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

1961 Château Gruaud Larose, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1961
Grade: 

This has a different shaped ullage so saying low-shoulder fill is quite accurate.  The fill was about four inches down from the top of the cork.  The cork was removed and the bottle blew off stink for a bit and then we tried it.  It did get a bit better over the subsequent 20 minutes before dying a quick death.  Garnet in color, mostly clear and a bit flat.  On the nose there is dust, saddle leather, dusty attic and just a hint of dried cranberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is just a hint of cherries with leather and earth.  A bit tart.  Clipped finish.  There are surely people

1981 Domaine Ponsot Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos des Monts Luisants Blanc, France, Burgundy, Cotes de Nuits, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1981
Grade: 

The neck tag on this said 1978 but the label said 1981 so...  A bit of research seems to suggest this is 60% Aligote, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Gouges.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a lot of mushrooms along with a bit of citrus and a burnt almond quality.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the citrus and burnt almond quality come out.  There is some life here but not a lot.  Still an interesting wine to try.  Drink up if you have any.  Giving it the respect it deserves, share this wine with friends without food and have a back up bottle.  It doesn't seem fair to

2016 Maison Riviere Château de Callac Prestige, France, Bordeaux, Graves, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$26.00USD

This is a blend of 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon,  and 15% Cabernet Franc that sees 100% new oak.  .  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, cherries, spice and slight cigar.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, cherries, some black cherries and underlying earthy tobacco notes.  Moderate finish.  This will work better with food than on its own.  Slow cooked, braised beef or lamb would work well.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2019 Maurice Écard Bourgogne Chardonnay, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is a nice easy going French Chardonnay (listed on the label).  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has pears and apples with a slight note of almonds.  Light bodied.  Crisp and clean.  On the palate, green apples with a slight minerality.  Nice balance.  Good finish.  This is refreshing and should be popular among fans of all styles of Chardonnay.  This should be consumed over the next couple of years.  It drinks well on its own and will work well with salads and seafoods.  

2016 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

Nice showing for this although still on the youthful side.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slightly meaty with b lack olives.  Full bodied.  Great liveliness.  Nice texture.  On the palate, black raspberries with underlying char and just a bit of black olives.  Nice finish.  This should continue to improve for another three to five years and drink well for ten to twelve more after that.  This drinks well on its own and even better with food.  Stews or chili is a nice choice.  

1999 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Purchased on release and well cellared.  Pop and pour, the cork was stained about half way up but not compromised.  The first sip really grabs one's attention.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, lots of earthiness, black cherries and a bit of roasted meats.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is complex and layered.  Lots of vibrant fruit; black raspberries and black cherries.  Great balance.  Seems to be just about at mature peak.  Nice finish.  The bottle improved over a few hours before just starting to tail off.  Drink over the nex

2015 J.L. Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanche

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Nice to try this on its own (not compared to its big brother).  Very crisp and refreshing.  What it might lack in depth it makes up for in energy.  Medium golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has slight wax, peach, and slight white flower notes.  Medium to full bodied.  Lovely acidity.  On the palate, ginger, tangerine and peach with some minerality.  Nice finish.  This will drink well over the next ten to twelve years.  It worked very well with vegetarian spring rolls and chips and guacamole.  

1999 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve Personnelle, France, Alsace, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Fun to try this at age 22.  Still drinking well.  The nose is more about minerality but a bit of peach and slight dried floral note.  Light bodied.  Slightly oily texture.  On the palate, this has some vibrancy if a bit past prime.  Peach and minerals.  Enough acidity.  Nice finish.  These should be consumed earlier than later at this point.  It drinks nicely on its own and worked at the end of a meal to wake up the palate.  

2009 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Nice showing for this wine as it seems to be just getting close to maturity.  It is a blend of 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise with the rest made up of the other 9 permitted varietals in Châteauneuf.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is great with black cherries, raspberries, plums, roasted meats, slight earthiness and a hint of violets.  Full bodied.  Complex.  On the palate, light tannins.  Plums, black cherries, cherries with underlying earthiness. Clean.  This should drink well for another twelve to fifteen years.  A nice match for beef stew.  

NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve, France, Wine Review

Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

From Magnum.  Silvery/gold in color with a nice mousse.  The nose is nice.  More elegant with some ginger, a bit of smoke, citrus and slight floral notes.  On the palate, great acidity.  delicious.  Lemons with slight lime.  Long finish.  Unclear as to disgorgement date on this bottle.  Drinking great from this format.  It will work well on its own or with just about any type of food.  

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