry.

    The wine is a lot like dry sherry. The grapes used are Robola and Kakotrychi. New businesses are developing modern-style dry white wines of elegance using the native Kakotrychi grapes. Production of this new wine is very limited. Very little wine worth mentioning is produced at present on the islands of Paxi, Lefkas, and Ithaki (with the exception perhaps of Lefkas's Santa Mavra). Cephalonia (Kefallinia) does make good wine though.

     

    KEFALLINIA ROBOLA GREEK WINE

    Robola, also known as Rombola, is one of the finest white grape varieties of Greece. This grapevine thrives extremely well on the seven Ionian islands, thanks to both the weather and soil structure. The summers are hot but there are light sea breezes to provide the necessary moisture and cooling. The vineyards are sited at 1,968 feet (600 metres) and sometimes as high as 2,952 feet (900 metres) .

    Robola's colour is fairly pale yellow with a tinge of green. The bouquet, with hints of hazelnut and citrus fruit, is seductive and the taste is mellow, elegant, and extremely pleasant. Drinking temperature Kefallinia Robola Greek Wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

     

    KEFALLINIA MAVRODAPHNE GREEK WINE

    Mavrodaphne Kourtaki Greek WineThis is a first class sweet red wine made from Mavrodaphne grapes. At first glance it resembles a ruby port in looks. Drinking temperature for Kefallinia Mavrodaphine Greed wine is 46.4-53.6°F (8-10°C) or 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) according to preference.

     

    KEFALLINIA MUSCAT GREEK WINE

    This is a first class sweet Muscat wine that is very aromatic. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 42.8- 50°F (6- 10°C). A number of reasonable white and red wines are also made on Cephalonia. The white wines, made from grapes such as Rhoditis, Sideritis, Tsaoussi, Zakinthino, Robola, or Sauvignon Blanc, are fresh and fruity. The reds, made from Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne, or Tymiathiko, are fresh, fruity, very aromatic, and not always equally dry.

    VERDEA GREEK WINE

    On Zakynthos just as on Corfu, a fresh green white wine in the style of a Madeira is made that is known as Verdea. This is an excellent aperitif. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-53.6°F (8-10°C).

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  • Chardonnay White Grapes

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chardonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California.

     Chardonnay grapes could be described as a 'winemaker's dream' because it's easy to work with and produces an amazing range of flavours- lemon, pineapple, peach, apple, honey, butter, bread, hazelnut, vanillia, and biscuit. The butter and creamy texture often associated with Chardonnay grapes is a signifiant sign that malolactic fermentation, which softens the 'green', underripe characteristics, has occurred. Malolactic fermentation will be encouraged in cool-climate wines that may well have excess acidity but is usually avoided in warmer climates, where acidity tends to be low.

     Chardonnay White Grapes Chardonnay grapes reaches its greatest heights in Burgungy's Cote D'Or, where the best wines, such as Meursault or Montrachet, gain sublime richness and complexity from the all-important limestone soil.

     This grape's rise to stardom has been dramatic, considering that in South Australia, no Chardonnay was planted until the early 1970s. There is a danger though, that the full-bodied, buttery, fruity Chardonnay with an oak flavour will become so popular that it may become difficult to convince consumers that a fresh, lively, oak-free version not only show the true characteristics of the grape variety, but is an alternative to the 'international style.'

      The Chardonnay grapes is grown in Burgungy, Champagne and the south of France, Australia, New Zealand, California, South America and South Africa.

     

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

    This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.   Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

    Chenin Blanc Grapes

    Chenin Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

    Other white grapes

    Other white grapeswhite-grapes

     This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

     

    Shopping for wine can be quite a challenge, as there is often an immense range to choose from. Sometimes a little planning will be in your favour. Just knowing the type or style of a wine you want will make your buying decision that much easier. {jcomments on}

  • Chenin Blanc White Grapes

      An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles.

    Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange. The grape seems to thrive best in marginal climates, such as the Loire Valley. and on chalky soils. Along the Luire Valley, in Vouvray, Montlouis, Anjou, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume, and Coteaux du Layon, Chenin can be hugely complex and of great character. The most amazing quality of Chenin Blanc wines is their longenity. Curiously, they become sweeter rather than drier with age. These are wines that can really benefit from bottle amutration and consequently make really good presents for christening of naming cereminies! The best Chenin Blancs are some of the wine world's most undervalued treasures.

    chenin blanc Less exciting wines are produced elsewhere. In South Africa for exemple, Chenin Blancs, known locally as Steen, often lack in complexity unless they are made from low-yielding bush vines, or the winemaking is in the capable hands of a conscientious producer. Old vine Chenin can take on another dimension when barrel fermentated or aged in oak.

