Archive for March 3rd, 2020

March 3, 2020

A bit more on the Loire wines!

And to continue my trend on my other passion, wines , need to show you a bit more on my newest adopted region, the Loire. You can catch up searching my blog on my previous wine posts and personal prowess on the world of wines.

For now , let me tell you a bit on some of the Loire wines I have enjoyed lately. Even if still will give you an overall picture on the Loire wines, more in my blog on the wine region.

The Loire Valley vineyard extends over almost 1000 kilometers, it follows the Loire from its source to its estuary: from the Massif Central to Nantes! Loire wine is produced in the departments of Loire-Atlantique (44), Vendée (85), Maine-et-Loire (49), Deux-Sèvres (79), Vienne (86), Sarthe (72), Indre (36), Indre-et-Loire (37), Loir-et-Cher (41), Loiret (45), Cher (18), Nièvre (58), Allier (03), Puy-de-Dôme (63) and Loire (42). The wine route extends for 800km from Nantes in the west to Saint-Pourçain in the south via Orléans, Sancerre, Tours; etc.

The official wine webpage for the Loire is in English here: Official Wines of the Loire Valley

The Château de la Noë is an exceptional collection of rustic Italian architecture. L’Orangerie is the witness of this era built according to the Tuscan model with brick frames. Its construction was undertaken between 1835 and 1837. The orangeries are located facing south. In winter, when the sun is low, it brings direct light and warmth to the room. The 60 ha vineyard extends over the town of Vallet in Loire Atlantique dept 44. It is an exceptional terroir, composed of crystalline rocks, which gives pride of place to the local grape variety. This is an exceptional find in Muscadet Sévre et Maine sur Lie 2016 white wine , great with the local seafood and fish or as an apéritif! The Melon de Bourgogne and the  richness of soils draws wines of the Muscadet Sévre et Maine designation with freshness, minerality and finesse. The cost is 7 euros in France. More in French on the Property here: Official Chateau la Noe webpage


Down over St Nicolas de Bourgueil one of the better find areas here we met first in Vannes wine fair and then on site the funny couple owners Claudine and Christel  of the EARL Cousseau Boireau 2017 , these are wonderful red wines. They open their doors all year round for visits of their vines, winery and cellar. Learn how they work the vines and make their full-bodied red wine using traditional techniques, hand-harvesting the grapes then maturing and storing in oak casks.  The cost is about 6 euros in France. More here in French: St Nicolas de Bourgueuil on wines of Rodaie in English

st Nicolas de Bourgueil

Since 1885 and six generations, the BOUGRIER family has been working to recognize the wines of the Loire Valley and is recognized today as one of the last family houses covering the whole of the Loire Valley, from Nantes to in Sancerre. The Cost is about 7 euros in France. The main area they cover is the appellation Touraine-Amboise a wonderful spot for light fruity inexpensive wines to drink every day we go for it always. The Cuvée Leonard De Vinci 2012 as well as the new bottle design for 2018 is a perfect example of price/quality ratio.  More info on the family Bougrier in French: Official Family Bougrier touraine amboise

touraine amboise

Touraine Amboise

In 1395, Philippe le Hardy decided to improve the quality of the wines and prohibited the cultivation of Gamay in favor of Pinot Noir in his land. It is the first food decree in the world, precursor of controlled designations of origin (AOC).   Bourgueil is town located in the department of Indre-et-Loire no 37 in the Centre Val de Loire region. Bourgueil is at the heart of the Touraine vineyard, on the slopes of the Loire Valley, producing famous red wines which were celebrated by Ronsard, by Rabelais and by Honoré de Balzac. The wines are vinified from the Cabernet Franc grape variety (locally called Breton). Cabernet-Sauvignon can also intervene within the limit of 10%. The Philippe de Valois 2018  is a very hardy red wine as compare to the region and goes well with red meats. Great price/quality ratio with a cost about 8 euros in France. webpage on the cellar coop is here in French: Cellars of Bourgueuil on the wines of Philippe de Valois


In 1460, the territory of present-day France was divided into 3: François II, Duke of Brittany, Charles Le Téméraire, Duke of Burgundy and Louis XI, King of France. Charles and François join forces against Louis XI. Charles offers François le Berligou, a Burgundy grape variety. It will be planted on 4 to 5 ha in Couéron north-west of Nantes and, curiously, in Batz sur Mer near Guérande. Anne of Brittany, the daughter of François II, married Charles VIII then with Louis XII and became queen of France twice!. She demanded that her Berligou be served in Orleans, Blois and Langeais. Louis XIV will make it known at Versailles.

Berligou is a rare grape variety whose original name is Berkovsko Tcherno; it is a black Russian grape variety with medium to large, conical clusters, medium berries, ellipsoids, dark blue. It would be a variation of Pinot noir. In Loire Atlantique, it is called the Berligou.

In 2011, the Poiron-Dabin estate planted 1.5 ha of Berligou. The first bunches are harvested in 2014 It is aged 6 months in a glass tank and then for 12 months in Breton oak barrels from the forests of Brocéliande and Gâvre (as François II probably would have ordered) made at a cooper in Douarnenez   (29). The Poiron-Dabin estate is located in Château-Thébaud in the heart of the Muscadet appellation of Sèvre et Maine.  . This is a property I visited several times and even stayed overnight in the vineyards; the Berligou is a find, great red full body and one grape/wine to find and try by all. Very good quality/price ratio indeed. The cost is about 12 euros in France. Webpage: Official Poiron Dabin on the Berligou red

Chateau Thebaud

And there you some latest years find I just needed to tell you in addition to my historical  posts on the Loire wine region in my blog. Hope you enjoy it and do come and drink , with moderation of course, but drink wine is good for you , the traditions, and the economy. Enjoy the Loire wines as we do

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

March 3, 2020

Médoc, anyone! Bordeaux for all!!

