November 20, 2014

Absolutely Cracking Wines From France

By In Articles, Wine Notes
Perhaps you caught Anthony Rose’s article in the Independent the other day (15th November)? He made it to the Absolutely Cracking Wines From France tasting, a tasting I sadly couldn’t get to. The event offers one of the more interesting line-ups of wines as the list is drawn up by a mix of 40 or so wine journalists and 29 sommeliers. Each is able to pick three wines from France one each from the three categories – House Wines Under £10, Hidden Gems in the £10-£16 bracket and Classics at £16-£30.

In the article Rose details a selection of his best-of from the often “quirky and individual” one of which was the Domaine du Chene Bleu 2009 from the Ventoux. Which just happens to be one of the three I nominated. As he says in his Independent article the selection acts as “”a useful guide to what’s hot and what’s not, albeit among the opinion formers of wine”.

The complete line up of Absolutely Cracking Wines From France 2014 is available as a PDF file from UK Vins France. What is great about the listing is that full retailer details are supplied… you know, in case you want to buy some to try…
Absolutely Cracking Wines From France

Absolutely Cracking Wines From France Selection

Wine Under £10
Côté Mas Vermentino 2013 Pays D’Oc (number 32 in the listings)
£8.49 Waitrose
A cracking wine and I love the packaging too. Wonderfully versatile for matching with food or drinking on its own – a hint of mineral notes, a floral edge and a weighty mouthfeel.

Wine between £10 and £16
Chateau Sainte Marie 2012, Entre-deux-Mers (number 51)
£10.95 Great Western Wines
A smashing, off the beaten track, rustic estate in the heart of the Entre-deux-Mers. But the wine is anything but rustic. A touch of oak adds complexity to the zingy grapefruit and passion fruit flavours. Its dry, fresh and crisp. There are a huge number of dry Sauvignons (with or without Semillon and Muscadelle) from Bordeaux that I could have selected, this was just one of my favourites. From an estate I visited back in June.

Wine Over £16
Chêne Bleu Astralabe, 2009, Ventoux (number 140)
Waitrose Cellar around £15.99
I love the wines from this producer, most are way out of my price range sadly, so a delight to see and sample this new, more affordable addition to their range. It’s a Grenache-Syrah blend and an absolute joy. I love it – from the fun label (medieval inter-monastery Skyping on flat screens) to the full, beautifully balanced, lightly spiced palate.


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