      Chenin Blanc wines are made in the Loire, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and California. The sweet wines are found in the Loire and South Africa.

     

    Chardonnay Grapes

    Chardonnay Grapeswhite-grapes

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California. 

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes 

    This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.   Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes 

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

    Other white grapes

    Other white grapeswhite-grapes

     This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

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  • Chianti Classico DOCG

     

    CHIANTI (CLASSICO) DOCG WINE

    Chianti Classico Italian Tuscany winesThe basic grape for this famous Italian wine is the Sangiovese grape (75-90%), supplemented with Canaiolo (5-10%), and the white Trebbiano Toscano, and Malvasia (5-10%). Only 5% of white grapes may be added to Chianti Classico. The white grapes are used to slightly reduce the harsh tannin that can be associated with the Sangiovese grape. A good Chianti is a very intense and clear ruby red colour. With age this tends towards granite red. The nose is very pleasing, full, and delicate. Connoisseurs can detect subtle notes of violets in it.

  • Chignin Bergeron - French Wine

    CHIGNIN-BERGERON

    This superb white French wine made with Roussane grapes is worth a mention of its own. It is a very complex wine with suggestions of roasted nuts, toast, dried fruit, and occasional hint of anise or fennel. It is surprisingly fresh with a full flavoured taste, with a prolonged development of the bouquet. Do not drink too cold (approx. 12°C/53.6°F).

    ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE

    FRANGY

    MARESTEL

    MONTHOUX

    MONTERMINOD

    SEYSSEL

    The white French wines (Roussette de Savoie and Seyssel) are made with the Altesse (Roussette) grape. This ancient variety of vine is reputed to have been brought back from the crusades by a princess from Cyprus. The colour of the wine is pale yellow and somewhat pearl-like when young but this disappears

    in due course.

    The scent is reminiscent of a large bunch of wild flowers such as violets and irises with a hint of almonds. The taste is a full one and rounded. The wine sometimes also contains sugar remnants which makes it even more pleasant.

    VINS DE SAVOIE ROUGE

    ARBIN

    CHAUTAGNE

    JONGIEUX

    ST -JEAN-DE-LA-PORTE

    CHIGNIN

    CRUET

    ST-JOIRE-PRIEURE

    There are three different types of French wine here. The Gamay is fairly typical and characteristic of its terroir. It colour is cheerful and bright while the aromatic taste is correspondingly fresh . Drink chilled to approx. 12°C (53.6°F).

    The Mondeuse is much darker in colour with purple tinges. The bouquet and taste are more complex than that of the Gamay. You can smell and taste a mixture of red fruit, pepper, and spices. The tannin present can be somewhat harsh when the wine is young but this softens later. Good Mondeuse can be kept for a long time. Serve at 14°C (57.2°F). The Pinot Noir is somewhat rarer. It is ruby red and has a complex bouquet and and taste. Serve lightly chilled at 14°C (57 .2°F) .

     

    PETILLANT & VINS MOUSSEUX DE SAVOIE AYZE SEYSSEL

    Ayze is made with the Gringet grape, while Seyssel derives its charm from the Molette and Altesse grapes. Both are excellent lightly sparkling white wines of great elegance. Drink at 100°C (50°F).

     

    VINS DU BUGEY

    The vineyards of Bugey lie to the west of Savoie in the department of Ain. This VDQS French wine is relatively unknown and often also unloved because of its fresh acidity. The Bugey wine-growing district was once more extensive but today the small vineyards are scattered over a large area, mainly on land with broken chalk soils.

    Although there are a number of acceptable red and white still wines produced in Bugey, the sparkling Cerdon is the most interesting to mention. This French wine is constantly improving its quality.

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  • Corton Grand Cru - Red Frech Wine

    CORTON GRAND CRU

    This is an exceptionally   well-known  French wine, not because it is better than other Burgundies, but because the wine travels well without the quality suffering. The colour is an intense red and there are powerful aromas of preserved fruit, plum, musk, and humus as the wine matures, with a hint of pepper and herbs.

