France: Wine, French Wine Regions, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, & More Profiled

2015 Champagne Christophe Baron Champagne Les Hautes Blanches Vignes Charly-sur-Marne, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This is from the people who bring you Cayuse and other wines from Washington State.  It is Champagne from France made from the Pinot Meunier grape planted in 1969.  Only made in Magnum and sold thru the Cayuse mailing list.  Golden in color with a slight ruby tint to it.  A nice mousse with a lot of effervescence.  The nose has Vernor's soda notes (sort of ginger and caramel).   With air some cherries and lemons come out.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and lemons are more pronounced but there is still that underlying ginger.  Nice minerality.  Very concentrated, it slo

2012 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

Always a great wine and great "value" in the world of expensive Champagne, it seems as the 2012 is one of the best vintages yet, perhaps surpassing 2008 and going back to 1996 for that level of quality, at least for my tastes.  Light golden in color with slight green hues, clear and bright.  The mousse is consistent with lots of tiny bubbles.  The nose has a hint of toast upfront, followed by pears with a slight  floral quality.  Some citrus on the back end.  Full bodied.

2002 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Clos du Bourg, France, Loire, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2002
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Nice showing for this bottle.  A bit of oxidation, but the wine is almost 20!  Deep golden in color with some orange hues, clear and bright.  The nose has sea air, some burnt orange peel, and apricots.  Slightly viscous.  A touch of sweetness.  This is deep and complex with apricots, orange peel and minerality.  Not so much layered as close to seamless.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This paired nicely with some salted truffle fries but would work well with goat cheese.  Probably better with a touch of food at this point.  Drink over the next ten years.  Note, there are some oxidation issues

1998 Château Tirecul La Gravière Monbazillac Cuvée Madame, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1998
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$76.00USD

Perhaps the best "non-sauterne" made, this is in a great place.  Light iced-tea in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very nice with honey, apricots and slight Crème Brûlée quality.  Medium bodied but viscous.  Sweet not cloying.  On the palate, honey and caramel notes with good acidity.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This drinks great on its own and will work with less sweet, non-chocolate desserts.  

2015 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Coming around but still young.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, clear and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, black pepper and slight floral notes.  Full bodied.  A nice backbone of acidity.  On the palate, black raspberry fruit with underlying char and pepper.  Clean.  Juicy.  Moderate finish.  This probably will drink better on day 2.  Patience will be rewarded.  Hold off for another few years then drink over the next ten to fifteen.  A nice match with roasted meats or veggies.  

2015 J.L. Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanche, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is an excellent wine, but consumed side by side with the regular bottling of the JL L'Hermitage Blanc, it does not have the power or concentration.  Medium golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has slight wax, peach, vanilla and slight white flower notes.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, ginger, citrus with some minerality.  Nice finish.  This is not yet at peak and should have ten to twelve years left.  A nice match with hearty fish or non-meat pasta dishes.  

 

2013 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$260.00USD

White Rhone's can be tricky to time as they age, but this was firing on all cylinders.  Medium golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with wax, ginger, orange peel and floral notes.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is deep and complex.  the ginger and orange peel carries thru but its the minerality that really stands out.  Enough acidity but not a lot.  Long finish.  Delicious wine that keeps improving with air.  It demands attention.  This drinks well on its own and will work well with spicy foods.  Still youthful, this should last another twenty five years with no problem

2007 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

This is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Salmon pink in color, clear and bright.  Minimal mousse but very tiny bubbles.  The nose is lighter but opens with air.  Cherries, oranges and lemons with some minerality.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is refreshing and delicious.  Cherries and lemon rind with underlying minerality.  Long finish.  Great acidity.  This took some time to open in the glass suggesting it might yet have some upside.  It should drinking well over the next ten to fifteen years.  It drinks well on its own but will be incredibly versatile with food.  It shoul

2016 Château de la Grande Gardiole Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Vieilles Vignes, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

Another great vintage in the southern Rhone valley in France.  Deep garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, slight anise and floral notes (Violets?).  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and dark cherries come thru with underlying spices and roasted herbs.  Nice texture.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue to do so for the next seven to ten years.  It drinks well on its own but will work better with foods.  Ribs off the grill would be a nice choice.  

2010 Château d'Yquem, France, Bordeaux, Sauternes, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$385.00USD

What more can be said about one of the truly great wines made.  Golden in color, deep and shimmering bright.  On the nose there is honey, some dust, pineapple and orange marmalade.  Viscous.  On the palate, this is so smooth as it coats the mouth.  Notes or apricots, honey, pineapple and slight caramel.  Long, long finish.  This is not an opulent year for Yquem nor is it lean.  It drinks great on its own.  It would work with a less sweet dessert, but this is one of those wines that deserves 100% attention.  Drink over the next thirty years.  

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