28 January 2013

DiscoverVin top 10 wines of 2012 (part 2)

Here is a look at our most popular wines of 2012, based on volume of sales. (Where we have clicked over to a new vintage during the year we have counted all the sales of that wine together, regardless of the vintage.)

The following makes some interesting reading, none the least for the prominence of rosé. Two rosé wines have made the top 10! Once considered sweet and uninteresting, dry rosé certainly appears to be making a resurgence in Australia as it is in Europe. In France in 2012 rosé sales have exceeded white wine sales. Similarly we appear to be in the middle of a rosé revolution !

Here are the wines 6-10 . Last week we blogged on the Top 5 which we will recap and then focus on wines 6-10. Wines 6-10 includes 3 reds (Chateau Lagarde  from Saint Emilion, Chateau Haut-Belian from Bordeaux, Chateau de Saurs from Gaillac ) a great Graves white from a famous French wine and food family (Ch Haut Peyrous)  and our top selling dessert wine (Chateau Jolys Cuvée Jean

1. Chateau La Rayre Bergerac Rose 2010 $17.99

Wow! A rose as our best seller for 2012.

This rosé seems to appeal to wine lovers who would not normally look at rosé. It is darker in colour and has more body than other styles of rosé (this is achieved by a pressing of the skins with the juice which otherwise would be clear).

More details can be found here

2. Domaine de l'Ancienne Cure Bergerac Rouge 2008

A complex and elegant red wine. It is typical of the good value wines that DiscoverVin is bringing to wine lovers in Australia.

You won't find this on our website as we are currently sold out! But we have managed to secure a small parcel that is "on the water" at the time of writing- please call 0260206018 or email info@discovervin.com.au for details and to pre-order

A lovely complex red and great value at the price.

The name says it all.  Irresisitible!  An irresistible rosé from Provence, the home of rosé. What a great looking bottle and a great tasting wine! Very few Provençal producers are given the cru classé classification, denoting an exceptional winery.

Reviewed by Max Crus, The Daily Examiner Saturday March 17 2012 “A friend once said that she didn’t like rose until she had had one in Provence. I now understand the fuss. The real de la McCoy 8.8/10”. Other reviews on this wine can be accessed on our media reviews page.
This wine is being featured in this summer's Rose Revolution activities. For more technical details etc quick here

4. Chateau Jolys Jurançon sec 2010 $19.90

This Jurançon Sec 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!

This wine has received a great review by Sean Mitchell of the Grape Observer. "This wine is a winner......The 2010 vintage of Chateau Joly's Jurançon Sec is a very attractive wine indeed ‐ almost like a better version of a sauvignon blanc..... At $18.99 a bottle for this good level of quality, this wine deserves to fly off the shelves. 89 points(very good)"

5. Chateau de La Bouyere Bordeaux Blanc 2010 $18.90

We are thrilled to see this lovely easy drinking white make the top 5. It was a big hit when served cold and crisp on a very hot week-end at the Paris to Provence Festival in Melbourne in November.
Region/Terroir:  AOC Bordeaux Blanc
Grapes:  Semillon (80%), Sauvignon Blanc (20%).
Ageing:  Drink now.  Serve at a cool temperature around 12°C.
Our Tasting notes:  Lovely pale golden colour with little hints of green. An expressive nose with fragrances of citrus fruits that evolve towards nuances of tropical fruits.  The mouth is harmonious and fruity with a great round, rich mouth feel due to the ageing on fine lees.  Delicate and balanced.  

A stylish wine at this price.  Crisp and refreshing, perfect with salads.

6. Chateau Lagarde (Saint Émilion)

Saint Émilion is one of the most famous Bordeaux regions.  It is on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River where Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the predominant varieties. Château Lagarde is made by the owner of Château Tour Grand Faurie, a famous Saint Émilion Grand Cru. In recent vintages this producer has started to produce some very good wines
This wine from 2009 is a good example of how good value can be found in unclassified producers (petits chateaux) in the good years. 2009 was a good year right across the region , so good value can be found in many chateaux
Grapes:  Merlot (73%), Cabernet Franc (25%), Malbec (2%).
Soil:  Eastern flanks of Saint Émilion - consisting of very small pebbles.
Alcohol:  13% VOL
Wine making:  Grapes are harvested by hand and made using traditional Saint Émilion winemaking methods in temperature-controlled vats. 
Cellaring potential:  Already drinking nicely, however will develop and repay cellaring over several years.
Our Tasting notes:  Beautiful red colour.  A fruit driven nose with a touch of strawberry and vanilla.  The taste delicious, supple, delicate and fruity.  A seductive wine with ripe tannins, considerable elegance and lovely mouth feel.  Gorgeous! Great value.

If you are a fan of Saint Émilion or Merlot, or just looking for a good wine at a great price, it’s pretty hard to go past this wine!

