31 January 2012

Grape Observer Reviews

Sean Mitchell writes an independent wine review blog The Grape Observer

Throughout January,  Sean has posted four reviews for Bordeaux wines imported by DiscoverVin.   DiscoverVin aims to share good value, unique and quality wines with Australian wine consumers.  In his the reviews Sean is excited to see wines from the great 2009 vintage making their way to Australia.  He also makes the point that each of the wines reviewed offer good value for money.  The wines reviewed were

1. Les Tourelles de Longueville 2007

2. Chateau Haut-Vigneau Pessac Leognan 2009

3. Amiral de Beycheville St Julien 2008

4. Chateau Lagarde Saint Emillion

The reviews are shared below.

Les Tourelles de Longueville 2007

Les Tourelles de Longueville is a long-standing favourite of mine, being more keenly priced than its illustrious sibling, the routinely outstanding Chateau Baron-Pichon-Longueville.  This second label can also be frustratingly hard to find in Australia.  Nonetheless, it is still not cheap at $78 (its pedigree seeing to that), and is also from a lesser Bordeaux year in 2007, a vintage that I have been frequently critical of, with few exceptions.  Happily for my afternoon, however, the wine delivered and joined my short list of good Bordeaux from 2007.  As they say, in bad years, follow good producers.  This is a good producer.  One of the best perhaps.

A quick smell of the cork, and I knew the wine would be good.  Blackcurrants mainly.  Then mixed herbs and bouquet garnis emerged by way of aroma, immediately speaking of the cooler season.  With time in the glass, the aroma resolved to ripe red currants, and then, finally, the blackcurrants emerged again from their slumber and stayed.  The palate proved more forthcoming, with some trademark "Baron" length (around 10-15 seconds), blackcurrants and medium tannins.  What I do recommend with this wine is to decant it.  After 30 minutes or so, it really opened up, and is an excellent example of the 2007 vintage.  89-90 points.

Abv: 13%
Price: $78
Source: sample
Website: http://www.pichonlongueville.com/ (importer's website: http://www.discovervin.com.au)
Tasted: January 2012


Chateau Haut-Vigneau Pessac-Leognan 2009

Much has been written on the 2009 Bordeaux vintage, it being largely universally regarded as among the great Bordeaux vintages.  This too from a decade in Bordeaux that has already seen a number of already outstanding vintages (2000, 2001, 2003 (for some producers) and 2005).  I am therefore somewhat excited to see some 2009s starting to find their way to Australian shores.  This wine did not disappoint.

The 2009 vintage of Chateau Haut-Vigneau presents itself as a typical Graves wine in many respects, and is a blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% merlot.  Ruby in colour, the wine opens to a medium-pronounced intensity expression of blackcurrant, cigar box, black cherry and a sprinkling of popcorn kernels.  On the palate, the depth of the vintage becomes apparent - a mouth filling full bodied wine with medium length, forward black fruits, tobacco, and medium tannins and acidity.  It immediately drank well, yet with time, I liked it even more.  This is a very good wine, happily also at a very fair price.  89-90 points

Abv: 13.5%
Price: $38
Source: sample
Website: http://www.hautvigneau.com/ (importer: http://www.discovervin.com.au/)
Tasted: January 2012


Amiral de Beychevelle 2008

Amiral de Beychevelle is the second wine of the distinctively labelled and well known Saint-Julien estate, Chateau Beychevelle.  In 2008, in the Amiral de Beychevelle, this estate has fashioned a very good and classic Bordeaux left-bank wine, a blend of 62% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 5% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.  My long held view has been that the second wines of the great Bordeaux estates produce good value wines that often closely resemble their more expensive siblings.  They are, however, not always easy to find in Australia.

