Archive for February 28th, 2020

February 28, 2020

A bit more on the wines of Spain!

Ok so is not all French wines with me. I grew up drinking Spanish wines, believe I told you already my grandmother gave me a zip of a Marqués de Riscal red Rioja when I was 8 yrs old! And the tradition took off never to look back. Wine is a way of life, tradition, but good foodie complement and I follow it to the letter with diplomas from France and Spain on its wines.

I have written a bit on Spanish wines before , mainly on region overall history and making of the wine. I have done the same for France. However, done a brief introduction to the wines of Castilla La Mancha but not the others for lack of photos. This has change found them and will tell you a bit more on the wines of Spain.  Disclaimer, the prices are only a guide,they may differ in your area or at time of purchase.

Believe me I had this one for the first time in La Coruña, Galicia and been after it ever since on my visits there. This was one of first bottles. The Juan Gil Jumilla Castilla La Mancha 2014 . Nice density and velvety texture. It is clearly distinguished by its nose, a real explosion of fruit, and by its delicacy on the palate. It is a sweeter wine, with perfectly balanced tannins. a varied wine from the Monastrell variety, the variety that reigns in Jumilla. The grapes come from a single estate of old vines over forty years old planted on limestone and stone soils, at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level. The cost is around 10 euros. Webpage: Official Bodegas Juan Gil

jumilla

Marqués De Griñon Red 2010 Dominio de Valdepusa, Castilla La Mancha. The grapes with which the wines are produced come from the own vineyard planted 20 years ago. After fermenting in stainless steel tanks, it is aged in a heated container in French oak barrels for 18/24 months. Ruby red color of high layer, intense aroma of red forest fruit and spices, structured and powerful in the mouth. To consume today, but it will certainly improve over the next ten years. Cabernet Sauvignon (90%). Merlot (10%). The cost is about 20 euros. webpage: Official Pagos de familia wines of Marqués de Griñon

Toledo

Bodega Garcia Carrion Pata Negra Valdepeñas Gran Reserva 2006 ;Castilla La Mancha. This Pata Negra Gran Reserva is a deep red wine, the tile tones appear very slightly, in the nose the aging aromas are complemented with the aromas of the variety, which are no longer fruity but have evolved to more complex spices and dairy. It is a structured, very pleasant, enveloping wine with a long aftertaste. A wine whose destiny is a five-year-old guard perfectly accompanies red and roasted meats. Theh cost is about 20 euros. webpage: Bodega Garcia Carrion on Pata Negra Valdepeñas

Valdepenas

Bodegas Félix Solis Altos de Tamaron Reserva 2006 Ribera del Duero. Cherry red color with medium layer ocher trim. Very clean and bright. Complex and elegant aroma, with marked mineral notes and other very suggestive aromas. In the mouth it is powerful, broad and with great harmony. Red meat, bush hunting, cured cheeses and lamb stews. The cost is about 12.50 euros. webpage: Bodega Felix Solis Avantis on Altos de Tamaron

ribera del duero

Bodega Lan Crianza 2016. Rioja. Red Crianza wine made mainly with Tempranillo grapes and complemented with Mazuelo. A classic wine from the strains of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, balanced and with a combination of fruity varietals and unmistakable spicy aromas. A wine with character and elegance. The cost is about 9 euros. Webpage: Bodegas Lan wines

Fuenmayor

Bodega Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2016. Rioja. The wine is a renewed classic which bases a large part of its regularity on an exhaustive monitoring of the whole process of maturation of the grape. It is a mono-varietal wine made from Tempranillo grapes, a typical variety from La Rioja, which comes from several plots. It is only when bottled that they combine to become one of the most balanced and versatile reds in Rioja, a harmonious wine that conquers any good meal and that can be enjoyed from its youth. Once decanted, it wears a brilliant garnet color with a medium layer and an intense nose of wild black fruit, licorice and warm spicy notes of nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. On the palate, it is tasty and balanced, with good acidity and a perfect integration of tannins. Roasted tones appear behind the first sip. The cost is about 9 euros.Webpage: Bodegas Ramon Bilbao wines

Haro

The Bodega Ramon Bilbao limited edition or edicion limitada 2014.  Rioja. 100% Tempranillo, with soul and fruitiness. Ruby red wine with notes of black grapes, ripe and aged in noble barrels. The palate is long, with weight and presence of the terroir. House with veal, smoked and soft cheeses. The cost is about 15 euros. webpage: Bodegas Ramon Bilbao on limited edition wine

Haro

Bodegas CVNE Viña Real 2012. Rioja. Wine made from grapes from the Rioja Alavesa area harvested by hand and processed in Viña Real. Once the malolactic fermentation has been done the wine goes mainly to age in American oak barrels where it remains 13 – 14 months. During this time, the wine acquires the aromatic balance which characterizes the wine as well as its finesse and great expression. This wine shows shades of medium to deep shiny cherry colour on a purple background. To the nose, intense aromas of ripe fruits (blackberries, blackcurrants) stand out, complemented with subtle hints of oak. To the palate, it shows structured and round with a good integration of fruitiness and oakiness. The aftertaste is marked by very well balanced tannins as well as by persistent spicy, toasty and balsamic aromas. A long stay in bottle is the finishing touch to this Rioja Alavesa wine’s character. The cost is about 9 euros. Webpage: Bodegas CVNE on its wines

Laguardia

Some webpages to compliment those above and provide you with more info for your plan to visit and they are a must, wines is it.

