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  • BAN DOL ROUGE - French wine

    BAN DOL ROUGE

    Red Bandol must contain at least 50 per cent Mourvedre, which can be made up to 90 per cent of the volume with Grenache and/or Cinsault. The remaining 10 per cent may be Syrah and Carignan. The character of red Bandol is determined therefore by the Mourvedre grape.

    Where other grape varieties provide almost baked aromas to the wine because of the great number of hours of sun, Mourvedre retains its fruity bouquet, making it an ideal choice for the Bandol vineyards. Bandol red is very full of tannin when young so that it needs to be aged for at least 18 months in oak. Many find Bandol red too expensive and the wine too harsh. These are people who do not have the patience to lay these French wine down for at least six but preferably ten years before drinking. Only then is Bandol at its best.

    The bouquet is a sublime combination of red and black fruit (wild cherry), peony, humus, and heliotrope. When these French wine is older (more than ten years), classic aromas of truffle, pepper, vanilla, liquorice, cinnamon, and musk come to the top. A good vintage Bandol red can be kept for at least 20 years. Do not drink these French wine when young but at a mature age and serve at approx. 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .

     

    BAN DOL ROSE

    The same strict proportions of grapes apply to this French wine also. A Bandol Rose combines the essential elements of Mourvedre (wild cherry, red and black fruit, peony, heliotrope, and pepper) with its owncharm, power, freshness, and depth. Serve this French wine at approx. 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).

     

    BAN DOL BLANC

    This white French wine is exceptionally fresh, full-bodied, and impertinent. The wine is made with Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Bourboulenc. Grapefruit and lemon together with floral notes can be detected in the bouquet. The taste is full of flavour, fleshy, and whimsical. Do not serve this French wine to cool (approx. 10-12°C/50-53.6°F).

     

    CASSIS

    This much-loved French wine has nothing whatever to do with the popular blackcurrant soft drink. Cassis is the name of an idyllic harbour town on the Mediterranean. The harbour is encircled by imposing cliffs which protect the vineyards of one of France's most delightful white wines. Of the 175 hectares of vineyards, 123 hectares are devoted to white French wines. Rose and red Cassis are also produced. Both are surprisingly fruity, lithe, and pleasant.

     

    CASSIS BLANC

    A good Cassis Blanc is not readily found outside its locality because local demand exceeds the supply. Thise French wine smells of beeswax, honey, ripe fruit, cedarwood, may and lilac blossom, almond, and hazelnut. The taste is very fresh and full-bodied . The acidity that is clearly present provides a good structure to the Frech wine. Drink white Cassis at 10-12°C (50-53 .6°F).

     

    Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence

    This extensive area lies to the south of Durance, stretching to the Mediterranean in the south and the Rhône in the west. The soil is chalky and the changeable landscape is characterised by small mountains and alluvial valleys. The mountains run parallel to the coast and are covered with scrub, wild herbs (maquis), and coniferous woodland. The valleys have a subsoil of broken rock and gravel, interspersed with calciferous sandstone and shale, mixed with sand, gravel, and alluvium. The French winegrowing area is fairly large, covering approx. 3,500 hectares.

     

    CÔTEAUX D 'AIX-EN-PROVENCE ROSE

    This French wine is light, fruity, and very pleasant. The better C6teaux d'Aix-en-Provence rose is full-bodied and powerful, with dominant floral notes. Drink this French wine young at approx. 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F) .

     

    CÔTEAUX D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE ROUGE

    This is an exciting French wine that can be somewhat rustic. The wine is none too elegant and lacks finesse but is characteristic of its terroir, with fruitiness, power, and sultry notes of leather, pepper, spices, and herbs. The tannin is muted, so that the French wine can be drunk while young. The better wine is however at its best after about three years. Drink this French wine at about 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F) .

     

    CÔTEAUX D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE BLANC

    This fairly rare white French wine made with Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grolle, Sauvignon and Ugni Blanc is often full-bodied, charming, and at the same time elegant. It smells of blossom such as may and/or shrubs such as privet and box. The taste is fresh, full, very romantic, and very characteristic. Serve it about 10-12°C (50-53.6°F) .

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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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  • Graves French Wines II

    GRAVES BLANC SEC

    The dry white Graves is always fresh, fruity, and very aromatic with scents of box, laurel, peach, apricot, citrus fruit, ivy, mint, vanilla, toast, and almond. If drunk when young the acidity of Graves Blanc Sec is rather sharp. Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 10-12°C(50-53.6°F).

