Maison en Belles Lies Maranges 2016


12.5%. Cork.

Humble Maranges gets spell checked to manages. . . not entirely incorrect. I had the odd idea that my home cooked moussaka might be a match for a Musigny. Mouss and Moose. . . Sadly no redundant, sacrificial bottles of Musigny in my cellar. . . based on this wine, I think the pairing might work - though in my dish I used an eggy Bechamel sauce which might distract from a more profound bottle.

Tasting note - like it's sibling - a pretty nose - sap, spice, musk and florals. Mid weight and fast. It seems to evoke something shiny, small and new. . . rhubarb tartness. Unresolved.


Georges Duboeuf’s Wildflowers Wines Pair Well with Thanksgiving

2017 Georges Duboeuf Wildflower Merlot

We received three wines from the Wildflowers line by Georges Duboeuf. These wines are from the Pays d’Oc region in Southern France. The wines, all from 2017, included a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Our overall reaction was that these wines would pair well with Thanksgiving dinners. The US suggested retail price for each of the wines was $11.99 for a 750 ml bottle. That is a very reasonable price for French wines. A challenge to serving wines at a traditional Thanksgiving feast is the multiple flavors and textures that grace the dinner table. The wines we tasted were all fruit forward with medium to full bodies and mild tannins. At most, the wines had a faint influence of oak. They would match easily with turkey, stuffing, and the wide array of side dishes.  In 1964, Georges Duboeuf founded Le Vins Georges ...

A Round Of Wine For Thanksgiving: The ‘Help Yourself’ Version

holiday wine, what to serve with Thanksgiving I was having a conversation just yesterday about the joys of Thanksgiving and they boil down to this: food and family. And I dare say, for many of us, the food category includes wine. My husband and I have served Thanksgiving to our big, extended Irish family since before we had children. I do recall a much, much younger me, a woman who printed out a list of Thanksgiving-friendly wine suggestions from some expert online and took it, part-and-parcel to the wine shop. It’s actually how I fell in love with Beaucastel, after buying some for that meal. If you’ve ever paused with concern about what to serve at Thanksgiving, I’m here to relieve your fears. I’ve tasted a number of excellent wines over the past months that will be lovely with your dinner. Rather than line up pairings—an act nearly impossible for the wide-open feast—this article highlights interesting wines ...

Weekend Wine Notes: It’s Mid-Fall. Keep Drinking Rosé

And here are eight lovely, diverse examples, ranging from the delicate to the savory, employing a multitude of grape varieties from a healthy spectrum of regions and countries. As usual with these Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew most technical data, as well as information about geology, geography, historical and personnel matters, for the sake of quick, incisive review intended to whet your palate and pique your interest. Enjoy! (In moderation, of course.) These wines were samples for review.
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Berne Inspiration Rosé 2017, Cotes de Provence. 13% alc. 70% grenache, 20% cinsault, 10% syrah. Very pale pink-onion skin; quite dry, spare, elegant; strawberries and raspberries, lilac and lavender; hints of almond blossom and almond skin; tangerine; lithe, supple; a sleek limestone finish. Excellent. About $20.
Imported by Provence Rose Group, Miami.
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Berne Urban Provence Rosé 2017, Cotes de Provence. 12.5% alc. 45% grenache, 35% cinsault, 15% syrah, ...

Inside the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction

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Photo Courtesy: DuVine
I recently had the opportunity to cover the Hospices de Beaune wine auction, which occurs every November in one of my favorite wine towns in Bourgogne (Burgundy) France.
The Hospices de Beaune estate (most of it Grand Cru and Premier Cru) and its prestigious wines produced by 22 hand-chosen winemakers are utterly famous. The wines are sold annually at auction on the third Saturday of November in an event conducted by Christie’s auction house. The proceeds of the sale are still used in a non-profit fashion for the conservation of the historic Hôtel Dieu. There is also a charity lot, the Pièce des Présidents, proceeds from which are generally the highest in the auction and are donated to a very small number of select organizations each year.

< p style="text-align:center;">For the full story, click over to DuVine and take a peek. Thank you!
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Lirac: Five Star French Wine And Travel

Lirac Vineyard
A view of a Lirac vineyard at Château de Montfaucon. Photo Credit: Jill Barth
France’s Rhône River runs north to south, beginning in the Swiss Alps and eventually finding its way to the Mediterranean Sea. Populating its banks are world-renowned vineyards, divided into Northern and Southern designationsthe latter of which includes the Lirac Cru. In a valley where wines are classified by region – not variety – possessing this Cru designation is a key distinction, as there are only 13. Though Lirac was officially recognized as such in the 1940s, the area has been known for quality vineyards since the middle ages, famous for fresh, aromatic and structured wines.
Domaine Clos Sixte Lirac
Photo Credit: Jill Barth

The AOP – which includes the communes of Roquemaure, Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, Saint-Geniès-de-Comolas and Lirac — produces red, white and rosé wine from 782 hectares. It is home to 44 domaines and châteaux, 18 négociants and ...

