Sunday, October 22, 2017

GAYDA 2014 CHEMIN DE ROUGE

When I feel homesick a Languedoc red will usually cheer me up. While I get the impression that most of France view it as a lesser region I've always enjoyed the sun ripened Australian like nature of its wines. We tasted this one over three days and while it's a perfectly pleasant red we just hoped for more at this price.

GRAPE VARIETIES: 60% Shiraz 35% Shiraz 5% Cinsault
REGION: Languedoc
A/V: 14% 
PRICE: 21 euro 
FROM: Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux 
RATING: 3/5 from me 

THIS GRAPE VARIETY IS CONFUSING ME

Le Heron 2016 Gros Manseng

This is the second we've found and it's far more palatable than the first. There's still the dominant peach fruit character and it will still be too sweet for some. But I'm going to persist. As for this one I reckon it would be perfect to chill to near freezing and quaff with really hot spicy food. 


GRAPE VARIETY: Gros Manseng
REGION: Cotes du Gascogne
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 3.99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, France
RATING: 3.5/5 from me 

WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT THIS ON THE TOP SHELF

LE CHASNOY 2015 POUILLY FUME

A disappointment after the Sancerre but maybe that's just me. Just seemed lack lustre by comparison. Bigger bodied without anything to balance the weight.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Sauvignon Blanc
REGION: Appellation Pouilly-Fume, Loire
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 9.40 euro 
FROM: SuperU
RATING: 2/5 from me 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

WE VISITED THE TOP SHELF AT SUPER U FOR THIS ONE


DOMAINE DE CHEZATTE 2016 SANCERRE
In a supermarket dominated by very good cheapies it was very rewarding to reach up to the top shelf. This is classic Sancerre at an absolute bargain price. Searingly dry, elegant, balanced with delicious restrained fruit. No short cuts here, just a great wine that we'll be buying more of.

9.7 euro from Super U
5/5 Rating from me

JUST BUY IT!

This is an outstanding red at an outstanding price. See how many you can fit in the cellar and then see if you can resist opening too many.

We tasted our bottle over three days and it was a struggle to keep putting the cork back in the bottle. With all the older premium Bordeaux's we've been tasting recently this was the only younger wine that screamed "Just wait, I'll get there." It has all the depth, balance and flavour intensity of wines more than twice the price. You could drink it now but we're thinking patience and restraint will be rewarded.

16 euro from Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux
5/5 Rating from me 

CHATEAU DE CARAGUILHES 2015 "SOLUS"

This is a really interesting wine for so many reasons. 
It's contained in an extremely expensive bottle with a decidedly untraditional French premium wine label. [it doesn't come with the stain down the side - that was our clumsiness] It's from the Corbieres-Boutenac Appellation that's set itself up as a cut above the average Languedoc in which it sits.
And it's a quadruple blend of Mouvedre, Shiraz, Grenache and Carignan with a hefty 14% a/v. 

We road tested it over 3 days and while it opened with plenty of near block busting promise there just wasn't the evolution we hope for in a young red. 

20 euro from Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux
3/5 Rating from me

CHATEAU DOISY-DAENE 2014 GRAND VIN SEC BORDEAUX

This is another entry in the competition "How many different styles of Sauvignon Blanc do you reckon there are in the world?"
I used to think there were five. I'm now into double digits with this the latest addition and not one of my favourites. At its best it had qualities of a glorious aged Hunter Semillon but there was an oxidative character that I found distracting. I'm sure many love it but for me there are far better value at the price.

17.90 euro from Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux
2.5/5 Rating from me

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

OUTSTANDING 100% PETIT VERDOT FROM BORDEAUX

I love this grape variety and spent many happy years recommending Australian efforts to Australian wine drinkers who had never heard of the stuff. I'm fondly remembering Pirramimma and a cheapie made by De Bortoli in the Riverina. In fact it was surprising how well it responded to sensible levels of irrigation.

