Tag: french wines

What are the 10 most expensive wines in the world in 2015?

 TAGS:undefined

Wine Searcher recently published a list of the most expensive wines in the world in the year 2015, which first 10 positions can be seen below. As expected, the top positions are dominated by French wines, an international benchmark in terms of wine investment.

  1. Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits (France) at $ 13,580: This wine is made from Pinot Noir. This makes it the most expensive wine; its price has increased these past 3 years and is one of the most popular in Europe and Asia. Made from Pinot Noir.
  2. Domaine de la Romanee Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits (France) at $ 13,196: The critics have named it one of the top 5 French wines; The Wine Advocate gave the 2012 vintage a score of 99 and Jancis Robinson gave the 2012 vintage a score of 19/20. Its price gradually increased the last three years to become the second most expensive Burgundy. Made from Pinot Noir in Romanee-Conti, a Grand Cru vineyards site (and the corresponding designation of origin) of the sub-region of Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits.
  3. Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux, Vosne Romanee Conti Grand Cru (France) at $ 8,473: Rated by the critics as one of the top 5 Vosne-Romanee Cros Parantoux wines, it is the second most expensive Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru wine. Its price has risen in the last year. Cros Parantoux is one of the most respected areas in Vosne-Romanee, considered by many to be worthy of Grand Cru status. It is located on the slopes above the Richebourg Grand Cru climat, and like its famous neighbour, is used to plant Pinot Noir.
  4. Ego Muller Scharzhof Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Mosel (Germany) at $ 6,924: This is the white wine with the highest price in Germany and the third most popular. In the past three years the price has increased. Made from Riesling in Wiltingen, a small but important town in the Saar river. Wiltingen has three vineyards that have been classified by the VDP as Erste Lage – Scharzhofberger, Braunfels and Gottesfuss.
  5. Domaine eFlaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune (France) at $ 5,769: This is the white wine with the highest price of Cote de Beaune. Its price has been rising in the last three years. Made from Chardonnay.
  6. Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Musigny Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits (France) at $ 4,935: This wine is the most expensive of Chambolle-Musigny. In the past three years its price has increased. Made from Pinot Noir (the key red wine grape in Burgundy) in Le Musigny, a Grand Cru vineyard in the heart of the wine region of Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits.
  7. Jon. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Mosel (Germany) at $ 4,867: This is the third best rated wine by The Wine Spectator and the second most expensive in Germany. Made from Riesling in Wehlen, one of the most popular villages in the Germany’s Mosel wine region, located just under the waters of Bernkastel-Keus and Graach, and immediately before Zeltingen.
  8. Domaine de la Romanee Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune (France) at $ 4,458: Rated by The Wine Advocate as one of the top 5 Puligny-Montrachet wines, has received more awards than any other wine from this region. Made from the Chardonnay variety in the Montrachet vineyard, the crown jewel of Burgundy white wines.
  9. Domaine LeRoy Musigny Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits (France) at $ 4,454: This is the second most expensive wine of Chambolle-Musigny, its price has increased over the past three years. Made from Pinot Noir in Le Musigny, a Grand Cru vineyard in the heart of the wine region of Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits. As its name suggests, it is located in the parish of Chambolle-Musigny. This vineyard has played an important role in local life – so much so that in 1882, its name is added to the village name (originally only “Chambolle”). The vineyard was officially classified as Musigny Grand Cru in 1936.
  10. Domaine Jean Louis Chave Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin, Rhone (France) $ 4,131: This is the third French wine with the highest rating at The Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator. This is the most expensive wine of Rhone, in the last two years the price has been trending upward. Made from Syrah, a dark skin red wine grape. Its origins have been popularly discussed, but its modern home is certainly the Rhone Valley in north-eastern France.

For our part, today we propose two wines from France that you’ll love, although not listed in this luxurious classification:

 TAGS:Château Talbot Double Magnum 2004Château Talbot Double Magnum 2004

Château Talbot Double Magnum 2004: a red wine with this DO: Saint-Julien with the best bunches of petit verdot and merlot from the 2004 vintage and with an alcoholic strength of 13º.

