For City Vino's weekly tasting the weekend of June 18th, 2021, we take you all to on a summer tour of France. Summer temperatures in France, generally, are warm and not hot. Paris, for example, has average temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees. Along the southern coast of the country, temperatures run higher.
Our first French summer wine is the 2020 Les Deux Moulins Rosé from the Brissac-Quincé area in the Loire Valley, France. Les Deux Moulin translates to Two Mills. The winery was established in 1872 and has about 178 acres of vineyards. The winery is certified sustainable and pays homage to traditional grapes from the area. This wine is comprised of 77% Grolleau, 18% Gamay, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Grolleau is native to the Loire Valley. The groll in its name comes from the word crow in French referring to the deep dark colored skins of these grapes like the color of the bird.
The Les Dex Moulins is a dry rosé with aromas of fresh berries, roses, and currants. On the palate, shows pronounced flavors of watermelon, candied fruit, citrus flavors, and a hint of minerality. The refreshing fruitiness of this wine means that it pairs well with spicy dishes, charcuterie plates, tapas, and a warm summer day on the porch.
The next foray in our summertime in France is the 2020 Domaine Corne Loup Blanc which comes from the Lirac area in southern Rhône Valley wine region. The “Corne Loup” translates to horn wolf from olden days when someone would sound a horn to warn if a wolf were nearby. The family has been growing grapes since the 1960s and started making wine from their own vineyards years later.
The Domaine Corne Loup Blanc is a blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 35% Viognier, and 25% Marsanne. The nose on this wine displays peach, stone fruit, sea salt, and some minerality. The Viognier and the Marsanne add weight/body to this wine making it more of a full-bodied wine. The palate has richness with flavors of bees’ wax, peach, apricot, apple, and wet stone. Due to that richness, we suggest pairing this with rich fish like salmon or tuna, mature or hard cheeses, and cured meats.
Our third destination on our summertime sojourn is again to the Loire Valley for the
2018 Château de Valmer Vouvray. The Château is modelled in the style of the Italian Renaissance with stunning gardens. This Vouvray is 100% Chenin Blanc as all wines labelled Vouvray are. Chenin Blancs from Vouvray are made in sparkling traditional style, dry, off-dry, and all the way to sweet.
The Château de Valmer Vouvray is an off-dry wine with a hint of sweetness which pairs beautifully with the nuanced mineral notes. The wine is light golden in color and has enticing aromas of crisp golden apples and Anjou pears. The orchard fruit aromas are replicated on the palate. Due to the hint of sweetness on this wine, foods with spicy heat like those from Indian or Jerk spices would pair well. Tangy goat cheese with play off the sweetness, as well. Shellfish would make a lovely pairing.
The final stop on our four summer French wine tours is with the 2019 Boutinot Uva Non Grata Gamay. Boutinot Wines have fun with their wine names and labels this particular wine’s name plays off the fact that the Gamay grape was in their words “for centuries maligned, mistreated and misunderstood” and was even outlawed in 1395. Some rebel winemakers hid Gamay grapes amongst their Pinot Noir. To honor that spirit, Boutinot bottled this Gamay with no appellation identity and therefore followed no established rules. The name Uva Non Grata translates to Ungrateful Grape.
The Uva Non Grata is made from 100% Gamay via semi-carbonic maceration where fermentation starts due to the weight of the berries in the vat pushing on the lower berries and with the oxygen replace by carbon dioxide in the tank. That process yields a very fruity wine packed with fruit aromas and soft red berries on the palate. Since it is summertime and this is a low tannin wine, serve it with a chill. For pairings, charcuteries trays or grilled meats of all kinds will work well wonderfully.
We hope you enjoyed this whirlwind summer tour of French wines for summer. Cheers!