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  • More wine regions South Africa

    Paarl-Wellington Region from South Africa

    Ellisrust African WineWe have come closer now to Cape Town - about 50 km (31 miles) away. This is the home of the KWV and is undoubtedly the most famous of the South African wine region (in part because of the annual Nederburg wine auctions and tasting sessions).

    The best known African wines from this region are the Sauvignon Blanc, Steen (Chenin Blanc), and Chardonnay whites, and Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon reds.

    The descendants of French Huguenots have turned their region into a place of pilgrimage. There is a Huguenot monument at Franschhoek (which translates literally as 'French corner') but also superb wines. In addition to the other well-known varieties, the French Huguenots had a preference for Semillon.

  • More Wines from Sicily

    MOSCATO DI NOTO DOC ITALIAN WINE

    Moscato Di NotoThis Italian wine was highly regarded by the ancient Romans who called it Pollio. It is made near Siracusa. The Moscato Naturale (minimum 11.5% alcohol) smells intensely of freshly-picked Muscat grapes and this is reflected in the taste. Drink this Italian wine at 8-10°C (46.4-50°F). The Moscato Spumante (minimum 13% alcohol) is a full and sultry sparkling wine of stuporific aromatic strength. Such a wine does not fail to evoke the emotions. Drink this Italian wine at 8-10°C (46.4-50°F).

  • Moulin Haut-Laroque, Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux Wines

    Moulin Haut-Laroque (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine

    Chateau Moulin Haut Laroque Fronsac Bordeaux WineThis cru is an example of a family-run vineyard. The property of the Hervé family for many generations, it took its present form at the end of the nineteenth century. The fifteen hectares of vines in the Saillans commune, part of the Fronsac AOC, are particularly well positioned. Jean-Noël Hervé, who has a great respect for tradition, has devoted himself since 1977 to bringing out the best in this outstanding terroir, and to producing wines typical of the appellation.

     Moulis, Medoc, wines, Mouton, year, Rothschild, Baron, vineyard, vines, quality

  • Murcia and Jumilla Spanish wines

     

    Murcia wine

    Murcia wine clubThe autonomia of Murcia is trying to forget its past. Here too heavy and very alcoholic wine was produced for cutting with lighter wines and here too the trade specialised for centuries in the sale of wine in bulk. In recent years however there has been a definite change in direction by a number of the serious and forward-looking bodegas. This Spanish wine is only one of the local agricultural produces and certainly not the easiest or most financially rewarding. Times change and today’s market has no demand for the heavy, alcoholic, and heady wines of Murcia. The bodegas of Jumilla DO and to a lesser extent Yecla are taking action to react to this change in the market. It was only much later that the third DO of Murcia, Bullas jumped aboard the departing train.

  • Nebbiolo d'Alba - Italian Wine

    Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC

    The name implies this wine is made with Nebbiolo grapes from the area of Alba. What it does not say isthat Nebbiolo d'Alba tastes great, with a full rounded and velvet smooth flavour with a long finish.

    Check the label before opening for in addition to this delicious dry wine there is also a sweet amabile version which can be extremely sweet.

    There is also a spumante. The dry wine is worth the necessary additional maturing in before opening. If you buy a top year's vintage this wine can almost achieve the levels of a good Barbaresco or Gattinara.

    Drink at 55 .4- 59°F (13- 15°C ) dry or  42.8-48.2°F (6- 9°C) for sweet or sparkling.

     

    SizzanoDOC

    Once again this is an excellent red wine made from Nebbiolo from the hills around Sizzano. This wine is less full and powerful than a Barolo or Barbaresco but resembles a more delicate and smoother Gattinara with floral undertones of violets instead of the Italian culinary herbs that characterise a Barolo or Barbaresco. This wine requires at least three years maturing before it can be sold. Drinking temperature  57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) .