What a treat then to open this. The colour is enough to make you want to pull the cork. Deep, intense and vibrant at the same time. Dazzling. And then the palate. A rich sumptuous roller coaster of flavours in perfect harmony. 

Very highly recommended to drink now with breathing

or cellar for 5+ years

CHATEAU MOUTTE BLANC 2015 MOISIN
14.5%a/v
19euro from Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux
5/5 rating

WHY DO THEY MAKE IT SO SWEET?

LES HAUTS BUIS 2016 CABERNET d'ANJOU ROSE


This is 100% Cabernet Franc from the Loire. And it could have been so good. Like the label it's a pretty little wine but sadly it is just too sweet

3.50 euro from SuperU
2.5/5 Rating from me

ONE OF THE FINEST DRY WHITES I'VE EVER TASTED

CHATEAU FONREAUD LE CYGNE 2016 BORDEAUX


This outstanding dry white is a masterclass in blending and balance. It's 60% sauvignon blanc, 25% semillon and 15% muscadelle. Toss in some of the finest, most delicate oak treatment I've ever tasted and this is just about perfect. It dazzles, it entices, it caresses - it draws you back for more. If it was just me this would score a 5+ but if you object to wood in any white wine you won't like it. But if any wine would change your mind it could be this.

18 euro from Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux
4.5/5 Rating 

CHATEAU PENIN 2016 BORDEAUX ROSE


This is a dry delicate ethereal wine that just needed a little more acid zing that the palate could get hold of. Blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% merlot. 

6.9 euro from Cave L'Avant Garde Margaux
3.5/5 Rating from me

NOT THE BEST INTRODUCTION TO GROS MANSENG


DOMUS BY UBY COTES DU GASCOGNE GROS MANSENG
What a strange wine this is and the grape variety gros manseng should not be judged by this. The back label describes it as "velvety and creamy with hints of pineapple and honey - perfect with foie gras or chocolate desserts". It's sweet, but NOT that sweet. Alcohol is 11% so I'm assuming fermentation was stopped at that point. The fruit character to me is pure peach, the palate is quite cloying but it does go a long way with a couple of bottles of icy sparkling mineral water.







6.90 euro from SuperU France 
2/5 Rating from me
5/5 Rating with 50% sparkling mineral water

Monday, October 16, 2017

A LOVELY LITTLE FRUIT BOMB FROM BERGERAC


FONTECOSTE BERGERAC 2016
What a surprise this was. No surprising complexity but there was enough tannin to hold the fruit together.
This is one of those reds to just pull the cork and enjoy straight away. Or over the next couple of years. For an uncomplicated quaffer this is perfect.


2.99 euro from SuperU France 
4.5/5 Rating from me

Saturday, October 14, 2017

THREE STRIKES AND IT'S TIME TO CHANGE

Cellars des Dauphins Signature 2016 Cotes du Rhone

Like the previous two this is a great little red for the price but they are all starting to taste the same. Time to change course

4.60 euro from SuperU France 
4/5 Rating from me

Friday, October 13, 2017

DOMAINE ST MICHEL 2015 COTES DU

More of the same from SuperU


4.45 euro from SuperU France 
4/5 Rating from me

MOULIN DE MEYRAN 2015 COTES DU RHONE

There's a certain sameness in these budget wines which shouldn't be surprising. They are all very well made and would be an extreme bargain in any other market. What is surprising is that the same supermarket would have so many similar wines at the same price point.

4.40 euro from SuperU France 
4/5 Rating from me

Saturday, October 7, 2017

DAGUET DE BERTICOT 2016 SAUVIGNON BLANC

Easy drinking crisp dry white that doesn't require any great concentration.

3.05 euro from SuperU France 

3/5 Rating from me

Friday, October 6, 2017

A PERFECTLY PLEASANT FIZZ


Caves Elisabeth Cremant de Loire
Clean and fairly neutral. Probably worth spending a bit more to get something much more exciting.

