Happy Bastille Day!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately — work has been getting the better of me. I should have more time to post in the next few weeks. In the meantime, happy Bastille Day! Here are a few of the French wines I’ve tasted recently:

“Les Pierres Fines” Morgon (Appellation Morgon Controlee) Red Table Wine (Louis Verge) 2007 ($5.99, Trader Joe’s): Youthful nose full of warm spices, currants, a touch of earth and heat. I tasted lively young spices, red berries, cumin, cinnamon, white pepper; very sprightly. I keep coming back to this one; chill it for 20 minutes or so and it makes a great summer red, and it doesn’t need food.

Cotes du Rhone, E. Guigal Chateau D’Ampuis 2007 ($10.99, K&L): Dry nose with citrus and a touch of pepper. Bone dry; active acidity. I didn’t love the balance of this wine.

Chateau Routas (Murray Family Rouviere) Rosé 2008 (Provence) ($12, Blackwell’s): Aromas of summer fruits, rose petals, flowers, a touch of new oak. Nicely balanced — dry with just a touch of fruit/floral flavors. Bright red fruits, a touch of lime, grape, strawberry, a bit of honey and raspberry.

Sincérité Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (Loire Valley) ($10/glass, Internos): Very chalky, dusty nose; hints of pineapple, mandarin orange. Tastes cool and very dry, with clean citrus, a touch of grass and herbs, minerals, wet stone.

Granfort Merlot 2007 Vin de Pays D’oc: Earthy, stony nose, full of gravel and pepper. Rich fruits give way to well-balanced spices grounded in earth and gravel, with cumin, cinnamon and pepper. I love this wine. I go back to it again and again.

Chateau Puy Arnaud Maueze Cotes de Castillon 2004: Licorice, anise, raspberry on the nose. Powerful dark red fruits, pink peppercorns, tar, oak.

Domaine Adele Rouzé Quincy, Loire 2008: Tropical nose with hint of petroleum, grass, lime. Concentrated citrus flavor with structured minerals and limestone. Lovely.

Robert Klingenfus Riesling (Alsace 2007): Floral nose with green apple, notes of honey, petroleum, diesel. Racy minerals on the attack with crisp lemon and apple; lean structure, but not flat, backed by minerals and chalk. When I revisited this one, it wasn’t as dry as I’d initally thought, but the bottle wasn’t fresh, so the jury’s out on that.

Vive la France!

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