7. Chateau Haut Belian

A drinkable, affordable Bordeaux red/claret from a great vintage.  Easy drinking wine for all occasions. Another good example of a good value wine from a great year (2009)- where the value in those years can be found in the smaller estates ("petit chateaux")

Château Haut Belian is an 86-hectare estate on the hills between the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers. The vineyards are at one of the highest points of the region.
Region/Terroir:  Bordeaux AOC
Grapes:  Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Merlot (45%), Cabernet Franc (25%).
Soil:  Clay and limestone.
Alcohol: 13.5% VOL
Wine making: Grapes are slowly and softly harvested by machine. Traditional wine making methods are used, with fermentation occurring at 28°C and with a long maceration.  Malolactic fermentation and ageing are conducted in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats.
Cellaring potential:  Can age 3-4 years, however approachable now.
Our Tasting notes:  Big rich nose.  A good weight with fruit and tannins in balance.  Tannins are smooth and velvety.  A pleasant, round, fruity wine, with some chocolaty notes.  Long and balanced.

8. Chateau de Saurs

From an ancient vineyard in the region of Gaillac 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!

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:   A blend with  Merlot, Syrah and Braucol 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%
Perhaps a little lighter in style than some of our other reds. This is a wine of tremendous quality at this price.
This wine was awarded a Silver medal at the Concours National des Vignerons Independants 2010.

9. Chateau Haut Peyrous- Pêche au Carrelet Graves Blanc

The Haut Peyrous estate is owned by Marc Darroze from the famous Darroze family of Gascony. Since June 2008, all work on the estate (soil, treatments) has been carried out in accordance with organic production criteria.

Any possible deficiencies in the soil are rectified gently and naturally, the vines are treated with products authorised by organic farming criteria.
This vintage has received one review to date in the local media from Dr Plonk in the Grape Hunter Reviews 5th June 2012;
"This wine is from Graves, a sub-region of Bordeaux that is known for its gravel soils and Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Mark Darroze, the vigneron, has aimed for organic production with full certification in 2003. The colour is of a deep straw with a nose of lemons, cashews and toasty oak. The palate is a soft anterior effect a balanced acid backbone. Whilst showing some ageing characteristics it will cellar for another 2-3 years and would be well matched with a Rabbit terrine."
Region/Terroir:  Graves
Grapes:  Semillon (75%), Sauvignon Blanc (25%).
Alcohol: 13.5% VOL
Soil:  The surface soil is made up of clay and loamy sand covered with pebbles, typical of this part of the appellation. The subsoil is also composed of sand with clays more or less deep, depending on the parcels.
Wine making:  Yields limited by frost and cool summer days maintained the freshness and elegance in the white grapes in 2009. The warm sunny autumn finished the job. This wine is made from a blend of Sémillon (75%) and Sauvignon (25%), a portion of which was matured in one-year-old barrels.
Cellaring Potential:  Drink now.
Our Tasting notes:  Lively nose with spice and mineral notes and vanilla from the oak.  Lovely soft and round mouth feel.  Richness and complexity on the back palate and a lovely soft acid backbone.

The square shaped net (carrelet) that the fisherman has just hauled out of the Garonne is teeming with shad, lamprey and eels …tasty fish, which need to be cooked slowly and gently.  Fish like this need complex and generous wines to pair with! 

10. Chateau Jolys Cuvée Jean 

This is a great, value-for-money example of the sweet wines of Jurançon-delicious fruit and sweetness but perfectly balanced and without being cloying. The sweet wines of Jurançon are amongst the great sweet/dessert wines of the world at a great price.
Grapes: Cuvee Jean is made from 100% Petit Manseng grapes.

Region/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.
The grapes are late harvested using the passerillage method, and the resulting concentration of sugar gives for perfectly healthy, golden and extremely ripe grapes.
Wine making: After total destemming and maceration before fermentation, we keep only the free-run juice to make this wine (juice obtained before pressing), in order to obtain the best of the richness and the aromas of the Petit Manseng grapes. After cold settling, alcoholic fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks (at around 20°C so as to preserve the aromas).
Barrel ageing for 9 months in French oak barrels.

Our tasting notes: The nose presents notes of honey, acacia, apricot and peaches. On the palate, after a fresh and round attack, we find the same aromas and complexity as with the nose. The palate is powerful yet smooth - Petit Manseng at it's very best. Fabulous length and balance. This wine, like many from Jurançon, is pleasantly sweet without a cloying finish.
Cuvée Jean can be drunk young or cellared for up 10 years.
It's best served as an aperitif, with foie gras/pate or smoked salmon, and also pairs perfectly with creamy fish and poultry dishes as well as cheese.

The next best sellers outside of the top 10 were: 
Chateau Lannesan 2004  (our best selling bordeaux red wine)

Domaine Bellegarde Jurançon Sec Selection DB 2008 (a classy, minerally dry white)

Domaine Crampilh Madiran Vielle Vignes 2006 (red wine from one of the oldest wines growing regions in France)

Chateau Le Pradey Sainte-Croix-de-Mont 2008 Great value botrytised dessert wine.  Produced just across the river from the famous vineyards of Sauternes and Barsac.

So there you have our top wines for 2012. A few surprises perhaps- 2 rosé in the top 10 perhaps reflects rapidly changing tastes/trends. 

For more information on these wines go to www.discovervin.com.au 

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