4.50 euro from SuperU France 
4/5 Rating from me

I COULD HAVE SOLD MILLIONS OF THESE



Sire de Beaupre Demi Sec

Back in the day I lost count of how many times I was asked for a sparkling wine that "wasn't too sweet or not too dry". It's far from being the world's best fizz but this would keep a lot of people very happy at this price. No finesse but it's smack bang in the middle of the palate between sweet and dry. Thank you to Graham from Wales who proudly introduced us to it.

1.29 euro from Carrefour France 
10.5% a/v
4/5 Rating from me

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A DISAPPOINTING TOURAINE


Les Hauts Buis Touraine 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
If you're a sauvignon blanc fan living in the UK, the regular Touraine can be a welcome relief from the OTT Marlborough intensity. They're more textured and subtle while still being unmistakeably sauvignon blanc. I wouldn't have recognised this as being one.


4.35euro from SuperU France 
2/5 Rating from me

WOULD YOU BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO BUY AN EDELZWICKER?



Rosenhof 2016 Alsace Edelzwicker

Well this is the first one I've ever seen, bought and tasted. Based on this I'd do it again with alacrity. 
This is a truly exciting dry white with a steely backbone balancing delicious stonefruit. If you get a chance, PLEASE buy one.

3.85euro from SuperU France 
5/5 Rating from me

ARDECHE 2016 GRANDE RESERVE VIOGNIER


This is another one from SuperU's elegantly packaged range and it's a tricky one as only viognier can be. It's viscous, oily and typical viognier. You'll either love it or hate it. There's absolutely no room for mixed feelings. But at this price why wouldn't you give it a try. From the Rhone.

3.69 euro from SuperU France 
4/5 Rating from me

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

FAR MORE MAINSTREAM THAN THE MUSCAT



Pays D'oc Merlot Grande Reserve
SuperU have quite a range under this label. While I recommended the Muscat with some caution this is a much safer proposition. A lovely easy drinking red with satisfying palate weight. 

3.55euro from SuperU France 
4.5/5 Rating from me

OUTSTANDING AT FOUR TIMES THE PRICE



Cadet Rousselle 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
I'm still looking for an ordinary budget French white. I can't even find a good one. They're all outstanding and this is no exception. Crisp and dry with fruit that could be interpreted as a really young Sancerre. Impossible to recommend highly enough.

2.25euro from SuperU France 

5/5 Rating from me

I'D HOPED FOR MORE


Beaumes de Venise 2015 Cotes du Rhone 
This unfortunately didn't provide a step up from the 5 euro stuff available. It's a harsh judgement because anywhere else in the world this would be a bargain

6.95euro from SuperU France 
3/5 Rating from me

A PARTICULARLY FERAL RED

Secrets of Chai  2015 AOC Saumur Cabernet Franc
This is a red that takes some adjusting to. It opens as a charry tannic beast totally devoid of fruit. After about an hour the tannins subside, the charriness remains and some cabernet fruit emerges along with an earthy feral character. This is one of those wines I recommend with caution. It's well worth a trial but it will only appeal to a limited audience.

4.3euro from SuperU France 
4/5 Rating from me

WILL WE TASTE A BETTER VALUE SPARKLING THIS YEAR?


Les Caves des Perrieres Saumur Brut
I really doubt it. This is quite simply dazzling. There's no age on it so there's no toasty complexity. Instead you get the finest, longest lasting bubble imaginable that just dances on your tongue. Toss in a dash of citrus fruit character and you have a dazzler that is far TOO drinkable. Bring on summer! Once again the price is absurd.


4.99euro from SuperU France 
5/5 Rating from me

Sunday, September 17, 2017

U LAGER 250ml TEN PACK UNDER 3 euro

The only complaint about this is that 250ml just disappears far too quickly. This is a delicious lager with just the right amount of malt. 4.2% a/v. Highly recommended.

2.95euro from SuperU France 
4.5/5 Rating from me