     

    GRAVES SUPERIEURES

    Genuine Graves Superieures are superb but you will not find them among the cheaper wines. Expect to pay about double the price of the special offer wines. These sweet (moelleux) to liquorous French wines are very aromatic with suggestions of hazelnut, vanilla, toast, honey, peach, and apricot, and they are velvet smooth. The presence of fresh acidity provides the wine with balance. Drinking temperature for this Graves French wine: 6-8°C (42.8-46.4 °F).

     

    PESSAC-LEOGNAN

    Pessac-Leognan Cru Classe redSince 1987, the communes of Cadaujac, Canejean, Gradignan, Leognan, Martillac, Merignac, Pessac, St-Medard d'Eyrans, Talence, and Villenave d'Ornon have borne the appellation of PessacLeognan.

    All the grand crus of the former Graves (1959) fall within this appellation, including Chateau Haut-Brion. There are a total of 55 estates and chateaux that bear the Pessac-Leognan AC. This French wine produced from these is generally of higher quality than the rest of Graves. This is partly due to the poor soil of Pessac-Uognan, to the hilly landscape, ideal situation of the vineyards, good drainage, and adequate water in the lower strata.

    The total production area of Pessac-Leognan amounts to 950 hectares of which almost half has been replanted since 1970. At that time the vineyards of PessacUognan were threatened with suffocation from the smoke of the expanding city of Bordeaux. The survival plans of the remaining growers (almost

    Classe red all owners of grand crus) resulted in their own AC recognition in 1987. Since that time the vineyards have been well protected against further expansion of Bordeaux. This French wines belong in the top category but remain affordable.

    Pessac-Leognan Blanc is always a dry French wine. Sauvignon Blanc dominates here with the possible supplement of Semillon. The colour is a clear pale yellow to straw and the nose is particularly seductive: vanilla, toast, lime blossom, broom, grapefruit, apricot, peach, quince, mango, lychee, butter, and almond. The taste is fresh, fruity, fatty,and rounded. Drink this Blanc French wine at temperature: 12°C (53 .6°F) .

    Premier Grand Cru Classe Chateaux Haut Brion wine Label Pessac-Uognan Rouge is of exceptional quality. The colour is intense and exciting dark purple to carmine for a this French wine. When young there is a bouquet of ripe fruit such as blackcurrant and plum, together with vanilla, toast, almond, and a characteristic smokiness. These change as the wine matures to humus, prune, game, and truffle. Most wines use Cabernet Sauvignon as their principal grape with some Merlot and Cabernet Pranc. This French wine consequently keeps well. Drink this French wine at temperature: 16-17°C (60 .8-62.6°F).

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  • Klein Karoo Wine Region - South Africa

       Finally the largest wine region of South Africa is Klein Karoo, which is also the most easterly area. It is very hot in summer here and irrigation is essential. Klein Karoo is famous for its sweet fortified wine but also for the surprisingly fresh and fruity Steen (Chenin Blanc).

    CAPE RIESLlNG/KAAPSE RIESLING

    In spite of the name this is not Riesling as we know it in Europe but a different grape, the Crouchen Blanc, of which the origins are unclear. It is often used to make very acceptable table wines but also produces some good firm wines with interesting vegetal aromas such as straw and grass. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    COLOMBARDAfrican Chardonnay

    This grape variety hails originally from the French south-west, origins of most of the Huguenots. Its yields fresh and fruity wines that are excellent as an aperitif or to served with grilled fish. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    STEEN (CHENIN BLANC)

    These grapes originate from the Loire. The grape is particularly used for its fine acidity. In South Africa though it delivers surprisingly mellow wines that are almost sweet as well as dry as chalk examples that are fresh and fruity. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    SAUVIGNON BLANC

    Also known on occasion as Pume Blanc as in the United States. South African Sauvignon Blanc wines are very herbal with definite notes of grass, with peppery undertones. The taste is fresh, dry, aromatic, and beautifully rounded. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    CHARDONNAY

    This Burgundian grape also thrives in South Africa. The special cuvees in particular, that are aged in oak barrels, are extremely exciting. Chardonnay is fruity, rich, and rounded with a robust taste. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C).

    PINOTAGE

    This grape is the true South African speciality. It was formed from a cross based on old root stock with Pinot Noir, and Cinsault (known locally as Hermitage) about which little is known. The variety was created by Prof. Abraham Perold in 1925 and it combines the reliability of Cinsault in terms of volume and quality, even in poor years, with the finesse of Pinot Noir.