The specifics?  The 2008 vintage is ruby in colour with a medium to pronounced level of colour saturation.  It opens to a classic medium intensity aroma of blackcurrant and cigar box.  On the palate, this is a classicly proportioned wine, with evident tannins, enjoyable length, medium acidity and blackcurrant flavours.  In a word, "classy".  Drink over the next 10 years.  89 points

Abv: 14%
Price: $78
Source: sample
Tasted: January 2012

Chateau Lagarde Saint-Emilion 2009

The 2009 vintage of Chateau Lagarde is a lovely Saint-Emilion wine that is particularly good value.  It is a blend of 73% merlot, 25% cabernet franc, and 2% malbec, the classic right-bank Bordeaux blend that few Australian producers have managed as yet to do well.  The grapes are harvested by hand.

Ruby in colour, the wine has a medium intensity aroma of bright red plums, spices, tobacco and herbs, and a youthful jube fruit like note.  On the palate, the wine rises above its price point, revealing medium length, medium-high acidity, spices, medium tannins, brightly flavoured red currants, and a touch of Christmas cake that I often taste in Saint-Emilion wines.  In short, this is a keenly priced and lovely wine that is drinking well now, and I see no reason why it will not continue to do so over the next 5 years or so.  87-88 points

Abv: 13%
Price: $29.90
Source: sample
Website: http://www.discovervin.com.au/ (importer)
Tasted: January 2012 

26 January 2012

La Brasserie Bordelaise, Bordeaux

Still wishing I was in Bordeaux.  So while having a biodynamic tomato sandwich for lunch is an Australian thing to do on Australia Day, I’m dreaming of heading to my favorite Bordeaux restaurant, La Brasserie Bordelaise, for dinner.
 La Brasserie Bordelaise offers “le goût de  sud-ouest” – the taste of the southwest.  It’s a typical French brasserie, friendly, welcoming all, with good local food and wine.  You can settle at the bar for a drink, a chat over a glass of wine at the time sampling from the range of charcuterie and cold cuts. The food reflects the simple and generous culture of the southwest.  The menu showcases the regional products with wonderful pork, beef and duck dishes and oysters and an array of cheeses.
The food is seasonally based and selected from local, small producers.  There is an emphasis on meat, predominantly beef, but also chicken and duck and of course cassoulet. The Charolais entrecôte platter offers superb beef, cooked perfectly.
Tables are close to one another, offering Australians the opportunity to practise their outrageous French with the reserved Bordelaise sitting nearby. Discussing "les soldes", especially the shoe sales, is always a bonding conversation, no matter what the language.  La Brasserie is welcoming and all the patrons have wine as a shared passion.  If you are lucky a group of vignerons at a large table will share their wines and their stories with you.
La Brasserie Bordelaise is located in Rue St Remi in the bustling Saint Pierre area of Bordeaux, not far from the main shopping precinct of Rue St Catherine.  Bright red awnings provide a colourful welcome.  Inside the décor reflects Bordeaux, upturned wine barrels, wine bottles lining the walls and wooden wine boxes, all ready for drinking.
Being in Bordeaux, while food is important, La Brasserie Bordelaise places emphasis on wine, with a well-chosen list of value for money and premium priced wines, from small independent producers and grand cru chateaux. The list presents wines from all the Bordeaux appellations, but also from other French regions such as Chateau Lagrezette from Cahors.  The list extends into other European countries and beyond to the new world– even Australian wine.  
La Brasserie Bordelaise also hold food and wine events, such as a dinner last December presenting the wines of BernardMagrez.  Bernard Magrez is a French entrepreneur, the owner of thirty-five vineyards in France and around the world, including Château La Tour Carnet and Château Pape Clément, producers of Les Clés de Pape Clément.  The wines from M. Magrez feature on the wine list and fortunately for the Australian wine drinker, wishing they too were in Bordeaux,  can be purchased here through DiscoverVin. 
If you can’t make it to La Brasserie Bordelaise for Australia Day, throw some meat on the Barbie and open a bottle of  Coonawarra cabernet or adopt a French approach with some agneau or boeuf on the grillade and a bottle of Médoc such as the Legende de Tour Carnet.
The menu from the Brasserie Bordelaise

22 January 2012

L'Intendant, Bordeaux

Having spent the weekend wishing I too could be in Bordeaux, it seems appropriate to share this article about one of our favourite Bordeaux wine merchants.