    This full, strong, fatty wine that is high in tannin needs to mature for some years in the bottle. The taste improves considerably with maturity. The aftertaste is full and very prolonged. This is a wine for winter drinking.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU

    The vineyards of this magnificent white French wine are reputed to have been established under instructions from Charlemagne. He was renowned for both sloth and a love of red wine. He spilt so much wine on his fine white beard though that he was forced, reluctantly, to switch to white wine which had to be a good one and hence his orders. This is a very pure, clear white wine with the characteristic nose of a Chardonnay in which hot butter, toast, roasted almond, hazelnut with occasional suggestion of honey and minerals are discerned. This is a very full, almost plump wine that is a perfect ambassador for the good Burgundian life. Do not drink this wine too cold (53.6-57.2°F/12-14°C).

    SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE

    This is a fine white French wine with a wide assortment of fruity, floral, and even mineral aromas. The wine is full and elegant and sometimes has a generous undertone. It is exceptionally full in taste with hints of white fruit such as apple, pear, or peach, and suggestions of freshly-toasted bread with melted butter.

    Perhaps the red Savigny wine is better known. It is an attractive ruby colour and has a nose suggesting wild fruit and a touch of pepper that are charac­ teristic of this area. It is a delightful, delicate, and supple wine.

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CHOREY-LES-BEAUNE

    This is an wonderful wine to look at with its pure, clear,and attractive cherry red colour. It has an intense bouquet predominated by fruit (raspberry, pomegranate, blackberry, and cherry) which later change to the classic nose of preserved fruit, humus, and game. This is not a truly complex wine but the texture is good and the taste is f ull, supple, and above all velvet smooth.

    BEAUNE

    The very ancientvineyards aro und Beaune produce co untless fine red French wines. The strength ofth is district is to be found in the Premier Cru parcels of land of which Les Gravieres is the best known. The wine is richly   coloured, dark , and   clear. The youthful aromas of red fruit and herbs with occasional undertones of blackcurrant quickly gives way to stronger scents   which   are often reminiscent of smoke and tobacco. This is a very concentrated wine, strong and complex, that mellows after several years ageing in the bottle.

    The white French wines are pale golden in colour and very clear. The bouquet is reminiscent of butter, honey, almond, lemon balm, and later of hazelnut and roasted dried fruit. Do not serve this wine too chilled (55.4-57.2°F/13-14°C) .

    The red Clos des Mouches is a pale ruby red with a nose of ripe cherry,   herbs, and a suggestion of smoke. It is a full, elegant but powerful wine. Do not serve too warm (60.8-64.4°F/16-18°C).

    BURGUNDY WINE *** FRENCH WINE

    CÔTES DE BEAUNE

    This is a fairly rare red wine that is generally high in tannin.

     

    CÔTES DE BEAUNE VILLAGES

    Originates from vineyards in approximately sixteen communes. It is an excellent red wine that the locals prefer to drink when young - within three to five years of the harvest. Drink this wine at about 62.6°F (17°C).{jcomments on}

  • Côte Châlonnaise - French wine

      The Côtes Châlonnaise between Chagny, Montagny and Couches will probably surprise many a visitor.

    BOURGOGNE CÔTE CHALONNAISE

    This is a fairly recent appellation (1990) for white but especially red wines, spread through 44 communes.

    The white French wine is a light, floral and fruity Chardonnay (citrus and exotic fruit) with a lithe, fatty, and balanced taste. The very fruity cherry red wine is light, friendly, warm, and generous.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    RULLY

    These French white and red wines acquire an aromatic finesse through their chalk soils. The white Rully is a very pure and clear golden white with very seductive bouquet containing broom, almond, and citrus fruit with a fresh and elegant taste that has undertones of fruit and flowers.

    The ruby red Rully has a nose when young of red fruit such as blackberry, blackcurrant, and red- currant. Late this evolves into a riper fruit bouquet with suggestions of tobacco and moist autumn soil. The taste is typical of a Burgundy, fat and fresh, with elegant tannin and much fruitiness, especially in the aftertaste.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    MERCUREY

    Most white Mercurey wines are a light, friendly, and above all uncomplicated aperitif French wine. The red Mercurey is an attractive ruby red colour and fruity aromas of blackcurrant, redcurrant, and cherry, often with a pinch of herbs.

     

    GIVRY

    Like its neighbours from Montagny, wine from Givry is an entirely under regarded Chardonnay white. Consequently it is modestly priced for the quality offered.

    There are a couple of whites from Givry that have gorgeous bouquets of acacia and may blossom, apple, almond, and sometimes also lime blossom and lilac. These full, fatty whites can be found in the totally reliable Guide Hachette. Drink this French wine with freshwater fish.

