Wine news of France XII !!!

And here I am coming back at you with my other love wines! And France does it better still… I have written over the past few years several posts on wines, and could be more. However, like to keep the blog in travel, and anecdotes and then wines. I am delighted to bring you another post on wines news of France and hope you enjoy it as I.

Let me start off the bat with some repeated stories that I have told many times in my blog and this is another example of French excellence anywhere.

The story of the Chandon Garden Spritz, which is set to hit the terraces this summer, began in the last century. The Chandon epic in Argentina began in the 1950s with Count Robert-Jean de Vogüé. The president of Moët & Chandon, also a figure of WWII then largely involved in the Champagne inter-professional institutions, is convinced that the know-how of his house can serve other causes than just Champagne. And why Argentina? In the middle of the 20C, the United States had barely emerged from prohibition. In the southern hemisphere, there are still very few vines in countries like Australia or New Zealand, and Chile does not consume wine. Argentina, with its long wine-making tradition, is a form of obviousness. Robert-Jean de Vogüé will get closer to his nephew by marriage, Baron Bertrand de Ladoucette, who lives in Latin America. Invited to Buenos Aires by the latter, he notes that, in popular bars, Argentines drink white wine to which they add large ice cubes and a little sparkling water … A kind of sparkling wine before the hour. What to convince him for good. He went there, with his 2 CV equipped with 4 wheel drive for off-road exploration. The first three hectares are planted next to Mendoza. Today, Chandon Argentina operates over 500 hectares and also employs around 150 suppliers. On the Argentinian model, other fields have emerged. In Brazil and California in 1973, Australia followed in 1986, then India and China in 2013. With its six sites, Chandon has more than 2,000 hectares. The group LVMH on Chandon webpage: https://www.lvmh.com/houses/wines-spirits/chandon-argentina/

And the primeurs keep coming out! Released yesterday morning, Tuesday May 18, the latest vintage from the Barton family: Léoville Barton, Langoa Barton and Mauvesin Barton met with enthusiastic reception on the British market. Proof of this is that Jancis Robinson, English wine critic, was full of praise for the emblematic wine of the house, Léoville Barton, giving it a score of 18/20, and willingly acknowledging its “excellent vinification” . The 2020 came out at 70.60 euros a bottle (France prices), which is 17% more expensive than the previous vintage , but it is potentially the best vintage for this wine so far. Two Saint-Emilion Grand Crus Classés “A” have also joined their comrade Cheval Blanc released last week: Angélus, announced on the market at 295 euros per bottle, followed closely by Pavie, at 280 euros per bottle. And among the other outings of the week, we also note the Marquis d´Alesme, Labégorce, Coutet, Guiraud, Pavie-Decesse, Bellevue-Mondotte and Monbousquet. The créme de la créme!!

In the heart of the Médoc vineyards. Near Saint-Estèphe, new owner Michel Reybier dreams of founder Louis-Gaspard of Estournel of this 19C adventurer, who created the estate. After buying the Cos d´Estournel vineyard, a second classified growth from 1855, he added Château Pomys, the personal residence of the same Estournel. Transformed into a hotel, the residence faces the Château Saint-Estèphe, in the hamlet of Leyssac. To reach this address located on the Gironde estuary, you have two options. From the south via Bordeaux as we have. Or by taking the ferry to Royan as we have not. The crossing takes 25 minutes. Just enough time to imagine yourself on your way to the Americas, and here you have landed at Verdon-sur-Mer, at the tip of the estuary. Mr Reybier skilfully mixed neo-Art Deco and contemporary art around warm velvet furniture. Chosen by an antique dealer from Bordeaux, the objects give life to the place. On the garden side, the spaces are on an open layout. In total relaxation, we go from the dining room to the library lounge or the kitchen without having to go through a door. You can have an aperitif or eat there while Emilien Deschamps, Gordon Ramsay’s ex-assistant, cooks the dishes with his team. La Maison d´Estournel is located opposite the Château Saint-Estèphe, in the hamlet of Leyssac. Webpage: https://lamaison-estournel.com/