If you can't get to Bordeaux to buy your favourite Merlot or Cabernet blends or the D'Aiguilhe mentioned below, then visit www.discovervin.com.au.

Written by Jane Anson 
(originally published by Decanter magazine, January 2008)
If Bordeaux wines are going to continue pricing themselves as luxury goods, then perhaps wine shops specialising in selling them need to provide a suitably dramatic backdrop. That seems to be the thinking at L’Intendant, a tiny wine shop in central Bordeaux that stocks 90% classified growths and is located directly opposite the 18th century, Victor Hugo-designed Grand Theatre, looking out onto the city’s elegant Allées de Tourny.
Housed in an hotel particulier from the same era as the Grand Theatre, the inside of the building has been entirely hollowed out and reconstructed by French architect Jean Michel Rousseau, with just one central, 12-metre high spiral staircase, winding upwards like the inside of a lighthouse, with the most prestigious appellations of Bordeaux curling up alongside the walls.
L’Intendant has been open for 15 years, and is now run by manager Laurent Dumesny, but it is owned by Jean Francois Moueix’s Duclot negociant house. This means one thing of particular interest to buyers of classified Bordeaux – that everything is bought en primeur, and in theory prices for older vintages should be very reasonable (most wine shops have to re-stock at the going rate on the Place de Bordeaux, which means they are at the mercy of current price levels, whereas here you can pick up a La Pointe 2000 for €38 where it’s current price on 1855.fr is €43, or Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2002 for €295 compared to an 1855 price of €320). All wines are guaranteed to come straight from the property, or from Duclot’s own cellars.
You won’t find anything non-Bordeaux here. The small appellations, non-classified wines, and second wines of well known properties, are all relegated to the ground floor, and the choice, although excellent quality, is hardly imaginative – namechecks include Stefan von Neipperg's Chateau d'Aiguilhe  and Denis Dubourdieu’s Chateau Reynon. These are the only wines in the shop that are sourced direct, or through brokers who specialise in smaller properties, and are mainly priced at under €15.

As soon as the stairs begin, you enter the more rarefied sphere – first the Haut Médocs, then Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estephe (1855s only – if you’re a cru bourgeois, you’re down on the ground floor). The second level is given over to Saint Emilion grand cru classés, then Pomerols. The third level comprises magnums, then you’re with the first growths, from both the Right and Left bank – with the second wines displayed alongside; so Cheval Blanc and Petit Cheval, Bahans Haut Brion and Haut Brion, Pavillon Rouge and Margaux, Carraudes de Lafite and Lafite, and Forts de Latour and Latour. Still no Pétrus – this is Jean Francois Moueix’s domaine, and you’ll find a special side room devoted to the Pomerol classic, with over 15 vintages on display –  alongside Imperials and half bottles of other rare wines. 

Before you reach this is the Sauternes floor, together with white wines from key Pessac Léognan estates such as Carbonnieux and Olivier.
The tower is air-conditioned (and there’s an elevator that takes you back down once you’ve selected your wines), and contains over 15,000 bottles. There are drawbacks of course – the lack of choice is an obvious one, as is the lack of a website (ordering takes place either over the telephone or via email, and they will send out their catalogue on request). You can always find cheaper bottles in French supermarkets, and the dramatic design means a lack of space to hold tastings in store. But this is wine as theatre, and could happily be located on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue. Its aim, as Dumesny says, is ‘to offer a library of prestigious Bordeaux wines, for buyers who understand and care about provenance.’