 

 

 TAGS:Château Pavie Saint Emillion 2004Château Pavie Saint Emillion 2004

Château Pavie Saint Emillion 2004: a wine red with the Saint-Emilion DO from the 2004 harvest and 14º of alcohol strength.

 

 

*Image: Alin Zelenco

What makes different champagne and prosecco?

 TAGS:undefined

When we talk about sparkling wines, the first that come to mind are of course champagne, cava and prosecco, from Italy, specifically from the Veneto region. But, what makes different this Italian wine and its French counterpart? What is the reason because its price and reputation are lower? Here are some of these differences.

Origin, elaboration and price

While champagne is produced in the homonymous French region (in the north-east of France and around the city of Reims), prosecco is produced in Veneto, near the city of Treviso and north of Venice.

The grapes used in the production of champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, and in order to obtain the final product they use the traditional method or champenoise (the same used in cava, American sparkling wines and Italian Franciacorta), the costlier system among the ones used to add bubbles to wine.

As for the Italian sparkling wine, it is made from Prosecco grapes, also known as glera, and following the Charmat or Italian method, in which the second fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, which makes its production cheaper.

Is this because champagne is more expensive? Partly yes, although the processing method alone does not explain why a good “inexpensive” champagne can cost about 40 Euros and a prosecco in the same category costs only 12-15 Euros. The higher price of champagne is also explained by the perception of luxury product that it has been able to generate over its history in consumers worldwide.

Taste

Champagne is aged longer, so it presents typical notes from a longer contact with the yeast, which can range from cheese rind to cake. The bubble is finer and more persistent and we can also find tastes of almonds, orange zest and white cherry.

In prosecco we can find more fruity and floral aromas, due to the grape variety, with thicker and less persistent bubbles and tastes of tropical fruit, hazelnut or vanilla.

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger produces Pol Roger Brut Réserve, a sparkling wine of the Champagne DO which blend contains pinot Noir and chardonnay and with an alcoholic strength of 12.5º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Vigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra DryVigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra Dry

Vigna Dogarina is the maker of this Vigna Dogarina Prosecco Extra Dry.

 

 

The Grenache grape: promising future

 TAGS:undefined

Sommeliers, wine producers and connoisseurs from all over the world are praising the values of the Grenache grape, that offers fine wines and intense production.

This variety, though it has a strong historic presence in countries such as France, Spain and Australia, is also spreading elsewhere. Additionally, those that highlight Grenache as a grape of great future, do so thanks to its large capacity to thrive in hot conditions. Something that must be taken into account, because of the climate change, which is making many places even hotter and therefore, this grape has a promising future. 

These are some of the reasons for such a promising future:

  • Grenache in South Africa. The Grenache variety potential is big, since it is increasingly important also in places like South Africa, where plantations slowly increased from about 40 hectares in 2000 to 188 hectares in 2010.
  • Aromas and flavours. According to experts, the wine made from Grenache grape is a friendly wine, a wine with aroma. And it’s a good alternative to all the most important varieties today.
  • Resistant grape. In addition to withstand heat, Grenache grape is resistant to some wood diseases, which made it more precious.
  • Grenache-Pinot Noir. In addition, there are many similarities between the Grenache grape and Pinot Noir, as they can be enjoyed young. Grenache for sommeliers is synonymous with maturity.
  • In many wineries. In wineries in France, Grenache variety is growing. Its producers strive to offer fresh tasting wines, and the importance of oxygen in the harmonization of the mixture of young wine, and so acidity, structure and tannins.

The quality of grenache grapes is truly a world to discover, a world of good wines that you can not miss.

 

 TAGS:Remelluri Reserva 2007Remelluri Reserva 2007

Remelluri Reserva 2007 is a red wine with Rioja DO with tempranillo and graciano of 2007 and 13.5º of volume of alcohol.