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on its wines in English: Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on wines

The wines of Ribera del DueroRibera del Duero wines

The DOC official wines of La RiojaOfficial Wines of Rioja DOC

There you go ,now you all set to enjoy the wines of Spain ,whether those above , recommended or your own finds, wine is good, enjoy it.

Oh yes Spanish nostalgia.  You get the idea , and I won’t translate;;;!!! En vino veritas!

La comida es la parte material de la alimentación, pero el vino es la parte espiritual de nuestro alimento.» Alejandro Dumas

“Un buen vino es como una buena película: dura un instante y te deja en la boca un sabor a gloria; es nuevo en cada sorbo y, como ocurre con las películas, nace y renace en cada sabor.” Federico Fellini

El vino hace la vida más fácil y llevadera, con menos tensiones y más tolerancia.» Benjamin Franklin

Dios no hizo más que el agua, pero el hombre hizo el vino.» Victor Hugo

«El vino es la cosa más civilizada del mundo.» Ernest Hemingway

El vino da brillantez a las campiñas, exalta los corazones, enciende las pupilas y enseña a los pies la danza.” José Ortega y Gasset

El vino, mientras más se envejece, más calor tiene: al contrario de nuestra naturaleza, que mientras más vive, más se va enfriando.» Lope de Vega

«Se templado en el beber, considerando que el vino demasiado ni guarda secreto ni cumple palabra.» Cervantes

«Me gustaría ser todo de vino y beberme yo mismo.» Federico García Lorca

«Para conservar la salud y cobrarla si se pierde, conviene alargar en todo y en todas maneras el uso del beber vino, por ser, con moderación, el mejor vehículo del alimento y la más eficaz medicina.» Francisco de Quevedo

«Un gran vino requiere un loco para hacerlo crecer, un hombre sabio para velar por él, un poeta lúcido para elaborarlo, y un amante que lo entienda.» Salvador Dalí

Remember, always with moderation but keep the tradition going after all these folks above could not be wrong. Enjoy the wines of Spain

And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

February 28, 2020

Saint Peter at Montfort L’Amaury

So sticking around this quant and nice town in my beloved Yvelines department 78 of the Ïle de France region of my belle France.  I will tell you a bit more on the nice things to see in Montfort L’Amaury

This time will need to tell you a bit more on the St Peter’s Church or église St Pierre located at Place de la Liberation. 

Montfort L'Amaury

A bit on the town history  I like.

Count Amaury I who inherits the titles of his father. Under his authority will be built the castle, the ramparts, the churches of Saint Pierre and Saint Laurent . The Montfort family perpetuate themselves with Yolande who, by her marriage to the Duke of Brittany Arthur II links the county to the Duchy of Brittany. From this union was born Anne of Brittany, Queen of France twice and Duchess of Brittany who embellished the City of Montfort L’Amaury with its constructions. Today, Montfort l’Amaury has become a place of residence for artists who come to relax and find their inspiration.

Montfort L'Amaury

The wonderful impressive by its size and the size of the town is St Peter’s Church from the 15C and 16C ordered rebuilt by Anne de Bretagne in 1491, at the place of the old medieval church of the 11C ordered built by Count Amaury Ier de Montfort. If you are into these sort of things ,there is a cemetary from the 15C and 16C surrounded by galleries looking like a cloister serving as charniers for the inhumanisation of corps taken from the old cemetary by the Church; nice looking cloister entrance.

Montfort L'Amaury

The St Peter’s Church is made of cut stone. It consists of three naves and eleven spans. Its facade is surmounted by a tall, stocky bell tower. This same facade has a semicircular arch entrance with a semicircular bay on each side highlighting the side aisles of the nave. The church is dotted with typically Gothic bays alternating with buttresses. You will note the presence of gargoyles in the upper part of the church holding as well as buttressing arches to the east supporting the structure. Side openings provide access to the interior of the church. The église St Pierre ends on a semicircular apse also reinforced by flying arches and pierced with Gothic bays. The interior of the church is vaulted in quadripartite warheads with magnificent hanging keys.

Montfort L'Amaury

The Romanesque St Peter’s Church, surrounded by its cemetery, was becoming too small and perhaps dilapidated. It is undoubtedly Queen Anne of Brittany who commissioned the construction of a new place of worship. The bedside and ambulatory have started, but work must be stopped before resuming around 1532; the vault of the nave then stops at the old Romanesque bell tower, still in place. The last works, covering and gargoyles, date from 1595. In 1613, the church receives a facade inspired by a drawing by Philibert Delorme. It was not until 1848 that the nave, beyond the bell tower, was raised to the height of the first part. The northern part of the Romanesque bell tower, with its two twin bays, is probably from the 11C. The construction of the bell tower-porch was completed in 1851.

