Merlot, Pinot Noir, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc – 4 classic varieties from hands-on vignerons who are dedicated to producing the purest expression of these grapes together with regional character.
6 reds and 6 whites
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3 bottles each of:
White: TOURAINE SAUVIGNON BLANC, GUY ALLION (Loire Valley, France)
‘This wine is produced under the Terra Vitis ethic that began in the Beaujolais region 20 years ago, it is an approach based on reason, not faith. Cédric and Dorothée Allion`s small estate minimises strategic intervention in the vineyard and studiously avoids chemical additives. The results speak for themselves here – this is a super smart sauvignon blanc that is crisp to the point of steely sharpness, bursting with gooseberry, peanut and nettle notes. A clear and startlingly well-priced competitor to New World sauvignon”
Tomas Clancy, Sunday Business Post
Red: CHATEAU DU CÈDRE HÉRITAGE MALBEC, CAHORS
Héritage is 95% Malbec with 5% Merlot. 2015 was a brilliant vintage, sunny June provided perfect flowering followed by 60mm of rain without thunderstorms. Concentrated black fruit, blackberry, blueberry and cherry in a caressing, silky texture. Smooth with a creamy touch and a slight earthy complexity ending on clean, fresh notes. Amazing quality at this price, perfect with bistro cuisine and grilled meats.
Red: CHÂTEAU TIRE PÉ DIEM, BORDEAUX, MERLOT (Bordeaux, France)
Hélène and David Barrault purchased Tire Pé in 1997, they are farming organically since 2008 (certified since 2014). The hill of Tire Pé owes its name to ancient rural scenes, where working horses would pass wind under the effort of climbing the hill, on their way back to the farm.
They have created a little garden of Eden, where wild grass, insects, birds and small wild animals live among the vines.
Tire Pé Diem is a Merlot harvested by hand and de-stemmed. Each plot is picked and fermented separately. The grapes undergo a short 8 to 12 day cool maceration for a soft extraction. The wine is aged for eight to ten months in concrete tanks, after which the wine is bottled unfined, with super light filtration.
Buoyant and fruity on the palate, Diem is packed with juicy red currant, crushed plum and sweet herbs.
This is a pretty red with an easy fruity profile and a lingering finish.
Red: LA BOUSSOLE PINOT NOIR, Pays d’Oc
“A fruity Pinot Noir served very slightly chilled is just the thing to enjoy with dinner on a summer evening. As France celebrates Bastille Day it seems only right and proper that this weekend’s recommendation should come from the home country of Pinot Noir – although, with cracking value in mind, I’ve picked a bottle from the south of France rather than Pinot’s pricier home turf, Burgundy.
You may be thinking south of France, endless sunshine, ultra-ripe grapes, jammy flavours… Until this wine first crossed my lips I had the same suspicions. But I’m happy to say they’re unfounded. Alongside wonderfully pure notes of strawberries and violets, La Boussole delivers mouthwatering freshness. There’s nothing remotely over-sweet or jammy about it. That’s because the grapes that go into it are grown in some of the Languedoc’s coolest vineyards up in the hills around Limoux.
I like the fact that there’s a hint of smoke about it which would make it an excellent partner for grilled foods of many kinds. I like its smooth texture. I like the gentle but persistent grip of fine tannin in the finish that makes it palate-cleansing. I like the alcohol level, a very manageable 12.5% – a figure once commonplace for reds but now relatively rare. And I like the price. Full marks to well-known winemaker Claude Serra for putting all these elements together with élan.
Slip a bottle of Boussole into the fridge half an hour before you eat. Tuna, chicken, high-class sausages, even a bowl of lentils with smoky bacon will taste all the better for its company”’ Mary Dowey: The Gloss Magazine