 

 

 TAGS:Viña Arana Reserva 2005Viña Arana Reserva 2005

Viña Arana Reserva 2005 is a a red wine with Rioja DO from La Rioja Alta cellar based on garnacha and mazuelo of 2005 and 12.8º of alcohol. 

 

 

 TAGS:Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2007Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2007

Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2007 is a red wine from the Rioja DO made with garnacha tinta and graciano of 2007 and with 14º of alcohol content.

Tell me what movie you like and I’ll tell you what wine you should drink

 TAGS:undefined

If you are a wine and cinema lover, you’d probably already discovered some films related to the world of wine that filled you with joy and made you feel completely identified. In fact, since cinema is as a good universal symbol, there are all kinds of films having wine as a background, protagonist or theme.

Here are some of our suggestions:

1. A Good Year: This film released in 2006 tells the story of Max Skinner, an investor who inherits his uncle’s vineyard in Provence. When he visits it, memories of his childhood and family traditions revive, and he also meets a woman who will change his perception of life.

 TAGS:Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc 2012Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc 2012

Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc 2012 is a French wine from the Provence, the region in which it develops A Good Year.

 

2. The Grapes of Wrath: This film is an adaptation of the novel of the same title written by John Steinbeck, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for this work. It tells the life of Tom Joad, his exodus, that of his family and other California wine producers because of the Great Depression in the United States in 1929.

 TAGS:Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2012Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2012

This Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection could be one of the wines that were harvested in those years when the dust covered everything. On this occasion, we selected it because of its undeniable connection with the world of cinema.

 

3. Sideways: This Oscar winning film is an adaptation of the novel by Rex Pickett, entitled Sideways. It tells the story of a couple of men with opposite personalities that make a trip to the Santa Barbara vineyards.

 TAGS:14 Hands Hot To Trot White Blend 201214 Hands Hot To Trot White Blend 2012

Will this 4 Hands Hot To Trot White Blend 2012 up to the roof of the protagonists of this already classic road movie?1

 

 

4. Autumn Tale: Two friends decide to move to Provence; one of them wants to get a partner for the other friend and uses the classified ads for that purpose.

 TAGS:Chateau de Pibarnon 2008Chateau de Pibarnon 2008

Chateau de Pibarnon 2008 Château de Pibarnon 2007 is also harvested in the idyllic land of Provence. What this region has to be one of the busiest scenarios of cinema?

 

5. Corked: This mockumentary is the story of 4 different wineries in California, looking to get the attention of a critic while he visits the area.

 TAGS:Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2000Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

In ?Tinseltown? they take advantage to elevate the nearest wine areas, such as California. This Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 is also a Californian wine.

 

6. A Walk in the Clouds: This romantic movie starring Keanu Reeves tells the story of a couple who falls in the vineyards at harvest time.

 TAGS:Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2012Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2012

This list could not miss Tuscany, the land of which Castello Banfi Rosso Di Montalcino 2012 is a good example.

 

7. Mondovino: This documentary by sommelier and filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter covers the issue of loss of identity of large transnational corporations over small winemakers and family wineries.

 TAGS:Lafou Els Amelers 2013Lafou Els Amelers 2013

Lafou Els Amelers Blanc 2013 is a wine produced by a family who works the land in La Terra Alta, an example of small scale winemaking.

 

 

8. You Will Be My Son: This is the story of Paul Marceaul, owner of the known vineyard Saint Emilion. This man is passionate oenologist that does not sees his son as a worthy successor to perpetuate the tradition of the family business.

 TAGS:Château Dassault 2010Château Dassault 2010

Château Dassault 2010 is a wine with Saint-Emilion appellation, the scenario that hosts this film.

 

 

9. Red Obsession: This documentary narrated by Russel Crowe compiles a series of interviews with various wine producers and resellers, as well as wine experts, to analyze the Chinese market demand.

 TAGS:Habla del Silencio 2011Habla del Silencio 2011

Habla del Silencio 2011 certainly will like any wine consumer in China, where imports of Spanish wine has grown markedly in recent years.

 

 

So, for you, what are the best wine-related movies or series? Do you agree with our selection?

