Le Paradou Grenache Vin de France 2016

Brand: Le Paradou is a project created in 2005 by winemaking brothers Alexandre and Frédéric Chaudière. The Chaudière family has been making wine in the Southern Rhône AOC of Côtes du Ventoux for many generations at Château Pesquié. The word ‘Paradou’ refers to the ancient windmills that once dotted the landscape of the Languedoc.

Philosophy: One of the goals the brothers have with the Le Paradou range is to infuse the wines with the values of living in the south of France; “These pleasures are pure and simple, they are those of sharing and of enjoying the small pleasures in life”.

Winemaking: The Chaudières practice sustainable, integrated farming methods with an emphasis on respect for the environment, and they do not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Grapes were sourced from two of the family’s vineyards on slopes [200/250 meters (650 to 800 ft)] in altitude with clay and limestone soils, with an average vine age of 60 years. Aged for 7 months in concrete tanks to preserve the “naked expression” of the grape.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with cheerful aromas of cherry, black cherry, white pepper and a shake of cinnamon. Silky cherry, pomegranate and red currant frame a spicy core, baking spices linger between each silky sip. Easy drinking, a fantastic companion with a wide variety of dishes and an excellent value.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: Easy to pair with many simple dishes: charcuterie, red snapper with Serrano ham, grilled white or red meats, pizzas… It can also be paired with more structured dishes (daube d’Avignon, venison). Serve at around 17°C [62°F]

100% Grenache
Vin de France
France
Bottled by Famille Chaudiere
14% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now

Rated 90 points by Wine Advocate

 

Domaine Dupeuble Père et Fils Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

Estate: Domaine Dupeuble is in the southern part of the Beaujolais region of eastern France. The estate has been making wine nearly continuously since 1512, and throughout that lengthy history, the name has only changed three times. The most recent name change was in 1919 when estate heiress Anna Asmaquer married Jules Dupeuble. Today their grandson Damien, along with his wife, brothers and their children, run the estate. Over the years, the family has incrementally been able to increase their property holdings, currently the estate consists of 100 hectares, 40% of which are vineyards. Their wines are renowned for their combination of high quality and reasonable price.

Winemaking: The family are committed to lutte raisonnée cultivation methods and therefore do not use any chemicals or synthetic products in the vineyards or during production. Grapes are harvested by hand and vinified without the use of sulphur, “wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation”. Grapes for the Beaujolais Nouveau were sourced from vines 50-100 years old in a mixture of granite, clay and limestone soil. Fermented naturally (carbonic maceration) and aged in stainless steel, bottled unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, blueberry and a hint of violet. Fresh cherry, blueberry and raspberry are framed by bright acidity. A trace of forest floor and an overall elegant softness add to the delightful, lovely character. Finishing dry and fruity. Lovely on its own, easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Gamay
Beaujolais Nouveau
France
Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété [Estate Bottled]
13% Alcohol
$12
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Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau 2017

Estate: Located deep in the heart of Beaune, Maison Joseph Drouhin was founded over 130 years ago by Joseph Drouhin. Today the estate is headed by the 4th generation of the Drouhin family, Frédéric, along with his siblings Véronique, Philippe and Laurent. Throughout the years, the Drouhin family has been dedicated to “preserving the individuality of each appellation” and “has built a reputation for wines that primarily reflect their individual terroir and vintage”. With 73 hectares assembled over the years through purchases and agreements between families, the estate is one of the largest in all of Burgundy.

Philosophy: Natural practices have granted them the capability to achieve their goal of expressing “the exact character of each terroir” in their wines.

Winemaking: “Our credo is to bring natural answers to natural problems.” Certified organic since 2009, they are passionate about organic and biodynamic viticulture with methods such as herb-based vine treatments, natural predators rather than chemicals, and plowing by horse. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with pink granite soil.

Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black current, black cherry, violets and banana. Tart, red and black fruits [think strawberry, cranberry, blackberry, blueberry] are given a shake of white pepper and framed by fresh acidity. A floral element compliments the dry, fruity finish. Fresh and easy drinking, a spectacular value, consistently one of my favourite Beaujolais Nouveau.

Winemakers Note: Drink young at 14°-15°C [57°-59° F].

100% Gamay
Beaujolais Nouveau
France
Bottled by Joseph Drouhin
13% Alcohol
$8
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Gérard Bertrand Grand Terroir ‘Tautavel’ Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel 2013

 

bertrandtautavel13

Estate: Gérard Bertrand grew up assisting his father on the family’s estate in the sub-appellation of Corbiѐres in the Languedoc Roussillon. He took over the domaine upon his father’s death in 1987, and today presides over nearly 1000 acres of vineyards across the varying Languedoc Roussillon terroirs. He also heads a négociant business that partners with local growers and co-ops. A well-known proponent of sustainable farming, he is one of the largest producers of organic wine in Southern France. His flagship estate Château l’Hospitalet is carbon neutral, and many of his vineyards follow biodynamic practices and are certified by DEMETER. In addition to being recognized for his fantastic wines at excellent prices, Wine Enthusiast bestowed him with the European Winery of the Year award in 2011, stating “He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.”

Tautavel is a village in the Roussillon region, located between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Grands Terroirs range of wines strive to present an “opportunity to discover the unique character of this region”.

The cross on the label is a Visigoth cross dating back to the 7th century, which evolved into the Languedoc Cross. For a detailed explanation of its iconography, click here.Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan.

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from vineyards with pebbly soils, on limestone-rich terraces and south-east facing hillsides. 33% of the wine is aged in barrels for 9 months, the remainder ages in vats.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of dark fruit, black pepper and a hint of forest floor. Pepper spice driven, with cherry and blackberry, herbs and leather notes framed by firm tannins. Tobacco and black pepper comprise the lengthy, dry finish. Rustic and robust, fantastic with hearty dishes.

Enjoy at 16°C [60°F]

Grenache, Syrah, Carignan [I could not locate varietal percentages.]
Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel
France
Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
14% Alcohol
$13
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator

VRAC Red Cotes du Rhone 2016

Brand: Vrac translates to “bulk” or “loose”, whilst ‘En Vrac’ translates to “bring your own bottle”. These phrases refer to the French practice of locals filling their own vessels with wine directly from the winery’s tanks. The producer intended to reflect that custom with VRAC, and crafted a simple, French countryside jug-style wine.

Winemaking: 90% of the fruit is de-stemmed, with the remaining 10% left as whole clusters. Fermentation occurs in open concrete and stainless steel vats. After pressing, the wine is aged in steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Inky red violet in colour with aromas of fresh, juicy berries, earth and a floral hint. Plush blackberry, raspberry, black pepper and smoky earth are backed by food friendly acidity. Finishing dry and fruity. Straightforward, a great fusion of jammy berries and earth. Consistently a fantastic value.

Red Rhône blend [I could not verify varietal percentages, typically Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.]
Estate Bottled by La S.C.A. V.E.A.
14% Alcohol
$20 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
Enjoy now