Showing posts with label Burgundy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burgundy. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2018

Cremant Tour de France Final Stage: Cremant de Bourgogne

Summer has now left Alberta and replaced it with a record setting 32.8cm snowfall on October 2! YUCK! Now that my palate is naturally craving the warmth of red wine, it's time to wrap up my Cremant Tour de France mini-series. The last stop? Burgundy.

Burgundy 's homeland grapes are the same as the varietals required for crafting Champagne: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the Cremant de Bourgogne appellation takes their vinification seriously: only hand-harvesting the grapes, utilising the same pressing process as in Champagne, and you must declare your production of Cremant in March, just before the growing season begins! The fruits of these labors are evident in the glass: elegantly structured, refined in style, and punches well above their weight when it comes to QPR!



I kicked off the warm weather season this year with Henri de Villamont Brut Blanc de Blancs. Composed solely of Chardonnay, this wine boasted abundant autolytic flavours of toasted hazelnuts and brioche, with an appealing hint of banana custard towards the long finish. Bright and lively mouthfeel, I enjoyed it immensely on its own!



The Bailly Lapierre Cremant de Bourgogne contains an intriguing blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Aligote and Gamay Noir, creating a palate of green apple, stony minerality, and freshly baked bread. Surprisingly delicate bubbles, but a bright acidity and citrus finish keep a well-structured balance. An excellent choice for weeknight bubbly!



The final bottle of my Cremant Tour de France was the same as my first glass ever of Cremant: Louis Bouillot Rose. Prominent notes of strawberries, raspberries and mandarin oranges, refreshing acidity, a bright mouthfeel and a true joy to sip! I prefer to enjoy this gem on its own-over, and over, and over again!

I truly enjoyed tasting my way through the Cremants of France, no matter what appellation they are from! They are an excellent alternative to Champagne when you don't want to spend a fortune, and pair extremely well with an array of food. The next time you feel like imbibing in bubbly, why not give a Cremant a try? You won't be disappointed.

I would love for you to share your Cremant tastings with me, either by commenting on this post or through the hashtag #cremanttourdefrance on twitter. I hope you enjoy your sips as much as I enjoyed mine.

Until next time, cheers all!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Eastern France: La Coeur du Vin

Motivated by the French sweep in my ultimate 2014 wine list, I continued to drink French wine like it was going out of style. I have fallen in love with regions like Chablis and Alsace, where the quality of the wines shine year after year. This post focuses on the eastern wine regions of France, including Alsace, Burgundy and Beaujolais.

Alsace is the French white wine love of my life. Located close to the border of Germany, the variety and complexity of the soil, along with the longer growing season, allows the grapes to reach a ripeness that creates beautiful, expressive wines. The four noble varieties of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat, are the heart of Alsatian wine.

One of my favourite producers, Pfaffenheim, makes an expressive Gewurztraminer that starts with a bouquet of honey and blossom. Pear and ginger feature on the palate, with a sleek texture and a citrus backbone. I paired a spicy seafood salad with the Gewurz; the smoothness of the wine harmonized beautifully with the spiciness of the dish.

    

Domaine Eugene Meyer produces a dry Riesling that shows flavours of underripe peach, lime zest, green apples and a steely minerality with their 2011 vintage. Lively acidity brings intensity and carries through the long finish. This domaine focuses on organic and biodynamic viticulture, and would also make a great gift for the vegan winelover in your life!

Chablis is the northeastern wine region in Burgundy. Wines produced here are made from the Chardonnay grape, but thanks to the fossil-rich soils of Kimmeridgian clay, Chablis wines tend to consist of high acidity, little to no oak flavours and show ripe fruit and minerality.

Herve Azo's Chablis 2012 is an elegant, polished wine with zesty acidity and notes of green apple, apricot and lime. There is a whisper of flint on the finish. Excellent with goat's cheese, crudites or grilled chicken. 

Farther south in the Burgundy region lies Pouilly-Fuisse. Chardonnays from this region are known to be rich and full-bodied, with flavours consistent with oak aging, like hazelnuts, toast and coconut.

Bouchard Pere et Fils is a well known producer throughout the Burgundy region. Their 2013 Pouilly Fuisse is an exception to the Pouilly Fuisse stereotype as only a fraction of the grapes are aged for 6 months in oak barrels, offering a lighter mouthfeel and creamier texture. Pear, ripe pineapple and lemon essences mingle with a hint of brioche that marries well on the palate. Crisp acidity adds intensity without overpowering the flavour profile. An ideal accompaniment to seafood.

Red wine country is featured south of Pouilly Fuisse with the Beaujolais region. The grape varietal grown here is Gamay Noir, which tends to produce fruit-forward wines with an added zip of pepper. There are 10 "cru" villages of distinction, one of which is named Morgon. Winelovers who are looking for a more robust, complex Beaujolais will likely find what they are looking for in this area.

George DuBoeuf's Domaine Mont Chavy Morgon 2013 expresses these characteristics well. A bouquet of cherries and granite follow through to the mouth alongside strawberries and a spicy cinnamon finish. Mouthwatering acidity and chocolate tannins cast intensity and spine. Unique and complex, this wine would pair well with gourmet burgers and pork loin in a berry sauce.

Winelovers really can't go wrong when it comes to Eastern France. The emphasis put to both the viticulture and vinification techniques ensure that the end results are of sound quality and taste. Your palate will thank you!
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