     

    Other recommended DOC wines from Piedmont

    Boca (violet, pomegranate), Bramaterra, Colli Tortonesi Barbera, Para (violets) ,Gabiano and Lessona, Roero Rosso, Rubino di Cantavenna, Ruche di Castagno Ie Monferrato, Verduno Pelaverga, Piemonte, Langhe, Colline Novaresi, Carema DOC,

     

     Erbaluce di Caluso / Caluso DOC, Grignolino DOC, Loazzolo DOC, Cortese dell' Alto Monferrato, Anghe (Pavorita, Arneis), Monferrato (Casalese Cortese), Piemonte (Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Cortese, Moscato, Moscato Passito and spumante),aand Oero (Arneis).

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  • Neuchâtel Region

    Neuchâtel Swiss WINE Region

    Neuchatel Swiss WineThe Swiss wine region of Neuchâtel is situated on the north-west shore of the Lac de Neuchâtel and is separated from France by the Jura. The climate is fairly mild, sunny, and dry. The presence of the lake keeps winters mild but autumns can be misty which can be harmful for the grape harvest. The underlying ground here at the foot of the Jura mountains is mainly chalk rock with other rock outcrops, loam, and loess.

  • New South Wales

      New South Wales is a large wine-growing area of which the only well-known part is the Hunter Valley. The area lies to the south of Canberra and stretches to the north of Sydney and Newcastle.

    Tumbarumba

    Tumbarumba is best known for its sparkling wines. The area is a difficult one for wine-growing with severe winters, excessive rainfall, and cool summers. Despite this the locals manage to produce reasonable to good whites and reds from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir on pretty acid soil.

    Griffith/Riverina

    This area lies further inland than the previous one. The hot and humid climate in summer makes it ideal here to produce late harvest and noble rot wines, that are mainly made from Semillon. The soil is level layers of sand and loam, interspersed with some clay.

     

    Young

    The Young area lies inland and to the north west of Canberra. The vineyards are sited fairly high on hills. Although there is fairly substantial rainfall here during the otherwise moderately hot summer, irrigation remains necessary. Despite this the Young area produces reasonable to good wines.

     

    Cowra

    Cowra is situated in the hinterland of Sydney. This is a fairly recent newcomer that is barely more than 25 years old. The vineyards are sited on slopes along the local river. The soil is a mixture of clay, loam, and sand that is fairly highly acidic. The climate tends towards continental with hot dry summers. Despite this there is fairly considerable rainfall during the growing period so that irrigation is not always required. Cowra's wines are mainly whites and they are characterised by plenty of taste for little money.

     

    Lower Hunter Valley

    This is one of Australia's oldest wine-growing areas, and it is mainly known for its superb Semillon and Syrah. The climate is hot but there is sufficient moisture. The soil on the slopes where the vineyards are situated is mainly sand, which is ideal for white wines.

     

    Upper Hunter Valley

    This too is a white wine area, mainly producing Chardonnay and Semillon. It is somewhat hotter and drier here than in the Lower Hunter Valley.

     

    The soil chiefly consists of a mixture of salty and acidic loam and sand. The Upper Hunter Valley is perhaps the most picturesque wine area in Australia.{jcomments on}

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand WinesWith new wineries coming on stream at an amazing rate, New Zealand seems to raise the standard year on year.  Dramatic improvments have been made with red wines, with Pinot Noir all the rage. The total area under vine in New Zealand has more than doubled since 1990, and its wine industry is one of the most forward-thinking in the world.

    New Zealand wine is exciting because of the number of wines being produced from slightly less predictable grape varieties. Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling perform well while beyond Pinot Noir, it may be suprising to find Syrah, Zinfandek and even Pinotage producing the goods and joining Cabernet Saugvinon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

     New Zealand’s wine-producing regions strech from Auckland on the North Island to Central Otago, the country’s most southerly wine region on South Island. The country benefits from a temperate, maritime climate and a wide range of wine style are produced. On the North Island some of New Zealand’s top Cabernet-based reds are made in the Auchlakd/Henderson area. Waiheke Island, a short ferry journey from Auckland, enjoys a warm microclimate, which helps it ot produce rich Bordeaux blends. In Northland, a number of boutiqui wineries are making hight-class Cabernet-based reds and Chardonnay. Gisborne is Chardonnay country but also produces some promising Gewürztraminer.