Finally, the 16C stained glass windows are perhaps the most precious jewel in the building. Brilliant in color, these thirty-seven canopies are a precious summary of the art of the time. Lead salts, enamel and Venetian glass are at the service of a refined design and a very complete iconography synthesizing the great scenes of the Old Testament, of the life of the Virgin, that of Christ and the Saints.

It is a small detour not far from Versailles or Paris but worth the off the beaten path visit to Montfort L’Amaury and the Church of St Pierre! Hope you enjoy the post

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Montfort L’Amaury on Ch St Pierre in French

Official Church St Peter in French

Tourist office of the Yvelines dept 78 on Ch St Pierre in French

There you go another dandy in my beloved Yvelines 78, the royal grounds of France. And behold not know it at the time of the visit but now live in Brittany and all makes sense of the Montfort’s! Superbe!! Hope you enjoy the Church of St Peter in Montfort L’Amaury!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

February 28, 2020

A composer at Montfort L’Amaury!

Here I am in a music mode! Well there is so much in my belle France. I have written on this one briefly but feels he needs a bit more. Therefore, here is my hommage to Maurice Ravel, the composer.

When I was in Versailles, I came often to his town and initially walking to the tour donjon of Anne de Bretagne, saw his house by chance. Then, the rest is history. I like to tell you more about the Maison Museum of Maurice Ravel in Montfort L’Amaury in the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region.

Montfort L'Amaury mus maison Maurice Ravel 2011

The house now museum of Maurice Ravel (music composer creator of Bolero )  call the  Belvédère, a mansion from the 20C at the foot of the ruins of the donjon/tower Anne de Bretagne ,looking down on the house by Rue Maurice Ravel.

Montfort L'Amaury

Le Belvédère is the name of the house located in Montfort-l’Amaury  that the composer Maurice Ravel lived for sixteen years from 1921 until the year of his death in a clinic in Paris in 1937

This relatively modest and cramped house, acquired in January 1921, owes its name to its hillside location and the panorama it offers of the town of Montfort-l’Amaury and the Rambouillet forest in the background. It is in this house that the composer composed almost all of his works from 1921, including L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Chansons madécasses, the famous Boléro (I know him for it), the Concerto in G for piano and orchestra, the Concerto pour le main gauche.

The house, inherited by the musician’s brother, Édouard Ravel, firstly remained under the care of the musician’s faithful governess of Breton origin, Mrs. Marie Reveleau. the custody of the Belvedere was jointly entrusted in 1954 to Céleste Albaret, former governess of Marcel Proust, and to her sister Marie Gineste. However, Céleste Albaret had to leave the Belvedere in 1970. In his second authentic will of July 18, 1958, Édouard Ravel bequeathed the Belvedere to the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Union of National Museums).  The museum officially opened as such on May 18, 1973

Guided tours in small groups are organized there every weekend, and during the week by appointment. The house contains many precious and unusual objects. Indeed, Ravel collected trinkets, surprising and wonderful objects. He took great care to decorate his house, perfectly in his image. In the music room are the composer’s office and his Erard piano, made in 1908 and acquired in 1911, who traveled from 4 avenue Carnot to Paris where he was until 1917, then to Neuilly-sur-Seine until at the installation at the Belvedere which began in January 1921

In this room of the house there are also, in addition to numerous objects and souvenirs, five family portraits: two portraits of the child composer, one by his Swiss uncle Édouard Ravel and the other painted in 1886; one of his younger brother Édouard Ravel as a child by the Swiss uncle Édouard Ravel, one of his mother Marie Delouart also by uncle Édouard Ravel and one of his father Joseph Ravel. In the dining room, there is among other things a realistic bust of Maurice Ravel made in the summer of 1928.

The Belvedere can be visited by appointment with the Tourist Office of Montfort-l’Amaury, in groups of six people at most. See the second link below for reservations.

The foundation of Maurice Ravel has more info on the house museum in English here: Foundation of Maurice Ravel on the Belvedere house museum

The city of Montfort L’Amaury on the house museum Maurice Ravel in English

There you go a bit of culture away in a small quant town in my beloved Yvelines, nearer my dear Versailles. Its a nice detour to see what could be call an off the beaten path visit in my belle France. The house museum Maurice Ravel is very interesting if into music.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

ps. and give credit when credit is due hooray for Montfort L’Amaury and Ravel.  Le Village préfére des Français or the Favorite Village of the French? We will have to wait until the start of summer 2020  to find out on France 3 television, on the program of the same name. Stéphane Bern will take up his pilgrim’s staff to take viewers to visit the fourteen villages vying for this 2020 edition. A stroll that will pass, in Île-de-France, through the charming little medieval town of Montfort-l’Amaury, in the Yvelines, which also houses, through a museum, the memory of the composer Maurice Ravel, the man of the “Boléro”. Stay tune!!

 

 

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