Wines news of France XLIV !!

Well, we are fully in Winter, we are now 7C or about 45F clear skies in my neck of the woods. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wines news of France. By the way for the non Romans XLIV is no 44, First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers since November 26 2010 of my blog! 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 you some news shall we. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The wines in Bandol, in Provence like all the reds of the Bandol appellation, it comes from the mourvèdre, a sacred grape variety of Spanish origin which has found its chosen land here and whose grains ripen looking out to sea. From the Domaine de Terrebrune, structured without excess, presents a nice acidity. Depending on the vintage, everyone appreciates its aromas of garrigue, black fruits, spices and truffles. Terrebrune red cuvées are meant to be kept for a long time. The estate also produces a white with herbaceous and honeyed notes as well as an energetic rosé, both very respectable. From the 35 hectares of vines grown organically, between 120,000 and 140,000 bottles come out each year. The Terrebrune is 50% export-oriented. American merchants seem to appreciate it. Webpage:

The Maison Champagne Ruinart is launching the construction of a pavilion designed by the architect Sou Fujimoto, With this building, the champagne brand is transforming its Reims site into a wine tourism and artistic center,The building measures 12 meters at the highest point for a total area of 1,200 m², including 700 m² divided into different spaces, which will be accessible to the public. The reception will include three lounges, a boutique area and a bar with a bay window to feel both inside and outside. You will find Ruinart champagne and “finger food” there. For connoisseurs, there will be a secret cellar with a collection of all their Dom Ruinart and all our old vintages. They will also exhibit some exceptional bottles, including the famous 1926. With the green roof, they will recover all the water, which will be used to water the gardens and run the toilets. In the park, beyond the artists who are already present, they will install more than ten new works, all made for them, as usual. They never buy works that exist on the market. And the city of Reims is competing to be chosen as the European cultural capital 2028. They not only want to be part of this project, but obviously to be a leader. They are aiming opening for September 1, 2024, which is the anniversary date of the creation of the society. They have great respect for Pommery, who also organizes exhibitions , and the number of projects in the region is considerable, at Taittinger, who erects his vat room, at Charles Heidsieck, who built his hotel, at Bollinger too. Many new places will be operational before the 2028 meeting. webpage:

The second grand cru classé of Château Léoville Poyferré, in Saint-Julien. In order to celebrate the centenary of the acquisition of Château Léoville Poyferré by her family in 1920, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier , who has managed the estate since 2018 , notably offered the 2020 vintage a magnificent bottle. On a black background stand out in gold letters the castle erected in 1840, the name of the wine and that of the most beautiful plots that make up the 80 ha vineyard. Planted mainly in Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot, these vines illustrate the great diversity of the gravel terroir that unfolds on the Léoville plateau. Available for sale since the beginning of 2023 in its collector’s bottle, the historic 2020 is to be cellared. From today, it is proving more than promising with its dark color with magenta red reflections, its blackcurrant nose and its incredibly delicate texture. Breadth, intensity, acidity, ripe and racy tannins, fire, purity of fruit, freshness, temperament… This wine has everything it needs where it needs to flourish after letting the next decade pass. It will then go perfectly with grand cru chocolates rich in cocoa and a thousand other dishes. Webpage:

Rumors have been rife in the Médoc in recent years. But at the beginning of March, the winemaker Bernard Audoy, co-owner with his brothers of the chateaux Cos Labory and Andron Blaquet, confirms the information: “We are selling everything in one block”. In total, 34 hectares of vines in the Saint-Estèphe appellation are on the table: the 18 hectares of Château Cos Labory, Grand cru classified in 1855, and the sixteen hectares of Château Andron Blaquet, one of the oldest properties in Saint -Estèphe acquired by the Audoy family in 1971. In 1922, George Weber bought it from an English banker, then bequeathed it in 1959 to his daughter and son-in-law François Audoy. The couple have children, and the eldest Bernard Audoy then takes care of family affairs. The man is now 69 years old and the call to retire is being felt according to our information, it is the immediate vicinity of the property, the Château Cos d’Estournel, which would have been selected. The winemaker does not confirm the information but specifies that Michel Reybier, owner of Cos d’Estournel since the year 2000, “would like to have it, he has more interest than the others”. It must be said that by buying Cos Labory, Michel Reybier would reconstitute the great historic vineyard of Cos d’Estournel, at the time of the classification of 1855 Cos Labory produces classic style wines with a lot of charm and balance. Source :La Revue du vin de France , webpage :,4812095.asp