    Most of the wines are drunk still too young but there are certain top quality Pinotage wines such as Kanonskop which aged well (five to ten years).

     Pinotage smells and tastes of dark ripe fruit with hints of spices. Some of the best Pinotage wines contain quite substantial tannin when they are young. A local speciality is 'Beesvleis Pinotage', which is a beef stew cooked in Pinotage. Drinking temperature is 60.8°F (16°C).

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  • Other white grapes

    GEWÜRZTRAMINER GRAPES

    Gewurztraminer White 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.

    Gewürtraminer often smells sweet, but may produce an element fi suprise, by tasting dry. It tends to grow best in cooler climates where there  is a decent levet of acidity in the soil. Alsace Gewürztraminers are the most successful, with wines from other territories tending to be bland in comparison.

     Gewürztramineris found in Alsace, Germany, Northern Italy, Eastern Europe, and the USA.

     

    MUSCADET - MELON DE BOURGOGNE GRAPES

    Muscat grapesThis grape makes the seafood simple par excellence. Offering hints of apple and gooseberry, the wine becomes dry, savoury and tangy, particlarly when aged in contact with the lees - the yeast deposit left after fermantation. Attempts to age Muscadet in oak are not guaranteed to meet with success as the grape's structure and body tend to preclude assimilation with the wood.

     The Muscadet grape thrives in the Loire Valley.

     

    MUSCAT GRAPES

     All members of the large Muscat family share a floral, grapey, and aromatic charanter. Depending on when it's picked, Muscat is capable of making dry to sweet wines, from the very lightest to the biggest 'stickies', such as the Liqueur Muscats of Australia. The tast of sweet Muscats is redolent of raisins and  oranges. These wines may be fortified with grape brandy during the fermentation process in order to preserve sweetness. The Muscat is often blended with other varieties of grape in order to increase complexity and flavour. It is used in the well-known Italian wine Asti Spumante.

     Muscat is grown throughout Europe anda also in Australia.

     

    TREBBIANO - UGNI BLANC GRAPES

    Trebbiano Pinot Noir Grapes  The most widely planted white grape in Italy, the soil and warm climate help to create wines with highsh acidity. Indeed, because of its high acidity it is sometimes belnded with red wines. Trebbianos tend to be medium bedied and with zesty fruit character, Trebbiano is usually fermented is stainless steel vats and may be matured in oak in orded to add some complexity to the flavour.

    Italy and France, where the grape is used in the blend for Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne. It also makes excellent distilling material for both Cognac and Armagnac.

     

    VIOGNIER GRAPES

     Very aromatic, Viognier's hallmark notes are of apricot, peach, and honey. Lush and flesh, the dry wines produced by the Viognier grape are so aromatic that they can seem sweet on the palate. Viognier is a difficult grape to grow successfully. Indeed, modern winemaking techniques are being developed to encourage a consistency in the taste. In France it tends to do best on the small hillsides outside Lyons.

     Viognier takes centr stage in Condrieu (Northern Rhône) and is also doing well in Southern France, Chile, Australia, and California.

     

    MARSANNE GRAPES

    From the Rhône Valley, France's Marsanne makes full-bodied, fat and weighty wines, with flavours of peach and toast, and can even taste nutty when mature. Marsanne may be blended with Roussanne.

     

    Pinot Blanc GrapesPINOT BLANC - Pinot Bianco GRAPES

     Pinot Blanc invariably makes dry, apple-scented and flavoured white wines, with a touch of honey and a whiff of spice in Alsace. Very adaptable with food, Pinot Blanc is also star material for sparkling wine.

     Pinot Blanc is another grape to originate in the Alsace region of France and also in North America.

     

     

    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.

    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.

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  • Saumur Rouge/ Cabernet/ Champigny French wines

    SAUMUR BLANC

    This is a dry white French wine produced with Chenin Blanc grapes, both with and without the addition of Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Served chilled, this subtle and fruity French wine is best as an accompaniment to lobster, crayfish, and freshwater fish. Drinking temperature for this Saumur Blanc French wine: 8-10°C (46.4- 50°F) .

    Por those who do not want to spend endless time searching for a white Saumur then the best to try is to be found at Souzay-Champigny. Very traditional style Saumur Blanc Sec is made here at the Chateau de Villeuneuve. So much power and grandeur is not to be found elsewhere along the Loire (and perhaps difficult to improve upon throughout France).

