Sauvignon Blanc Day on Friday

 

The first Friday in May is International Sauvignon Blanc day, so here’s a little background to help you prepare for the festivities.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape that originated in France, where it is  still widely planted in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux .  However, it has also become popular in many New World wine regions, such as Chile, South Africa, and California, but especially New Zealand, where it has become their most widely planted grape.

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry, white wine, with high acidity.  It is often described as crisp and refreshing, and it is one of my favorite wines for summer.  I find Sauvignon Blanc easy to drink on its own, but with its herbal and mineral qualities, it also makes an excellent pairing for fresh vegetables, salads,  fish/seafood, sushi,  and raw oysters.

Common fruit flavors for Sauvignon Blanc are lime (and other citrus), honeydew melon, green apple, and peach.  Additionally, Sauvignon Blanc is known for strong non-fruit flavors such as fresh grass, bell pepper, and chalky minerals.

 

Tasting Notes – Beaujolais Nouveau 2016

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!

Beaujolais Nouveau is a celebratory wine made from this year’s harvest of Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France.  The light body and fruit flavors make it very easy to drink and a lovely pairing for Thanksgiving dinner.

img_20161128_205444This year I tried the Nouveau from 2 different producers, and they were quite different. Both were light bodied, with strong red berry flavors and aromas.  However, the Pascal Chatelus was extra fruity, while the Jean-Paul Brun had some nice spicy/earthy flavors and a fair amount of tannins.

Producer: Domaine des Terres Dorré, Jean-Paul Brun
Region: Beaujolais, France
Grape Varieties: Gamay
Vintage2016
Overall Rating:  

Producer: Pascal Chatelus
Region: Beaujolais, France
Grape Varieties: Gamay
Vintage2016
Overall Rating:  

Tasting Notes – Régnié

img_20161117_095117

Name: Régnié
Producer: Julien Sunier
Region: France
Grape Varieties: Gamay
Vintage2015
Overall Rating:  ★★
Pairing: So much berry and flavor!  It was delicious to drink while preparing dinner, but it also had the body and tannins to complement my cheesy pasta and squash bake.

 

Sight
Color: Purplish/Ruby
Brightness: Dull

Aroma
Intensity: Low/Moderate
Age: Youthful
Scent: Cherry and rose petals

Palate
Dry/Sweet: Dry/Off-dry
Body: Light/Medium
Acidity: Fresh
Tannin: Low/Medium
Flavors:  Cherries and berries and
Earthiness/Minerality:
Wood:
Other/Non-fruit Aromas:

Finish: Short(8 sec)

Tasting Notes -Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages

DSC_2018Name: Beaujolais-Villages
Name: Maison Louis Jadot
Region: Beaujolais, France
Grape Varieties: 100% Gamay
Vintage2012
Overall Rating:  ☆☆
Pairing:   Being a “Villages”, this is a mid-quality wine from the Beaujolais region, but it was a solid pairing for some lamb and chicken kebabs over rice and  a good bargain.  The tart cherry and dust flavors worked with the grilled meats, and the  yogurt sauce was there to cut some of the dryness and tannin.

Sight
Color: Brick
Brightness: Dull

Aroma
Intensity: Low/Moderate
Age: Some Age
Scent: Dried cherry and leather

Palate
Dry/Sweet: Bone Dry/Dry
Body: Medium
Acidity: Smooth
Tannin: Low/Medium
Flavors:  Tart cherry, currants, dust/mustiness
Finish:  Long(5-7 sec)

Tasting Notes – L’Insurgé

DSC_2659Name: L’Insurgé
Producer: Jeremy Quastana
Region: France
Grape Varieties: Gamay
Vintage2013
Overall Rating:  ★★★
Pairing: 100% gamay is unusual, but this was a delicious wine.  Jeremy Ouastana is a young, French winemaker who is all about sustainability.  L’Insurgé is a light bodied red, with excellent fruit flavors and some tartness.  As the French would say, this wine has  plenty of glou-glou.  It is best served slightly chilled and  was a perfect choice for warm fall evening aperitif (i.e. pre-dinner drinks).

Sight
Color: Ruby
Brightness: Bright

Aroma
Intensity: Moderate
Scent: Strawberries and cherries, and some earthiness

Palate
Dry/Sweet: Dry/Off-dry
Body: Light
Acidity: Tart
Tannin: Low
Flavors: More berries and cherry flavor, as well as some pepper

November Grape of the Month – Gamay

 

grape-of-the-month-november

November will be dedicated to the Gamay grape.  Gamay is a thin skinned, purplish-red grape that produces a light to medium body wine with low tannin and high acidity.  The wine often has strong fruit (raspberry, cherry, currants) flavors/aromas, as well as some earthy and floral notes.  The Gamay grape comes from the Beaujolais region in France, where the vineyards are divided into three categories: Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages, and Cru Beaujolais, with Cru being the most prestigious.  However, the most widely known Gamay wine might be the Beaujolais Nouveau.  The Nouveau is released every year on the third Thursday of November, after only a few weeks of fermentation.  As such, the Nouveau is a very young and light wine and is mainly about celebrating the harvest.  I hope to try a couple Nouveaus at the end of the month, and  you can read my review of the 2015 Nouveau here.

 

 

Tasting Notes – Chat Fou

img_20160930_222549Name: Chat Fou
Producer: Eric Texier
Region: Cotes du Rhone, France
Grape Varieties: Grenache
Vintage2014
Overall Rating:  ★★★
Pairing: This is a biodynamic wine out of France that I paired with a fancy grilled cheese sandwich and some broccoli slaw.  The wine was light and very easy to drink, with lots of fruit.  I would have gladly drank it on it’s own, so it paired well with a simple meal like grilled cheese.

Sight
Color: Purplish/Ruby
Brightness: Dull/Hazy/Bright/Day Bright/Star Bright/Brilliant

Aroma
Intensity:Moderate
Age: Youthful/Some Age
Scent: berries and a hint of mustiness

Palate
Dry/Sweet: Dry
Body: Light/
Acidity: Smooth
Tannin: Low
Flavors: Strawberries, blackberry jam, and slight hints of pepper and chocolate

Finish: Long(5-7 sec)