Showing posts with label roussillon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roussillon. Show all posts

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017

Celebrating 40 Years of Roussillon



Celebrating 40 Years of Roussillon

This year marks 40 years of recognition of the AOC status of Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon Villages. Although winemaking in the region goes back hundreds of years, it was only in 1977 when this southern France wine region was formally recognized as an AOP by the INAO. Moreover, it only achieved this status because of the 40+ years of work by Roussillon producers prior to 1977.

I have personally been a fan of wines from Roussillon for many years thanks to the high quality and good value on offer. The AOC Côtes du Roussillon produces crisp white wines, fruity rosés and powerful reds, while wines from the AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages are entirely made up of red wines. The primary red wine grapes are Grenache Noir, Carignan, and Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Carignan, in particular, is notable for its high quality from historic old vines that can be over 100 years old. Among white wines, the primary grapes are Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, and Tourbat. Most of the wines produced in Roussillon are blends.

The AOP Côtes du Roussillon is the largest of the Roussillon appellations, covering an area of 4695 hectares spread over 102 municipalities in the Pyrénées-Orientales region. Both the white wine and the first red wine listed below come from this large appellation. The Latour de France is a sub-appellation of the AOP Côtes du Roussillon Villages covering 202 hectares in the northern part of the appellation and features mainly grey schist soils.

Wine Appellations of Roussillon

Surrounding the AOC Côtes du Roussillon are three mountain chains and the sea. To the north is the Corbières, the Pyrénées and the Mont Canigou are on the west side, the Albères is down south, and to the east is the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty percent of the vines are located on hillsides, and combined with the hot Mediterranean climate with minimal rainfall, helping create wines that are complex, aromatic and fresh.

Soil types are varied across the region, with a mix of granitic sand and gneiss, black and grey schist, red clay soils, sandy clay, and pebbly terraces.

To get a taste of what Roussillon offers, here are three quality wines that I enjoyed on and are a small sample of the various styles of wine you can expect from Roussillon. All three of these wines arrived in LCBO VINTAGES earlier this year. These wines are nearly sold out across the province, with only limited availability now.

To learn more about this fascinating wine region, visit Roussillon Wines.

40 Years of AOP Côtes du Roussillon & Villages

Tasting Notes:

LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#485656) (XD) - $15.95
Blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Macabeu, 10% Marsanne, and 10% Vermentino. Floral, lemon, and tropical fruit aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose featuring grapefruit, lemon peel, white floral, and herbally notes, with a fine mineral component throughout. It's medium+ bodied and round on the palate with a nice mineral texture. Dry flavour profile features grapefruit, herbs, and floral notes, and a touch waxy. Juicy acids. The finish length is good, ending with a flinty mineral note. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 88 pts

Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Blanc 2015 (88 pts)

LE PUIG CARIGNANE DE LA PERPIGNANE 2013 - AC Côtes du Roussillon, France (#480988) (XD) - $19.95
This organic wine was raised in concrete tank and consists of 60% Carignane and 40% Grenache. Faint aromas of black plum and dark berry from the cork. In the glass, this leads with a mineral and iron nose followed by dark berry/cherry, kirsch, menthol, and spice aromas. Also some meaty aromas with air. It's medium-bodied on the palate with fresh, balanced acids and ripe, dark berry and peppery spice flavours laced with earthy minerality. Supple, gritty tannins add texture, while the finish is juicy with good length. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 89 pts

Le Puig Carignane de la Perpignane 2013 (89 pts)

DOMAINE DE L’AGLY LATOUR DE FRANCE LES CIMES 2013 - AC Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France (#480897) (XD) - $29.95
From a 12 hectare vineyard with mica schist and blue granite soils at 300 metres elevation in the magnificent Agly Valley, this is a blend of 35% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 17% Mourvèdre, and 13% Carignan brought up in barrique (one-third new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Earthy, dark berry and smoke aromas from the cork. Very ripe and fruit forward on the nose with raspberry, blackberry, crushed rocks, flowers and touches of vanilla. The seamless palate is bright and medium-full bodied with balanced dark berry, blackberry, white pepper, along with hints of violet and meaty flavours, Acids are very bright. Tannins have some grip and gain volume over time. The finish length is very good with some fine mineral notes. Drink over the next 6-8 years. Released into LCBO VINTAGES on . Score: 90 pts

Domaine de l’Agly Latour de France Les Cimes 2013 (90 pts)


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (Midi) - Wine Review

I opened up this delightful red blend from the Roussillon on night. This was purchased from the recent VINTAGES Release and is still widely available at LCBO outlets across Ontario. This red wine is made by the famed house of Domaine Lafage.