    New Zealand Wine Map Hawke’s Bay is a region with a range of soils, including the Gimblett gravels, a 2,000- acre area of deep, stony soil. Full, rich Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blends are made in good vitanges. The Chardonnay are some of New Zealand’s most powerful and Sauvignon Blanc tends to be more rounded than the Marlborough style, from South Island. On the southeastern tip of North Island, the tiny region of Martinborough, also known as Wairarapa, excels in fine Pinot Noir.

     On the South Island, Marlborough, the largest region in the New Zealand, has seen extensive expasion since the mid 1970s. The maritime climate and stony soils are perfect for Sauvignon Blanc, which has become synonymous with Marlborough. Distinctive Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines are also made in this hugely fashionable region.

      Very slighty cooler than Marlborough, Nelson has been successful with aromatic whites while Canterbury, in the Waipara sub-region, is particularly promising. In the small, cool, scenic, mountainous region of Central Otago, Pinot Noir is the star, rivalling the best of Martinborough. Riesling and Pinot Gris also perform well here.

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  • Nodoz and Pauillac Bordeaux Wines

    Nodoz (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine Region

    Chateau Nodoz Bordeaux WineThis property goes back a long way: Count de Nodoz sold it in 1791 to the family of J.J. Bordes, a well-known merchant-shipowner in Bordeaux. This family improved the vineyard and established its reputation. During the winegrowing crisis of 1930, the Magdeleine family bought the property from the wine merchants Posso and Rosenfeld. Beautifully located on a gravelly hillside, the vineyard covers forty hectares in the communes of Tauriac and Lansac. It benefits from maximum sunshine thanks to its east-south-east and south-west exposure.

    After a traditional vinification, Chateau Nodoz wines are matured in Bordeaux oak casks for twelve to eighteen months, depending on the vintage. The Cotes de Bourg AOC wine has been rewarded with several medals in wine competitions and high praise in specialist magazines., A robust and generous wine, it can be enjoyed young but also offers surprises to those who are willing to wait.

     

  • North-East for American Wine

       While the vineyards of Ontario in Canada are on the northern shore of Lake Erie, the majority of the North-East’s vineyards in the United States are on the southern shore between Detroit and Buffalo. The Finger Lakers area is slighty further east and to the south of Lake Ontario.

     There are also vineyards towards the coast on the banks of the Hudson River, on Long Island near New York, and further away near Boston. The remaining vineyards of the North-East can be found in the valley of the Ohio river and south of Washington DC, in the Shenandoah Valley.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    The local American wine industry dates back to the first pioneering settles of the sixteenth century. For many years hybrids and natives species that were not varieties of Vitis vineferawere used like Alexander, Catawba, Delaware, and Concord. The results from these were not really satisfactory because of the ‘foxy’ aroma these vines give to the wines that is characteristics of varieties and sub species of Vitis labrusca. The ‘foxy’ aroma is best describes as the smell of a dirty old pelt on which old-fashioned home-made fruit jam has been smeared.

    More suitable French hybrids were introduced during the early 1940s such as Baco Noir and Seyval. From the early 1950s and particularly in the 1970s large scale planting were made of Vitis viniferavines. Thirty years later this helped to cause a major breakthrough.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    New York’s climate is marginal for cultivating vines and making wines. The summers are generally very warm and dry but the winters are often exceptionally raw. Wine-growing is only possible where the climate is moderated by the big rivers, lakes, or the Atlantic Ocean. It is extremely important to plant the vines in subsoil that is free draining. The North-East region contains the following officially recognised places of origin known as AVA (American Viticultural Areas): New York (includes Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hidson River, The Hamptons- Long Island), New England (Western Connecticut Highlands, South-estern New England), Ohio, Michagan, and Virginia (inclunding the Shenandoah Valley).

