Wine news of France X !!

And here I am reaching another weekend, well the first one in March 2021! And need to tell you again about the wines of France, the story never ends !! indeed, simply the best. If you read my blog you know this is one of my hobbies and been all over in wine countries over the years. Here is my latest news on wines of my France!

And what the government or governments don’t tell you about the virus. The rules and the incompetence are hurting all. In France, 220,000 restaurants have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic. Beyond this tragedy which affects hundreds of thousands of employees, an entire industry is at half mast. The winegrowers, often very affected by the crisis, launched, at the initiative of the Force 4 Agency, the Solidarité Restaurateurs operation to raise funds and support restaurateurs in a logic of sustainable development from the reopening. Among them, Michel Chapoutier from Maison Chapoutier, Xavier Gomart, general manager of Cave de Tain or Alice Euvrard, Domaine de la Navicelle, Maison Louis Jadot, Patricia Ortelli from Château La Calisse, etc etc. Consumers identify the participants in the operation by the green dot on the bottle. From € 0.20 to € 1 per bottle sold are donated to the Hésiode endowment fund of the French Association of Master Restorers. Webpage: https://www.solidariterestaurateurs.com/

The Renaissance of Château Kirwan, the discreet of the Margaux appellation, one of my favorites!  Its neighbors are called Boyd-Cantenac, Brane-Cantenac, Prieuré-Lichine, Issan and, a few km further, Palmer and Margaux. By their side, Kirwan is a confidential address, a good deal given by word of mouth. The confidential address has nevertheless been a classified grand cru since 1855. At the time, the château was selected for the Universal Exhibition organized by Napoleon III. It was the first of Margaux’s third Grands Crus Classés and the 16th Grand Bordeaux in the official order of awarded wines.  In Cantenac, once you have passed the entrance gate to the domain, the charm immediately sparkle. In front of the beautiful 18C bourgeois mansion stretches out a garden, also listed with its hundred-year-old trees and its flowered arbour of roses, imagined by Camille Godard – former mayor of Bordeaux and, in his spare time, landscape architect, who was the owner during the second half of the 19C and vineyards as far as the eye can see, on 37 hectares! This enchanting setting has undoubtedly inspired the appellation of the château’s second wine, called Charmes de Kirwan.

At the origin of its notoriety, a Scottish immigrant, Mark Kirwan, arrived in Bordeaux in the middle of the 18C. He inherited the estate in 1760 by marrying the owner’s daughter, Sir John Collinwood. It is said that in 1787 Thomas Jefferson, then United States Ambassador to France, already called the Château a “second rank grand cru”. A comment announcing the fate of this exceptional wine. It was in 1926 that Alfred Schÿler, at the head of one of the oldest wine trading houses, the Schröder et Schÿler house, founded in 1739, bought this château north of Bordeaux, on the prestigious Margaux appellation.  Today, it is his great-granddaughter, Sophie Schÿler, who oversees the property, supported by Philippe Delfaut, a former Château Palmer, while his brother, Yann, chairs the trading house. She is an expert herself. Administrator and member of the Bordeaux Wine Academy, she regularly participates in master classes in the grandes écoles to initiate future leaders who are expected to be received at large tables, she specifies ; and writes for the Forbes Magazine as well as for several trade magazines. After having worked in the United States at Moët Hennessy and in the Besnier group, she returned to her native lands in 1996 to take charge of commercial development in particular of exports to the United States and Asia , and the communication from Kirwan.

Evidenced by the sculptural door through which it is accessed. A contemporary work in stainless steel lace called Les Ceps this magnificent porch, we are welcomed under a large glass roof revealing a row of wooden barrels. Mark Kirwan’s historic cellars, dating from the 18C, have been enlarged by the creation of a new space fitted out with wooden barrels from Allier. The whole being connected to 37 concrete tanks made to measure in Italy. Finally, she likes to receive groups of wine lovers in the Orangerie room of 220 m2, offering from all sides a panorama of the vines and extraordinary acoustics, thanks to its wooden beams on the ceiling, ideal for organizing events. concerts-tastings. The official webpage: https://www.chateau-kirwan.com/

Chanel is expanding its pink paradise in Porquerolles. By purchasing Domaine Perzinsky, a little over two years after acquiring the Island vineyard, the fashion house becomes the largest wine owner in this Mediterranean Eden. There were three owners who shared the 80 hectares of vines on the island of Porquerolles, with 70% production of rosé wines. Now there are two of them. Because the 14 hectares of the Perzinsky estate have just been bought by the house of Chanel to expand the Domaine de l’Île, which it has owned since autumn 2019, in this corner of Mediterranean land, facing the Pointe de Giens. Already owner in the Bordeaux region (Château Rauzan-Ségla, second classified grand cru of Margaux, Château Berliquet and Château Canon, grand cru and premier grand cru classé of Saint-Émilion), also at domaine of St Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery Napa California. Chanel made its entry into the promising rosé wine market with the Domaine de l’Île, a historic property of the 12.4 km2 island pebble, including 30 km of coastline that once belonged entirely to an adventurer of Belgian origin, Joseph- Alain Fournier. Strong personality, this former owner of mines in Mexico had devoted his fortune to his Mediterranean Eden before it was divided between his six daughters, then, little by little, ceded to the State which, in turn, had retroceded some arpents in the early 1980s to wine growers in the form of emphyteutic leases. In five years, when everything has been replanted and restructured, 40 hectares and 200,000 bottles per vintage will be sailing around the world. But always entirely and exclusively handmade, from the vineyard to the bottling, in this earthly paradise “made in Provence”. The Domaine de LÏle webpage: https://www.domainedelile.com/

In Saint-Émilion, wine tourism is no longer a fantasy. Some properties have made significant efforts to attract visitors, whether they are experts, novices or simply curious. In turn, Château Montlabert has decided to join the wine tourism dance. The reception pavilion is on the edge of the departmental road that connects Saint-Émilion to Libourne. Those who stop in can set off on a comprehensive 1.5-hour tour in a small group. The time to watch a video which presents the geographical location of the property, its terroir, its history since the 18C, and everyone gets into a very contemporary electric car. The castle and the new installations, invisible from the road, are revealed only after a few hundred meters. At the end of the small path, you will discover the 3 hectares of the English park as well as the French garden and its rose garden. A large fountain has been built, it is also likely to serve as a water reserve in the event of firefighters intervening.