Bordeaux harvest first results: 2012 vintage expected even better than 2011

 TAGS:Time heals everything but when it comes to wine, because in this case the time can do nothing to remedy something that is not good. In many places weather and time have made most of the crops get spoiled. However, it seems that not all have been disasters everywhere this year and Bordeaux area may hold surprises during harvest.

While it is true that the 2012?s rainy spring made us expect the worst, a situation that did not improve at all during the summer (with June and July much wetter than it was wished), the French winegrowers have great expectations given the first results.

The white grapes that have been collected in most Médoc area have the desired characteristics shown indications that, although the vintage conclude with lower volumes than it should, at least the product quality has not been weakened at all. Natural selection: the best strains have given it all and those others which were not as resistant have not been able to provide the maturity expected from their grapes.

As for the red, almost ten days ago younger Merlot vines started to be harvested and a little while after the process started also with the remaining grapes. Producers want to believe that this year?s production will exceed that of last year quality related but they have their sights set on getting even ahead of the two previous years, which gave us excellent wines.

We mortals have to wait a little longer for the verdict and to give our own. Meanwhile we can start accumulating reasons to review it properly by testing some other vintages of wines from this land, where there is plenty to choose from.

Those who can afford it should treat themselves by buying a Chateau Margaux 2005 or Château Léovile Poyferré 2006. 1997 is another of those vintages worthy of collection. For that matter, better one of each just in order to compare, right? 2005 and 2007 vintages allow more prudent wallets to enjoy the Bordeaux experience in its full splendor and without many regrets.

Although before buying, it is always advisable to read opinions and reviews from other consumers, as regarding French wines vintages have an important role but not as critical as the choice of Château, that is why it?s always good to inform yourself before deciding.

 

Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux wonders

Pessac Léognan wines

Pessac-Léognan wine is part of an appellation of origin is located inside the wines of Graves a wine region which is located in Bordeaux (France). This appellation is known both for its red wines and for its white wines.

Despite the tradition of winemaking, the designation was created in September 1987 as a sub-region of the southern part of Graves, which is located in Bordeaux. The purpose of its creation was to recognize its most representative producers, which are concentrated in the towns of Pessac, Talence and Léognan.

“The annual production of Pessac-Leognan wine, overlooks the 9million bottles (80% red and 20% white), which an approximately75% are exported.”

Among the red wines of Pessac-Leognan, highlight those made with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the case of white wines the Sémillon strain is the leading one.

The appellation of Pessac-Léognan spans 10 communities: Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan, Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard-d’Eyrans, Talence and Villenave d’Ornon.

Among the major wineries producing the wines Pessac-Léognan, we find:

  • Château Bouscaut – Ranked among the top vintages of red wine in this appellation. They are located in the commune of Cadaujac.
  • Château Carbonnieux – One of the first wine yards included in the Classification of Graves wine. Both notable for its white wines and red wines.
  • Château Haut-Bailly – Ranked among the top vintages of red wine in the Classification of Graves wine. The Winery is located in the commune of Léognan (south of Bordeaux).
  • Château Haut-Brion – The Winery is located in the Pessac community, and is the only property that does not belong to the Médoc. Was included in the classification in 1985.
  • Château Olivier – The Winery is – of the community of Léognan in addition to producing its distinctive wine, it also produces a second wine called: The Seigneurie d’Olivier du Chateau Olivier.
  • Château Pape Clément – One of the oldest in that denomination regarding to Pessac Leognan (year 1300). Named by Pope Clement V.
  • Château Smith Haut Lafitte – Designation found in the community of Martillac, famous for its cabernet sauvignon.

These are just some of the great wineries in the DO. At thisdesignation we also find: Château La Mission Haut-Brion, Château La Tour Haut-Brion, Château Latour-Martillac, Château Laville Haut-Brion, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Bouscaut, Château Carbonnieux, Château de Fieuzal, Couhins Château, Château Couhins -Lurton, Château Château Malartic Lagravière and Les Carmes Haut-Brion, among others.

