Wines news of France XXXVI !!

Well, we are moving right into mid Fall season , and November 2022 ,is coming along fine, the temps are warmer so say the so call experts. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! 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.

Present in many regions, new wines or nouveau vin come from a long tradition. Beaujolais Nouveau is coming ! The other new wines too. Overview. the release of Beaujolais Nouveau fixed, since 1985, on the third Thursday of November, i.e. the 17th of the month, this year. 55 million bottles will then flood the world, which represents about a third of the total production of Beaujolais. new wine has probably been celebrated since man discovered the fermentation of grapes. In Rome, the feast of the Meditrinalia, fixed for October 11, celebrated the end of the grape harvest at the same time as the medicinal virtues of the new wine. The second: even today, many new wines exist everywhere in France. They benefit, like Beaujolais, from the derogation to sell the wines of the year before December 15, In Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), as for Beaujolais, the date is set for mid-November. In IGP, formerly vin de pays, it is mid-October. There are some in the Rhône Valley, in the Côtes du Rhône, in the Côteaux du Languedoc, in Touraine, in the Mâconnais, the Côtes du Roussillon, the Languedoc… In Gaillac, the Vin Nouveau IGP comes out every year, on the third Thursday October, this year on the 21st. In Bordeaux, the new wine festival took place this year on the 22nd and 23rd of October. In Saint-Pourçain, since 1987, a wine called La Ficelle, a fruity red produced by the Union des Vignerons, hits the market on the first Saturday in December. These new wine festivals also exist abroad. Since 1994, the Fiesta del Vino Joven takes place at the end of November, in the Born district of Barcelona. Two I can recommend from outside Beaujolais are the Domaine Plaimont Colombelle ; La Belle Vie, Sud Ouest region- Côtes de Gascogne ,and Domaine de Labarthe – Red and White Primeur new wine red or white Sud-Ouest region in Gaillac

The month of November is often perceived as the most melancholy, even the saddest month of the year. Indeed, the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder, more humid and windy. Admittedly, the flamboyant red colors of autumn are reminiscent of certain summer evenings, but it is no longer summer, holidays being nothing more than photos. At the beginning of the month, accompanied by chrysanthemums, we visit cemeteries. On the 11th, we celebrate the victory of millions of dead WWI), but Christmas is getting closer, although still quite far away. In short, in November, morale is not looking good. The second most famous wine appellation after champagne, Beaujolais owes its fame not to its quality for many detractors, but to the “Beaujolais Nouveau” operation which is a worldwide success every year. Nouveau or new, because the concept is recent and dates from an official note of November 13, 1951 through which the administration authorized the release of wines from the vats before mid-December without waiting for the following spring. From 1967, the date changes and is fixed at November 15 to finally be shifted from 1985 to the third Thursday of November. Last year 18 million bottles were sold worldwide, the equivalent of 133,000 hectoliters and 20% of the total sale of Beaujolais vineyards. In France, 9 million bottles found takers, in other words 70,000 hectolitres, including 40,000 in supermarkets. Exports with nearly 9 million bottles exported to more than 100 countries in 2021. After France, Japan remains the second market for Beaujolais Nouveau with 3.6 million bottles imported by the Land of the Rising Sun ! closely followed by United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Australia and China. As for the quality, it is pleasing. There are similarities with the great vintages 2009, 2015, 2018 and 2020. 2022 will be a year of signature wines. This vintage will offer wines with very varied profiles: ample and structured, with a deep colour. They will be wines for laying down par excellence, as well as drinkable and fleshy wines, pleasant to drink. All that remains is to taste, and enjoy them !! webpage :

Here are 5 tips for choosing the right party wines for the coming Holidays: 1- Favor large formats, user-friendly par excellence, Rather than opening three or four bottles of champagne, think of two magnums. 2- Take care of the order in which the wines are served. In general, the wines are served from the youngest to the oldest. It is recommended to serve white wine before red wine, the lightest before the most tannic. 3- Decanting young wines, decanting old vintages, Decanting consists of separating the wine from the deposit present at the bottom of the bottle, which results from the decomposition of the tannins. Decanting is essentially intended for great wines, in great vintages, characterized by a strong tannic structure, a solid architecture and an opulent structure As for the carafe, it is better to have two kinds: a flared carafe with a wide bottom for allow significant oxygenation. It will be reserved for young, powerful and still closed wines, which have not yet developed their bouquet. A narrower carafe, vertical in shape where the exchange with the air will be less, for wines already at their optimum, old wines, or fresh and fruity white wines. 4- Natural sweet wines and chocolate: the perfect pairing Port, Banyuls, Maury, Rivesaltes… These natural sweet wines form an ideal match with chocolate dishes. 5- Associate cheeses and white wines, because of the tannins of red wine which are not at all suitable for lactose. Small exception: Saint-Nectaire. In all other cases, you do not risk much by associating a white wine and a cheese. Sauvignon and goat cheese, Chardonnay and cooked pressed cheeses, and especially sweet and blue cheese!