17 January 2012

Its Irrésistible! Domaine de la Croix Rosé

DiscoverVin introduces a Cru Classé Rosé
from Provence

The name says it all.  Irresistible!  An irresistible rosé from Provence, the home of rosé. 
The Wine
An irresistible blend of Cinsaut (40%), Shiraz (30%) and Grenache (30%). The pearl pink colour of the wine is the natural colour of the juice, with extra depth provide through a brief period of skin contact or maceration.
Provence sets the benchmark for the light dry textural style of Rosé that has always been popular in France and has become a recent trend here in Australia. In Côtes de Provence at least 20% of the wine must be saigneé, which means “bled”. After crushing, the free-run juice is run off after a short prefermentation maceration, producing a pale pink wine.
Our Tasting Notes
The bottle makes a statement on any table
Pale pink, elegant nose with citrus fruits aromas. Supple and fruity, with a soft and silky "finale". Perfect summer wine! The magnum will make a statement on any summer table!
Online Prices: 
500ml, $19.90
750ml $25.00
1500ml $55.00
Alcohol content: 13.00 % VOL
The Producer
Domaine de La Croix, created in 1882, is situated near the village of La Croix Valmer with an outlook to the beaches of St Tropez. It has the classification of Cru Classé. The slatey and sandy soils of the hillside vineyard, contribute to the unique terroir for this irrésistible Rosé.
Very few Provençal producers are given the Cru Classé classification, denoting an exceptional winery.
Here is some more detailed information from the producer:

The property:  The Bolloré group purchased the domaine in 2001 and has since been restructuring it to recover the excellence of this terroir, which was singled out as an exceptional, classified growth area in 1955.

Authentic quality: The winemaking process from the vine to the cellar is highly controlled to keep the grapes in perfect condition. Grape varieties have been selected based on soil studies, and the uniqueness of the terroir has attracted great names like renowned winemaker Michel Rolland, who serves as consultant.

Respect for the environment: To preserve this splendid site – a natural habitat for mimosa trees, maritime pines, and eucalyptus – Domaine de La Croix uses traditional methods for sustainable wine growing: maintenance of the grounds by ploughs, organic fertilization, and preservation of the groves to limit erosion.

Unique terroir: Thanks to its special climate with maritime air, the domaine’s vines are varied and are typical of the Côtes de Provence region. Plots with surface soils composed of friable schist with weak water reserves, are planted in black Grenache or Cinsault. Deeper, stony ground is perfect for Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, and Tibouren, whose quality is enhanced by maritime influences.

A promising future: Improvements made in this decade – new plantings with strong densities, trellising, and short cane pruning – assure high quality and concentrated wines. A new underground cellar is also being built, providing up-to-date equipment, a tasting room, and a wine shop. Oenologist Michel Rolland is present at the time of planting and harvest, closely following the vinification process and validating the assemblage of various blends. He recognizes the uniqueness and exceptional quality of the wines produced by the Domaine de La Croix.

“Once you have tasted Rosé you will never go back”
Leeanne De Bortoli
founder of the Rosé Revolution

2 January 2012

Most Popular Wines of 2011

A list of our best selling wines of 2011 makes for some interesting reading. It includes a rosé and wines made from little known grapes in oz including Petit Manseng and Negrètte.
As we are a new business this list is a little biased towards wines that were stocked earlier in the year compared to some others. For example our range of wines from Bordeaux was increased substantially in November 2011. Whilst these are selling well now, none of them made it into the top 10.
So here, in order, our top 10 best selling wines of 2011 are..

1.  Zette rouge 2005

This is an easy drinking but spicy red. Made from 100% Malbec. Ripe, opulent, well balanced, supple, and powerful.
Named in the November 2010 edition of Wine Enthusiast Magazine Worlds top 100 best buys of 2010!!!  “In a modern, smooth style, with plush fruit and dusty tannins, this is a ripe, open wine, an easy expression of Malbec, New World in its fruitiness.”
Winsor Dobbin in Wine Hunter wrote about the Zette Rouge. "Zette is the second label of Domaine de Lagrezette, one of the leading producers in Cahors, southwest France, where malbec is king. This is an attractive and mature malbec and a considerable bargain. It's a plush, ripe red made in a New World style and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The forward dark fruit is matched by some supple tannins, hints of spice and softness on the palate. This medium-bodied wine is from a particularly good vintage and is drinking very well, particularly when paired with red meat dishes. Great buying at the online price from an importer with an impressive range of regional French wines".
From the team at Domaine de Lagrézette, the Zette range is a dynamic modern brand extension of the Lagrézette line. Wine has been made in the Cahors region since the time of the Romans. So this wine benefits from centuries of experience but via modern winemaking methods takes malbec to new realms!

