Wine Social at Bar Divani - Demystifying France

Last Wednesday's Wine Social at Bar Divani featured a great selection of France's wine-growing regions.  Rimple displayed a few of his favorites, and they were very well-received!

Hugel, Gewurztraminer, Alsace, 2006 - Sweet, rich pineapple filled the nose with amazing white rose petals and pale flowers.  The palate contained a big rich feel of ripe fruits and honey, but it was very apparent how quickly if cut short in the mid-palate.  The end lingers with citrus and lemon peel.  This "cut" in the middle would amazing pair with Thai food to compliment the oriental spice.

Pascal Jolivet, Sancerre, Loire Valley, 2010 - The nose was beautiful and crisp, filled with grapefruit and lemongrass.  An equally crisp palate was flavorful of green grapes, lemon zest, and approachable acidity throughout.  It represented Sancerre's earthy terroir very well, and would pair wonderfully with a splendid French goat cheese.

Vincent Girardin, Volnay, Vielles Vignes, Bourgogne, 2008 - Excellent juicy aromas laced with the terroir of Burgundy; further swirls of the glass release barnyard and black cherry.  Less intense than I would have originally thought on the palate, with calm fruits, again, black cherry, and an old world tribute to the terroir of Volnay.  Great pairing with duck or coq au vin.

Domaine Bressy-Masson, Cote du Rhone Villages, Rasteau, Rhone, 2009 - Notes of earth and dark fruit evident on the nose with a light spice additive.  The palate was again easier than expected; spice driven and rustic with a medium body and rip cherry finish.  It lingers with some dry tannins, and would be a good accompaniment to beef or lamb.

Chateay Rochermorin, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, 2009 - Solid tobacco, cedar, and stonefruit on the nose, followed by big, ripe, dark fruit in the palate.  The tannins are big, ripe, and lingering on the finish.  It is still very tight, and would benefit from decanting now, or 5+ years in the bottle, drinkable up to 15+ years I'm sure.  This Bordeaux would compliment beef or a robust dish of any kind.

Chartogne-Taillet, 1er Cru, Brut, Merfy, Champagne, NV - I would not consider Champagne at the top of my lists.  In general, and I say that with emphasis, the yeasty flavor of traditional Champagne does not mingle with my palate.  However, the Chartogne-Taillet is special.  At about the same price as Veuve, it hands down is one of the best Champagnes I have ever sampled.  The nose is classic sourdough bread, where the palate is rich with crisp orchard notes and sweet Challah bread start to finish.  It reminds me of my Grandpa Tidey's apple pie, and it made me crave a slice.  Fantastic growers Champagne through and through.  A+++

As a treat for the evening, fellow patron of the Wine Social and independent distribution representative, Stan, treated us to a special bottle that had us all in the palm of his hand.  Cuvee Paul Emile, Rasteau, 2010 was perhaps the crown to a very special evening.  The nose presented with a slight alcohol scent, and developed into light red fruits and blackberries.  The palate was jammy and full of dark fruit juices and medium body and tannins.  It was truly excellent from start to finish.

Overall, a fantastic evening, and cheers to Bar Divani!  Very well done!  I'm very much looking forward to tonight's Wine Social: Guess the Grape!

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