28 July 2012

Bordeaux Wine Festival 2012

The team from DiscoverVin were lucky enough to be in Bordeaux for the 2012 Fete le Vin. Held every 2 years - this year between the 28th of June and 1st July 2012 - it was a massive wine event. 
Temporary marquees were constructed on the renovated quays next to the Garonne River in central Bordeaux. With a backdrop of the architectural splendour of this UNESCO world heritage city, it was a spectacular space to hold a festival.
Entry was free to wander around, but in order to taste one had to buy a "tasting pass" which consisted of a booklet with a series of coupons (cost 18 euros or about $21 at the time we bought tickets). With these tickets we could get a taste of wine from each marquee, plus there were a couple of spares to enable us to get some extra tastes at our favourite stands. Each marquee showed the wines from a group of appellations e.g Médoc/Haut Médoc or Saint Émilion/Pomerol.
You could come and go as you pleased over 4 days. This meant, for example,  you could spend your day wandering or shopping in the maze of streets and squares of old Bordeaux, and then pop down to the festival, or go to the oyster market for Sunday brunch and then over to the festival, or a quick taste at the festival before heading out to dinner, or even going down to the quays after dinner for a taste and to watch the the fireworks!
As well as the wine stands there was a wine school giving structured tastings (you could queue at certain times to get in which seemed easy enough to do) some trade displays, food stalls, temporary restaurants, a wine library, tall ships docked at the quays, ferries to catch, and art displays. In the neighbouring Place des Quinconces were a series of concerts for an additional cost - classical, jazz and rock all given air time.

Here is a video recently released by Bordeaux Wine:

Our only criticisms were that several of the servers seemed less than knowledgeable about the wines they were serving (they looked perplexed if technical questions were asked and no - it wasn't our French. A question about which grape variety was used was greeted with an embarrassed  looking "mmm ..... not sure" or a shrug of the shoulders on more than one occasion). And at peak times it was exceptionally busy - the stands could have been enlarged easily it seemed. Lastly, perhaps some more expensive wines could be served even if we had to pay more for the opportunity ($21 for all this was very cheap!).
In all the crowds were happy, convivial and calm. We saw no evidence of drunkenness or misbehaviour which apparently was reported as a problem in 2010 and was a concern of the organisers prior to this year's festival (and as a result the  sizes of each wine pour had been reduced in 2012).
As an introduction to the architectural and cultural wonders of Bordeaux the city and to Bordeaux wines, this would make a fabulous few days in late June 2014!
One of the highlights each night was a massive fireworks display and amazing sound and light show projected onto the stunning buildings in Place de la Bourse. More on that in our next blog and video.

22 July 2012

Bordeaux Dinner August 18th -Border Wine Room Albury

The opportunity to taste some wonderful wines from Bordeaux. 

Price includes 5 courses +tea/coffee with matched wines.

$125 per head.

Border Wine Room Dean St Albury

Saturday August 18th

Please call The Border Wine Room 02 6021 0900 to reserve your place. 

We expect this event to be a sell-out. 

For more information please call DiscoverVin 0260206016 or email to info@discovervin.com.au

15 July 2012

Taste the Tour with DiscoverVin

Its that time of year again, time to enjoy the legendary Tour de France. Enjoy the sights of the racing and the stunning scenery whilst enjoying this selection of French wine.
We are also pleased to partner our friends at Les Vaches du Tour for possibly the social media event of the Tour. Follow Les Vaches du Tour as they celebrate the unsung heroes of the tour. That's right, the cows! Enjoy riding our virtual peleton over the pyrenees. Enjoy the wine and food, the stunning scenery and the magnificent TV coverage of the Tour.
The wines in this 6 pack are sourced from vineyards in the Pyrenees and the South West of France - regions that the 2012 Tour passes through in the third week as the battle for the yellow jersey really hots up. They represent great value for money and a great introduction to the wines of the region. And at a fraction of the price of a ticket to France! 
Here is the list of wines, as matched with this years Tour stages, with some serving suggestions...more food suggestions and recipes are included in the tour pack.
In summary:
Domaine de la Croix Irresistable cru classé rosé 2010, 500ml - $19.90
Château Bouissel, Bouissel Classic, 2008, 750ml $19.99
Domaine du Cramplih, Vielles Vigne, 2006, 750ml $28.99
Château Jolys Cuvée Jean 2008, 375ml $22.00
Domaine Bellegarde, Pierre Blanche, Jurançon sec 2006, 750ml $29.99
Château Haut Monplaisir Prestige-AOC Cahors-Rouge 2006, 750ml $29.90

Usually $150.77 if purchased individually, the total price for the Taste of the tour 6 pack is only $140.

Packs include notes on the wine and some serving suggestions and recipes.