    Despite goverment campaigns promoting the planting of Vitis vinifieravarieties, some still persist with the old-fashioned and inferior Concord, Catawba, Delaware, and Niagara. The very best wines though are made with Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc (Hudison River). Merlot, and Pinot Noir.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    The American wines from such as the Concord are really northing soecial.

     
    Considerable amounts of sugar are often added to the must to mask the high acidity and strog taste, which certainly do nothing to aid the wine’s finesse. The Vitis viniferaare very taut which is understandable give the climate but they are also extremly aromatic and particularly fruity. These are not high flight wines but the quality is steadily improving.

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  • North-West for American Wine

       The North-West region is better known as Washington State and Oregon. The Columbia and Snake rivers are vital for the wine industry.

    The are lies to the south-east to the south-east of Seattle, on both sides of Portland. Wine-making in this region is a fairly recent phenomenon.

     There wew trials in the nineteenth century with native and hybrid grapes but the first Vitis viniferavarieties were not introducec until the end of that century. Wine-growing started to become larger in scale during the twentieth century thanks to a major irrigation project. The final real breakthrough for areas such as Oregon occurred in the 1970s, when serious-minded growers planted leading European varieties. Oregon’s Pinot Noir is now known worldwide thanks to investment by several leading French companies like Drouhin of Beaune.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    The climate in the north-west of the United States is moderate in Oregon but almost desert-like in Washington State where the dependence on irrigation is total.

    The winters are also colder and drier in Washington State than Oregon. The soil varies widely, from loam in Oregon to layers of volcanic origin in Washington. The chice of grape variety is therefore extremely important.

    Various varieties are grown in the two large AVAs of Washington State (Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, and Walla Walla Valley), and West Pacific (inclunding Oregon, Willamette Valley, and Umpqua Valley). Pinot Noir with Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc, while Oregon also produces reasonable to good Pinot Gris.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    It goes without saying that there is much chaff among the corn in both area and results vary from years to years through changing weather, especially in Oregon. But by choosing fron the better wines you will find that are truly some great ones.

    Oregon Pinot Noir

    Some Pinot Noir wines from Oregon can hold their own against the best French wine. They are superb in colour, have seductive bouquets to red and black fruits such as blachberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant, and cherry, and touches of herbs and spices, including sweetwood, and a complex and harmonious texture.

    They are also elegant with a refined taste. There may also be suggestions of truffle, exotic, woods, and a good balance between acidity, alcohol, fruit, and tannin, with a prolonged aftertaste.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

     These wines can be kept for at least five to ten years when they develop a nose of plum, fungi, humus, leather, and herbs. Drinking temperature is 53.6-57.2°F (14-16°C) when young and 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) when is mature.

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  • Oltrepo Pavese DOC from Lombardy Italy

    Oltrepo Pavese Italian wine

    Oltrepo Pavese DOC ITALIAN Wine Region

    This area is typical of the small zones referred to in the introduction to Italian wines. The small nominated area produces about 20 different types of Italian wine from a similar number of grape varieties.  The name indicates that this area of some 40 small communities lies 'over the Po, in Pavia'. The vines grow on gently sloping hills in the south of the province. Oltrepo Pavese wines can be white, rose, red, and sparkling.

     

    OLTREPO PAVESE ROSSO ITALIAN WINE

    This ruby red Italian wine is highly aromatic, full bodied, and sometimes high in tannin. In youth it often has a hint of carbonic acid to tingle the tongue. Made with Barbera, Croatina, and several other types of grape, including Pinot Nero. Drink this Italian wine at 50-57.2°F (10- 14°C) .

    Riserva has a hint of orange colour and is higher in alcohol with greater depth. Drink Riserva Italian wine at 57.2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C ).

     

    OLTREPO PAVESE ROSATO ITALIAN WINE

    Prom the same grapes as the red, this Italian wine has an attractive pale cherry colour, mild taste but slight tingle. Drink this Oltrepo Italian wine at 50-57.2°F (10- 14°C) .

     Oltrepo Pavese Wine Map

    OLTREPO PAVESE BUTTAFUOCO ITALIAN WINE

    Also from the same grapes as the red, it is dry, full in flavour and rounded a slight tingle. There is also a lightly sparkling (frizzante). Drink this Oltrepo Pavese Italian wine at 50-57.2°F (10- 14°C) .