The oldest known vintage of Champagne Ruinart 18 bottles of Ruinart 1926 champagne were miraculously found in the cellars of Villa Bocuse, temple of Lyon gastronomy , It was through an innocent inventory that in the fall of 2021, Maxime Valéry, head sommelier of the Paul Bocuse restaurant , an institution in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, in the Rhône , discovers 18 bottles of Ruinart 1926 champagne, the year of birth of the famous chef, which he liked to collect . At the end of the tasting, which took place in complete confidentiality on the restaurant floor, a few drops of the precious liquid were analyzed in the laboratory. They revealed a fairly high degree of alcohol, implying that before drawing, the blend should be around 11.5%. The total acidity also posted a relatively high rate, as did the sugars, at 17g/l, which confirms both the “Extra Dry” label and the tasting sensation, where one could perceive the presence of these sugars, but perfectly balanced by a remarkable tonicity for a champagne of this age. Indeed Ruinart is tops. Webpage:

For its 123rd edition, the now controversial Michelin guide had decided to announce its winners from Strasbourg. And for the occasion, all the starred chefs in France as well as all the 3-star chefs in Europe were in the room. Starting with the new chef rewarded with the grail of 3 stars, Alexandre Couillon at the restaurant La Marine on the Île de Noirmoutier. The emotion of the chefs who have reached the 2nd star, they are 4 this year in the 4 corners of France to be recognized for the excellence of their cuisine. They are Cyril Attrazic from the eponymous restaurant in Aumont-Aubrac in Lozère (48), Christophe Duffosé in Busnes (62) whose Château de Beaulieu is a global project with farm, vegetable garden, bakery. Also among those promoted are Cédric Burtin from Amaryllis in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (13) who obtained his 1st star in 2008, as well as Florian Favario in Talloires-Montmin (74) who paid a very fine tribute to His wife. Without forgetting the 39 new tables which have reached the 1st star, Webpage :

King Charles III of England visiting Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux, owned by the Cathiards, in Pessac-Léognan ,It is King Charles III himself who will visit them on March 28, 2023, a few weeks before his coronation , Saturday May 6, 2023. After an obligatory stop in Paris, Charles III of England and his wife Queen Consort Camilla will make a stopover in Gironde. Its last visit to the city dates back to 1977. Greeted by Florence and Daniel Cathiard, former professional skiers and owners of this Grand Cru Classé de Graves, located in the town of Martillac, the royals will be able to enjoy the view, the wine, but also the vinotherapy Grape seed spa treatments. If Charles III is known to be a great gin lover, his wife Camilla is particularly fond of wine, her father having worked in the wine trade. A fervent defender of the environment, Charles III is also planning a visit to Landiras, in the South of Gironde, where the fires of the summer of 2022 devastated the forests bearing the vines of the Graves appellation.Oh those Brits keeps coming back ,,,,You heard it ok webpage:

From Elizabeth II to Meghan Markle via King Charles III, English crowned heads have always shown an inclination for French wines, and in particular Bordeaux. The story begins in France, in Bordeaux. And for good reason, Aquitaine was English for three centuries. When Aliénor, Duchess of Aquitaine, married Henri Plantagenêt, future King of England, in 1152, solid commercial relations were established, including textiles, metals, food and wine, in particular. The ports of Bordeaux and Libourne facilitating maritime connections to the British Isles. The Hundred Years War, then the conquest of Bordeaux by the French in 1453 disrupted commercial links with England, which turned to wines from the Iberian Peninsula. But among the English, the aura and reputation of Bordeaux wine are made and will persist, even if it means becoming more specific in the category of “fine wines”, to respond to the distinguished thirst of English high society in the 18C. The link between England, wine and Bordeaux is deep and lasting, the proof with the privileged beverages of crowned heads. In Bordeaux, Elizabeth II had good taste, it was a Petrus who watered the cups during her royal wedding to Prince Philip in 1947 which contributed, after the war, to the international reputation of the estate. She liked Sauternes too. Her husband, Prince Philip, had been made Commander of Bontemps du Médoc and Graves by Henri Martin at Château Latour, one of the oldest wine brotherhoods in France. In 1977, Charles of England also treated himself to a visit to Château Latour, in Pauillac, for an exclusive tasting. In 2004, he was asked by Philippine de Rothschild to illustrate the label of the Château Mouton-Rothschild vintage. A painter in his spare time, the prince had accepted the opportunity to commemorate the “Entente Cordiale”, an agreement concluded between Great Britain and France during the Great War (WWI) . The Pol Roger Champagne house was the official supplier for the weddings of William and Kate of Cambridge, but also of Harry and Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor. And it was not Winston Churchill who would have disapproved of the choice, the house was his favorite, and to pay homage to it, it created the Sir Winston Churchill cuvée. And the Champagne is name after his favorite horse Pol Roger.

