Wines news of France XLVI !!

Well, we are in Spring,bit rainy and windy now 12C or about 53F 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 XLVI is no 46, 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 SoWine’s 2022 report deciphers the behavior of French people through a large study: 1032 people (wow they call that large study!) between the ages of 18 and 65 were questioned about their consumption of wines, beers and spirits (not me lol!) . The trend is confirmed: in 2010, according to the SoWine barometer, 35% of people questioned described themselves as enlightened amateurs. Since then, the level of knowledge has increased. They are now 48%, against 48% neophytes and 4% expert connoisseurs. Consuming less but better is the new credo: only 2% of French people spend less than 5 euros for a bottle of wine, compared to 12% in 2014, and 55% spend between 11 and 20 euros, compared to 29% in 2014. If the budget of French people has remained stable for several years, the frequency of wine purchases has stagnated, even decreased among regular buyers. 56% say they love and drink beer, 55% say they love wine, 37% champagne, 29% cocktails, 22% cider and 20% spirits. This is the first time that cider has surpassed the latter, which can be explained by a tendency to demonize strong alcohols, and a big campaign to scare you to drink less !! While in 2015, 73% of people questioned consumed wine as a family, in 2022, it is 58% of French people who prefer wine. A percentage up 3% compared to last year, while 32% consume the precious nectar with friends. And for 58%, the meal remains the privileged moment of the wine tasting, followed by the aperitif and the evening. Only 50% of French people continue to drink wine at home, compared to 43% in restaurants and 26% when travelling. (heck did not contact me we do it all the time!) The three colors of wine are widely consumed by the French, led by white, then rosé and finally, red wine.(red ,rose and white for us) The top three varietals are Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and then Sauvignon Blanc. Bordeaux appears first in the top of the favorite wine regions of the French, and forms with Burgundy and Champagne the historical wine triumvirate, followed by the Rhône and Provence. Beaujolais enters the top 5 favorite regions of connoisseurs / experts, overtaking Languedoc, which dropped out of the ranking. Seven out of ten French people drink foreign wines, especially Italian and Spanish. But among them, 30% are open to wines from around the world, with, at the top of the ranking, Chile, South Africa and Argentina, and explain their curiosity by the desire to try new things. Notice more choices in supermarkets, especially on my Spanish wines !! info webpage :

What wine to drink on a first date? Whether we realize it or not, a conversation about wine can change the course of a date perfectly. For what ? Because mastering the subject is a weapon of massive seduction. It is enough for the other to show a certain sensitivity in the matter to miraculously make people forget an overly prominent chin or an unfortunate lisp. Indeed works all the time lol !! While an ignorance or, worse, a pretense of “knowing about it” by extolling the beauty of the Pouilly-Fumé Burgundians ! missed, it is in the Loire Valley, Burgundy already has enough to do with its Pouilly -Fuissé which can unfortunately disqualify any sublime venus and promising apollo. Be sure to know or be embarrassed, The first shared bottle of wine can thus be just as founding as a first kiss. It loosens tongues, and sometimes reveals an unsuspected intelligence in the other. In the best-case scenario, it may even reveal an extraordinary alignment of the stars, realizing that we share the same love of pinot noir or more rarely, melon de bourgogne, which can eventually precipitate a marriage proposal. First of all, never order a strong red, for purely aesthetic reasons. Another danger are very young and tannic reds, which dry out the mouth and unnecessarily blur the speech. Another prohibition, a wine defined by the waiter as “original” it is always wise to start with a glass of bubbles. Champagne or sparkling wine, it doesn’t matter. Then, agree on the color, and opt for a wine that can have a meaning: a white from your region of origin, a red that reminds you of a summer in the Loire, etc. A rule of thumb, wine should not take up too much space in your body, but enough to allow you to start a conversation. One last tip: stop before you are enthusiastic enough to launch into an acrobatic rock demonstration between the tables. Lol !!! Patient my dear Watson !! fyi My first date with would be my wife was Champagne Mercier at the former Bistro Romain of the Ave des Champs-Elysées in Paris of course !