A delightful, complex, fruity but dry and great value for money wine. From the excellent 2009 vintage and from one of the most beautiful and under rated regions in France. Could this be the next big thing after New Zealand sauvignon Blanc? This wine seems to have filled the niche in the market. In weight it is somewhere between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc with more fruit weight than a Sauvignon Blanc but a drier finish than a Chardonnay. If you haven't tried it maybe its time to discover for yourself!
From Kerry Skinner "perfumed notes on the nose, pristine citrus flavours, lively acidity and a crisp, dry finish."
Awarded Herald Sun "Drink of the Week" 15th May 2011

Terroir: Château Jolys, the largest estate in the Jurançon AOC with its 36 hectares, nestles on the superb hills of Chapelle de Rousse village.
The gentle slopes are exposed South / South-West and form amphitheatres facing the Pyrenees mountains. Soils are chalky and clayey.
Grapes: This dry wine is made using 50% Gros Manseng grapes blended with 50% of Petit Manseng.
Wine making: After full destemming, the grapes undergo a pre-fermentary maceration followed by a gentle pressing. Racking of the must and the alcoholic fermentation at low temperature follows this.
All the vinification process occurs in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
The wine rests until the following summer before being bottled.
Our tasting notes: Bright yellow colour with greenish tints. The nose is elegant and intense, with both floral and fruity aromas: honeysuckle, jasmine, grapefruit, citrus and fresh grape.
On the palate, the wine is fresh, fruity and rich at the same time. The finish is long and fleshy.
Alcohol: 13%
This wine represents great value for money. If you are looking for something other than chardonnay or sauvignon blanc this summer, but don’t want to pay a fortune, this is pretty hard to beat!

We were impressed with this wine when we first tasted it in France. We were unsold though on how well a dry rosé like this would sell. One of our suppliers in France described this wine as one of the best he had ever tasted! We decided to go for it and we have been thrilled with the response form the public. Lots of favorable feedback and repeat sales. It has helped change our minds about rosé and seems to have converted many other wine lovers to rosé lovers as well. Try some and you will see what all the hype about rosé (and in particular French rosé) is all about. This could be one of the wines of the Aussie summer!
From Sean Mitchell  Grape Observer ..."I enjoyed drinking this rosé from Bergerac situated to the east of Bordeaux, a blend of two thirds cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon and one third merlot.  A deeper hue of salmon pink in colour, the aroma is of crisp and crunchy peaches.  The palate reveals spices, nectar and a savoury balance.  Good drinking and well priced."
Region/Terroir: from the appellation Bergerac.
Grapes: Made from merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.
Wine making: Made by the saignée method at low temperature.
Our Tasting notes: Blackcurrant nose with an ample unctuous palate. Beautiful balance and freshness.
Drink young and chilled. Drink on its own or with food. A great wine to take to a bbq or to the beach-goes with just about anything! A great lunch wine or for a sunset tipple or in the heat when you don’t feel like a red.

