Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Pierre Janny Bourgogne Chardonnay “Echavon” 2007

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

This was the last case deal I got at Blanchard’s before moving out west. I think it was $77 for the case, which works out to about $6.50 a bottle. It’s a white Burgundy that, somewhat unusually for French wines, lists the varietal on the bottle (chardonnay, in this case).

I’d guess that the wine has spent some time in oak, but not a lot — it’s a fairly crisp wine, but with some richness and a medium yellow color that would indicate 6 months or so in the barrel. This is definitely not a California chardonnay; the flavors tend more toward kiwi and strawberry than the banana and vanilla you typically get from Napa. That said, it does have a touch of the buttery finish common to chardonnays and would never be confused for a sauvignon blanc. All in all, it’s a great chardonnay for those who don’t generally like the varietal, and rates a solid 89 points.


2008 le Mas des Flauzières

Monday, March 7th, 2011

This was the other half of the case along with the Kumeu River I reviewed a while back. It’s a Côtes du Ventoux, which is part of the Rhône Valley, and is their La Réserve du Péreyras offering which is estate bottled at 12.5% ABV. I was slightly surprised to find that the wine comes with a screw top, but that’s increasingly common for wines that aren’t meant for long-term aging, even from more traditional wine producing regions.

This is a classic Côtes du Rhône style wine. I would have guessed it’s a blend of syrah and grenache, but according to the estate’s web site they grow syrah and cinsault. It’s fairly light bodied and fairly dry on the nose, while the palette is tart, fruity, and medium-dry. There are notes of strawberry, blackberry, and pomegranate, with a long finish that’s slightly herbal and grassy. I’ve had it with a few different meals and the best pairing was unsurprisingly steak, though other red meat dishes also work well. While this isn’t a classic wine to cellar for decades, it’s drinkable and complex at a young age, representing a modern take on a classic French style. 90 points.


Haut Marin Cuvee Marine 2009

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Blanchard’s was sampling this wine a while back, and I enjoyed it there so I picked up a bottle (I think it went for $9). While it doesn’t indicate varietals on the bottle, various online sources have pegged it as being 60% colombard, 20% ugni blanc, and 20% gros manseng.

While this wine initially comes off similar to a sauvignon blanc, the deeper flavors are a bit different. There’s more sweetness and richness, with a bit less acidity than your typical sauvignon blanc. Of course, the notes of melon, pear, and kiwi are what give rise to the comparison, and they’re there in force. The wine went well with the pork I tried it with, but would also work well with poultry or richer seafood dishes. It has a nice balance of crispness and richness, and of acidity and sweetness. 88 points.


Jacques Bourguignon Chablis 2008

Monday, December 13th, 2010

This was a $7 or $8 wine from Trader Joe’s. I bought a bottle a few months ago, enjoyed it, and grabbed a few more the next time we were at the store. It’s a white Burgundy that doesn’t list any varietals but is most likely an un-oaked chardonnay with perhaps a small amount of some other grapes in the mix.

Compared to your typical California chardonnay, this wine is more crisp and fruity than rich and buttery. It’s fairly light in body with notes of kiwi, green apple, and melon. It’s got a pleasant balance of tartness and sweetness, and a versatile character that would go well with anything from light fish and seafood dishes to rich poultry like the braised chicken we had with it. A perfectly drinkable wine on its own, but a great choice to go with a wide variety of meals. 88 points.


Chateau des Cleons Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2009

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

This was another Trader Joe’s find for 6 or 7 bucks. I was mulling around the Riesling section looking for a crisp, dry wine, and an employee recommended this since all but one of their rieslings were on the sweet side. I wouldn’t generally think of the Loire valley for this style of wine, but given the price you might as well take a chance.

I have to give the employee credit as the wine is very much what I was looking for. It clocks in at a fairly low 12% ABV, making a great wine for hot summer days, and the clean, crisp flavor and light body go well with a variety of Asian or other spicy foods. It’s tart and acidic with notes of citrus and green apple, with just a hint sweetness reminiscent of honeydew. Not the most complex wine on the planet, but a pleasant example of a certain style for a good price. 87 points.