Wines news of France XXVIIII !!

Well, after some heat wave scares Summer is moving right along nicely, and we enjoy it. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! We have done quite a bit of work around the house, and still some more until early September. Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

The first secateurs were given this past Tuesday in the Bordeaux vineyards on dry whites, the most “early” harvest ever known in the region due to the heat wave and the drought, In Bordeaux, as in many wine-growing areas In France, the high temperatures of June, July and August accelerated the ripening of the grapes, forcing winegrowers to bring the harvest forward by several days, even several weeks. Thus, some Languedoc-Roussillon winegrowers were already giving their first pruning strokes at the end of July. As for Bordeaux crémants, which traditionally kick off the harvest, nearly 400 pickers are hard at work to start this past Wednesday for three weeks of harvest. For the reds, I see the start of the harvest on September. But we have to see how things will evolve after the rains of the coming weekend, The harvest is officially launched in Beaujolais ahead of time, this past Wednesday, August 17, in accordance with the date set by prefectural decree. Winegrowers expect an overall yield that is 23% lower for the 2022 vintage, compared to the last five harvests. In question: the localized hailstorms which affected 400 hectares of vines last June, and of course the waves of drought and strong summer heat, 2022 is the second earliest vintage since 1992, the date of creation of the maturation network, after 2003.

Passing through Nice, the United States Ambassador Thomas Jefferson fell under the spell of the local cuvées. In his notes, the traveling ambassador sketched an even more astonishing nomenclature of French wines. This one reserves a place of choice for a wine revealed to amateurs only: the Nice vintage called Bellet. “’It’s the most elegant of all the wines in the world and it costs thirty-one cents a bottle. The production being limited, it is very little known in general”. At the time of Jefferson’s visit to the Baie des Anges, the whites and reds produced around the hamlet of Saint-Roman-de-Bellet, on the heights of Nice, were certainly not French wines. Annexed by the Convention (French revolution) within the Alpes-Maritimes department in 1793, Nice freely joined the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in 1814, despite Massena, the child of the country who became Marshal of the Empire, rallied to the Bourbons back in Paris. It was therefore necessary to wait until 1860 for Bellet to become one of the most beautiful ornaments of the French vineyard, A plaque inaugurated in Nice in 2009 on the Quai des Etats-Unis, not far from a replica of the Statue of Liberty, recalls, however,the arrival of Thomas Jefferson in the city. From April 9 to 12, 1787, the former governor of Virginia stayed at the present-day 5, rue de la Préfecture, in the former Hotel Spitiali de Cessole. Today, prestigious American travelers more readily establish their quarters at the Negresco, where everyone is aware of the qualities of Bellet wines. The hotel gourmet restaurant Le Chantecler has on some evenings, three-quarters of the customers at Le Chantecler restaurant come from the United States. Thirty-third President of the United States, elected in 1945, Harry Truman think of the Bellet wines that his illustrious predecessor loved so much when he stayed at the Negresco in June 1958 ! The AOC Bellet area is vast, encompassing 600 hectares, but only a tenth of it is farmed down from 1,000 when Thomas Jefferson visited ! Today enjoy here some favorites such as the fresh fruit and sea breeze notes of the 2020 vintage of Le Clos du Clos Saint-Vincent red (90% Folle Noire, 10% Grenache). Thus, the 2014 vintage of Le Clos rosé (100% braquet), fresh as the water of the hills, haughty as a hussar on the roof. Red or rosé, whatever. Webpage :

If the name of this Hotel-Restaurant in Avize skilfully plays on the double meaning, it is clear that it wears it wonderfully, since throughout the year there is a clientele of well-informed amateurs. ! Erected in the heart of this charming town on the Cote des Blancs, this bright building installed above the old cellars of Maison Bricout-Delbec , now belonging to the Selosse family, a famous Champagne wine-growing family , It remains one of the of our favorite stopovers in the region, and one of the finest champagne lists from winegrowers in the region such as Selosse cuvées, alas at the prices charged elsewhere, but also Bérèche & Fils, Frédéric Savart, Jacques Lassaigne, Pierre Gerbais en Champagne , but also natural references gleaned from all four corners French vineyards: Thomas Pico, Philippe Pacalet, Antoine Jobard in Burgundy, Domaine Tempier and Domaine de Trevallon in Provence, as well as a few nuggets from the Jura, Alsace or Savoie. While staying at the hotel, it will be possible to go down to the cellar for a tasting of the estate’s cuvées, for the modest sum of 30 €. A godsend, when you know the price of Selosse champagnes today. Located at 59 rue de Cramant, 51190 Avize, webpage :

It happened in 1912 for the adventurer of Belgian origin François-Joseph Fournier with Porquerolles. The story is known to those familiar with this Golden Island deposited as an offering on the Mediterranean off the southern tip of Provence. The two wine estates that today share the magical terroir of Porquerolles : Domaine de l’Île, owned by Chanel, and Domaine de La Courtade, owned by businessman Édouard Carmignac are part of the memory of this crush felt one hundred and ten years ago by François-Joseph Fournier and his young wife Sylvia, born Johnston-Lavis in Naples in 1887 from a doctor father. After many adventures from Paris to the United States via Mexico where he made his fortune in the gold mines, François-Joseph Fournier, the son of a boatman born in poverty in Clabecq, Belgium, has just married for the third time. The couple are staying on the Côte d’Azur on their honeymoon. Monsieur reads the local newspaper. A small advertisement announces the sale of the island which has just been devastated by a fire ,Three quarters of an hour of winter crossing from the Tour Fondue aboard the Léon, a rough pointed boat, and here they are landing on this piece of land of 11.54 km2 off Hyères and Toulon. Porquerolles is a crescent-shaped rock facing towards the peninsula of Gien. François-Joseph died prematurely at the age of 77, in 1935, the Nazis occupation emptied the island of its population, the succession was difficult, the island was shared between four of the Fournier girls, sold to the State of France in 1971 to become Parc national and National Mediterranean Botanical Conservatory in 1979, There are 40 hectares of vineyards (including 35 in production), 30 hectares of forest and 5 of olive trees of the Domaine de l’Île, of which is managed on the name of the Wertheimer Du Rolle family, of course , king of white. But also syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault, grenache and tibouren which plunge their roots through the crumbly sheets of rock to fetch water. The 35 hectares of the Domaine de la Courtade over which he has been watching over with passion since 2015. A white house with clean lines transformed into an exhibition space for contemporary works of art from the Carmignac Foundation and open to visitors since 2018. Domaine de l’Île, 2021, webpage : And Rosés Les Terrasses, Domaine de La Courtade webpage :