A complex but elegant red wine. It is typical of the good value wines that DiscoverVin is bringing to wine lovers in Australia. Displaying the beautiful fruit but great structure of the reds from Bordeaux and the south-west of France. Savory complex, balanced and great value- for-money
Here are recent reviews from 3 aussie wine writers which pretty much sum up this wine....
Firstly Winsor Dobbin of The Grape Hunter said "Yet another well priced import from the south-west of France from the team at DiscoverVin who seem to have the knack of sniffing out bargains. This one comes from a family-run domaine at Colombier, outside of Bergerac, and is made very much made in Bordeaux style with a blend of merlot, cabernet suavignon and cabernet franc and just a soupcon of malbec. At just 12.5% it is the antithesis in style of bold South Australian red but does not lack in ripeness or flavours, simply offering a more elegant, food friendly style of drinking with some impressive complexity and spice."
And from Jeff Collerson Best Weekend Sydney Telegraph 29th October 2011: "Bergerac is an annexe of the famous French district of Bordeaux and in his Pocket Wine Book European expert Hugh Johnson rates this producer amongst the area's best. Different from an Aussie red, with savory, leathery characteristics in lieu of ripe rich fruit"
And from Sean Mitchell at Grape Observer: "Bright purple in colour, it has a lovely fragrance of black fruits, oak, spices and earth.  On the palate, spices, medium-high tannin and medium length are accompanied by some powerful rustic blackberry overtones.  For $20, this really is a very interesting and terroir driven example of Bordeaux, and I wish there were more like it at this price.  86-87 points."
Region: Bergerac
Grapes: Merlot 70%, cabernet sauvignon 15%, cabernet franc 15%
Wine-making: handpicked, selected ripe fruit. Temperature controlled fermentation for 6 days. Secondary malo-lactic fermentation for 18 days then put in oak barrels (20% new, 80% one year old) and rested on lees for 15 months before bootling. Micro-aeration and batonnage if necessary during the maturation period.
Our tasting notes: A deep red and violet purple colour . The nose is lifted and complex that is a complex melange of fruit, subtle spices including green pepper, liquorice, prunes, black cherries and some toasty elements. The palate reflects the complexity of the nose with lovely ripe fruit and spice wrapped in fine tannins This wine has great structure balance and length.
Alcohol: 12.5%

A lovely complex red and great value at this price.

The sweet wines of Jurançon are amongst the great sweet/dessert wines of the world and great value for money. This is an excellent example- luscious complex fruit, balance, length and not too sweet on the finish. This wine flew off the shelves and had many repeat customers. We had great feed-back from customers happy to have found this style of dessert wine.
Again another of our wines to have received favorable reviews. We will let 3 wiser men of the Australian wine industry explain:
Here is a review by aussie wine writer Winsor Dobbin 11/7/11 " love wines with that sweet/savoury combination that Jurancon does so well, you'll enjoy this classy little number that offers sensational value for money. The balance between sugar and acid is spot on here, so that while the initial impression is of ripe pineapple, the finish offers some surprising dryness, roundness and length. A blend of petit manseng and gros manseng, this would be superb paired with calves' liver, pates and terrines or blue cheeses, as an aperitif or as a dessert wine."
And another in Brisbane's Courier Mail from 16th July 2011, where this wine was compared to iconic Aussie dessert wines Noble One and Lillypilly. "From the Juracon, an intriguing blend of 60% gros manseng and 40% petit manseng. There is sweetness here but it is much more moderated than its Aussie counterparts. Pleasant, rather than intense but fabulous value. Tropical notes, rockmelons, citrus and a minerally background. Nice flick of acidity."
Kerry Skinner "yummy, sticky,luscious and lovely with stone fruit, citrus and marmalade flavours"

Region/Terroir: Jurançon
Grapes: This wine uses 65% Gros Manseng and 35% Petit Manseng.
Winemaking techniques: The wines are not botrytised, in fact it is said that the thick skin of the manseng grapes protects against rot.  A long dry autumn allows the wines to dry on the vine and concentrate flavours. Fermentation and vinification occurs in oak barrels for the Petit Manseng, which gives an added complexity. The Gros Manseng is fermented and vinified in stainless steel.
Our tasting notes: Shiny gold/yellow colour. On the nose complex citrus and peach tones. The balance is excellent, complex citrus and stone fruits. Moelleux means sweet but unlike many dessert wines from Australia this wine has a drier finish. They can be consumed on their own (often the French would have them as an aperitif) with pate, cheeses and it is absolutely delicious with fruit desserts.