This Castel group, which has nineteen properties in France, including fifteen in Bordeaux, three in Loire, one in Provence, one in Languedoc, or 1,100 hectares, needed a standard bearer. Château Montlabert was acquired by the family in 2008. Each year, Château Montlabert produces 50,000 bottles of its first wine and 70,000 bottles of the second. At the entrance to the vat room, four screens placed flat recall by their arrangement the sorting tables of the grape. We discover, in a film shot vertically, the main stages of wine making. It’s both spectacular and educational. A few meters further on, everyone can enter the heart of the cellar, made up of four islands each divided into as many large vats – two in stainless steel, two in concrete – in a space designed to limit energy consumption as much as possible (- 60 % compared to a conventional installation). The walls are covered with cork, a good insulator, while an ingenious system allows a natural flow of air to circulate in the vat room as well as in the cellars located on the lower level. In this space dedicated to drums, another video animation, very general public, of a few tens of seconds, is projected on the walls and columns. Then, towards the boutique store. webpage: https://www.chateau-montlabert.com/fr/

And here is the scary question and yes we do! What to drink with … a cheeseburger?   America’s culinary heritage owes a great deal to 19C immigrants. Thus, the hamburger (minced meat between two slices of bread) is a very old specialty of the city of Hamburg , Germany. The cheeseburger is an evolution: around 1925, a young chef from Pasadena (California), named Lionel Sternberger, had the idea of enriching his sandwich with a slice of cheese; but it was one of his colleagues from Denver (Colorado), Louis Ballast, who made it a registered trademark in 1935. With the success that we know. Cheese or not, it is obviously the ground beef which takes the best here. We should therefore avoid white wines: not structured enough, and especially devoid of tannins, they would lead to a somewhat wobbly marriage. Especially since you have to marry at the same time the sweetness of the ketchup, the acidity of the pickle and, of course, the fat of the cheese. We will choose it red, young for a preserved fruitiness, strong in taste and aromas, with notes of vanilla and black fruits, and above all a nice density in the mouth, with very present tannins. A south west France red, of course. Bon appétit.

And a bit of technical know how by yours truly.   Alcohol is an essential component of wine, the result of alcoholic fermentation, which transforms the sour in grape juice into alcohol; the latter generally represents between 12 and 14% of the total volume of a wine, and its content (also called alcoholic strength) is indicated on the label, this is the law. Not all wines are equal when it comes to alcohol content, but they owe it as much to their climate, to their grape variety, as to the cultivation practices put in place by the winemaker. Schematically, wines from the South are generally more generous (in alcohol) than wines from the North, an obvious consequence of the light intensity and the duration of sunshine, at the origin of photosynthesis which brings the sweet juice in. the vat. Today, in the south of the Rhône valley or in Languedoc, it is often difficult to harvest certain grape varieties (especially Syrah) even at potential 12 ° C, because if the sugar is there, the skins do not have the maturity required to make a great wine. Because that is where the heart of the matter lies: the only way to make a great wine is to pick the grapes at their optimum maturity, skin and juice. Even if the final degree sometimes reaches 13 or even 14 ° C, this is always better than having a wine with a rough touch and vegetable scents because the season was picked too early. You want to learn more about the different climates of French wine terroirs, oenology courses in Paris, Lyon, Marseille and in 24 other cities in France are organized by Prodégustation and are accessible for all levels, from amateurs to the most advanced. Webpage:https://www.prodegustation.com/cours-oenologie/vog-academique.html

The Jura has a rich diversity of terroirs and wines. Because, for those who do not yet know it, this vineyard does not boil down to yellow wine alone.   Trousseau and Poulsard produce unique reds that are rarely fleshy or full-bodied, but often intense and beautifully fluid. As for Chardonnay, it gives birth to whites capable of challenging the finest wines of the Côte de Beaune. Finally, Savagnin brings all its personality to yellow wine, king of oxidative wines. André & Mireille Tissot in Arbois are my best example of this little known wines, try them. Whether from the trousseau or the poulsard, Stéphane Tissot produces reds with character. While elegance is always present with silky textures, the wines never lack substance. As for its yellow wines, here too, the plot work in the vineyard has enabled it to make a huge qualitative leap in the cellar. The wines have gained in race.

A world apart: First observation: even in the absence of some of the most prestigious names, the magic of yellow operates. Second observation: breeding under sail is indeed a world apart. Last point, probably the most important: if a hierarchy emerges, the rating is only indicative, because everyone’s preference will be based on their affinities with a particular style.   The jaune or yellow wine represents around 5% of sales in Jura production, with an average volume of 3,000 hectoliters bottled each year, ie a little less than 500,000 clavelins.(bottles size of the region). Webpage of the Tissot propertyhttps://www.stephane-tissot.com/en/index.htm

To know more about the wines of the Jurahttps://www.jura-vins.com/vins-guide-vins.htm

And there you go for now folks, another dandy post on the wines of France, simply the best! Hope you have enjoy the post and the news of wines of France as I

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

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