At the same time 5 mistakes to avoid so as not to risk ruining your holiday meal are: 1- Champagne and chocolate: enemy brothers. 2- Serve sweet wines for dessert! 3- Start with a port or a pastis! 4- Chamber your wines in advance, be sure to respect the serving temperature, i.e. bubbles around 10° C (about 50F) , whites between 10° C and 14° C depending on the age of the wine, and reds between 15° C and 18°C (about top 65F) ​​depending on their tannin content and vintage. 5- Wanting to impress with a wine that is too original Don’t try new experiences, go straight to the point with friendly wines, capable of satisfying everyone. The same for the meal: stick to tried-and-true pairings that will please everyone.Enjoy the end of year festivities and traditions.

And this is the time of year where they are best and serve all over on the Holidays, I love it ! The oyster is a refined seafood product, generally served alone as a starter. There are different species, different sizes, the color that will go best with oysters is white wine, by far! Champagne and other sparkling wines are a very interesting alternative to still white wines. I recommend rather wines with very little dosage (without added sugar) which will allow the oyster to express itself well in the mouth. It is difficult to propose an agreement between a red wine and oysters, but if you feel like it, don’t hold it back! The Brittany oysters of the famous Belon flat oyster aged three years raised in deep waters with a first refining in Carantec, then a second for two months in the Bélon river near me in Finistére dept 29. It has a very crunchy characteristic nutty flavor and is fleshy. In the mouth, the Belon offers flavors of hazelnut with a slight hint of sugar on the foot. Whether or not to accompany your oyster with lemon is specific to each person. The acidity of the lemon makes it possible to attenuate the iodized side of the oyster, There are different labels: Oysters Label Rouge, oysters under IGP, CCP as well as regional labels. This guarantees the traceability of the product, as well as the conditions in which the shellfish was raised, in compliance with the various European standards. The size of an oyster is defined from 0 to 5 for cupped oysters, and from 000 to 6 for flat oysters. You should know that the smaller the number, the greater the size of the oyster. For the flat oyster, the size is calculated according to the weight for 100 oysters (ex: for size 000, one hundred oysters total 10 or 12kg. For size 6, one hundred oysters total only 2kg). The closer the size is to zero, the more time the oyster has spent at sea. Its taste will be more pronounced, it will be very fleshy and you will have more flesh. To check the freshness of an oyster, simply prick the eyelashes (black part of the flesh) which must automatically retract. If not, it is dead and unfit for consumption. If in doubt, throw the oyster away to avoid any risk. Enjoy it fully without moderation !! webpage:

The denomination “Vin De France” or VDF is taking more and more place alongside wines with protected designation of origin (AOP) and protected geographical indication (IGP). The name “VDF” has succeeded beyond all expectations: 341 million bottles stamped VDF were produced in 2021 in France, including 249 million sold for export. That is 23% of the wine volumes produced in the country and 15% of our exports of still wines. The success of a François Lurton perfectly illustrates the appeal of the “VDF” designation. Owner of the Les Fumées Blanches estate in Gondrin, in the Gers, François Lurton produces a 100% Sauvignon in IGP Côtes de Gascogne. With its 80,000 bottles a year, this producer historically focused on world markets has always struggled to meet demand The wine is still vinified in the Sud-Ouest, but the Sauvignons selected by François Lurton and his teams now come from the whole south of France and even beyond. Stamped VDF, the white wine, orange wine and gray Sauvignon of the Les Fumées Blanches brand are now a worldwide hit: François Lurton sells 10 million bottles a year! Webpage Lurton :

The VDF Vins de France webpage :

And what has become of me, well a fierce loyal customer of the Médoc of France. Been around, visit and tasted on site many of the world best known and some unknown wine areas, but after my mind takes me always to the Médoc. Oh yeah, many call it Bordeaux, but this is just a city, in which many varieties and areas can be call as such. My pinpoint concentration takes me to simply the Médoc.  Oh yes, need to tell you, the best in the world, the rest just tries to imitates. Now let me tell you about two properties that have been with me for many years, tasted, drank, purchase, and aged them some of my favorites of them all.

Bruno-Eugène Borie evolves the Domaine Ducru-Beaucaillou at Saint Julien, Médoc. This is his story. ‘ It is a wine of gourmand, as can be the greatest crus of Bordeaux (Médoc), and gluttony is universal. Behind Ducru, the name of the owner in the 19C, and Beaucaillou, a reference to the thrusted rocks by the Gironde giving its specificity to the terroir, here is a beverage of character, full of aromas and flavors, which does not forget to remain light, aerial like a 1995 (my first bottle of Ducru-Beaucaillou!) , excessively fresh, but very present, vibrant even, a rich, aromatic, fragrant cuvée that caused the American critics to succumb to it. Or the 2005, combining finesse and power, a lesson of balance derived from worthy grapes, it is said, of the most beautiful manuals of Ampélographie, these books dedicated to the study of the vine and often accompanied by superb illustrations. Or a 2009, a 2010, with your eyes closed. The 2011, with the garnet dress, with spicy and floral flavors, is not lacking in charm, and the 2012 is a sublime sweet. 2013, difficult year, shows solar and sympathetic, closer to an Italian sangiovese than a Bordeaux… The last harvest gave very nice cuvées. As such, 2018 is very promising.