And as I am on a wine mode, let me continue…are you reading me? ok for those daring enough to enjoy a good glass of wine in a world each time more limited ,this one is for you. En Vino Veritas!!!

And why not go to my fav wine making area in our world, the one all tries to copy but never succeeds; the Médoc of the Bordeaux area, of the Gironde dept 31, region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine of my belle France!

I drank many wines, in my later years I have been concentrating in the Médoc, but believe me have taste them all even from countries not known for wine making like Cuba lol! Let me introduce you to some of my personal finds at modest prices.

I do not need to tell more on this one as have written on the property back on Feb 8 2020 in my blog but is one of our favorite over the years , the Château d’Arcins now own by the Castel Group of wineries. Briefly on the property, the Château d’Arcins has one of the first Haut-Médoc vineyards developed in 1300 by the Commanderie des Templiers. The 2013 vintage shown won the Gold Medal in 2015 at the Concours de Bordeaux!  You will find a large half of Cabernet Sauvignon in this cuvée, with a small half of Merlot. Thus was born an elegant, spicy, tannic vintage, with character and aging potential ranging from 5 to 12 years. The cost is about 10 euros in France.Nice. Webpage: Castel group on Chateau d’Arcins


The Château Haut Breton Larigaudière, acquired by the De Schepper family in 1964, it now offers a 15 hectare vineyard on the best terroirs of the Margaux appellation, a lovely Médoc estate surrounded by a park, is located in the town of Soussans , one of the five towns entitled to the Margaux AOC. At the start of the 20C, this château was already classified as a bourgeois cru. After a typical Médoc vinification, the wine is aged in oak barrels for 15 to 18 months. This château produces a fruity, round and elegant wine. 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc The 2011 is supple and gourmand, very sweet. a powerful mouth, full of sap, full and fresh. To drink within 8 to 15 years. The cost is about 11 euros in France, which is also good value for money. Webpage: De Mour group on Chateau Haut Breton Larigaudiere


The Château Lalande Borie is one of the oldest name properties in my family having drink it since my Fl USA days.  The 2014 is a nice dense wine with a nice attack, very nice mid-palate, very Saint-Julien, very little shrinkage before the very interesting finish. 50% cabernet-sauvignon, 45% merlot, 5% cabernet-franc. all the qualities of the appellation: finesse and power, elegance and aromatic richness. These are of course wines to keep for more than 10 years in the cellar. It is located on the terroir of Lalande was created ex-nihilo in 1970 by Jean-Eugène Borie. It is now his son Bruno, also in charge of Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, who directs it. The wines are exquisite, relatively easy to access and gourmet. Real typical Saint-Julien. The cost is about 24 euros in France. Webpage: Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou as own Lalande Borie


The Château Patache d’Aux 2009 in the town of Bégadan ,Médoc. In 2016, the cru bourgeois was bought by Antoine Moueix. Developing raspberry scents, this wine ages admirably. Traditional vinification gives Château Patache d’Aux (horse carrying wagons) wine its own identity and characteristics: a deep ruby color, powerful but perfectly mellow tannins, typical of long-aging wines. A superb wine, concentrated, long, distinguished, superb oak, great success. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc The cost is about 10 euros in France. Webpage: Domaines of Antoine Moueix on Chateau Patache d’Aux


The Château Siran 2013 .The robe is garnet and the wine is supple, slightly woody, charming, fruit juice. Thus see the birth of a powerful and fine Margaux, tannic and fruity, marked therefore by the Petit Verdot and its spicy presence. Cut for aging, this wine will gain in complexity over time. It is located in the plateau of graves in Labarde, the southernmost town of the appellation. It belongs to the Miailhe family, embodied by Edouard Miailhe since 2007, and benefits from the advice of Hubert de Boüard de Laforêt. The 38 hectares of vineyard used are planted with 46% Merlot, 41% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot and the rest in Cabernet Franc. Owned by the Miailhe family, wine broker, since 1859, the Château Siran previously belonged to the grandparents of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec. The cost is about 26 euros in France. Webpage: Official Chateau Siran


The Château Tayet 2011. From the same owners as Château Haut Breton Larigaudière (see above) Margaux, this cru is located in Macau, a few kilometers upstream. Fine, complex on the nose, this 2011 mixes a light vanilla and toasted oak with notes of stewed berries. Combining sweetness and liveliness, the palate shows great aromatic freshness and melted tannins. This typical wine, already pleasant, will be fully bloomed in three or four years. The Cuvée Prestige has 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot .Gold medal by the Independant winegrowers of France! The cost is about 10 euros in France. Webpage: De Mour group on the Chateau Tayet


The Château La Tour de Mons is another of my old wines started on in my FL USA life, long in our house and always reliable. The 2015 displays a dense color with purple hues. This Margaux has a full and rich nose, mainly dominated by small black berries. On the palate, the attack is enveloping, round and very tasty. A very beautiful rich and deep Margaux. A serious and successful wine. Pretty well defined nose. The wine is elegant, of good length, charming. It will evolve well as usual. Blend of 59 % Merlot, 35 % Cabernet Sauvignon ,and 6 % Petit Verdot. The cost is about 26 euros in France. Webpage: Official Chateau La Tour de Mons


I must mentioned all the above wines have been visited on site sometimes several times over the years. I do like to drink wines that I have visited no matter where, sometimes before or after the visit. Hope you enjoy these one, true and tasted I know some of them if not all can be found abroad. Check them out, it will be worth it. Enjoy the Médoc of France

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

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