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winegang Oct 2011

Excerpts from The Wine Gang October Newsletter 2011

Vine Trail

A specialist in what it describes as 'artisanal, small domaine French wines, Vine Trail is one of our favourite UK wine merchants. As with the winemakers it represents, there's a real feeling of care and attention in the Vine Trail list, a desire to find new discoveries both within the established regions (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire and the Rhône) and further afield (Jura, the Southwest). Many of the wines are organic or biodynamic, although, unlike some suppliers, issues of quality take precedence over dogma. Order by the case through www.vinetrail.co.uk or 0117 921 1770.

Caroline Morey Saint-Aubin Les Ebaupins 2009   Rating 90/100

Château Sainte-Anne Bandol Blanc 2009   Rating 89/100

Domaine Gourt De Mautens Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007 Rating 94/100

Cyril Fhal Clos du Rouge Gorge 2007 Rating 93/100

Champagne Jérôme Prévost Les Béguinnes 2007 Rating 94/100

Champagne Emmanuel Brochet Le Mont Benoit Champagne, Rating 90/100

 

DRY WHITES

Caroline Morey Saint-Aubin Les Ebaupins 2009   Rating 90/100

Saint-Aubin (Burgundy), France, Dry White (Cork), 12.5% abv

Based in Chassagne-Montrachet, Caroline Morey comes from fine winemaking stock – her father is top grower Jean-Marc Morey, and she is married to the equally celebrated Pierre-Yves Colin. Having worked with both for ten years, Caroline has recently started bottling her own wines, and the results are superb. This Saint-Aubin, for example, has tension and nervy acidity and some rippling fresh citrus and orchard fruit.

£19.74 at Vine Trail

Goes with: Chicken.

 

Château Sainte-Anne Bandol Blanc 2009   Rating 89/100

Bandol (Provence), France, Dry White (Cork), 12.5% abv

Made from 37-year-old vines, this wine is full of the aromas of the hills of Provence with its notes of wild herbs and flowers. The palate is chalky-textured but bright, fresh and focused, and there's a savoury edge to the finish. Find on wine-searcher.com

£17.50 at Vine Trail

Goes with: Salads & Vegetable dishes.

 

DRY REDS

Domaine Gourt De Mautens Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007 Rating 94/100

Rasteau (Rhône), France, Dry Red (Cork), 14.0% abv

This is just the kind of wine we will be turning to to provide comfort in the bleak midwinter – an evocative liquid reminder of sunnier climes and times. An exceptional biodynamic Grenache-dominant blend that is at once gracefully aromatic and powerfully structured, gutsy yet fresh on the palate. Black olives, wild herbs, liquorice, black and red fruit, peppery spice … it's a complex chunky wine of real distinction. Find on wine-searcher.com

£35.95 at Vine Trail

Goes with: Red meat & Dark game.

 

Cyril Fhal Clos du Rouge Gorge 2007 Rating 93/100

Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (Roussillon), France, Dry Red (Cork), 13.0% abv

Predominantly (95%) Carignan, topped up with 5% Grenache, this extraordinary, expressive red is testament to the low-yielding old (70 to 100 years old) vines from which it is made. An intense, lifted nose of wild black fruit, rosemary, fennel and a touch of aniseed, an elastic palate with firm but silk-tipped tannins, and a lengthy finish – this is a wine that presents the wildness of the Roussillon in a very sophisticated fashion. Find on wine-searcher.com

£22.50 at Vine Trail

Goes with: Red meat & Dark game.

 

SPARKLING

Champagne Jérôme Prévost Les Béguinnes 2007 Rating 94/100

Champagne, France, Sparkling White (Cork), 12.5% abv

A zero dosage Champagne, although there is nothing austere about it. The base wine was aged for ten months in oak barrels (both new and up to 13 years old) and the finished fizz is quite astonishingly deep, complex and rewarding. The palate is dry and textured with a little tannin, there is a nutty edge to the orchard fruits, plus very nimble acidity. Most definitely a wine for contemplative sipping, ideally with food (such as white meat with creamy sauces) rather than a simple aperitif. Find on wine-searcher.com

£42.90 at Vine Trail

Goes with: Chicken.

 

Champagne Emmanuel Brochet Le Mont Benoit Champagne, Rating 90/100

France, Sparkling White (Cork), 12.5% abv 

An uncompromisingly bracing, zero-dosage Champagne that is absolutely thrilling in its vigorous purity and poise. Its austerity will be too much for some maybe, but we loved its saline/mineral kick and pristine citrus fruit – a better wine for seafood would be hard to find. Find on wine-searcher.com

£29.24 at Vine Trail

Goes with: Fish & Seafood

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