Despite having been making wine in the Loire and Anjou for over 25 years, Andre Lacheteau is probably best known for getting under the skin of the entire New Zealand wine trade with his French made but intriguingly named Kiwi Cuvee in the mid 00’s, despite the fact it was made by a Kiwi winemaker! Well rather than trying to reproduce a New Zealand style they have returned to what they know best with this.
The wine is made in the Loire style, with cool fermentation and early bottling for maximum purity, but can only be labelled as a “Vin de France” because some of the harvest comes from areas that fall outside the allowed Apellation confines. That doesn’t necessarily mean lesser quality, just less renown and the quality is demonstrated in the unmistakable aromas of freshly cut grass, ripe gooseberries and subtle white flower notes on the nose. The bouquet explodes out of the glass—grapefruit, green grass, lime, granny smith apples, gooseberries. The riot of flavors continues in your mouth with bright citrus flavors and richer tropical fruit underneath providing body and a crisp dry finish. Fresh citrus fruit and mouthwatering acidity bathe the palate, leading to a clean, dry finish.
Pouilly Fume has taken a back seat to its more recognized neighbour Sancerre in recent years, mainly due to the expensive nature of good Pouilly. Whilst they are both Sauvignon Blanc and the two areas are right next to each other on the either side of the river valley, wines from Pouilly are deeper and smokier than the more mineral wines of Sancerre; partly due to the tradition of oak barrel use to age wines from Pouilly.
Father-and-son team Jean and Vincent Chatelain are the 11th and 12th generations of an illustrious winemaking family, and each parcel of their 30ha estate is vinified individually to maintain the character of each plot. On the nose there are great aromas of gunflint and freshly cut grass that mingle with a fruity undercurrent of gooseberries and a smoky edge. On the palate the hints from the nose become more prominent, there’s plenty of gooseberry, lime and even green pepper and the smoky and flint becomes more pronounced culminating in a crisp balanced finish.
Galets are the large pudding stones found in the Rhône valley which help store heat and provide excellent drainage. This Côtes-du-Rhône is blended from the classic Rhone combination of Grenache and Syrah to provide an accessible, early drinking style without being overly tannic or full bodied. The value for money that this wine delivers is superb.
On the nose there is an abundance of black and red hedge row fruit, particularly blackberry and loganberry, with plenty of warm spice. The palate follows the same theme with the soft and supple tannins blending nicely with the warm spice to produce a richness that really fills the mouth. The flavour is similar to the nose with plenty of red and black berry fruit combining beautifully. Whilst this may not have the length of some of the more expensive Rhone wines, it certainly delivers a lot at this price.
From one of the northernmost wine-growing areas in the world, where a combination of cool weather, limestone soils and a layer of Kimmeridgian clay produces one of the world’s most iconic wine-styles. Vocoret sources grapes from the entire appellation for this – their entry level Chablis; the juice undergoes a low temperature fermentation, a technique to enhance the freshness and crispness and is then blended together to create the crisp Vocoret style.
On the nose there is plenty of steely and minerally aromas with citrus fruits and grapefruit. The palate matches the aromatic crispness with an extra dimension of apple, lemon and melon along with the grapefruit edge from the nose. The finish is full of refreshing acidity and the flavour holds for a good length; all in all a great wine and even more so at this price.
Costières de Nîmes has more in common with the Rhône Valley across the river than it does with the wines of Languedoc immediately neighbouring it. A blend of Grenache and Syrah, this wine has a delicious scented nose with herby aromas, lashings of juicy forest fruits and spicy, rich berry flavours with hints of spice and dark chocolate on the palate and a good, smooth finish.
A blend of Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Melon and Sauvignon Blanc from the south of France; specifically from the areas around Charentes and Gascogne. Light and straightforward, with an up-front nose of citrus fruit, tinged with a subtle leafy character, this really is a wine built for summer sunshine. With the soft citrus and green leaf flavours following from the nose to the palate, the finish is crisp and dry, with plenty of refreshing acidic bite.
This wine is made from grapes sourced from a number of growers in the local cooperative from a blend of Grenache and Carignan, two varietals that appear in the majority of Languedoc and Southern French wines.
Supple and inviting on the nose there is plenty of red fruit flavour and a hint of spice. On the tastebuds, this wine blends the soft and jammy raspberry fruit of ripe Grenache with the firming influences of Carignan’s blackberry flavours and robust tannin.
The Cave des Vignerons de Buxy is a cooperative with around 120 growers all producing good quality fruit from the Montagny appellation. This is situated between Meursault and Mâcon at the southern end of the Burgundy region and offers great value-for-money whites from 100% Chardonnay. The wine is vinified and aged in stainless steels vats only to maintain freshness and purity of fruit. There are plenty of ripe lemons on the palate along with white peach and hazelnut, on the palate it is wonderfully lively with citrus fruit and spice following through to an elegant, steely dry finish.