     

    OLTREPO PAVESE SANGUE DI GIUOA ITALIAN WINE

    A ruby red from the same grapes as the ordinary rosso but slightly sweet and with a post-fermentation tingle. The taste is full of flavour and pleasant. Drink this Italian wine  at 50- 53.6°F (10-12°C).

     

    OLTREPO PAVESE SPUMANTE ITALIAN WINE

    Bianco or rosato, the best of these is made by the metodo classico using at least 70% Pinot Nero, (minimum 70%), and a maximum of 30% Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Bianco. A very fresh and juicy wine with much fruit that is elegant.Drink this Italian wine at 42.8-46.4°F (6- 8°C).{jcomments on}

  • Ostschweiz Region

    Ostschweiz Swiss Wine

    Ostschweiz Vineyards SwitzerlandEastern Switzerland is the name given by the German speaking Swiss but in fact the region is in the north east. The region covers more than a third of the entire country, east of a line drawn through Thun, Berne, Solothurn, Basle (Basel), and north of a line through Thun and Chur. The German speaking wine region consists of sixteen cantons and half of the French language canton of Berne that was dealt with under Suisse Romande, which in wine terms belongs to Ostschweiz. This is the tiny area around Lac de Thoune (Thunersee).

  • Ostschweiz Wines

    Ostschweiz winesThe greatest risk for Swiss wine growers in Ostschweiz is prolonged winter frost or deadly night frosts in spring during blossoming. Over the centuries the creative Swiss have come up with all manner of ways of protecting their vines against the cold. In addition to the widely used spraying and heating methods, the local growers have developed their own method. The vines are covered with straw or even with what resembles an eiderdown. The soil in Ostschweiz varies from west to east. In the western part, close to the Jura mountains, chalk is more prevalent; in the centre it is mainly calciferous sandstone, while in the east glacial scree and shale dominate. Because autumns are quite cold in Ostschweiz, only early ripening varieties of grapes thrive.

  • Other wine Greek region

    Epanomi Greek wine

    Epatiako Greek WineThe Gerovassiliou make very proper and modernstyle topikos oinos or country wines from French and Greek grape varieties in Epanomi to the west of Chalkidiki.Their white Fume (Chardonnay and Assyrtiko) is full-bodied, rounded, and very pleasant. The red Ktima Gerovassiliou (Grenache Rouge and Petite Syrah) is exciting and fulsome in flavour and is also rounded and warm. The tannin in the wine means it can be kept for at least five years. Other good wines, though less impressive are those of Lazaridi (Drama).

    The house of Tsantali makes several quite pleasing white and red topikos oinos or country wines in curious 'belly' bottles known as Makedonikos Topikos Oinos. Tsantali also produce a reasonable Athos Topikos Oinos and a subtle Agioritikos made from Assirtiko and Sauvignon Blanc. Finally, the Cava-style wines made by Tsantali and Boutaris are exceptionally good.

     

    Zitsa region wine

    Zitsa's vineyards are found to the north of Ipeiros, against the Albanian border at a height of about 1,968 feet (600 metres). Delicious still and sparkling wines are made here from Debina grapes. These wines are characterised by their elegance, freshness, and exuberant fruitiness. The sparkling Zitsa is available as semi-sparkling or imiafrodis krasi and fully-sparkling or afrodis krasi versions. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C) .

     

    Metsovo Greek wine

    Gerovassiliou Chardonnay Epanomi Greek wineA Greek politician named Averoff dreamed of making the best wine of Greece. Although he never achieved this himself, his company has scaled unprecedented heights and may well make its founder's dreams come true. The vineyards are on south-easterly facing slopes of the Pindos mountains.

    Pine red wines have been produced here for centuries but unfortunately the ancient vines were entirely destroyed by phylloxera. The original vines were replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon. Excellent Katogi Averoff red wine is made from these grapes, which are related to the Greek Agiorgitiko. This great wine can certainly be kept for ten years because of the tannin it contains. This ruby red wine is characterised by its intense aromatic power and fulsome taste that is velvet smooth (after maturing).