Now another bit of guidance by yours truly me think : This is a principle of good wine storage: they are stored horizontally. The reason is simple: to avoid wine oxidation. For this, it is important that the cork remains in contact with the wine. The liquid thus moistens the cork and prevents it from drying out, shrinking and then crumbling. The cork would then lose its seal and allow too much air to enter the bottle. This entry of air, called oxidation, results in premature aging and spoilage of the wine. It should be noted that the storage position of the bottle has no influence on the “corked” taste. And again, the reason is simple: if the cork has been attacked by the molecule responsible for cork taint, the wine will be spoiled, regardless of its storage position. Storing bottles in a lying position is valid for bottles closed with a cork stopper. Indeed, the other corks or screw caps do not need to be moistened by the wine to avoid drying out. In addition, alcohols and fortified wines such as port or banyuls preferred vertical storage: but opinions differ on the question. Just like with Champagnes and sparkling wines, some experts claim that the gases present in the bottle are enough to moisten the cork. But a large majority of professionals advise to keep them lying down, Yes indeed, not to considered myself a professional ,but I always put them down lying in my cellar.

Just blame the metric system. Indeed, the economic exchanges of the Bordeaux trade with England had a strong influence on the capacities in the world of wine. The English unit at the time was the imperial gallon which is exactly equivalent to 4.54609 Liters. To facilitate conversions during transactions in the Gironde estuary, the wine was stored in barrels of 225 liters or 50 gallons, strategic value, because in addition to being adapted to the size and the strength of the men, 4 barrels are worth 900 liters and therefore a barrel (another English unit of measurement). As we have just stated, the Bordeaux barrel is 225 liters, or 300 bottles of 75cl, and this again to facilitate the accounts. In addition to the festive and original side of the large bottles, allow better preservation of the wine. There are two main reasons for this: better oxygenation, lower susceptibility to microbial, bacterial and yeast deviation. The slower oxygenation of large volumes will allow a slower evolution, and it is well known that you have to know how to take your time to produce quality wines. Bottling tools are standardized for the production of classic bottles, so it is more expensive to produce large volumes. So don’t be surprised if your magnum costs you more than 2 bottles. Very large containers will cost even more, with the winemaker having to use a service provider or manual bottling. Indeed but for large gathering events the large bottles are just right !!

A real phenomenon in the United States, the piquette, resulting from the passage of grape marc over spring water, remains prohibited in France. No, it is not a first price wine chosen from the bottom of the shelves of the local supermarket. The piquette above all evokes the memory of the elders. For many years, during the harvest, the wine workers were quick to recover the marc, this solid substance, obtained after the press, made up of skins, stalks and crushed pips, and deposit them at the bottom of a tank. All that was left to do was to fill the latter with water and let everything ferment to make, thanks to the sugar and the fermented matter remaining on the marc, the famous piquette Its often acidic side, its democratization in the 19C and a few production drifts degrading its quality probably caused some to say, after a few sips, that “it stung” or piquette, hence the name, according to legend. Today, the demand for less alcoholic drinks, more digestible wines, as well as a desire to promote all the raw materials have given rise to the piquette;despite this, it is especially in the United States and Japan that the piquette is currently enjoying real success. Today, the French winegrowers producing piquette do not wish to be cited and for good reason, subterfuges make it possible to circumvent the law, such as adding an infusion of flowers. In this case, it is no longer officially piquette, but flavored wine and it remains perfectly legal. If the sale of piquette is indeed prohibited in France, this does not prevent certain winegrowers and certain cellars from selling it ,despite all the international enthusiasm and the desire of French winegrowers to produce piquette makes it possible to maintain the hope that one day, this drink, which ticks all the boxes of modern drinking well less alcohol, ecological approach and fresh and digestible aromatic profile will be a great success, in all legality. Has a good chance,will see,,,