The use of only new barrels while looking for the most neutral wood possible, which does not mark. Wood is not a stylistic factor in his domaines. They want a robust wine but not a carpenter. As a general rule, they do not want the new entrants to shape our cuvées. They seek precision, and want to find the purity of the original grape in the wine. For this, the selected grains do not support any disadvantaged. The matter must be impeccable. Hygiene helps to strive towards this, especially when one goes further and further in the extraction. Mr Borie presides over the Executive Board of the company that manages the Pôle Saint-Julien of the family vineyards with Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Lalande-Borie, (this was my contact with the house, back in 1992! )also in Saint-Julien, and Château Ducluzeau, in Listrac.   Fifty pairs of hands follow each other on their bottles. Wine is an addition of manipulations, know-how, hours of sunshine. In the end, it is an accumulation of care and details that make a great cuvee. The place of the machines increased during the arrival of the harvest, in order to improve the sorting. So their yard lines are longer. Here, the most sophisticated technology to refine the work of the vine. They now have several weather stations. Tools allow them to know the thickness of the moisture layer on the sheets, and all this is viewable from a smartphone. They are also looking to use less significant products for the plant and the environment. This means that it is necessary to use treatments with a reduced lifespan-mainly sulphur and copper. A culture which is worth the property of an esteemed certification ISO 14001 high environmental value level 3! Today they are too often in dogma. He would like to go towards more pragmatism and above all towards more benevolence. They must both have faith in man and believe in the genius of science. A form of positivism adapted to contemporary viticulture.They have gone from about 16 000 cases of first cru wine per year (192 000 bottles) to 8 000 now. This corresponds to a general evolution of Bordeaux, to a process that they may have pushed a little further than others. He noted in passing that he is proud and fan of what he see today in their vineyard, where the owners are driven by the pleasure of doing well and protecting their environment, whatever some think.    Because Mr. Borie is one of those rare Médoc growers who live in their vineyards, summer and winter!. Inactivity does not seem to be problematic for the one who was a great international nomad. After having travelled a lot and enjoyed this, in the United States, he consider that we make good wine when you are in its vineyards, in the midst of its teams. Nobody harvest in an airport lounge. You have to agree to make yourself available to nature. Maybe at one time we thought the opposite.

Since 2005, theLa Croix Ducru-Beaucaillou, a former second wine of the property, constitutes a full-fledged Cru, while the Le Petit Caillou, born in 2007, now takes the place of second wine. It is concocted from the lots that were not retained for the other two cuvees. They offer each year a collection of 21 different formats of Ducru-Beaucaillou, customisable. Good to see that 90% of the first wine is destined for export, and Asia accounts for about half of these volumes, with Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Macau on top. The Chinese love to banquet, drink and eat, celebrate the good bottles. The Americans are different, very tasters but perhaps less enjoyers. And those who take the time to take a break in Saint-Julien taste the cuvées in the best conditions. Today ,it is the wife Monique Borie still occupies her apartments in the north wing of the castle, not far from those of her son, Bruno-Eugène.

The official Château Ducru-Beaucaillou:

A century already that the Cordier family owns the Château Talbot. In the adjacent tasting room at the château, a long topped white table gathers a remarkable vintage of every decade for a hundred years: 1919, 1926, 1934, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1975, 1986, 1995, 2005 and the very young 2010. The silence welcomes the bottle of 1919. It is the minimum of respect that one owes to the elders. The wine should not be shaken by too many wrist turns; It must oxidize smoothly. The taster must understand their relationship to the air that wakes them smoothly. The years 1926, 1934 and 1945 followed this first anniversary. Ah, 1945! As if the wine had kept in him the hot breath of the cannons, recalled by deep smoky notes, a minerality that draws on oil and which leaves room for a mouth still ample to the final peppery and ironstone. 1955 is very different, charming, the fruit is riper and dominates the spices by scents of strawberry filled with rose and sandalwood. The mouth is dense, sensual, held by an acid weft, spine of the wines of Château Talbot.

The vintage 1962 follows the 1975, very refined, with an Earth profile, pronounced aromas of pepper and a great dynamism. It is the one that performs best its final, of an astonishing length and elegance. The character of the 1986, (my first bottle of Château Talbot) ,the blood side of the 1996, the musculature of the 2005 and the finesse of the 2010, while juicy and spiced with a beautiful bite at the end of the mouth, are held. If the production techniques used in the past century were very different from those which are today, the wines retain an air of family. The imprint of the terroir gives them a pronounced minerality, an invigorating acid weft, a flax grain and a peppery finale.  Mr Désiré-Nicolas Cordier purchased the fourth Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Julien in 1918. In 1934, then mayor of the town, he organized the “Feast of longevity” in the presence of the President of the French Republic Albert Lebrun. If the longevity celebrated is that of the inhabitants, the diners drank with the centenary vintage 1834. Désiré Cordier, the man and his wife Nancy Bignon-Cordier are today the attentive guardians of Château Talbot, whom they gradually transmit to their three children; Philippine, Marguerite and Gustave, the fifth generation. The succession is assured.

The official Château Talbot:

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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