Tessellae Old Vines Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

TESSELLAE OLD VINES GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#343517) (XD) - $18.95
From vines more than 65 years old on schist soils, this is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that was tank-fermented and followed by aging in concrete tanks. Red and black fruit notes, plus some dark plum aromas from the cork. In the glass, this has a medium+ intensity nose leads with flinty minerality and is layered with red and black fruits, white pepper, wild herbs, and hints of black plum and evergreen. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with ripe fruited, peppery, dark berry, and black plum, with good fruit purity and concentration. Acids are bright and zesty. Suave tannins provide subtle grip. Some bitterness mid palate. Juicy finish with good length. Drink over the next 4-5 years. Score: 88 pts


Monday, August 14, 2017

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  • Monday, August 14, 2017

LCBO VINTAGES August 19, 2017: South of France + South Africa

LCBO Wine Picks: August 19, 2017 VINTAGES Release
New wines from the upcoming LCBO VINTAGES Release on will be on shelves across the province this and features two wine regions known for producing quality wines at very good prices. The main thematic features the wines from the South of France, while the mini-theme features wines from South Africa.

We'll begin with the South of France feature that's titled "Southern Charm". There are 11 wines listed as part of this theme and 4 are included among my top wine picks. The lone white wine is a blend of 55% Vermentino and 45% Viognier that's been partially aged in oak and comes for a region bordering Spain. The Minervois is a blend of 37% Mourvèdre, 28% Grenache, and 25% Syrah and is showing fine maturity, while the La Clape is a blend of rougly 40% Syrah, 30% Carignan, and 30% Mourvèdre. Lastly, the Saint-Chinian is a blend 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah.

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (88 pts)

South Africa is the mini-theme and features many fine wines on offer as 7 of the 8 wines listed are included on my list of wine recommendations. Among the red wines, there is a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and an honest Pinotage that doesn't taste like coffee. Among the South African white wines, there is a Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and an unoaked Chardonnay. And last but not least, there is a Vintage Brut Rosé that is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.

Among red wines from the rest of the release, the 2008 La Granja is made with Tempranillo, as is the much younger and more modern Crianza. Both the Beni di Batasiolo and the Barolo are made Nebbiolo, while the Brunello is made with Sangiovese.

Among white wines, there's an Albariño and Falanghina, as well as a 100% Turbiana (a.k.a. Trebbiano) di Lugana from Lombardy. The Hermit Crab from Australia is a blend of 72%Viognier and 28% Marsanne. The oaked La Crema Chardonnay is actually one of the Wines of the Month and will be widely available across the province. For sweet wine lovers, your best bet is the Riesling from Ontario.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2015 (89 pts)2027 Cellars Wismer Vineyard Fox Croft Block Riesling 2016 (89 pts)

Enjoy my wine picks from this release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • LE SECRET DES CAPITELLES SAINT-CHINIAN 2014 - AP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#156299) (XD) - $15.95  reviewed here
  • BENI DI BATASIOLO NEBBIOLO 2015 - DOC Langhe, Italy (#908079) (XD) - $16.95
  • CHÂTEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2010 - AC, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#480889) (XD) - $16.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LA CLAPE SYRAH / CARIGNAN / MOURVÈDRE 2014 - AP Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape, Languedoc, France (#370262) (XD) - $18.95
  • PEREZ CRUZ LIMITED EDITION CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Maipo Andes, Chile (#431015) (XD) - $19.95  reviewed here
  • RUSTENBERG SHIRAZ 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#399246) (XD) - $19.95
  • ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ DEHESA LA GRANJA 2008 - Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León, Spain (#192476) (XD) - $20.95
  • PALACIOS REMONDO LA MONTESA CRIANZA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#674572) (XD) - $24.95
  • ERNIE ELS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#278358) (XD) - $24.95
  • SOUTHERN RIGHT PINOTAGE 2015 - WO Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa (#486167) (XD) - $26.95
  • PODERI COLLA DARDI LE ROSE BUSSIA BAROLO 2011 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#596890) (XD) - $54.95
  • IL GRAPPOLO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#452151) (XD) - $54.95
Perez Cruz Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (89 pts)

White Wine:

  • DE WETSHOF LIMESTONE HILL UNWOODED CHARDONNAY 2016 - WO Robertson, South Africa (#419622) (XD) - $16.95
  • TERRE STREGATE SVELATO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO 2015 - DOP, Campania, Italy (#486076) (XD) - $17.95
  • D’ARENBERG THE HERMIT CRAB VIOGNIER/MARSANNE 2016 - McLaren Vale, South Australia (#662775) (XD) - $17.95
  • PACO & LOLA ALBARIÑO 2016 - DO Rías Baixas, Spain (#350041) (XD) - $18.95
  • LES NEIGES DE L’AGLY VERMENTINO/VIOGNIER 2013 - IGP Côtes Catalanes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#512566) (XD) - $19.95
  • SOUTHERN RIGHT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016 - Walker Bay, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#512277) (XD) - $21.95
  • RAATS ORIGINAL CHENIN BLANC 2016 - Unwooded, WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#651497) (XD) - $21.95
  • 2027 CELLARS WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#225490) (M) - $22.95  FSE  reviewed here
  • TENUTA ROVEGLIA VIGNE DI CATULLO LUGANA RISERVA 2013 - DOC, Lombardy, Italy (#437004) (D) - $24.95
  • LA CREMA SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY 2015 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (#962886) (XD) - $29.95  reviewed here