On the occasion of the world day against obesity, which would affect an increasingly high proportion of the world’s population, focus on a drink whose calorie content often makes it the enemy of weight loss diets. According to one report, more than half of the world’s population will be considered obese by 2035. Pastis has one of the highest sugar levels, with an average of 270 calories per 100ml. We also find in the front runners most of the most consumed spirits, especially in cocktails, including gin, vodka, whiskey and rum. Against all odds, Champagne would be the wine with the fewest calories on the counter, at least for the driest and undosed that is, without the addition of liqueur. A crude will therefore be around 70 calories per 100 ml., while a sweet will increase the note up to 120 calories. Most red wines contain “only” 85 calories per 100 ml., when many rosés and white wines are slightly higher. Not to mention that red wine’s resveratrol content , a plant compound believed to have the potential to boost health and prevent a certain enzyme from converting glucose into sorbitol, a sugary alcohol , makes it a drink of choice in the diet. if consumed sensibly. A glass of wine will also have an immediate appetite suppressant effect , especially if it is an opulent red, or a sweet white. But if we go back to the Latin origins of the word “aperitif”, we see that it derives from the verb apere, namely “to open”, and that the alcohols tasted before the meal were therefore intended to provoke in a second time a fall in the glycemic index, and therefore conducive to whet the appetite. Unsurprisingly, to the question “does wine make you lose weight?”, the answer is no, except if it is consumed as a replacement for high-calorie spirits and cocktails. Get it!

What is raclette? The tradition of this very old recipe from Valais (Switzerland) has now spread to all mountain resorts, to the point of becoming symbolic of snow holidays. Originally, half a wheel of fatty, fragrant cheese (bagnes, anniviers, abondance, etc.) was placed near the hearth, the edge of which was patiently scraped off as it melted. Over the past forty years, new electrical appliances have brought the operation to the center of the table, greatly increasing the convenience of the moment. And so the success of the recipe: today, if “the” Valais raclette, specially dedicated, is protected by an AOC, similar cheeses are produced – with the same melting capacity in Savoie (mainly in the Massif de la Chambotte), in Quebec (Fritz, Oka, raclette des Appalaches…), and even in Australia (Maleny, Heidi Farm)! A pairing of simplicity with raclette: to avoid engaging in a “duel” with the fat of the melted cheese, you can bet on single varietals. The Savoyard region is full of them, like the Mondeuse, which gives reds a bit tannic, or the Altesse, for fruity and refreshing white wines. One could imagine other powerful pairings, with a Chardonnay from the Jura or my favorite Domaine André and Mireille Tissot – Sursis Blanc 2020 now ready, And for those who cannot appreciate raclette without a red wine, this one should be light, not very tannic and generous in fruit to honor the charcuterie without overpowering the cheese, Feature wine Webpage ;

A wonderful book ,recommended, and you know do not do this often,,, The remarkable Once Upon a Time Lamartine by Sylvie Yvert – released by Pocket , At his funeral in early March 1869 there are more winegrowers behind the hearse than VIPs. Alongside Dumas Fils or Émile Ollivier many people from the land that Alphonse de Lamartine had sincerely loved were gathered. It was his first story, his territory at the bottom for the child born in Mâcon in 1790 and who grew up in the family property of Milly surrounded by about fifty hectares of vines. A house more than a castle and a particle of modest fortune… Lamartine became a believer, a poet with a certain taste for politics. Ironically, the royalist will be remembered as the man of 48, the revolutionary who gave birth to a Republic, the Second. Alphonse de Lamartine made himself known through literature. The Poetic Meditations gave him success and recognition. The poet takes advantage and, together, begins a political career with diplomatic tendencies. Naples, Rome, Florence, Lamartine chained embassies and returned from time to time to France, to Milly of course and to another recently inherited Burgundian property, the Château de Saint-Point , After the wisdom of the countryside, Lamartine was overtaken by the political, going to Paris to fight the death penalty, hereditary aristocracy, slavery and promoting freedom of the press, free education or the separation of Church and State. In Burgundy, he inherited a new castle, that of Monceau in the town of Prissé. There he cut down trees that shaded the vines too much… But his homelands were Milly and Saint-Point where he received Hugo, Sand and Chopin, Balzac and Dumas. When the dew in the sun evaporates, « All these closed shutters opened to its warmth, To let in, with the warm dawn, The nocturnal perfumes of our flowering vines » Buy it, Sylvie Yvert,  Il était une fois Lamartine or once upon a time Lamartine, Pocket, 2023, 378 pgs.,8.60€ in France. Webpage:

I have their latest edition book cost many years back in FL USA 150 USDollars ,but online if want to know about a Bordeaux wine house check it out in Editions Féret in its simplistic search:

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines news from France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. We are on our way out of winter , spring is coming soon, see you in the vineyards of France

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

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