    Katogi Averoff is now regarded as one of Greece's best wines and it is very expensive. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 62.6-64.4°F (17- 18°C) .

     

    Thessalia Greek wine

    Thessalia is situated to the south of Macedonia and it borders Ipeiros to the west, the Aegaen to the east, and Central Greece to the south. The area is dominated by the imposing Mount Olympus (9,570 feet /2,917 metres) and it is bisected by the Pineios river. Thessalia is clearly an agricultural region. The best vineyards are sited on slopes or close to the sea. The vines planted on flat countryside are for grapes sold to be eaten or for poor wines.

     

    Rapsani Greek wine

    Rapsani's vineyards are planted on the slopes of Mount Olympus at heights of 984-1,640 feet (300-500 metres). The climate here is fairly moist and above all cold in the winter. Yet the siting of the vineyards guarantees full sunshine and excellent red wines. The basic grapes used for Rapsani are Xinomavro, Krassato, and Stavroto, which combines to produce a fresh, rich, and elegant red wine. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

     

    Nea Anchialos Greek wine

    The vineyards of Nea Anchialos are sited close to the sea near Volos. The Rhoditis vines grow at a height of 328-656 feet (100- 200 metres) and their grapes make a fresh and elegant white wine. Drinking temperature for this Greek wine is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).{jcomments on}

  • Other wine regions of France

    SAVOIE and JURA Wine Regions

    Wine Savoie FranceSavoie is close to the Swiss border, a few miles south of Geneva and most of its production is white wine, although it does produce light red and rosé. The Jura vineyards start about 25 miles north west of Geneva and, like Savoie, cover about 3,000 acres. Red, white, rosé and sparkling wines are produced, as well as the unusual Vin de Paille, so-named because the grapes are dried on straw before pressing to impart very special characteristics.

  • Other wines from Champagne

    CHTEAUX CHAMPENOIS

    This wine has been classified AOC since 1974. It is available as white wine, red wine, and rose wine. These are exceptionally rare wines, remnants of the past.

    In addition to sparkling wines, Champagne also produces a number of still wines.

     

    ROSE DES RICEYS

    This is extremely rare and undoubtedly one of the best French roses. The simple Rose des Riceys is drunk young and chilled . When aged in oak the wine can be kept longer (more than 10 years) and is then   served   slightly   less   chilled   (50-53°F/10-12°C).

  • Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh/Jurançon French Wines

    Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Wines

    The Vic-Bilh wine-growing area is the same one that produces Madiran. This area produces the red Madiran wine and dry, medium sweet, and sweet French white wines as Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. Pacherenc is derived from the Basque or Gascon word for little berry or grape. The ideal soil for this white French wine is a mixture of clay and sandstone. The grapes used are the native Arrufiac, Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, and Courbu, with a little Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon being used for the modern type of French wine.

    Pacherenc du Vic-BilhDry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is very aromatic with floral notes and hints of citrus fruit combined with a full taste of ripe and preserved fruits. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F). The medium-sweet or sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh shares the aromatic properties ofthe dry wine (citrus fruit, preserved fruit, dried fruit, and flowers) with the addition of a little honey, toast, and exotic fruit. The texture and taste are fuller, fatter, more fleshy, and juicy. Drinking temperature for French wine: 8-10°C ( 46.4-50° F).

    Your attention is drawn to the excellent quality of the local vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne and the   many vins de cepages. The vins de pays des Cotes de Gascogne of Colombard, Gros Manseng, and Sauvignon (white French wines) and reds of Egiodola, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon, together with those from Jurançon are worth a separate mention.

     

    Jurançon Wines

    Juracon Label WineThis wine-growing area, south of Pau and close to the French Pyrenees, is slightly less ancient than its predecessors. The first signs of wine-growing date back only to the tenth century. Jurançon was one of the first AC status French wines in 1936 and Jurançon Sec acquired its own recognition in 1975.

