I want to mention one more wine from the Return to Terroir tasting because it also landed at the top of my list. Sebastien Riffault “Les Quarterons” 2011 Sancerre reminds me of why I really enjoy drinking Sancerre. Here are a few of my notes from the tasting:
100% Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre. Certified biodynamic, unfined, and unfiltered. 13% alcohol. Retails for $25.
Sebastien Riffault “Les Quarterons” 2011 Sancerre opens with lovely floral aromas. The mineral-driven palate is beautifully balanced with notes of lemon, grapefruit, tart green apples, and lemongrass. Zippy acidity and a refreshing finish. This wine is so delicious, you will not want to set your glass down!
On my way home from last week’s Return to Terroir tasting, I stopped into one of my favorite wine shops and spotted a great value I sipped at the event. Chateau Tire Pe “Diem” Bordeaux is a wine that definitely made a lasting impression on me during the tasting due to its incredible QPR. Here is a little more about this tasty Bordeaux…
100% Merlot from Bordeaux. Organic with native yeasts and minimal sulfur added. 12.5% alcohol. Retail price of around $12.
Chateau Tire Pe “Diem” Bordeaux opens with intriguing aromas of musty blackberries and spice. The palate has rich tastes of blackberries, black cherries, tobacco, and earth It’s juicy, easy to sip, and a great value. Definitely a great burger pairing!
Ready to indulge in some shellfish and need a nice wine to pair with it? Domaine Chiroulet Les Terres Blanches is a great choice if you are looking to stay under $15. The winery, situated on the slopes of Gascony, France, produces some really delicious wines out of their chalky-clay soils.
A blend of 50% Gros-Manseng, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Ugni Blanc. Fermented in wooden and steel vats for 8 months with lees stirring. 12.5% alcohol and retails for around $12. Imported by Charles Neal Selections.
Opens with pretty citrus and floral aromas. The medium-bodied palate is dry and refreshing with flavors of citrus and melon. Nice texture, zippy acidity, and a clean finish. A seriously good wine for a really fair price!
It’s Monday night after a long, holiday weekend. I probably should be at the gym working off several indulgent, Thanksgiving week meals but instead I am sipping a really unique glass of wine. Marcillac is a region I don’t often drink from so I was excited to come across a bottle of Domaine des Costes Rouges Marcillac 2012. It is made from a grape called Mansois, which, in the Marcillac region, produces a lighter wine with notes of red fruit and herbs.
100% organically farmed Mansois from Marcillac. Aged in cement tanks, the wine is unfiltered and has 12% alcohol. Retails for around $14.
Interesting, smokey aromas of red fruit, red bell pepper, and paprika. The palate is also unique with flavors of raspberry and cherry along with notes of smoke and paprika. Light and very easy to drink (in my opinion!) but not a flavor profile for every palate. Definitely a bottle fit for wine geeks! Would pair really nicely with a pizza topped with bell peppers, olives, and sausage.
Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. As I have mentioned before, there are some awesome values coming out of this area due to the depressed economy in the region. This wine caught my eye and I had to grab a couple of bottles.
The wine starts with aromas of dark berries and hints of earth. Rich tastes of berries and spice with mineral undertones are complex enough to keep your mouth entertained sip after sip. A little hefty on the alcohol (14.5%) but not hot on the palate. Such an enjoyable everyday wine at a price point of around $13!
If you are searching for a great mid-week wine bargain, look no further than Domaine L’Hortus “Le Loup Dans La Bergerie” Vin de Pays. For around $9 a bottle, this blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Merlot, and 30% Grenache is quite a steal. The grapes are grown organically and the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks. It is definitely a mid-week winner in our household!
This blend opens with rich aromas of red fruit and anise. The palate is smooth and flavorful with soft tastes of black cherry, raspberry, black tea, and spice. Fresh, balanced, and very easy to sip! (13% alcohol)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with rack of lamb, pulled pork sandwiches, or pizza topped with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
As I am always on the hunt for a new Grenache, I excitedly picked up a bottle of 2011 Les Vigneaux Grenache while I was perusing the aisles of a local wine shop. Les Vigneaux is an organically farmed winery in the French village of Ardèche. Their minimalist wine making philosophies have produced a unique wine that has a really nice sense of place. The 2011 Grenache is made with native yeasts, unfined, unfiltered, and has 13.5% alcohol.
Musty aromas of earth and anise come from the glass. The palate is surprisingly complex for the price. There are notes of licorice, forest floor, red fruit, and plenty of acidity. A really enjoyable Grenache that drinks like it costs far more than $15 a bottle!
My Wine Rating – A-
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with braised lamb, chicken with roasted carrots and potatoes, or grilled duck breast.
I wasn’t planning on writing about this wine as I sipped it, but wanted to share it with you guys as it ended up being a great find. Domaine Ferrer Ribiere “F” Rouge 2012 is from the Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes region of Southern France. The region lies within Roussillon but the wine does not fit the rules of the AOC. I have found some wines with great QPR from this region and this bottle definitely fits the mold. I couldn’t find a lot of info on this particular year (nor was there much on the bottle), but it seems to be a blend of organic Grenache and Carignan grapes. The wine has 14% alcohol and I picked it up for $12.
Pouring an intense ruby color in the glass, this wine opens with rich aromas of black licorice, dark berries, and hints of earth. The palate is also rich and packs a lot of flavor. There are tastes of black cherries and black licorice with supple tannins. Intense and delicious!
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – A great grilling companion. Think steaks, lamb, or bison burgers.
Domaine de la Damase Grenache is definitely something fresh and unique for a lot of palates. This 100% Grenache from Southern France is 100% whole cluster aged in concrete tanks. Lighter in color than a lot of traditional Grenache wines on the market but still full of juicy flavors.
The wine is very nicely structured and offers a fresh, lively palate. Flavors of ripe, red berries, violet, and spice are lifted with healthy acidity. The alcohol is a little high at 14.5% but the wine doesn’t taste hot. A great value that is a nice match with grilled meats!
There are so many great values coming out of Bergerac yet so many wine drinkers have never explored what this sub-region in South West France has to offer. I just had the chance to uncork a bottle of Chateau Poulvere 2010 Bergerac Rouge and was impressed with what I tasted. This blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice for mid-week sipping.
This red, aromatic Bergerac opens with notes of licorice and berries. The smooth palate features influences of licorice, strawberry, blueberry, red currant, and dark cherry with a lingering, spicy finish. A fantastic find for a mere $10 a bottle. If you haven’t explored wines from Bergerac, I highly suggest you do so! (13% alcohol)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with sausage, grilled chicken, or pork…it is a great grilling companion!