  • Sauvignon Blanc White 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.

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes In France, Savignon Blanc finds its greatest expression at the eastern end of the Liore Valley, at Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, but this is matched in New Zealand, particularly in the Marlborough district. The New Zealand style -all the rage today- offers a stunning combination of zesty fruit and rich melon undertones which burst into action as soon as the cork is drawn, or indeed the cap os loosened.

     In Bordeaux, a few chateaux, such as La Mission Haut-Brion and Domaine de Chavalier, lavish attention on Sauvignon, carefully blending it with Semillon and ageing the blend on oak. These rich, lanolin-textured wines are allowed to age for decades, but most Sauvignon Blanc are consumed as young wines. Sauvignon Blanc can plau an extremely important supporting role to Semillon, in both dry and sweet wines. This is particularly the case in Bordeaux, as Semillon, naturally low in acidity, gains a fresh and youthful attribute from its presence.

    The Sauvignon Blanc grape is grown in the Loire and St Bris in France, New Zealand, USA, Western and South Australia, South Africa and Chile. 

     

    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. 

     

     

    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.

     

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  • Slovenia Wine Regions

    Ljutomer Ormoske Gorice Slovenian Wine

    Slovenian wine bottlesThe white Slovenian wines from this area are certainly among the best in Europe. Unfortunately the means are not to hand to make their wines better known. The Slovenian wines from the local cooperative Jeruzalem Ormoz should have a large market potential in Europe. You are unlikely to encounter such fine Pinot Blanc (Beli Pinot) anywhere else than from Ljutomer Ormoske Gorice. The bouquet is redolent of may blossom and other white flowers, perhaps with a hint of broom, and even fruit stone liquor (Slibowitz). The taste is very fresh with elegant and refined acidity, the relationship between alcohol, body, and fruit is perfect, and the price is a gift. Drinking temperature for this Slovenian wine is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).

  • The Loire Valley - French Wine

       In comparison of the rest of France, the Loire has a cool climate. The area is capable of producing a wide range of wines, from light, dry, and crisp whites, to rosé, mediun-bodied reds, and luscious dessert wines.

      It is also a region where extremely good sparking wines are made. It was not until the mid 1940s that the Loire’s wines began to gain a reputation outside their local markets but since then, the region’s white wines, in particular, have featured on many restaurant wine lists. The Loire is the longest river in France and provides an entry to four main wine areas which lie between the Atlantic and the cebtre of France. Around Nantes, the influence of the sea is evident, while inland, the so-called central vineyards, including Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, have a continental climate. Anjou-Saumur and Touraine lie between these two extremes. The vast size of the region means theat there are many different soil types, but chalk and clay are the most prominent for a good white wine.

     Loire Valley WineThe most important grape varieties are Muscadet, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc for the best white wines, and Cabernet Franc for red wines, with a little Pinot Noir grown in and aroud Sancerre. Muscadet, is a dry, fresh and crisp white wine, and a seafood wine ‘par excellence’. The term ‘sur lie’, usually assocuated with better-qualty Muscadet, indicates that the wine has spent time maturig on the lees and is bottled directly, to give added concentration and a faint pickle of carbon dioxide. In Anjou-Saumur, mostly dry or medium sweet white wines are produced form the Chenin Blanc grape. As well as having a bearing of the wines, the local chalk soil is evident in the extraordinary buildings typical of the area, where the white stone has a striking effect.

     Many of the sweet wines come from the sheltered area around the river Layon, a tributary of the Loire and are affected by noble rot. They are some of the hidden gems of the wine world and, like many of the white wines made from the Chenin Blanc, can age amazingly well. The best red wines of the Loire are made from the Cabernet Franc grape, in the subdistrict of Touraine. Generally medium-bodied, these delicious and elegant wines are made to drink young, but can also surprise with mid-term cellaring. Chinon, Bourgueil, Saint Nicholas de Bourgueil and Saumur Champigny are four appellations to look out for. Frustratingly, there’s some variation with the quality of wines from Vouvray and Montlouis but the best white wines are magnificent expression of the Chenin Blanc grape.

    Wine Loire Valley Sancerre wine takes its name from the hilltop town of the area. The district’s wines are arguably the word’s most famous appellation connected to the tangy, piquant wines made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Across the river Loire and just a few miles away, is Pouilly Sur Loire, home to Pouilly-Fume, where the white wines are produced from Sauvignon. Tending to be a little sterner, they are very good with food. Due to its proximity to the central vineyards are made from the Pinot Noir grape. Look out too, for the wines of Quincy, Reyilly, and Menetou Salon.

