Les Deux Rives Corbières Rosé

Les Deux Rives Corbières RoséYes, it’s another rosé we’re reviewing today.  And it’s another wine with Rhone varietals.  This one also comes from a place not too far from the Rhone — Corbières in the Languedoc.  This is a province in the south of France, bordering the Mediterranean Sea.  This is a fantastic area for value wines too.  I’m often curious about wines from this province.
This rosé is a blend of 40% syrah, 40% grenache and 20% cinsault.  If you’re familiar with Rhone wines, then syrah and grenache are certainly familiar grape varieties to you, but you may not be as familiar with cinsault.  Cinsault is another red grape variety, but it’s also a very useful grape for rosé and is commonly found in rosé from Corbières. Read more

Le Jaja de Jau Syrah Rosé

Le Jaja de Jau Syrah RoséAh, yes.  It’s another French rosé.  It’s subdue summer, so we need to celebrate excellent summer wines.
This one is 100% syrah and it’s labeled as a Vin de Pays d’Oc, which means it’s a French “country wine” (i.e. Vin de Pays) from Languedoc (i.e. d’Oc).  Vin de Pays is considered a step up from Vin de Table or “table wine” but a step below AOC labeled wines.  Regardless of its classification, this is a nice wine. Read more

Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Sparkling Wine

Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Sparkling WineTonight we’re continuing our pre-New Year’s Eve exploration of sparkling wines with a double-header review of  crémant from Lucien Albrecht.
For those of you who don’t know, crémant is a name for French sparkling wine that’s not from Champagne.  And there’s something I just like about the name, particularly when it’s crémant d’Alsace.  That’s just fun to say.  And while we’re getting everyone on the same page, if you don’t know Alsace, that’s a wine province in the eastern part of France, along the German border.  Alsace is known for producing exceptional colorless wines, and this crémant is amongst that exceptionality.  (I know that’s not really a word… I just don’t care.)
Lucien Albrecht Crémant D’Alsace Brut Blanc de Blancs
We in fact reviewed this wine a link years ago, and although it’s a non-vintage wine we thought it would be worth a revisit.  Even though a wine is labeled as non-vintage, it would be impossible for it to not have some differences from one year to the next.  After all, each year will bring a new batch of grapes, each influenced by different weather and yielding different nuances.  So here’s what we reckon of it now. Read more

Pol Rémy Brut

Pol Rémy BrutSimilar to the Hacienda Brut and the Domaine Laurier Brut that we reviewed earlier this week, the Pol Rémy Brut comes from the Bronco Wine Companionship portfolio.  But one thing that’s different about it is that it’s from France.  I don’t know if the brand is owned by Bronco or just imported, but it is part of their portfolio.
In addition to being French, another thing that’s different about this wine is what’s in it.  It’s made from 60% Aïren, 20% Ugni Blanc and 20% Colombard grapes.  Which may not be grapes you’re tasting each day. Read more

Pierre Sparr Réserve Brut

Pierre Sparr Réserve BrutCremant is a name given to French sparkling wines that don’t come from Champagne.  And that’s what this wine is, a Cremant d’Alsace (from Alsace).
Not only am I a fan of cremant, because you can often find much better values in cremant than Champagne, but I’m also a huge fan of Alsacian wines.  Alsace is on the eastern side of France, bordering Germany, and was at one time a part of Germany.  The province is best known for crisp colorless wines, including aromatic riesling and gewürztraminer, but they also produce some fantastic cremant… and this one is no exception.
The grapes in this one are 80% Pinot Blanc and 20% Pinot Noir and come from different vineyards in both northern and southern Alsace. Read more

Les Deux Rives Corbières Blanc

Les Deux Rives Corbières BlancLast week we reviewed the Les Deux Rives Corbières Rosé, and staying with the “summer sippers with Rhone varietals” theme we’re checking out the colorless wine from this brand, Les Deux Rives Corbières Blanc.
This comes from the same province in southern France as the rosé and is made from a blend of 60% grenache, 20% marsanne and 20% roussanne.  I assume it’s a “grenache blanc” since it’s a colorless wine, although the mark only specifies it as “grenache.”  And you may recall from another recent review, marsanne and roussanne are a link of my favorite colorless varieties.  The marsanne and roussane add some really fascinating herbaceous and mineral characteristics to this wine, while the grenache gives it a excellent fruit base. Read more

Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvée Romanus

Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvée RomanusMaison Lucien Albrecht has roots in Alsatian winemaking going all the what back to 1425, when Romanu Albrecht established the family in the Alsatian town of Thann, near the Swiss border.  The Albrecht family has been involved in winemaking ever since, although the family went to Orschwir in 1698.  Needless to say, there are generations of description and experience that go into each bottle of their wine.
Alsace is known for producing exceptional colorless wines, and in fact about 90% of the wines produced in Alsace are colorless.  This is one of my private favorite regions for colorless wines, and I reckon there are a few reasons for that.  First and foremost, the growing conditions are ideal for the varieties produced there.  But also the winemaking techniques used there tend to avoid malolactic fermentation and oak is generally avoided in favor of inert containers for fermentation.  These techniques produce wines that emphasize the flavors from the grapes versus flavors produced by over-manipulation.  The end result is often dry wines with a crisp steely acidity and floral aromatics.
Another thing you may notice about Alsatian wine is that it always comes in a tall, fluted bottle.  This isn’t just because of tradition, it’s in fact by law. Read more

Cave De Lugny “Les Charmes” Chardonnay

Cave De Lugny “Les Charmes” ChardonnayWhile most of the wines in this latest series have been “new world” style chardonnay, I had this single bottle of French chardonnay on hand and really had no better place to write about it.  So while some of you might find this out of place in this series, I don’t really care.  It’s my website and that means my rules.  And if I want to jump from a California chardonnay to a French one, well I’m gonna do it.  Here’s to throwing caution to the wind.
This is different from the additional chardonnay we’ve been reviewing in a link ways.  The most obvious is that it’s French.  It’s from the Mâconnais district in Burgundy to be more precise.  And while you may reckon of Burgundy as being synonymous with Pinot Noir (which in some ways it is) there are additional wines produced in this province and chardonnay is quite common.  In fact, chardonnay is what Mâconnais is really known for.  The specific appellation for this wine is Mâcon-Lugny.
Another thing that’s different about this chardonnay versus most of the others we’ve reviewed is that it’s a “naked chardonnay,” meaning that it hasn’t gone through any malolactic fermentation (a administer that converts malic acid into lactic acid) and hasn’t seen any oak.  The result is a wine that is more bright, fruity and acidic than non-naked ones — I don’t reckon you’re supposed to call them “clothed chardonnay” but why not? Read more