Sparkling Wine:

  • GRAHAM BECK BRUT ROSÉ 2011 - Disgorged March 2017, Méthode Cap Classique, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#004085) (XD) - $21.95
  • DOM PÉRIGNON VINTAGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2004 - AC, Champagne, France (#091777) (XD) - $337.95  FSE

Fortified:

  • KOURTAKI MUSCAT OF SAMOS - PDO Samos, Greece (#938407) (S) - $15.95


Friday, August 11, 2017

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  • Friday, August 11, 2017

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (Languedoc) - Wine Review

wine is a red blend that will be arriving in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by Les Vignerons de Saint Chinian, a cooperative founded in 1937 and now includes 186 winegrowers over 850 hectares of vines across Languedoc-Roussillon. Their vineyards range in altitude from 120 to 300 metres above sea level, and are mostly on schist and calcareous-clay soils, which are naturally poor (but good for wine!)

Les Vignerons de Saint Chinian is constantly looking to produce high quality wines, which means a constant effort is applied to improve the skills of grape growers and the selective cultivation of vineyards. As part of these efforts, this coop achieved ISO certification in 2001.

The Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in the South of France is known for producing quality wines at very approachable prices, and this is no exception. You can pick up your bottle from the LCBO next weekend.

Le Secret des Capitelles Saint-Chinian 2014 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LE SECRET DES CAPITELLES SAINT-CHINIAN 2014 - AP, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (#156299) (XD) - $15.95
This blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah was aged for 12 months in oak. Light aromas of plum and red berry from the cork. Medium+ intensity nose is very savoury earthy in nature, followed by garrigue, wild herbs, black pepper, and blackberry with hints of florality. It's medium-bodied with nice peppery and garrigue aroma replays that are lifted by fresh acidity. Supple tannins are well-integrated and the finish is long and earthy. Nicely composed red wine to enjoy with herbed poultry over the next 2-3 years. Score: 88 pts


Sunday, July 24, 2016

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  • Sunday, July 24, 2016

Byrrh Grand Quinquina (France) - Review

Here's an interesting wine-based apertif I received to review and is now available at LCBO locations throughout the province.

Byrrh (pronounced "beer") was created in 1866 by brothers Pallade and Simon Violet in the small village of Thuir, France. Initially, it was distributed in pharmacies and appreciated for its medicinal benefits. Over time, Byrrh became a feature in bistros and grew in popularity through the Belle Époque (1890s - 1910s) and the Années folles (1920s). By 1935, Byrrh was the leading apertif brand in France with sales of more than 35 million litres.

The Bryrrh Grand Quinquina original recipe has remained unchanged since 1866 and is amazingly still produced in the original production facility in Thuir that was designed by Gustave Eiffel (of the famed tower) and created in 1873.

It is hand-crafted and produced by the maceration of the mistelles, naturally sweet and fruity wines (Macabeu and Grenache) which are then infused in alcohol with aromatic plants including coffee, bitter orange, colombo, cocoa, and the finest cinchona (quinine) barks. The final blend is then aged several years in one of the world's largest oak vats (1 million litres).

Byrrh Grand Quinquina - Roussillon, France (87 pts)

Tasting Note:

BYRRH GRAND QUINQUINA - Roussillon, France (#440909) (S) - $14.90
Grapey, caramel, nutty, golden raisin aromas, along with hints of sweet spice from the glass. Viscous, silky mouthfeel that's slightly warming with flavours of blackberry, orange peel, raisin, some potpourri and walnut. The palate is initially sweet, but finishes long and on the earthy, nutty side. Ideal as an apertif. I enjoyed this well-chilled, but it can also be mixed into a cocktail. Score: 87 pts

Serving Suggestions:

Byrrh on the Rocks - Served on ice

Byrrh Tonic - 1 part Byrrh Grand Quinquina, 1/2 freshly squeezed Lemon, 1 part Tonic water

Byyrh Blood & Sand - 1 part Byrrh Grand Quinquina, 1 part Te Bheag Scotch Whisky, 1 part freshly squeezed Orange Juice, 1 part Cherry Heering or Filthy Black Cherry


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