      Many of the white wines of the Loire Valley age remarkably well, changing in character from the mineral, flintlike flavours of youth to an almost honey-and-apricot textured complexity. Even 50-60-year-old wines can be in perfect shape.    Read more about Valley of the Loire here...

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  • The wines from Chile

    The wines

    Chile produces a great deal of Cabernet Sauvignon (about 47 percent of the total production) followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Small amounts of Riesling, Pinot Noir,

    Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Gewilrtztraminer are also produced. Chardonnay was originally not so widely planted but has seen explosive growth, with a seventeen fold increase between 1985 and 1996.

     

    SAUVIGNON BLANC

    This classic Bordeaux grape is also known as Fumé Blanc here. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc varies in intensity and quality from area to area and also from maker to maker. The colour of ordinary Sauvignon Blanc is mainly pale yellow tinged with green. The bouquet is very seductive with fresh aromas of tropical fruit and freshly mowed grass. Some wines have a hint of citrus fruits, gooseberry (Santa Carolina), or flowers (Santa Digna, Torres). The taste is always fresh without being firm as can be the case in Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8- 10°C).

     

    SAUVIGNON BLANC RESERVA ESPECIAL

    This wine is cask aged in wood and possesses a characteristic bouquet of wood and vanilla without losing its fruitiness. Drinking temperature is 50°F (10°C).

     

    SAUVIGNON BLANC LATE HARVEST

    This is a rare wine from Concha y Toro that has heady aromas of white fruits (such as peach and apricot), melon and honey. It is a luxuriant and sweet yet fresh white wine with a broad taste and long aftertaste. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8- 10°C).

     

    CHARDONNAY

    The taste of Chilean Chardonnay is largely a matter of the wood in which it has been stored and the duration of its storage. The humidity of its place of origin also plays a role. Chardonnay here is generally pale straw yellow with a green tinge. Most wines have a fresh and fruity bouquet with aromas of apple, citrus fruits such as grapefruit, and pineapple and passion fruit. Those Chardonnays made from riper grapes exude heady aromas more distinctly of honey, butter, mango, cinnamon, apricot, peach, and occasional note of tropical flowers. Those cask aged in good quality wood also acquire a fresh bouquet of oak, hazelnut, toast, and vanilla. These wines are distinguished as in Spain by the additions of the names Reserva and Gran Reserva.

     All Chardonnays are fresh and mild, creamy, dry but not harsh, rounded, and full in taste. The taste (and price) varies from simplicity to good, broad, complex, and superb. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C) for young wines and 53.6-57.2°F (12- 14°C) for Reserva and Gran Reserva.

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  • Wines from California

    Chardonnay

    Chardonnay is regarded as the best variety of white wine grape in the world and the best Chardonnay some declare comes from the Sonoma Valley.

     Certainly there are remarkably good Chardonnays made in California, especially in Sonoma Country. Californian Chardonnay is full-bodied, broad, rich, and very aromatic with hints of fig, pineapple, ripe apple, melon, citrus fruit, and honey.

    The wine is further imprived by cask maturing in oak with notes of toast, nuts, vanilla, butter, toffee, and butterscoth etc. These Chardonnays are not cheap but if you choose a good one you will find it is sumptuos. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

    Fumé Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc)

    Sauvignon Blanc in generally known as Fumé Blanc here, which is a trend started by Robert Mondavi in the 1960s.

    Californian Sauvignon Blanc often possesses light smoky aromas and is notably vegetal too with hints of green olives, freshly-mown grass, dill, and fennel, but generally is also very fruity with fresh fig, melon, and cutrus fruit etc. to be discovered. The wine is fresh but not firm like a white Bordeaux. Although most Sauvignon Blancs are dry, you may also encounter some sweeter examples. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    Chenin Blanc

    This grape is highly popular in California, especially in the Central Valley, where it is used to make fresh, fruity, and inexpresive wines. A more delicious, light, and fruty version that is ideal for a ‘happy hour’ in made in Sonoma. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    Hohannisberg Riesling/White Riesling

    Do not expect elegance and refinement here but a firm white wine. This noble grape delivers fresh and melon fruity wine for everyday drinking, say with fish or poultry, here in California.

     Only a handful of wine-makers succeed in creating very elegant Riesling, which have a passing resenblance ar great distance with thewines of Alsace and Germany. There are also several very good Late Harvest Rieslings. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

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