Stage 13-Provence
Saturday 14 July Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Le Cap d’Agde
215 km
The tour enters Provence, we crank up the heating, crack open the nibbles and pop the cork on this classy rosé. Not the sweet rosé of our youth but something dry, minerally and classy. Imagine that you are sitting in a café overlooking the Mediteranean Sea, smelling the sea air and the scent of herbs and local delicacies from the kitchen, as the peleton whizzes by. Are you starting to get the idea? Its Bastille Day. Vive la France and Vive le Tour!
Wine 1-Domaine de la Croix Irresistable AOC Cotes de Provence 500ml $19.90 Cru Classé rosé from Provence. Rosé seems to be popping up everywhere these days- see what the fuss is about! Pale pink, elegant nose with citrus fruits aromas. Supple, fruity with a soft and silky "finale".

Stage 14-Fronton
Sunday 15 July Limoux > Foix
192 km
The tour enters the Pyrenees region for the first time, just to the north are the wine regions of Gaillac and Fronton. We have selected an interesting blend of 55% Négrette, 20% Shiraz, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec. A lively nose redolent of flowers, herbs, with some meaty tones; rich fruit, complex and round. Serve with a plate of charcuterie such as hams, salami and some cheese. Allez Cadel!
Wine 2- Chateau Bouissel Classic AOC Fronton Rouge, 750ml $19.99 This is a great value for money wine. The modern expression of classic Fronton wines. 

Stage 15- Madiran and St Mont
Monday 16 July Samatan > Pau
160 km
The tour traverses the wine regions of Madiran and Saint-Mont- ancient wine growing regions undergoing a resurgence. Where classic south-west wines are produced from ancient terroir, by small passionate producers using modern wine making techniques-wines being rediscovered and celebrated by the French, reacting against the "sameness" of international wines. A region where duck is king of the table.
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. 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. Made from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. 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.

Stage 16 & 17-Jurançon
Wednesday 18 July Pau > Bagnères-de-Luchon
197 km
After a days rest, the peleton departs Pau- the Tour’s most visited city after Paris and Bordeaux.  It is the birthplace of King Henry IV who was baptised with the sweet wine of Jurançon. The famous cols of the Pyrenees, Tourmalet, the Aubisque, the Aspin and the Peyresourde will challenge the riders today. We sit back and enjoy the ride as we enjoy one of the famous wines of Jurançon. 
Wine 4 Château Jolys Cuvée Jean 2008, 375ml  The nose presents notes of honey, apricot and peaches. The palate is fresh, powerful yet smooth - Petit Manseng at it's very best. Fabulous length and balance. This wine like many from Jurançon are pleasantly sweet without a cloying finish. Best served with one of the classic cheeses of the region or a fruit dessert such as the classical tarte tatin.
Thursday 19 July Bagnères-de-Luchon > Peyragudes
144 km
Another day of high mountains Tour drama. Tonight we celebrate the dry white wines of the region. The manseng grapes used in the famous dessert wines are picked at optimal ripeness and made into classy dry minerally wines. With their lovely fruit and dry finish they seem to appeal to baoth the chardonnay and the sav blanc "camps". They keep well for years, and we present here one reaching its optimal drinking age. To enjoy on its own or with chicken pieces roasted with orange and thyme.
Wine 5 Domaine Bellegarde Jurançon Sec "La Pierre Blanche" 2006, 750ml $29.99. Selected parcels of petit and gros manseng grapes from 60 year old vines, aged in oak. 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 and citrus flavours. Good acid to give great balance and structure to the wine.

Stage 18-Cahors
Friday 20 July Blagnac > Brive-la-Gaillarde
215 km

Turning north and racing through the Fonton and Cahors region, crossing the Dordogne and Lot rivers, this is a day for the sprinters. We have put together a quick steak recipe to enjoy with a classic red from Cahors. We have picked a great Malbec from a top producer. Good value for the quality of this wine which has won multiple awards including three $$$ from Robert Parker:The World's Best Wine .
Wine 6 Chateau Haut Monplaisir Prestige-AOC Cahors-Rouge 2006 750ml $29.90 Garnet red colour. The nose is intense, with notes of red fruit, spices and blackberry jam.  Crisp and even, this wine presents aromas of blackcurrant and blackberry on the palate, along with a mineral note.  The finish is lengthy and complex, with notes of chocolate and spices, and with just a hint of woody aromas.

8 July 2012

DiscoverVin sponsor Le Tour Lounge

Can Cadel back it up for  2012?

DiscoverVin is sponsoring Le Tour Lounge at 
118 Oxford St, Sydney.

Shhh! Bikes along with Under New Management and Ride Magazine, official magazine for the Tour de France are organising le Tour Lounge.

For the Casual and the Committed

There will be a Projector replaying each stage during the day. Selected live stages at night.
Be there on Sunday 15 July when the Tour reaches  the Pyrenees Cols.  DiscoverVin's  Taste the Tour Pack will be available for tasting and orders can be made.

Genovese Coffee available all day,  Bikes for sale and even French Classes.

1 July 2012

DiscoverVin introduces four wines from Bordeaux Petits Châteaux-Part 2

“Some of Bordeaux's best wine value is to be found at the most conscientious petits châteaux.”  
Jancis Robinson
Four wines from three different vintages, from four producers on the left bank illustrate of the value for money and quality of wine made by conscientious petit châteaux.
DiscoverVin are very pleased to be bringing these high quality boutique wines to Australia at an affordable price: wines from high pedigree sites, owners and makers, sitting just outside the highest vineyards under the 1855 classification but representing great value for money.