    Red Givry is very colourful with   an   intensely aromatic nose   of redcurrant and   blackcurrant. When older there are herbal undertones. This is a fleshy wine with considerable finesse and a pleasant fruity taste.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    MONTAGNY

    The best Montagny wine has a pale and unimposing colour but with an exceptional array of scents: apple, citrus fruit, fresh almonds, fern, hazelnut, and butter.

    The taste is lithe, elegant, fresh, and rounded.

     

    BOURGOGNE ALIGOTIDE BOUZERON

    This French wine is better than the general Aligote AC. It is an exceptionally pleasing fresh wine with a seductive nose of roses, peony, and white fruit, sometimes accompanied by cinnamon.{jcomments on}

  • Côtes d'Auvergne French Wine

    Côtes d'Auvergne VDQS

    Vines have been growing on the sides of the old volcanoes of the Auvergne for more than two thousand years. Wine-growing started to flourish again in the Auvergne recently after a long period of disasters and troubles stretching back to the phylloxera epidemic, World War I, the economic crisis of 1929, and World War II that followed. A new generation of quality-seeking wine-growers and makers is re-establishing a reputation for quality that had been lost by a previous generation that was more concerned with volume production. These new young growers are not only better educated and more professional, they are also proud of their business, their terroir, and of their wine and you can tell this by drinking their French wines.

  • Côtes de Beaune French Wine

     Côtes de Beaune FRENCH WINE

    Côtes de Beaune French wineThe Côtes de Beaune, between Lad oix-Serrigny and Maranges is mainly known for white French wines.

    This is yet another example of a little known French wine and yet we are in close proxinlity to the world­ famous vineyards of Corton. The wine is ruby red in colour with a hint of amber. The bouquet is seductive, containing herbs, leather and humus in the upper notes. The taste is fruity with a lingering aftertaste. Drink this Ladoix French wine at about 60.8°F(16°C).

    Uncork the wine some time before drinking to allow it to breathe. Some white Ladoix is also made which is dry with a light vegetal nose with hints of hazelnut and other dried fruit. It is a charming and concentrated French wine.

     

    ALOXE-CORTON FRENCH WINE

    This is a firm, concentrated French wine that travels well. The colour, though strong and deep, is slightly unusual-somewhere between ochre and rust. This results from the strong presence of iron in the soil. All manner of fruit is present in the nose: cherry, plum, raspberry, blackberry, and blackcurrant. This is a superb French wine, full and powerful, with suggestions of herbs and wood in the lingering aftertaste.

     

    PERNAND-VERGELESSES FRENCH WINE

    PERNAND-VERGELESSESThere are both white and red French wines from here. The white wines are rarer and less well-known. They are a wonderful golden colour, characteristic of Chardonnay, with a pale tinge of green. The nose is reminiscent of honey, honeysuckle, citrus fruit, and an explosion of tropical fruit in the better years. Early on the wood perhaps dominates too much but this changes after a year's ageing in the bottle. The taste is rich and full, with great tenderness and charm.  

    The red French wine is ruby red and has a remarkable nose evoking sloes, Russian fur, hazelnut, blackcurrant, herbs, and chocolate. The wine has a fabulous taste that is full and fatty, velvet soft and powerful simultaneously, with a very prolonged aftertaste.

     

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  • Cotes de Duras French Wines

    Aquitaine: the wines of the Dordogne and Garonne

    In the part of this book dealing with wines of Southwest France it was explained that the wines of Duras and Bergerac have their own entity alongside the wines of Bordeaux and those that are truly of the south-west.

    To avoid dispute and confusion and not to take sides, both wine-growing areas are listed separately here. Both have closer social and economic affinity with the capital of Aquitaine (Bordeaux) than that of the south-west (Toulouse). The daily trade and business of Bordeaux in the daily business of both areas and the economic importance of Duras and Bergerac all play an important role.

    Cotes de Dures Wines

    Cotes de Duras

    The wine-growing area of Duras appears to be wedged between the vineyards of Bordeaux to the west, those of Bergerac to the north, and south-west vineyards of Pais Marmandais. Duras is not a large French wine region with about 2,000 hectares. Centuries of experience makes this area special and the wine superb. Although the folk of Duras are proud of their wines you will find little fuss about it in the local media. The people prefer to work quietly away at improving their vines and their French wines. Duras (AC since 1937) is aimed more at the connoisseur rather than those attracted to a wine by its label. Only those prepared to make the effort to seek out quality and the simple pleasure of wine without a fuss will experience the delight of the superb Duras wines.