From the exceptional vintage of 2005, this is textbook Cahors Malbec from Domaine de Lagrézette. It has received a great reaction form the Australian market and it is a great pleasure to be presenting it. This wine has won many awards and accolades. 
Chateau Lagrézette 2005, Rated 90 points “An intensely concentrated wine with tannins that float in an inky sea of dense berry fruit. The wine is smooth, the edges softened by wood, but the fruit tannins pour out of the glass.”WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE, March 2010
This was also a featured wine in Goumet Travellers French edition July 2011, listed amongst the Top Drops of the Month." DiscoverVin is a new importer specialising in wines from France's south-west — wines such as this classically savoury rnalbec, with dark brambly fruit wrapped up in wood-smoke and graphite. Drink with braised cluck."
In addition Ben Thomas in the Weekly Review wrote: "($35.99; 14%; 4/5) The wines of Cahors have never been more glamourous since Alain Perrin, the head of fashion house Cartier, bought out this winery. The wine is made by the fashionable, and somewhat ubiquitous, winemaker Michel Rolland. This is full of appealing savoury, deep fruit flavours and aromas of cherry, blackberry, spice, liquorice and leather. Grippy, savoury tannins have softened nicely in the five or so years since it was bottled and it is drinking very nicely now. Food match \ Scotch fillet"
Kerry Skinner "classically made, lashings of plum and black fruit, integrated spice, cleverly oaked, fine, silky tannins."

Region/Terroir: Chateau Lagrezette is produced from grapes grown in the best locations in Cahors. The vineyards are perched above the Lot river. The soil is a mixture of limestone and clay.
Grapes: Malbec 87%, Merlot 12%, Tannat 1%
Wine making: Chateau Lagrezette is produced using the following techniques:
  • Harvest: hand harvested & sorted
  • Average age of vines: 20 – 25 years
  • Consulting Enologist: Michel Rolland
  • Vinification: 4 day cold maceration at 12 degrees C, fermentation at 30 degrees C, prolonged maceration at 28degrees C, daily pump-overs, malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and stainless steel tanks
  • Ageing: 18 months in new & one-year-old French barrels
Our Tasting Notes :
From the exceptional vintage of 2005, this is textbook Cahors Malbec. Inky purple colour. On the nose blackcurrent, truffles, violets. On the palate lovely blackcurrent and plum fruit, spice and minerals.
Beautifully balanced, mid-weight, with fine chalky tannins, great structure and balance, long and satisfying.
Could be cellared for several years but enjoy now with red meats, white meats, cheese and indeed a range of dishes.

Another soft and spicy red, this time from Madiran that was well received and has become one of our best sellers amongst the public and the trade alike. 
This is a powerful multi-award winning wine from a well-regarded producer in the Madiran region. This domaine aims to produce a wine “in a style that brings out the heart and soul of south-west France". This is a rich and powerful wine, designed to go with food.
Again represents incredible value as this wine was awarded 2 stars in France’s prestigious wine guide the Guide Hachette 2010.
Reviewed by Kerry Skinner August 6, 2011: "powerful, brooding blend of tannat and cabernet sauvignon, rippling with layers of black fruit, spice and peppery, good balance and supple tannins"

Region/Terroir: Madiran. The wines of this region date back to roman times but were made famous by pilgrims passing through the region. Winemakers of the region can draw on centuries of cumulated experience to ensure optimal viticulture practices. Modern techniques have brought out the best from this wine.
Grapes: Made from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine making techniques: Grapes are harvested by hand, vinified in stainless steel using micro-oxygenation techniques and matured in oak barrels for 12 months.
Our tasting notes: A beautiful deep purple colour. An intense and savoury nose with black fruits, vanilla and leather. A concentrated palate with rich black fruit and peppery spices balanced with great structure, fine chalky tannins and acid. Intense, powerful but great length and balance.
Serve with stewed meat dishes, game and cheeses.
Alcohol: 13.5%

This is a great example of the wines that DiscoverVin is bringing to Australia. From an ancient vineyard that has been producing quality grapes for many centuries, premium grapes are now being made into modern and clean wines while retaining characteristics typical of the terroir. Great value for money!
This wine proved so popular that it ran out recently! Now replaced with the 2009 which is from another exceptional year and very similar in style to the 2009. Again a very good value red wine from regional France representing good value and a great ambassador for this appellation. 

