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Quick tour of France

June 15, 2008

We tasted and enjoyed a bunch of French wines over the last week/weekend. It’s hard to pick a favorite; they all tasted great, but the Bougogne Blanc and the Beaujolais Village were the most distinctive and fun to drink.

Domaine Patrick Javillier, Bourgogne Blanc, ‘Cuvee des Forgets’, 2002: Beautiful soft lemon-drop core with long mineral-driven finish. Slight nuttyness. Sexy. Great with cheese and creamy sauces.

Terres Dorees, L’ancien Beaujolais Village, Vieilles Vignes, 2007: Fresh strawberries and bramble patch with a smokey, meaty midpalate. Tons of white pepper. Remains light-medium bodied, but bursting with fruit. Tight acidity and some tar on the back-and. Fabulous value and a controversial wine – I’d be scared to if I had to compete with village Beaujolais like this. Salmon or pork on the grill.

Château Picque-Caillou, Pessac-Leognan, 2005: Warm cedar, cherries and tobacco. Rich. Totally distinctive and almost renegade, with structure to carry it into the 2020s. With smoked duck, or bacon-wrapped fillets.

Jean-Luc Colombo, Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc, ‘La Redonne’ 2006: Bananas and peaches on the nose. Very well-balanced with enough acidity to keep it from the syrupy hot mess Viogniers sometimes go. Totally tropical on the palate and medium weight. A very solid summertime white, begging for grilled shrimp or steamed lobster.

François Pinon, Vouvray, ‘Cuvee Tradition’ 2006: In a dry style, but not overly lean. Finessed and elegant with pineapple, dried flowers and a gorgeous leesy-cheesy component on the nose. Poised but altogether light-hearted. With cheese or as an aperitif.

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