My Reds , my wonderful reds, the best all my life even if tried them all, There are thousands of grape varieties planted across the planet, not all of them have the necessary skills to produce great red wines. Each of them is distinguished by the shape of its clusters, its berries and its leaves, but also their color. There are thus grape varieties with white skin and colorless pulp, others with red skin and colorless pulp, or still others with red skin and colored pulp. Today, we can count 6 of them which have succeeded in conquering many like me, These are : Cabernet Sauvignon of the glorious vineyards, the tannic structure, We find the first traces of this crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in the Bordeaux region in the 18C, particularly in the Médoc and the Graves. Between its thick-skinned grapes and its resistance to frost and rot, it’s simple to grow. It is therefore no coincidence that it has managed to be exported to Argentina, the United States, Australia or South Africa, etc, Merlot, the fleshy, Born from a crossbreeding between Cabernet Franc, and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes, Merlot has become one of the most popular grape varieties in France. He comes from Bordeaux, a prestigious wine-growing region which has given him the benefit of its fabulous influence. Its seductive character then took it to other countries, including Italy, Switzerland and the United States, etc, Syrah, concentration , Although it has long been neglected due to its low yield and its lack of resistance to certain diseases, Syrah has acquired a solid reputation throughout the world. Essential in the northern part of the Côtes du Rhône, and even the whole of the Rhône Valley, it has also established itself in Australia, where it responds to the name of Shiraz, in Italy, in South Africa, or in Argentina, etc, Gamay, spices, Departure for Beaujolais to discover a variety rich in spicy notes. Indeed, the region includes around 60% of the Gamay grown in the country. Pinot Noir, finesse, a red grape variety king of Burgundy, Pinot Noir also flourishes in Champagne, Alsace and the Loire Valley. Without forgetting much more distant vineyards such as New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, etc, Grenache, opulence, It left Spain to spread to the entire Mediterranean basin, the Rhône Valley and Languedoc-Roussillon in the lead. Grenache is now widely distributed from Catalonia to Australia, via Italy, Morocco, or California, etc.

Decidedly, transactions are going well these days in the Bordeaux vineyards. A few days after the extension of Château Vieux Maillet, which took over 3.7 hectares from La Fleur Gazin, another Pomerol property, Château La Pointe, is now venturing into the neighboring appellation, Saint- Emilion. Belonging to the French branch of the Generali insurance group since 2007, Château La Pointe (23 hectares) has acquired Château Croque-Michotte, a 13.5 hectare vineyard in Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, from the Carle family who previously owned it.

The Coteaux du Lyonnais, 207 hectares of vines 15 km away scattered between the north-west and south-west of Lyon. twenty independent winegrowers, mainly located in the south. In the north, around twenty cooperators who are members of the only winery practice polyculture, faithful to the tradition of Lyon farms. However, between five and ten of them have given up growing vines every year for the past ten years, An unknown area indeed but very much used by renown chef Paul Bocuse, They are really wines to be tasted and known more, Some names to look for are the ones from Lucie Riviere, Timothée Béchonnet, from Domaine Le Bouc et la Treille, in Poleymieux-au-Mont-d’Or, Géraldine Dubois , La Têtue which even took the idea further by setting up her cellar in the heart of Lyon… More info on official webpage :

After celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Classic de Tariquet last year, the Grassa family announces this year an evolution, almost a revolution for the emblematic cuvée of the estate. Originally, the Classic de Tariquet was a 100% ugni blanc to allow the Armagnac vineyard new outlets in the early 1980s. The Gers grape variety was then associated with the aromatic Colombard, completed since 2011, the last big change, with sauvignon and gros manseng. For the 2022 vintage, Gros Manseng will therefore steal the show from the historic Ugni Blanc. The new vintage is therefore composed of 32% Gros Manseng associated with 25% Ugni Blanc, 20% Colombard, 15% Sauvignon. , 5% chardonnay and another novelty, 3% chenin , The new Classic (6.90€ France) has a bouquet of white flowers (acacia, jasmine, honeysuckle, lime) on a mineral frame, an exotic note of fresh pineapple, a more complex vivacity and a salivating finish. Delicious try it in your neck of the woods, webpage :

