Like many others, I am celebrating today, drinking French wine and singing the Marseillaise. This clip from Casablanca is one of my absolute favorite movie scenes.
Let’s toast to France today and to democracy! No better way to do that than with Pol Roger, a Champagne house that I am quite partial to.
Today’s post is about politics and not wine. Sadly politics has been on my mind much more often than wine these days. I am hopeful however that the far right party did not win the French elections outright. As I have often written on my blog, I was a Francophile long before I became an Italophile. My father always loved and promoted everything about France. How great the country was, the food, the wine, their democracy, the healthcare system, workers rights, etc. Naturally, I became obsessed with France as a young girl, lived in Dijon in college and majored in French language and literature at university. Then of course I went on a vacation to Italy and fell in love in what has proved to be my most enduring love affair. All of that said, I am very keyed into what is going on in France and relieved that the far right did not win although I am not looking forward to the nasty campaign we will see.
I think I may actually finally get down to studying for my French wine degrees as a way to participate in all things French in the next few months. My most recent post about a French wine was this one <a href=”https://avvinare.com/2017/03/22/wine-wednesday-si-mon-pere-savaitcotes-de-roussillon/”>.</a> I should be posting much more often about French wines.
French wine was this one . I should be posting much more often about French wines.
This week’s wine Wednesday is about a wine from Bernard Magrez, Si Mon Père Savait. Made from a blend of 69% Syrah, 17% Carignan, and 14% Grenache, it screams Southern France and particularly Roussillon. Infact, it is from the Côtes du Roussillon. The vines are grown on schist soils. The grapes are vinified separately in inox and then blended in a second step. Half the wine ages in barrels and half in inox and then they are blended. The vines are on average 30 years old. The Grenache and the Carignan are bushed trained and the Syrah is on a royal cordon trellising system. It had that wonderful “garrigue, Mediterranean vegetal aroma” and really made me want to visit the south of France. Berries and bramble, earthy notes and black fruit made it a great pairing for my weekly Peruvian chicken. I found this page about it on wine-searcher.com. This was the 2011 so the blend is a little different. Bernard Magrez is world famous for his big Bordeaux estates like Château Pape Clément. This is an very affordable and delicious sample of what he can produce.
This past year, my family and I have been opening a number of older bottles that were given to us when my uncle passed away in 2013. The storage conditions as you can see from the label of this wine were not perfect but what was in the bottle was remarkable in terms of its subtle nuances and lasting freshness lo these 31 years in its bottle. The wine is from the Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, located in Chambolle -Musigny. It is viewed as one of the pinnacles of great Burgundy wines and I must say, it was a truly memorable wine experience. Made from 100% Pinot Noir, we had it with our Thanksgiving meal, a holiday my Uncle Tony loved.
It was beautiful on the nose and the palate and the color was exceptional. It had great tannins and still hints of fruit albeit complex tertiary notes were more highlighted. It also had power which I didn’t expect and loads of subtle undercurrents of bramble and earthy notes and of course, finesse and elegance that I would expect in a great Burgundy.
This estate can date its history back to 1450. It remained in the same family until 1766. The latest iteration of both the property and the label began in 1925 when Comte Georges de Vogüé took over. The estate owns 7.25 hectares of the Le Musigny vineyard, about 80% of the total. They also have 2.75 hectares of Bonnes-Mares and some 1.8 hectares of Premier Cru Chambolle-Musigny.
The winemaker is François Millet who works with agronomist Eric Bourgogne in the vineyards. The average age of their vines is 40 years old and thus the label Vieilles Vignes.
These amazing wines are brought in by Dreyfus Ashby. Truly an exceptional experience. Merci Tony. I would rather have him here but I do know that he would smile that we were enjoying the wines.
Celebrating life with Champagne. I love Champagne and I love this particular one quite a lot. Pol Roger is one of the last few champagne houses that are still entirely family owned. In fact, my very first wine tasting in New York years ago was a Wildman portfolio tasting, Pol Roger’s importer, and a member of the family was there pouring their wines. A very elegant older gentleman, it was a memorable experience. The family has some 220 acres of vineyards, mostly in the south of Epernay and the Cotes de blancs. This particular Champagne is composed of one third Pinot Noir, one third Chardonnay and one third Meunier. It spends three years on its lees. Each grape brings different aspects to the blend: Pinot Noir brings body, Pinot Meunier provides freshness and fruit notes and Chardonnay enhances the experience by adding an elegant lift.
This Champagne has a beautiful perlage, lovely floral and fruit notes as well as nutty and toasty aromas and flavors that make this a classic and a great one to celebrate sweetness in your life. I drank it right after my beautiful, long desired son arrived in 2014. Every time I have this wine, I think of how marvelous that bottle was indeed. Cheers to life and to Niccolo’, my exquisite boy.
Like many of you, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving replete with lots of family and lots of food. Recovering from this most festive and food oriented holiday is never easy. I had great wines yesterday from Spain and France, including a fantastic 1985 Burgundy from Musigny. It would be hard to top that I figured so today I decided to go in a completely different direction and sip a Beaujolais Nouveau at lunch in a French bistro. One might think that’s a shocking day after response but I think it totally appropriate. Not much is going to compare to last night’s wine so why try to go in the same direction. Beaujolais Nouveau Day is the third Thursday in November. Today’s wine was the first one I had this year. According to French law, this wine may from Gamay grapes can be released at 12:01 a.m., quite soon after the harvest. Many of quite critical of Beaujolais Nouveau and it’s fresh, fruity style. I am not among those who critique this cheerful wine. I’m not going to lay it down either but as with much of life, it’s all about expectations and as we know, that is the key to success in every area. Sante’!
Filed under France, wines
This Wednesday’s wine of the week was a Cremant Rose from Martinolles that I had last night at Raouls with friends. The wine is made from a blend of 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir. It is made using the traditional method and spends some 15 months in the bottle before being released into the market. The vinification is done using whole cluster pressing. I had it with skate but could also see it pairing well with sushi and salmon. The domaine is in town of Saint-Hilaire, where the Blanquette de Limoux wines were born. The soils are a mixture of clay and calcareous matter. The wine has both fruity and floral characteristics. It had a fair amount of residual sugar. around 14 g/l, which surprised me but also good acidity. I really enjoyed it and would buy it in a store to drink at home as well. It’s widely available and priced around $18. It would work well with Thanksgiving foods as well from the turkey to cranberry relish as well as cheeses and sides.
I’m having a sparkling rose moment so it went perfectly with my latest deep dive into these wines. The winery is apparently quite close to Carcassone, a
city in France that I have never visited but have always longed to see. Perhaps now I have two reasons to go on my next trip.
I had this wine at Raoul’s. It was a real New York evening, in a real New Yorky bar/restaurant of old. It was great to be out and see the New York I want to see rather than box stores and high-rises. Raoul’s recently celebrated it’s 40th anniversary, a long time for a restaurant. It was started by two brothers from Alsace, Guy and Serge.