Here is a wine tourism address displaying superb wine lists, my choice. The superb art center designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, halfway between Aix-en-Provence and the Luberon Natural Park, Château Lacoste extends over an area of 200 ha including 125 ha of vines, exclusively grown organically since 2009, and which will proudly display the Demeter certification on some of its cuvées in 2021 until September (an extension is under discussion, notice to latecomers), You can admire Bob Dylan’s paintings made during these tours between Europe and America from the 1970s to the 1990s, skillfully put into perspective works by Picasso, Monet, Chagall, etc. Villa La Coste 2750, route de La Cride 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, webpage:

The unity makes the strength, in this case those of 13 winegrowers from the Moulin-à-Vent cru. United by the same love of their terroirs , they represent 69 of them together, the members of the Cap Moulin-à-Vent association have therefore created an event that is both oenophile and cultural. I have two old times favorite properties here known to me since the 80’s, These are my choices to you from this area,

The Château du Moulin-à-Vent, In the middle of the estate stands a chapel. Emblem of the history of the vineyard and its localities, it is the ideal starting point for visitors who wish to enter the intimacy of the estate. Visit of the vines and the cellar, but above all tasting of old vintages: this is an opportunity to discover the richness of the parcels and their evolution. Like the Champ de Cour cuvées, for its elegance and finesse, or the Thorins, for its velvety texture and marked fruit. (Visits by appointment), webpage :

The Château de la Chaize is reborn like a phoenix, with the ambitions of a golden eagle. After enormous work, the entire estate has returned to its former glory. Complete restoration of the 1771 cellar, buildings designed by the architect of Louis XIV, restructuring of the estate for ecological management, as well as the vineyard with a switch to organic. Visits are by appointment only, for the guarantee of a privileged moment steeped in history, tastings, and excellence. Webpage :

The presentation of the 2022 Wine Tourism Trophies took place a few weeks ago. One of my favorites over the year won !! In the Category: Architecture & Landscapes were rewarded: Remarkable Offer Château Bellefont-Belcier , Saint-Laurent-Des-Combes 33330 (Bordeaux wine region), webpage :

The Foire aux vins 2022 or Wine Fair in my favorite stores :

Géant Casino: August 30 to September 12, 2022, Lavinia: September 5 to October 3, 2022, Intermarché: September 6 to 25, 2022, La Grande Épicerie de Paris: September 7 to October 5, 2022, Nicolas: September 7 to October 4, 2022 : Cora: September 13 to October 1, 2022, Eataly Paris Marais: September 14 to October 16, 2022 ; Monoprix: September 16 to October 2, 2022, Auchan Hypermarkets: September 27 to October 11, 2022, U Stores: September 27 to October 8, 2022, Carrefour hypermarket: September 27 to October 10, 2022 and E.Leclerc: October 4-15, 2022.

The Foire aux vins 2022 on the internet in my favorite sites :

Wineandco: August 30 to October 4, 2022, Vinatis: September 2 to October 9, 2022, Ma Cave Leclerc: from September 5, 2022 (exclusive offer) then September 20 (pre-booking) September 7 to September 25, 2022, Millesimes: from September 14 to October 5, 2022, and My Cellar Carrefour: September 15 to October 30, 2022,

Here are 10 wise tips for getting your bearings on the wine fairs. 1. Decipher the label
2. Bet on good vintages 3. Source lesser-known appellations, guaranteeing attractive prices 4. Beware of superfluous or pompous mentions 5. Take tweezers with labels 6. Follow expert advice (specialized press) 7. Be wary of batch sales 8. Taste wines 9. Prepare for purchases using promotional catalogs , and 10. Take advantage of attractive prices on large bottles, Hope it helps.

In last but not least, a sad news in the wine world and I have tried his wines, very good, The Hugel family announced on Monday August 15 2022 the disappearance of André Hugel at the age of 92. succumbed to “complications related to Covid” specifies his relatives. Figure of the Alsatian vineyard, he represented the eleventh generation of this family rooted in the Riquewihr vineyard since 1639. After training in Beaune and Geisenheim, André Hugel joined the family business very early, he helped developped with his two brothers. He never left it until his last days and has considerably contributed to the dynamism of the house in recent years, being a fervent defender of two emblematic cuvées with a strong Alsatian accent , the “Grossi Laüe” cuvées which means “the best vineyards” in the Alsatian dialect and “Schoelhammer” , which are today spearheads of the house alongside the iconic Vendanges Tardives and Sélections de Grains Nobles. Also president of the archeology society of Riquewihr since 1978 and president of the Museum of vineyards and wines of Alsace since 1979, he also assumed the functions of grand master of the Saint-Etienne brotherhood in 1985 then those of deputy mayor de Riquewihr from 1989 to 1995 and municipal councilor from 1995 to 2001, RIP for reference their wines, webpage :

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

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