 TAGS:Les Demoiselles de Larrivet Haut Brion Rouge 2007Les Demoiselles de Larrivet Haut Brion Rouge 2007

Today we recommend the cheaper wines from Pessac-Léognan, because they have more than enough quality, and because there is no need to spend much to start to discover them.

Buy Les Demoiselles de Larrivet Haut Brion Rouge 2007 14,30

 

 TAGS:Château Olivier Blanc 2004Château Olivier Blanc 2004

Château Olivier is one of the wineries that produce better whites. Fantastic.

 TAGS:buy Château Olivier Blanc 2004 17,00

White Wines of France

White wines of France

White wines of France are not, probably, the first- to come to mind when you think of our neighbor country. The red wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy or Rhône are top rated in the guides and those who carry the greatest fame, but if we look at white wines you will notice that French white wines have enough quality and diversity to make out of France one of the countries with the best white wines in the world.

We will approach to some types of French white wines which are recognized worldwide:

  • Sauternes: Sauternes wines are the more international and sweet French white wines. They are usually made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes affected by botrytis, that is, slightly past by the action of the fungus Botrytis cinerea, which causes a higher concentration of sugar . Natural conditions of the area are causing the fungus to develop properly and affect the vineyards, so keeping these conditions is essential for growers. The awesome Sauternes can reach expectacular prices in some auctions. The result is a wine with aromas of caramel, honey and nuts, and the perfect accompaniment to chocolate desserts, strong cheeses, foie gras and, by contrast, acidic red fruits like strawberries or raspberries. In Sauternes, Barsac is an area with an own name where these type of wines are – truly spectacular.
  • Chablis: Chablis wines are immediately associated with the Chardonnay grape, but you can also use the Sauvignon Blanc. They are produced in the area with the same name in Burgundy, and they are dry and extremely fragrant wines. The cold is crucial to ripen slowly the Chardonnay, producing – aromas typical of this variety, together with the unique characteristics of the soil makes this French white wine to be so special. In fact, the name does not include a large area, and each “pago” is considered meter by meter to be accepted, and it is meticulously classified Grand Crus -, Premier Cru, … The grapes are grown and vinified in those pagos and usually sold afterwards to “Négociants” in charge of assembling and nurture different wines and then selling them for a higher price That is why it is so difficult to distinguish the best Chablis, because they depend heavily on thee acquired grapes each year. Finally it should be noted the controversy raised in the area about the use of winemaking: some processors make their wines in stainless steel tanks, because they say they have the best Chardonnay in the world and it has to be expressed as it is, while others use oak barrels – for a more complex wine, arguing that if the white grape Chardonnay is thr best to be aged in barrels – is their obligation to make the best match. There are great Chablis wines processed one way or another.
  • Alsace: If Chablis dominates , Sauternes the Semillon, Alsace in the reign of Gewürztraminer and Riesling, which create great wines here, with aromas of citrus (orange peel, grapefruit, lemon, mixed with those,…) white bone fruit (peach, apricot,…), a great combination. They are also so successful here the late harvest wines, combining the sweetness of the wine with the slightly acidity of these varieties.

And yet we leave a lot of white wines and interesting areas such as: Champagne, Cognac and Calvados, where white grape are grown with very different purposes to the traditional, Monbazillac with fantastic sweet wines could compete with, Sauternes or Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône, do not forget the large areas like Burgundy Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet,…

Want to try French white wines? Then let us recommend a few:

  • J. Moreau – Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon 2008: J. Moreau is one of the most important wineries in Chablis, which allows it to sell some of these wines at a price more than interesting.
  • Bestheim Gewurztraminer Reserve 2009: You have so many flavors dancing in the glass you will not know how to define it. Definitely a great wine.
  • Château Haut Bommes 2003: It’s hard to find, but there also exist a Sauternes to an affordable price. The 2003 Haut Bommes, has aromas of caramel and leaves an aftertaste of nuts. Of course, we would reccomend you to keep it storaged for a couple of years to reach its splendor.

Have you tried white French wines? What is your favorite?