1.       Château Senilhac Le Prade, 2009
  Website Price $25.00
The Producer
Chateau Senilhac la Prade is a small producer on 4 hectares east of Saint Seurin de Cadourne in the Haut-Médoc.
Haut Médoc
The Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (35%), Cabernet Franc (10%)
Grapes are machine harvested and made using traditional Medoc winemaking methods in a modern winery.  The wine is aged in oak barrels for 12 months.
Cellaring potential
Well balanced with layers of fruits and tannins so will develop over many years.
Our Tasting notes
 Dark colour, a bouquet full of freshly picked berries from the forest, tobacco notes, mid dense structure and a long finish.  The layers of tannins give the wine good ageing potential.
So many good Médocs to choose from the 2009 vintage but this was a standout value-for-money wine, in a large line-up.

2.           Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie, 2006
    Website Price $39.99
The Producer
Benedicte and Gregoire Hubau made their first vintage in the Bordeaux commune of Fronsac at Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie in 1988. They have worked with influential Bordeaux based oenologist Michel Rolland to make wines with finesse, elegance and balance. Their philosophy is
“To make a fine wine one needs beautiful grapes, clean and ripe, grown in a vineyard in touch with its "terroir".
Possessing similar soil and climate to Saint Émilion and Pomerol a few kilometers across the Dordogne River to the east, Canon-Fronsac has a picturesque landscape made up of woodland and hills. It also has a rich history reaching back hundreds of years, when the area was much favored by French nobility. Canon-Fronsac is encompassed by the wider Fronsac appellation.
The Wine
70% Merlot (70%) Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) Cabernet Franc (10%)
France’s prestigious Guide Gault-Milau gave the 2006 vintage 15/20 and a “good value for money” rating.
Cellaring Potential
Drinking well but will keep for several years (2012-2020)

Our Tasting Notes
Lovely purple colour. Red fruit and plums on the nose. Palate is soft, round in the mouth with minerals and fine chalky tannins. Great balance and length. Delicious, classy Merlot!
When we were in Bordeaux for Vinexpo 2011, this wine was being served at Bar à Vin run by the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux) or local Vignerons association. From the many hundreds of wines available this wine was being served on their short wine list, which is updated on a regular basis.

Website Price $38.00
Situated in the commune of Martillac, this 20-hectare property once belonged to Baron de Montesquieu. Today, Mr. Eric Perrin owns the estate
and has set up a vast land clearing and plantation programme in the 1980s, rejuvenating the vineyard from the ground up.
The Appellation
The appellation of Pessac-Leognan was created in 1987 from the section of the Graves district south of Bordeaux city. Some of the vineyards are surrounded by the development of the Bordeaux suburbs. Pessac and Leognan, the key towns in the appellation form part of the suburban sprawl, with vineyards next to houses and industrial estates.
Graves means gravel and Bordeaux’s reputation as a great wine region has been built on the gravel.
The red wines of Pessac-Leognan have a rich and flamboyant style, developing deep and spicy flavours with age. 
The Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (30%)
Cellaring Potential
Can be enjoyed now but will keep for many years (2012-2025)
Our Tasting notes
A wine with very pleasing aromas of black fruits (blackberries, black currant), red fruits (raspberries) and with subtle roasted notes (grilled and smoky). Good fruit weight and fine gravel tannins giving it a lovely mouth feel. Hints of minerals and chocolate.
 Typifies the silky tannins, minerals and structure of the wines of Pessac-Leognan.
  Website Price $110.00
The Producer
Clos des Quatre Vents is a tiny 1.2 hectare plot planted with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The proprietor is Luc Thienpont, former owner of Château Labégorce-Zédé. The estate produces 6000 bottles/500 cases from a vineyard planted with very old vines with an average age of 80 years old. 
Quatre vents means ”four winds”.  The passage of the four winds across this elevated vineyard throughout the year ensures a fresh and healthy crop each vintage, and this purity is translated through careful harvesting and vinification into a wine of real elegance backed by restrained power.
The vineyard is situated on a plateau at the entrance to the town of Margaux, surrounded by Cru Classé vineyards.
The Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (40%),Petit Verdot (5%)
This wine was made by Jacques Boissenot, wine consultant to four of the five First Growths of the Médoc, and named Winemaker of the Decade in 2010 by the Chinese Bordeaux Guide to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication.
Grapes were picked by hand, fermented in cement tanks with malolactic fermentation in new oak, followed by ageing in new French oak for 18-20 months.
Cellaring potential
 A wine that will achieve full maturity a decade from the vintage, but which enjoys such balance that it can be enjoyed in its youth.
Our Tasting notes
Brilliant dark garnet/purple colour.  A very savoury nose with red fruits and some meaty tones.  The palate is soft and rounded with complex layers of red fruits (raspberry, strawberry etc.), fine tannins, very long and well balanced.  We wrote down sexy when we first tried it!  Very approachable - an amazing wine.

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...