Fancy (and not-so-fancy) French Wines

Good Day, Feastlings.

Two wine tastings to go on about this weekend, so here they are in a nutshell: The first is Kevin’s weekly Saturday tasting, and the wines are the wines of our friends and neighbors. Three wines from down here in southern Arizona (Callaghan Graciano, Dos Cabezas “El Norte” and Sierra Bonita Cabernet Sauvignon) plus one from up north in the Verde Valley (Page Springs Cellars “Vino del Barrio Blanco”). The tasting is at 2 pm and Kevin will elucidate on the matter of Arizona wine and why it’s special. Price: $20.

Then there’s our Last Sunday tasting, with wines a bit hoitier and toitier than we tend to offer at the Saturday tastings. This month Andy Ramirez of Synergy Fine Wines shares with us some favorite French delights, and we prepare our customary paired treats for the wines. It begins at 3:30 and costs $35, and the wines are listed below.

If you’d like to join us for either tasting, please give us a call at 326-9363 and make your reservation. Regrettably, web and email reservations won’t guarantee you a spot, so please make yours by phone.

Mon Petit Choux

2012 Domaine St.Lannes Cotes du Gascogne $14.00

80% Colombard 20% Gros Manseng, and completely organic. An exuberantly fruity white, with flavors of dried mango and ripe papaya lending this a tropical allure. Light coconut and cream notes fill the juicy finish. Colombard and Gros Manseng. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.

2011 Guy Bocard Bourgogne Blanc $27.00

The Bourgogne Chardonnay is sourced from vines situated just below the Meursault border and such sites as Limozin and Sous la Velle, whereby clay and limestone combine to formulate the famous stratified “marl”. The average age of vines is 25 years with the oldest plots in their forties. Guy Bocard adheres to a traditional, non-intervention approach via low yields, minimal lees stirring and no new oak influence. Long malos and cool cellar temps allow for a true élevage in barrel. The wine is normally bottled 18 months after harvest. Notes of pear, acacia blossoms, hazelnuts, lemon cream and a sneaky yet all-important mineralité.

2010 Domaine le Couroulu “Cuvée Classique,” Vacqueyras $25.00

The Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre. It undergoes a long, 20-day maceration period and is aged in large oak casks for two years before bottling. This big, spicy, robust, somewhat jammy wine represents exceptional value. Robert Parker consistently acclaims the Couroulu Vacqueyras as one of the finest wines of its appellation.

2011 JL Chave “Mon Coeur” Cotes du Rhone $22.00

Offers a lush feel, with plum sauce and warm linzer torte aromas and flavors, followed by a smoldering charcoal note and hint of roasted chestnut on the finish. Solid for the appellation.

2010 Domaine Paul Autard Chateauneuf du Pape $47.00

The brilliant 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is one of the finest basic cuvees of the vintage. Moreover, it usually sells for a realistic price. Its inky/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful perfume of camphor, sweet blackberry and black raspberry fruit, lavender, forest floor and acacia flowers. Full-bodied and rich with good acidity, ripe tannin and a long finish, it should drink nicely for 15 or more years.

2010 Courbis Cornas Champlerose $47.00

The 2010 Cornas Champelrose exhibits a black/purple color along with a floral note, and a terrific, full-bodied texture with gorgeous ripeness, purity and expansiveness. This savory, full-throttle, compelling Cornas will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and drink well for two decades or more.

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