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French Taster Pack

French Taster Pack 12 Bottles (Tier 1&2)

French Taster Pack
Price: ¥1,300

Introduced  in February 2015, this mixed case strings together some gems. It’s pretty much a journey through French wine. The variety of styles and grapes is a perfect roster for anyone wanting to explore the Gallic perspective. Famous families, Award winners, legends: together at a very reasonable price level. Now that’s what I call a French Connection.

We have some lovely French replacements waiting in the wings, as some of these are bound to run out this year. eg: a Cotes Du Rhone, a Morgon and a Beaujolais Villages, a Sauternes, even a Viognier.

1x Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Villages AOC

Taste: On the palate, it has a silky smoothness, and its delicious fruit lingers for a long time. I personally had a welcome return to Gamay when I hooked up with this wine early in 2010, having not touched Beaujolais for around 15 years. Imagine that.

After a rash of heavy, intense and over-extracted wines I had been tasting, this had been a revelation; Lighter, smokier and spicier than I recalled, from years previous.

Drouhin is, of course a master negotiant and this, pretty much his entry level Burgundian Gamay, isn’t up there in the heady heights of his Gevrey Chambertain (in Pinot Noir Heaven) but neither is it meant to be.

Food Matching: Beaujolais Villages is very versatile with all kinds of food, even spicy. If you can, leave it open a day before consuming or try it over 3 to 4 days and experience a journey as it develops and takes on more spice.

1x Emile Durand Chardonnay Burgundy

This Chardonnay is a nice introduction to the fascinating world of Burgundy Chardonnays, which are considered the finest white wines in the world, and an inexpensive everyday wine that promises a lot of enjoyment for little money.

In the glass the wine is presented in bright, bright gold. On the nose an elegant bouquet of apricots, peaches, citrus fruits and a hint of fresh oak. Beautiful full-bodied and fruity on the palate with mild tannins that lingers on the finish. A beautiful terrace for wine on a warm summer evening, which harmonizes very well with seafood or cream cheese.

– Tasting notes from a German website. (winespirit.de)

1x Baron Philippe de Rothschild Viognier VDP

Fine, deep golden colour.

Fruity bouquet displaying a highly complex mix of fresh and preserved fruit aromas (apricot, peach, quince jelly) with some lovely floral notes.

Ample and generous, on the palate it is both unctuous and full of flavour.

Ideal to accompany all sorts of salads and vegetable pasta dishes.

1x M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Red

It is a great coup for us to get access to this wine and a great privilege to now offer it for sale.

Garnet red. Red fruit aromas, mainly Morello cherries. Well-structured, with sustained tannins.

Perfect with pizza, pork and lamb dishes.

The Chapoutier family have been making wine in the Rhône Valley since 1808, but it is since 1990 when Michel Chapoutier came to the helm that the wines really began to speak of their origin.

Michel Chapoutier’s viticultural vision is highly impressive. His dedication to understanding each parcel of land and allowing it to make the best natural wine it can is breathtaking.

He has worked tirelessly to improve every practice in his company investing in his staff as well as in the winery and vineyard – much of his estate is now farmed biodynamically.

1x Chateau Lamargue Costières de Nîmes AOC ROSE

All Gone

Our longest serving and best selling rosé wine from the very south of France.

Bright and intense rosé with a complex, very fruity, strawberry and blackberry notes with a slight hint of vanilla. Round, very fresh with a good balance on acidity and alcohol. Perfect as an aperitif thanks to its fruit and freshness.

This is not only a ‘sipping’ rosé but can go perfectly with salads, pork and grilled meat. Serve lightly chilled.

This rosé is obtained by ‘saignée’ or bleeding of the red varieties, Syrah and Grenache, with 6 to 12 hours of skin contact to extract colour. The juice settles for 24 hours at 12°C to clear and the fermentation is then conducted between 14 and 18°C depending on the variety. Six to eight weeks of lees ageing gives the wine its roundness and length.

A German website said:

Pale pink in colour with purple hues. The nose is powerful and elegant with notes of red berries, black currants and blueberries. Harmonious in the mouth with a great freshness and elegance. A fine aperitif wine, also poultry, pasta and fish.

1x Armand Dartois Cotes Du Ventoux Rhone

Cotes Du Rhone reds are a beguiling mixture of styles and prices, in some ways more dizzying than their cousins in Burgundy, which at least all share a single red grape variety.  Its lightness makes it easy drinking. Notice how it develops more complexity as you quaff your way through the bottle. This unpretentious interpretation of the Grenache grape has a relatively light body with an earthy, spicy character that is typical of the French approach to Grenache within the Ventoux appellation and is naturally low in acid.