    The vineyards of Duras are sited at the tops of the gently undulating hills (white wines) and the southern slopes (red wine) . The subsoil is extremely varied but the tops of the hills consists of a calciferous sandstone while the slopes are a mixture of compacted clay and chalk with many fossilised shells. The climate is similar to that of Bored, except that it is generally hotter and drier in Duras. The predominant white French wine grapes are Sauvignon, Semillon, and Muscadelle (with the odd trace of Ugni Blanc, Mauzac, Ondenc, and Chenin Blanc) while Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a small amount of Cot (Malbec) is used for the rose and red wines. The majority of the production is of red French wine (54%) and dry white (42%), with sweet white accounting for (2.5%), and rose (1.5%).

    Cotes de Duras Sec is a light, fresh, elegant, and fruity dry wine with a wonderful pale yellow colour that is tinged with green. This French wine, which is dominated by the Sauvignon Blanc, is certainly one of the best Sauvignon wines from Aquitaine. Drink this French wine at 8-10°C (46.4-50°F).

    Cotes de Duras Moelleux is a rare sweet white French wine dominated by Semillon. It is a harmonious, wholly sweet wine with a nose of honey, vanilla, toast, apricot, peach, preserved fruit, almond, walnut, hazelnut, and figs. The texture is fatty, almost unctuous, and the taste lingers long on the palate. The French enjoy this French wine as an aperitif with goose and duck liver pate. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 6-8°C(42.8-46.4°F) .

    Cotes de Duras rose, created by the saignee (early drawing) method, is fresh, fruity and very aromatic (black currant and acid drops). It is an ideal French wine to drink with summer dishes. Drink this French wine at temperature10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    Cotes de Duras red can be a very pleasant, lithe, elegant, and fruity wine, made by steeping in carbonic acid gas (maceration carbonique). Today though most wine is vinified by traditional methods which produce a fuller, fleshier wine with loss of the fruity character. Always drink the first type chilled when young (12°C/53.6°F). This traditional French wine can be kept for five to ten years. Drinking temperature for this traditional French wine: 14-16°C (57.2- 60.8°F) .

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  • Côtes du Marmandais

    Côtes du Marmandais

    The Cotes du Marmandais AC vineyards cover 1,800 hectares on the right bank of the Garonne on gently undulating hills with soil of gravel and pebbles, interspersed with calciferous sandstone, and chalkbearing clay.

    White Cotes du Marmandais, made with the Semillon, Sauvignon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc, are fine dry French wines that are fresh and fruity with a bouquet of white flowers and sometimes a note of almond. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10- 12°C.(50-53.6°F).

    The rose is fresh, fruity, and pale. For a good taste drink this French wine at 12°C (53 .6°F). Cotes du Marmandais red is produced with the Bordeaux grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Pranc, Merlot and Malbec, supplemented with the local Abouriou and Per Servadou, and when necessary with a little Gamay and Syrah. It is better value to buy the slightly more expensive cuvees such as Richard Premier, Tap de Perbos, or La Vieille Eglise. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 14- 16°C (57.2-60.8°F) .

     

    Côtes de St-Mont VDQS

    The Cotes de St-Mont were admitted to VDQS status in 1981. These red and rose French wines are made using Tannat and Per Servadou, supplemented when necessary with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc to provide greater roundness and finesse. This white French wine is blended from typical local varieties such as Gros Manseng, Arrufiac, Petit Manseng and Petit Courbu, with occasional use of a little Clairette.

    The red French wine area is on the eastern and southern facing hills which have two soil types. The stony ground provides a light red wine made by modern methods which is pleasing, comforting but unpretentious to drink well chilled at approx. 12°C (53.6°F). The heavier clay soil produces rounder, more fleshy French wines which can be readily kept. Drink these French wines at 12- 14°C (53 .6- 57.2°F) when young and at 16°C (60.8°F )when mature.

    The rose is soft, very pleasing, and aromatic. The taste is fruity and fresh for a French wine. Drink these French wines at 12°C (53.8°F) .

    The western hills with their soil of chalk and clay deliver very subtle, elegant white French wines. The aromatic properties of the young wine quickly changes to a complex bouquet. Drink this French wine at 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

    In addition to the VDQS wines listed here there are also some good French wines known as vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne, which have justifiably established themselves in the past decade.

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