The very first re opening of the Champagne Wine and Regional Archeology Museum should delight all on Saturday May 29th with a route built around an original common thread: chalk. The Musée du vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale d’Épernay will finally open its doors. The place is simply magical!!. Housed in the former home of Charles Perrier, built in a neo Louis XIII style in 1855 and opening onto an English garden, it alone embodies the luxury and excessiveness of Champagne. On the ground floor, the reception rooms, which notably include the ballroom, do not accommodate any display cases. They will house future events, conferences and exhibitions which should once again make the château a major center for the cultural life of Champagne. The museum is broken down into three groups, linked by an original common thread: chalk. The route begins with the rooms devoted to geology. Champagne wine lovers know that their extraordinary minerality owes a lot to the chalk of Campanien and Turonien. The reconstruction of a Lutetian beach discovered in Fleury-la-Rivière allows us to understand the genesis of this wonderful terroir. The second pole focuses on archeology. Chalk has indeed conservative virtues, which probably explains why the Marne is one of the departments that has provided the most prehistoric remains. Virtual reality headsets offer the opportunity to discover the interior of a hypogeum, a cave dug out of chalk that was used as a tomb in the Neolithic period. The third pole focuses on the wine of Champagne itself. It opens with an evocation of the role of the Church and the monasteries in its development. A digital terminal allows you to leaf through the Ebbon evangelary, a relic of those medieval times when the Abbey of Hautvillers was as renowned for its hillsides as for the quality of its copyist workshop. webpage: https://archeochampagne.epernay.fr/

The Château de Fontenay is a pioneer of the Touraine Chenonceau appellation. This investment materializes quickly with the creation of the Touraine Chenonceau appellation. The new appellation saw the date recently just in 2011. To be able to claim the appellation, you must have vines on the slopes of the Cher within 10 km of the famous Château de Chenonceau and comply with strict specifications. webpage: http://lechateaudefontenay.fr/

And a very nice grape that is becoming more in use at least in France and we love it. Very planted in Provence and in Languedoc, Cinsault calms the power of southern wines. Late, drought resistant and insensitive to disease, it defies global warming. Typically Mediterranean, cinsault can be recognized by its large, black, juicy berries with little sugar concentration. What’s interesting about this plant is its ability to resist diseases, like downy mildew and powdery mildew, and drought. In the blends, the Cinsault calms the “fire” of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. All in delicacy, with its discreet notes of fresh fruit, it brings an airy side to rosés but also to red wines, which it makes supple and delicious. A grape to watch closely for generations to come. For the note, in South Africa the plant was muted with the Pinot Noir to create the Pinotage very popular there. We buy it here exclusively on the Rosé wines from Provence such as Château de Cazeneuve and Chateau Puech Haut.  The wines of Languedoc webpage: https://www.languedoc-wines.com/en

With the Tour de France bicycle race you can learn a lot about the wines of France. For example, over the 160 km between Carcassonne and Montpellier, the Languedoc vineyard offers 20 appellations spread over more than 245,000 hectares. The team of red wines, the majority of which is produced in the region, with, for example, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Cabernet-Sauvignon grape varieties. The rosé wine team which shares grape varieties similar to red wines with, for example, the use of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. The team of white wines whose reputation is well established in the region with for example the grape varieties Grenache Gris and Blanc, Macabeu, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Vermentino, Muscat à Petits Grains, Muscat d’Alexandrie, Marsanne, Roussanne, Piquepoul, Chardonnay, Mauzac, Chenin, or Ugni Blanc. The sparkling wine team, which has some nice surprises in store with, for example, Mauzac, Chardonnay and Chenin grape varieties.

And another road ride, the cyclists will continue their immersion in the 3rd French wine region ; the Loire valley starting from Saumur. The white jersey is awarded… to the Chenin grape variety, known and renowned for its white wines! The Chenin grape variety offers dry white wines at the start of the harvest and sweet and syrupy wines at the end of the harvest. The red and pink jerseys are worn … by the Cabernet Franc grape variety, very present on the Angevin and Saumur lands. The Cabernet Franc grape is also associated with Cabernet Sauvignon to offer a wide variety of wines. The bubble jersey goes back … to the excellent fine bubble wines produced in the region which will perfectly accompany a stage victory. Made in cellars carved from tufa, the region’s emblematic white stone, these wines will surprise you. Yes my second choice region ! see posts. The wines of the Loire webpage: https://www.vinsvaldeloire.fr/en

Along these routes, the Tour de France, goes thru 32 appellations share the vineyard between Angers and Saumur. White side: We find in particular the Savennières, very aromatic, complex, fresh and mineral dry white wines, but also the Coteaux du Layon and the Coteaux de l’Aubance, mellow white wines with a golden color and fruity and gourmet aromas. . Red side: We can cite prestigious appellations such as Anjou-Villages Brissac, with a dark color and aromas of red fruits and liquorice, or even Saumur-Champigny, offering rich aromas while retaining finesse in the mouth. Rosé side: The beautiful days of the Grande Boucle can be accompanied by a Cabernet d ‘Anjou, tender and fruity rosé, or a Cabernet de Saumur, slightly drier than Cabernet d’ Anjou. Rosé d’Anjou and Rosé de Loire will also be good teammates for the summer. On the fine bubble side: The Tour De France promises great victories to be celebrated around a Crémant-de-Loire or a Saumur-Brut. Sublime wines indeed!

And there you go folks, something extra from the wines of my belle France. By the way, Unesco World Heritage Immaterial site for gastronomy and wines, the first!!

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

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