Some people even chill these wines on a hot day and match it with a BBQ burger. It’s a simple fun wine with an honest rustic character. For one couple, who live on my compound, this represents their go to wines; they buy a case of this wine each month.

Food Matching: Pair this wine with any hearty dish, pizza, chilli; and you can’t go wrong.

The price can fluctuate a bit with this one between 65 and 80, so pick your time, if it’s one of your favourites. When it’s in a mixed case on offer, it is, of course, discounted anyway…

1x Armand Dartois Cotes Du Rhone Villages Rhone

A nice find, this, if only as a charming foil to Chapoutier’s ever present (and predictable?) brilliance. We absolutely Loved it with a curry, of all things. To be accurate, it was consumed before, during and after the curry but nonetheless there were no palate-jarring moments as Grenache fruit spice met and interplayed with the heat and savoury spice. In fact, it all went down rather well. Then I set about mixing it with a Cabernet Sauvignon which was a waste of both wines! Some blends you win; Some you lose. At least it was a pretty low cost lesson; the one’s I like to learn from…

Sorry we have no pic yet. Here’s Armand’s Ventoux (a best-seller). The wine in question is however a Cotes Du Rhone Villages, which elevates it somewhat. 16.5pts

2x Heritage de baroncourt red VDP Aude

A simple fruity glugger with some complexity beyond it’s price tag. Better than some wines twice its price, but not on our lists of course.

Supple, well balanced and fruit-driven with lingering final notes of fruit ripeness that enhance its aromas. Spicy aromas and a blend of red berry fruits. There is a whiff of vanilla on the nose. A deep ruby colour. Destemming, traditional fermentation with pumping over and strict temperature control. Aged in vats. Matching suggestions: Perfect match with many dishes, including barbecue,salads and cheese. Serve at: 17℃-18℃

1x Heritage de Baroncourt White VDP D'Oc

It’s a ‘good value, off dry southern French White wine’ is all you really need to know, that’s best served cold. But here’s more…

Fresh clean acidity with complex aromas of exotic fruits such as mango and lychee. Well balanced and a lingering finish of mango. Ripe fruit aroma. Clear straw yellow colour. Grapes harvested at night. 100% Destemming. Pneumatic pressing. Cold racking off the must. Fermentation in stainless steel vats with strict temperature control. Ageing in stainless steel vats.

Matching suggestions: This tantalizing white is perfect as a cocktail or matched with a variety of savoury dishes. Serve at: 8℃-10″

I think you would find this a good match to Asian cuisine that is in the ‘sweet and sour’ mode.

1x Château Costis Grand Vin de Bordeaux Commended 2014

Coming soon…

1x A. Zirnhelt Riesling Alsace

I must admit to being a Riesling novice. I didn’t much care for the nasty stuff in the 80’s and 90’s that made it’s way to the UK as cheap ‘Hock’ or ‘Mosel’. But Alsace, well that’s a different kettle of fish: ‘Savouriness’ and ‘freshness‘, without all the ‘limp flower petals and blunderbuss sweetness‘ we saw from those sad examples.

Previously (2012): This is an easy-drinking fresh just off-dry wine. Aromas of freshly sliced lime; the citrus zing showing in the flavour profile via lemony elements typical of Riesling. The acid is refreshing and vibrant, and would mix with – cut through – most oil-based foods. A very juicy wine with a minerally finish, making it more alluring. A great counterpoint to Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. AT LAST an Alsatian Riesling that sits nicely in the ‘affordable’ segment. A must for summer, on the terrace with some apetisers.

Found on another site:

This wine made from Riesling, also called King of grapes, in the nose and taste that real typical oil-and mineral-like you would expect from a Riesling, a young fruity wine with character, not too dry. Sauerkraut is obviously the perfect companion for this Riesling. This is also a perfect glass to drink as an aperitif.

…very impressed with this one, good acid and off dry, have some lemon and mineral.

Food matching: This could be consumed on its own as an aperitif or matched with a range of oily Chinese dishes (amongst others). The lime and citrus flavours in Riesling wines from cooler climates like Alsace make it a fine summer drink.

Update: June 2013: Another 6 months bottle age (or reflection after a renewed perspective from yours truly…) has caused me to dash to the computer. 6 months has turned this offering into a much drier experience than previously (experienced?) Still pretty minerally, still citrus; but now a dash more weight and a greater savouriness. It’s not even in the off dry bracket, as previously described. In fact it’s edged into bone dry.

Pack Quantity:

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