Lirac Vines
Lirac, Vacqueyras, Rhône, Gigondas, Rasteau
Avignon at Night
red wine from France, south of France, travel to France for wine
Lirac, Alain Jaume, Best wine in French

A 2014 pair


One Block 'The Quarry' 2014. Gruyere, Yarra Valley, Victoria. 13%. a peach and apricot nose, lush, sunny. . . worked, butterscotch and flint, curry leaf. As I sniff I wonder - will it be fat or skinny?
Broad to open, but a terrific spine of acid; it's rich, creamy, indulgent. A modern hourglass with an appealing tension between acid and flesh.

Domaine Guillot-Broux Mâcon-Villages 2014. Mâcon, France. 12.5%. Much quieter to begin, stone and white pepper, a palette of grey. . . much later grapefruit, but it remains reserved. Pebbles in the mouth, then a sting of acid. . . quite different in shape and colour - pale, oxidised edges, the acids more citric and lingering. Again terrific texture - an impression of weight and apparent sweetness. By a small margin but many eventual glasses, my preferred wine of the pair.

Bouchard Volnay Taillepieds 1er Cru 2010


13.5%. Cork. Cellar.

In transition. . . deep, rust like, but entirely taint free. . . mature and rounded. . . changeable and evolving. Tobacco leaf and nori. . . roasted, cured leaves. . . an iodine edge perhaps. Fine and soft, loose and comfortable. It's warm and familiar; curved edges and perfectly weighted. Modest and self contained - Yes.


Two French Wine Trips To Take This Fall

The vineyards of Beaumes-de-Venise with the commune of Suzette in view. Credit: JILL BARTH
I’ve recently written about two extraordinary travel opportunities for lovers of French wine. Both dive deep into culture and experience while keeping wine front and center.

An Autumn Escape To France’s Hilltop Wine Towns, published on Forbes, is all about Rhône Valley communes in Provence, along the Dentelles de Montmirail:

Hill towns capture the imagination and inspire travel, and Provençal villages situated around the Dentelles de Montmirail are no exception. These villages anchor gem wine regions of France’s Southern Rhône Valley, distinct cru defined by their own names: Beaumes-de-Venise, Cairanne, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.

Offering the natural, rugged side of the south of France, the Dentelles de Montmirail are a lacy, jagged skyline caused by prehistoric geological upset to Jurassic limestone. Ancient villages cling to the mountains and vineyards are planted along the terraced slopes and the hem ...

Maison En Belles Lies L’Étrange 2016


With its Gothic equilateral arches it reminds me of Darth Vader. . . inside the liquid is Burgundy, but not as I know it. . . a blend of pinot noir, gamay and chardonnay - it's fast, slippery, sappy and absolutely delicious. Red fruited, musk and spice; a Morgon nose. Floral and beautiful, pixie like - small and delicate but intense. Sour and edgy, terrific acids, just the right side of jagged. #Yes.

Cahors: Your Favorite Wine For Fall

Cahors for fall Where I come from, fall is a relief. Summer is hot and humid and winter is long and unfriendly. Fall, most Midwesterners agree, is the best time of year when it comes to weather. It’s a short window of time, the truly kind season, so it’s common for people to fall into tradition to make the most of nostalgia and comfort. But we’ve got nothing to lose if we shake things up a bit — if we try new things. Like, perhaps, a new wine. Cahors (“kah-OR”) wines are made from malbec, a variety featured on wine lists around the world. It’s a marginal member of the classic Bordeaux blending crew (found more in Côtes de Bordeaux than elsewhere) and Argentine growers have embraced malbec in such a way that their treatment could be seen as a full-on revival. A dash is also grown in the Loire Valley. Called côt ...
Cahors Mapa

You Might Want To Take Notes: Wine Writers On Cahors

French wine, wineophiles, This month our French Winophiles group covers Cahors. It’s a singular wine region that works with a singular grape: malbec. Malbec is situated nicely, I think, in a position to satisfy most wine drinkers. It tastes great with many foods, comes in a range of prices and represents wine regions around the world. Though South American malbec hits the headlines lately, the origins of this dark-skinned varietal are actually in the south of France. Cahors is home to the original malbec. One of the oldest wine regions in France, this relatively small spot is situated along the Lot River in Occitanie. Curious to learn more? Follow the Winophiles Twitter chat on Saturday, September 15, 2018 with our hashtag: #Winophiles. These writers have prepared background stories packed with history, food-pairings and perspective. Join us in our chat and brush up on Cahors with the following articles: Rob from Odd Bacchus tells ...