Signature French Wines introduces a selection of Summery wines from Domaine des Grands Vins de France
Since its launch last April, "Signature French Wines" had quite a few successful events celebrating Spring with a wine selection from "Domaine des Grands Vins de France" that paired with the transitioning weather. However, Summer is now at the door, and it is time to introduce you to some of the brightest, most refreshing wines of our portfolio.
Here is the selection ranging from the lightest to the more structured yet still medium bodied and summery.
2010 Pinot Blanc Auxerrois Alsace
Although Pinot Blanc is a grape variety in itself, in Alsace, when Auxerrois is added to the grape name, it is more commonly a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois (a grape genetically similar to Chardonnay) and Pinot Noir. The result usually combines freshness and fruitiness in a light gentle way perfect to quench your thirst on a warm sunny day and enjoy with pretty much any appetizers, seafood and cucumber salads. Domaine des Grands vins de France Pinot Blanc Auxerrois is no exception to the rule and that 2010 vintage is a delightful example of this often underrated and overlooked white wine, offering floral and white fruit notes on the nose, more white fruits in the palate with nuances of apple and pear mingled with mineral and floral hints lingering in the finish. Pair it with a grilled white fish or even an omelet of scallops and soft cheese.
2006 Chablis Burgundy
Made with 100% Chardonnay, Chablis are usually best in their young age when they express their full vivacity and vibrancy. However, Chardonnay is recognized as being a grape variety that one can age for quite sometimes. Take for example some Puligny and Chassagne Montrachet or even Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne which can reach their peak up to 10-15+ years after bottling, so why not Chablis. Although grown northern of Burgundy where it enjoys a cooler and rainier climate, which doesn’t necessarily allow for a phenolic ripeness as full as in the previously cited villages, Chablis benefits from its famous Kimmeridgian calcareous, chalky limestone soil, which confers to the produced wines their vivid character and the mineral purity of their aromas and taste. These classic Chablis characteristics remain even after a few years in bottle and this 2006 Chablis is a great proof of it. Although more rounded and integrated due to a few years in bottle, this Chablis still possesses all of the white peachy fruitiness, the acidity and the complexity it presented in its youth. Even more, it seems that a bit of age helped it to taste slightly fuller and enhance its minerality. Definitely a food wine, it will perfectly complement a buttered lobster tail as well as fish, poultry and white meat like veal and pork.
2010 Gewurztraminer Alsace
Gewurztraminer is a daring grape that is too often missed by most wine connoisseurs. People don’t generally identify themselves drinking it, preferring more common grape varieties that are easier to understand and drink. However, Gewurztraminer is definitely one of the most complex white grape varieties ever grown in my opinion. In Alsace, not as sweet or fruity as a Riesling and not as dry as a Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris, it somewhat could be a good compromise between the three, yet offering a fuller, more complex and spicier experience in the palate. Gewurztraminer is usually characterized by its viscosity and unctuosity, which intermingle and enhance the floral, rich fruit, mineral and spicy, peppery notes. Atop of being well crafted and very enjoyable, this Gewurztraminer also conveys all the quality of a great vintage like 2010 was. Pair it with more complex starters like pan seared Foie Gras, pate, charcuterie, spicy lamb sausage, seasoned fish and even Game.
NV Signature Rose (of course) Loire Valley
Produced under strict Traditional Champagne method from a blend of red grape varieties from the Loire Valley, N° 8 Rosé boasts a light, pale salmon-melon colour with small and lively bubbles. The fresh and inviting nose offers light, delightful floral and fruity aromas of red berries like cherry and raspberry with blossom notes. Rather delicate and simple, enjoyable and versatile, uncomplicated and gentle with fruity nuances without being sweet, the palate has a good balance between the refreshing acidity and the agreeable fruitiness. No point to be fussy, it is one of these no-brainer sparkling wines that proves particularly handy when you want to offer a good quality bubbly to your guest without having to pay the hefty prices for real Champagne.
2009 Julienas Beaujolais
Beaujolais and in general Gamay grape variety based wines suffer from the bad image and message conveyed by Beaujolais Nouveau wines, which have nothing to do and more especially are far from representing the quality and the complexity of their more prestigious (yet less regarded and often undiscovered as good wines) siblings produced with much more conviction, passion and dedication from the villages and the multiple crus that the region of Beaujolais encompasses. I personally love Beaujolais wines for their versatility and structured yet easy going, friendly palate and taste. The fact that their alcohol content usually doesn’t reach past 13 degrees, make them even more attractive and agreeable. 2009 was a great vintage in Beaujolais resulting in gorgeous wines full of juicy ripe fruit, texture and structure without being heavy or over the top. And this Julienas clearly demonstrates the quality of this vintage and the harvested fruits. Behind its youthful slightly darker than usual color, it offers a jammy nose (yet not overripe or pruny) of ripe red and dark cherries. The palate is friendly, inviting, with the same red fruit notes as on the nose enhanced by a great acidity, minerality lingering nicely toward the light textured finished. Definitely a Summer wine to enjoy, even slightly chilled, with pretty much everything and for any occasion, that Charcuterie, Pate, fresh vegetable salads and even river fish will be ideal with this pleasant quaffer.
2010 Bourgogne red Hautes Cotes de Nuits
Cultivated on sloping vineyards growing on clay and lime-infused Jurassic rock terrain, planted in the vicinity of Nuits-Saint-Georges, this Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits was crafted under traditional Burgundian method of fermentation, with open vats and bi-daily pigeages, then aged in Burgundian large oak vats for at least 12-14 months. The resulting wine from the particularly good vintage that 2010 was in Burgundy, presents a pretty, bright red ruby color inviting you to put the glass to your nose to discover enticing aromas of red berries and mineral. The palate is marked by its sweet taste that develops from hints of ripe cherry, to blackberries, to wild strawberries with more mineral and texture. Overall, this wine has a solid vinosity, a fleshy texture and has a harmonious balance between the tannins, freshness and fruit, and the overall structure. Here again, another food wine to enjoy with fish like Tuna or Salmon, and more particularly with grilled red meats and cold cuts.
I invite you to go to the Signature French Wines website for more info and details about availability and prices (and pictures and more). You can also visit the producer’s website at Domaine des Grands Vins de France for more details about these wines too (their website is in French).
Enjoy! And maybe see you at one of the next Signature French Wines events in Hong Kong or elsewhere.