04.14.2010 Vins du Sud de la France, Allons-y!

26 06 2010

As adventurous and curious young winos, we love to globe trot (with our taste buds). This week we decide to head to the South of France, choosing three distinct wine regions from which to sample wine. Courtesy of Wikipedia here are the quick descriptions of the three wine regions we chose:

Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest region in terms of vineyard surface, and the region in which much of France’s cheap bulk wines have been produced. While still the source of much of France’s and Europe’s overproduction, the so-called “wine lake”, Languedoc-Roussillon is also the home of some innovative producers who combine traditional French wine and international styles while using lessons from the New World.

Provence, in the southeast and close to the Mediterranean. It is perhaps the warmest wine region of France and produces mainly rosé and red wine. It covers eight major appellations led by the Provence flagship, Bandol. Some Provence wine can be compared with the Southern Rhône wines as they share both grapes and, to some degree, style and climate.Provence also has a classification of its most prestigious estates, much like Bordeaux.

Rhone Valley, primarily a red-wine region in southeastern France, along the Rhône River. The styles and varietal composition of northern and southern Rhône differ, but both parts compete with Bordeaux as traditional producers of red wines.

The line-up

1. 2009 Domaine Begude Pinot Rosé ($13)

Nose: Right off the bat Ellen noted that this wine was fresh and vibrant and smelled of blossoms. Josh agreed it was very fresh and Russ smelled some sugar, but not syrupy sugar. Colin got floral at first and then it gave way to hints of apple. Jason smelled some citrus.

Palate: Colin thought this was an easy drinking wine. Dave didn’t get much on the taste but thought it was dry. Russ missed the sugar that he had found on the nose.

Rating: 5/10 Location: K&L

2. 2008 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut, Cotes due Roussillon Villages, M. Chaptoutier ($14)

Nose: Ellen smelled fennel and Dave agreed saying it was fenneltastic. Dave also got notes of cinnamon and Russ got sweet, cooked mushrooms. Josh thought it smelled peppery while Jason said it was sort of like a beaujolais.

Palate: Ellen and Colin both got some peppery action on this wine. Colin also mentioned it was thin, but with no unpleasant tastes. Russ noted that it was easy to drink, but he didn’t like the taste in his throat. Then he said it does not taste like the burger he had last night which is what he expected. (HUH?)

Rating: 5.5/10  Location: K&L

3. 2008 Domaine Rouge-Bleu Dentelle (55% Caringan, 45% Grenache) $15

Nose: Dave smelled catfood right away, meeeeoow! This smell, he said, was not good. Jason thought it was more rounded than the first two tasted. Colin said he couldn’t describe it in words, but then like a miracle he could and said it was musty/moldy like an Old World wine. Russ thought it was slightly metallic and Ellen got wet stone.

Palate: Jason thought it was light on the sugar and Josh got some earthy action, he could even taste the dirt! Ellen thought the wine was easy drinking and Dave thought it would be better paired with some food. Katherine also said she would not be satisfied with the wine by itself.

Rating: 6.5/10 Location: K&L

4. 2008 Valrea Cuvee Prestige Cotes du Rhone Villages $7

Nose: Colin smelled cough syrup and pine needles, while Russ got grapefruit and Jason smelled vanilla. Dave thought it a bit minerally and Josh thought it smelled peppery.

Palate: Colin TOTALLY tasted grapefruit and the group agreed. Katherine picked up on more citrus and Ellen thought it had the nuance of a pomello. Dave tasted some pepper which he said hit him like whoa at the end of the glass. Josh thought this wine was the most acidic of the wines tasted thus far.

Rating: 5.5/10 Location: Trader Joes

5. 07 Le Clos de Caillon Vielles Vignes Cotes du Rhone $21.50

Nose: Colin smelled funkberry and Jason smelled cherries in the front. Dave thought it was like a little cab and smelled some rubberyness but in a good way. Jason also got peppers and cassis.

Palate: Ellen discovered a tasted that lingered in her mouth for awhile.  Dave thought the wine was astringent and acidic. Russ noted that the wine was fruity on the front and sharp on the finish.  Colin thought the finish was bitter.

Rating 7/10  Location: Plump Jack

6. 2004 Domaine de la Citadelle Cote do Luteron $18.99

Nose: Russ smelled berries and currant, and grape jam from knott’s berry farm.  Jason also got cocoa and blackberry currant, yo! Colin smelled cherry candy and Dave smelled Luden’s cherry cough drops. Ellen thought it was more like an alcoholic berry.

Palate: Dave thought it tasted really good, it was his favorite of the night so far. Colin said the wine was well-balanced and tasted some dried fruit. Katie (who finally showed up to the party) tasted some watermelon rind.

Rating: 7.5/10  Location: The Wine in Laurel Village

7. 2007 Cotes du Rhone Vidal-Fleury $7.50

Nose: Jason smelled cassis, Dave thought it was subtly smokey. Colin got pepper and Katie smelled some cherry.

Palate: Jason and Josh both thought this wine was well-balanced. Dave thought this wine was both shy and underwhelming and he liked it to the end. Jason said it had a good mouth feel and Katie tasted some raspberries.

Rating: 7/10  Location: Trader Joes.

8. 2007 Chateau Paradis Terre de Provence $15

Nose: Marni thought the wine smelled syrupy, thick and velvety. Colin got grape bubble yum in a bad way. Dave smelled a really round grape and Ellen smelled dirty or dirt-ish. Russ got some dark fruit and Josh just thought this wine was plain bland and boring.

Palate: Dave thought the wine tasted disappointing based on the nose. Russ got some merlot flavors and Colin thought it was a bit too much to drink. Jason just thought it was tannic.

Rating: 5.5/10  Location: K&L

Katherine's delish noms




One response

11 05 2011
The Bottling Room

Smelling “cow manure” or “ass” is kinda amusing, but I loved the comment about how somebody smelled “old people” on the nose of a wine. I’m not quite sure how to translate that, but that was hilarious.

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