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 ...

Cahors, The Original Malbec

The September event for our French Winophiles group centers around the region of Cahors. Here malbec is native (though it is called côt) with a history dating back to the 16th century. This email is an invitation to participate and/or mark your calendar for our Twitter chat on the topic of Cahors. We will cover the who, what and where of the region with suggestions, pairings, travel inspiration and more. No one walks away from a Winophiles chat without a long list of new things to try!
HOW TO JOIN US
If you are a wine writer or blogger, this is your invitation to join in!
  • Contact me to tell me you’re in: Include blog URL, Twitter handle,  and any other social media details. If you know your blog post title, include that…but you can also send that a bit closer to the event. We’d just like to get a sense of ...

A Closer Look At Grower Champagne With Champagne André Jacquart

1er Cru, Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Le Mesnil, Sur Oger, Vertus
Grower Champagne, such as this exceptional bottle, from Champagne André Jacquart, is often terroir-driven. Credit: Jill Barth
Many consumers have become accustomed to assuming that the grapes for their wine somehow always grow in relation to the winery. While frequent wine drinkers learn differently very quickly, many folks that pull a wine off the shelf attribute all of the work to the name on the label. This is all part of the learning process, perhaps one of the most intricate points of understanding wine. I’ll keep it brief and very basic.
Sell Or Make
Wine grape growers work in vineyards around the world. In some cases the vineyard owner and his close associates (even family) work in the vines, in other cases the vineyard owner is a third party that hires out the care of the vines. Either way, when the grapes are harvested, the vineyard owner needs to make ...

Ganevat Y’a bon the Canon 2016


13%. Cork. Jura and Beaujolais. Gamay et al.

Argent, enfariné, béclan - gros and petit, isabelle, peurion, portugais bleu. . . a host of Jura unknowns blended with familiar gamay. It's immediate and seductive. . . bright (? spritz and acid), punchy - fruit driven with sour cherries and rhubarb; rose petal and perfume and for a fleeting moment a hint of animal. . . it seems to become cleaner with time (at least on day one). . . vibrant and fresh, lovely shape with chewy, meaty tannins.

Jean-Paul and Benoît Droin Vaillons 1er Cru Chablis 2015


13%. Diam. Approx $A85.

An excellent wine and an excellent Chablis. Evocative, layered, stinging in the right places. . . beautiful texture and poise. Pure and typical. Flint and white pepper; citrus oil to open, but later it seems more pear like. Essence and terpines - white flowers, petrichor, zest. Mineral in the mouth, the sensation of smooth pebbles. . . fatty with no sugar, unrepentantly dry, thick and textured; but stinging acids, a hint of nuttiness and bitter pith to conclude. A+


Georges Descombes Saint-Amour 2016


13.5%. Cork.

I'm slowly working through the different villages of Beaujolais, the only one missing after this is hard to find Chenas. I think I'll stop my search, it seems the correct and healthy thing to do, plus I think I can infer from all the other bottles what I might find. . .

Like most natural wines this exudes impermanence - its fleeting and elusive, what I write one moment seems incorrect the next. . . It's evocative, brittle and high toned. . . acetone perhaps. . . I can smell rice paper and rhubarb, raspberries. . . it grows earthier with time. Plush with distinct and delicious tannins - tobacco leaf and tea, ink and flowers. Film like and very fine.

Why Rosé Matters, According To French Culture

Rosé wines from France
Rosé wines from France. Credit: Jill Barth
I don’t think there is a topic I’ve covered more than rosé. Part preference, part probability, it seems only natural that a Provence wine specialist would document the past, present and future of vin trois, the third color of the wine trinity. Affiliations range from the “Hampton’s Water” lifestyle crowd to the “rosé all day, which turns all year” set to the “when in France, drink rosé” philosophy. But I’m here to argue, with the proud yet slightly guarded nature of the public defender, that none of these positions get that the root of what rosé really means. IMG_3465 From my coverage on my Forbes contributor column: “The Center for Rosé Research (Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé) is located in the small commune of Vidauban, situated in Provence in southeast France. Originated in 1999 as the ...
French wine regions
what is rosé? how is rosé made?
rosé color chart, Forbes rosé
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IMG_3466

Weekend Wine Notes: Allons, enfants de la patrie!

The wine regions of France, especially Bordeaux and Burgundy, long served as the models and the ideals for producers and winemakers all over the world. Even nowadays, when wine-making has proliferated worldwide and expanded far beyond the so-called “noble grapes” of French origin, Burgundy is often seen as the apotheosis of chardonnay and pinot noir, Bordeaux the epitome of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, Champagne the ur-text of sparkling wine. I offer today, in celebration of Bastille Day, 12 examples that illustrate, even if in a severely limited degree, the diversity and the versatility of French wine production. Some of those noble grapes are involved — cabernet and merlot, indeed, chardonnay and pinot noir, riesling — but also a more everyday variety like gamay and obscure grapes like jacquere. In one blog post, no one could begin to assay the immense complexity of France’s geographical extent and appellation system, but I ...

French Rules Ease To Help Winemakers Deal With Extreme Weather

Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne, Périgord Wine, Dordogne Wine
Vignerons Indépendants du Lot-et-Garonne cave in Duras, France. Credit: Jill Barth

The French governing body overseeing wine appellation regulations, the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), announced this month that wine producers are now allowed to hold back more stock, following recent losses caused by extreme weather conditions. The action enables winemakers to set aside a portion of any vintage in order to maintain a supply for future use. The INAO compared the action to “crop insurance” as a measure of adaptability.

The current stock storage rules date back to 2013, put in place in order to maintain a reasonable reserve in the case of adverse conditions resulting in reduced quantity. Prior to the June 2018 announcement by the INAO, wineries were allowed to hold back an amount equal to 10% of their stock. To read the full story, please visit my Forbes contributor page here.  For background on ...