Terroir:  Galliac is a small appellation north of Toulouse (map). It is at the confluence of influences from the Atlantic ocean and the Meditarean sea. It is considered a rapidly improving region, driven by small independant producers such as Chateau de Saurs.
Grapes:  blended with  Merlot, Syrah and Bracol in equal measure
Winemaking: Traditional methods of harvesting and destemming. Harvested by parcels of vines which are pressed in separate vats, and vinified for 8 to 10 days at a maximum 30°C. Regular rotation for optimum extraction of colour, while at the same time preserving aromas. Fermentation takes place over 6 to 8 months in vats, then bottled.
Tasting notes: Chateau de Saurs Rouge Tradition AOC Gaillac red has a deep red ruby-garnet colour, and has a very attractive bouquet of cherries, blackcurrants, with discreet hints of aniseed and cinnamon which are more present at the finish. A balanced, round, elegant wine revealing subtle soft tannins, it charms the palate and would be a good accompaniment to meat and cheese. Great to drink now but would improve with a year or two of cellaring. 
Alcohol: 13.5%

We were thrilled that this wine rapidly became one of our best sellers of 2011. Perhaps a cult wine in the making in?
AOC Fronton is a small region north of Toulouse - click here to see on a map.  Négrette is an indigenous grape variety producing juicy but elegant wines. Anne-Marie & Pierre Selle have become renown for the quality and consistency of their wines.

Terroir All 20 ha of the estate are planted on the 3rd terrasse of the Tarn river,
on gravelly soils. This is quite unique in the appellation Fronton and makes the
distinction of Château Bouissel.
Grapes 50% Négrette, 25% Syrah and 25% Cot
Wine making Long maceration (18 days). Fermentation and maceration with micro-oxygenation.
12 month ageing period in stainless steel tanks (and 10% in oak barrels)
Our tasting notes Nice and intense ruby color with purple tints.
Intense aromas of small red and black fruit, of spices (liquorice and
pepper) and of flowers (violet and peony). This wine is both powerful and
harmonious. The first taste is velvety, the mouthfeel is ample and rich and the
finish is long with great balance.
Alcohol: 14.5%

A classic from the south-west of France. Powerful fruit wrapped in soft tannins

Great to see 2 dry wines of Jurançon in the top 10. We are not really so surprised. As per our wine 2 (the Ch Jolys Jurançon Sec,) we think that these  dry whites fill a gap in the pallette of wines available in Australia. 
This is a special dry white wine that has won many accolades. wine has won many accolades, including 2 stars and a “Coup de Coeur’ rating (meaning “our favourite”) in the Guide Hachette in 2009, which said (our translation from the French text)…. “This domain often mentioned in the guide for its sweet wines is noted here for its superb dry Jurançon with its fresh pale colour. The nose is complex and elegant and opens up with fruit then unveils a splendid minerality. After a well-rounded initial taste one finds again a splendid vivacity and anew an inexhaustible minerality which brings length to the wine on the finish. A savoury wine perfectly balanced and very pure.” Of course we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

For those looking for something other than chardonnay or sauvignon blanc, this could be the wine!

Region/Terroir: Jurançon
Grapes: Made from 70% petit manseng and 30% gros manseng.
Winemaking techniques: Hand-picked from old vines (between 50 and 60 years old) and aged in oak for one year to add complexity to the wine. Traditional methods and know how are used but enhanced with modern technology in the winery.
Our tasting notes: The nose is very expressive and complex with spicy and mineral notes. The palate is long, rounded and complex with spices and complex stone fruit flavours. Good acid to give great balance and structure to the wine.
Alcohol: 13.5%

We are very pleased to be able to include this special wine in our portfolio and very pleased that it has made the top 10 for 2011!
So an interesting line up of wines from the south-west of France. We are pleased with the way that they have been received in the Australian market. We would like to thank all our customers, friends and followers and wish everyone a safe, health and prosperous 2012. 
Hmmm, I wonder what our top 10 will be this time next year?

Jeeper Royale Champagne Dinner

Join us for a very special Jeeper Royale Champagne 5 course degustation.  Sam Ferjou of Champagne Jeeper, DiscoverVin and Rosé Roya...