     

    The wine-growing

    The area is barely larger than 600 hectares with the vineyards being dispersed throughout the district. They can be found strung out along a 40 km (25 miles) stretch like small islands amidst the other greenery. The better French wines are produced on hills of about 300 metres (984 feet) high with soil of clay, sandstone, and boulders.

    The climate is a mixture of high and regular rainfall from the Atlantic combined with the harsh winters of the Pyrenees. The area does though appear always to be blessed with warm autumns and dry southerly winds that make it possible for the grapes to be left to overripen in order to make a great sweet French wine. The grapes used for Jurançon are the native Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Courbu, Camaralet, and Lauzet. Jurançon Sec is truly dry with fresh acidity, with floral notes (broom and acacia) and fruity aromas (passion fruit, white peach, and citrus fruit) . As the French wine matures it develops a more complex bouquet with almond and other nuts, dried fruit, and sometimes a marked suggestion of truffle. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 8- 10°C (46.4-50°F) .

    Either Jurançon Doux or Moelleux are little gems. The colour drifts between gold and amber, the bouquet is fine and complex, varying from honey, vanilla, toast and preserved fruit to the subtlest hints of white flowers, lime blossom, camomile, pineapple, and citrus fruit. The taste is full and rounded for this French wine. The high sugar content is perfectly balanced with fresh acidity. This sweet French wine can be kept for a very long time. Drinking temperature this French wine: 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).

     

    Bearn-Bellocq

    Beam is fairly hilly, lying at the foot of the Pyrenees where it enjoys an ideal microclimate that combines Atlantic moisture with a harsher mountain climate. Bearn white French wine is quite rare and is produced in the vicinity of Bellocq. This white French wine made with Raffiat and Manseng grapes is fresh and fruity with an undertone of floral notes (broom, acacia) . Drinking temperature for this white French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F) .

    The more widely available Rose de Beam owes its charm to the combination of Tannat with Cabernet

    Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc (better known in this locality as Bouchy). This is a wonderful rose that is velvet smooth, full-bodied, rounded, and very fruity. Drinking temperature for this rose French wine: 10- 12°C (50- 53 .6°F).

    The more straightforward Bearn red is lightweight but comforting and easily consumed. The taste and scent tend more towards Cabernet Pranc than Tannat. Drinking temperature for this Bearn French wine: 12°C (53.6°F).

    The better Bearn-Bellocq red by contrast is sturdier, fuller, more full -bodied, and fleshier. Tannin clearly has the upper hand in this French wine. Drinking temperature for this red French wine: 14-16°C (57.2- 60.8°F) .{jcomments on}

     

  • Pairing food with wine

    Pairing wine with good does not have to be a science although it can be confusing, particularly today when there is such choice in the food and wine available.

    Concentrating on the basic characteristics of various wines and the flavours of different foods is the key to finding compability. For a dinner party, it’s well worth taking the trouble to select a wine which will show off your food to good effect.

    When slelcting a wine to accompany food, consider the main ingradient and more importantly, the strongest flavour in the dish. It’s easy to match chichen when it;s plainly cooked, but in most cases a sauce or marinade provides the predominant flavour. A Thai green chicken curry presents a bit more of a challenge, but can be matched with a fruiy Sémillon or Sauvignon Blanc. Sharply flavoured chutneys and spicy salsas can affect the taste of a wine, and if a dish is cooked in beer, or generally makes sense to drink o similar beverage with it.

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  • País Vasco and Ebro Spanish Wine

    País Vasco

    The Basque country has three faces: the picturesque coastline with endless countless beaches and fishing harbours, the large industrial towns, and the interior. The Basques have their own culture and own language that is possibly the original European language, and above all their own character. The Spanish part of the Basque country still has close ties with the French part (Pays Basque and Gascony or Gascogne). In this section we restrict ourselves to the north of the País Vasco, and in particular the areas of Bizkaya (Vizcaya) and Getaria (Guetaria). We use the Basque spellings with the Castilian spelling in brackets.