The wonderful Château Marquis de Terme, 4th Grand Cru Classé belonging to the Sénéclauze family since 1935, formalizes the acquisition of Domaines Porcheron: this transaction includes Château Marojallia, a 6-hectare property in Margaux, but also Château Bouqueyran in Moulis-en- Médoc (17 hectares) and the hotel-restaurant Le Pavillon de Margaux !. The 6 hectares of Marojallia will enter the land of Marquis de Terme, whose area will now amount to 46 hectares, from the 2023 vintage. The “Marojallia” brand remains in the hands of the Porcheron family, which made this small estate one of the first “garage wines” of the Médoc at the end of the 1990s. The hotel-restaurant Le Pavillon de Margaux, whose ideal location on the D2 wine road of the Médoc sublime !, in the heart of the village of Margaux, constitutes an asset of choice in terms of wine tourism. Webpage :

The Aurore de Dauzac 2020 cuvée from Château Dauzac in AOC Margaux. Aurore is a straight and tense wine, but without austerity. Produced from vines located on a specific geological vein where the gravel is fine and sandy, the plot selection specific to Aurore de Dauzac favors the expression of Cabernet Sauvignon and offers us a crisp and intense fruity wine. The dress is dark and deep. The fresh nose is marked by ripe fruit with a hint of mint. A beautiful presence in the mouth with supple and harmonious tannins. Expresses itself at its best between 3 and 15 years, to age up to 15-20 years. Sublime try it already young, About 20-25 euros in France, Webpage :

I felled in love with this white wine from Roussillon with pretty flavors of almond and menthol: the Vintage 2021 cuvée from Mas Amiel in AOC Maury, Le Maury Vintage blanc, does honor to Grenache Gris, with pretty flavors of almond and menthol and a controlled bitterness that stretches it. 100% Grenache Gris ,Vinification in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Vinification that takes care to protect the wine from any oxidation. Alcoholic fermentation at 18°C, with alcohol mutage on juice halfway through fermentation. Manual harvesting, during the last two weeks of September. Double manual sorting of bunches on belt and vibrating table, direct pressing without destemming. Aging in vats on the lees for 10 months. The color with blond reflections precedes a nose of cistus, grapefruit and schist warmed by the summer sun. On the palate, the attack is fresh, swinging between minerality, pomelo and tangerine. A very great freshness on the finish characterizes this wine. A great apértif or even digéstif wine, About 21 euros in France,Webpage :

Sadly another bastion of Bordeaux wines has passed away, My tribute as came to know his properties and many family members over the years, Lucien Lurton, emblematic winemaker of the Médoc, died on Saturday March 25 at the age of 97. Son of François and Denise Lurton, Lucien follows the path of his father and his grandfather, Léonce Récapet, after having inherited in 1954 the Château Brane-Cantenac, a second classified growth in Margaux bought by the grandfather, He continues his rise by buying several properties in Bordeaux (Châteaux Durfort-Vivens (1961), Climens (1971), Villegeorge (1973), Tour de Bessan, Haut-Nouchet, Camarsac (1974), Bouscaut (1979), and in 1980 Château Desmirail), which he brought together one by one in order to breathe new life into the region. He works, alone, in the shadows, and revives the potential of Médoc, Graves and Entre-deux-Mers. At the same time, he chaired the Margaux appellation from 1954 to 2013, which he defended with the desire to produce the great wines for which the appellation, with its exceptional terroir, is intended. Born in Entre-deux-Mers in 1925, Lucien Lurton is preparing to take over from his father, François Lurton, and his grandfather, Léonce Récapet, a genius entrepreneur who made his fortune developing the family distillery. Lucien left to study agriculture at Purpan, near Toulouse, then embarked on a journey through North and South America that would inspire him all his life. On his return to Bordeaux, he married Marie-Jeanne Duvoisin . They will have eleven children !!! In 1992, he bequeathed his entire estate to his ten remaining children. A year later, the family gave birth to “Lucien Lurton et fils” which became one of the ten most important trading houses in Bordeaux. Now individually owned by the children, RIP

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 in Spring, see you in the vineyards of France

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

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