Abbotts & Dalaunay Corbieres Reserved 2013

Apr 20, 15 Abbotts & Dalaunay Corbieres Reserved 2013

Posted by in All

Corbieres may not be as well known as other  French appellation but they can produce some cracking wines. I received the Abbotts & Delaunay wine awhile ago and have only just gotten around the tasting it, so many wines, so little time! Abbotts & Delaunay are a boutique winery in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. The winery is a partnership between a Burgundian winemaker, Laurent Delaunay and Australian winemaker, Nerida Abbott. Both have an abiding passion for producing the best wine possible and were won over by the region and the diversity of its terroirs. One of the AOC’s in the region is Corbières. Wines from here are dark and full bodied. The wine is a blend of  3 of the classic grapes of the region,  syrah, grenache and mouvedre. The grapes come from 3 particular terroirs,  ‘65% come from the eastern Corbières (coastal vineyards yield grapes that lend freshness and elegance), 20% from the edge of the Fitou (a terroir located further south whose grapes offer lovely aromatic richness) and 15% from the Corbières Boutenac cru which give this wine its depth…’ Popping it open, I was not disappointed by the depth and flavour of the wine. Inky black in colour with loads of violets and spices on the nose (the wine is aged in 40% oak barrels), on the palate it’s rich and full bodied, supple with smooth tannins, a savoury wine, great with game or try it with a Sunday roast. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Getting to know the region of Saint Chinian, France

Oct 29, 14 Getting to know the region of Saint Chinian, France

Posted by in All, Food and Wine, France

I was recently invited to St. Chinian by their growers association to not only learn a bit more about the wines but also to discover the wine tourism that they have going on there. If you thought it was all vineyards and wine tastings only, there’s a lot more to explore.Saint Chinian is in the Languedoc region of southern France and has plenty of activities for families, couples or groups of friends. We arrived on a warm sunny day in Capestang and immediately checked into Les Carrasses, an old chateau that has been renovated into a shabby chic hotel. The hotel is one of a new wave of tourism that is coming to the Languedoc. It’s set overlooking vineyards and offers not only excursions but also first rate food and wine dinners in it’s relaxing restaurant or on a terrace overlooking the chateau pool. You can stay in the renovated chateau or in the converted stables, winery or barn that now house villas that  have plenty of room for families or groups of friends. An added advantage of the villas is that they have their own kitchens and many of them also come with their own private swimming pool. Les Carrasses is a good base from which to enjoy the region. As well as vineyards vists, the region has loads of outdoor activities. St. Chinian has the Canal du Midi that runs through it which means you can float leisurely down the canal and alongside the vineyards, stopping along the way to visit one of the many small towns that dot the canalside. The canal towpaths are also great for bicycling or strolling, providing shade from the southern French sun. While we were there we had plenty of opportunities to sample the local wines. We stopped in the town of Roquebrun and had a lovely lunch at Le Petit Nice, a cute little restaurant serving traditional French cuisine. I had escargot and and some very garlicky frogs leg for lunch. All of this overlooking...

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Spanish roses for an Indian summer

Indian summer. Why do they call it Indian summer? Summers in India are hot as hell, not to mention wet, it being monsoon season and all. I did a bit of research (ok, looked on Wikipedia) and among the various meanings, this one seemed just as good as any of the others: …the term originated from raids on European colonies by Indian war parties; these raids usually ended in autumn, hence the extension to summer-like weather in the fall as an Indian summer…. That seems to be just as believable as any of the other definitions. So Indian summer not only means it’s still nice and sunny but that means that it’s still rosé weather! It’s no longer hot (not that it ever really got hot this summer) nor have the icy fingers of winter crept down my collar so what better wine to drink then a fresh and fruit driven yet dry rosé. I like rosés because they are so versatile as I’ve said many times and the rosés of Rioja tick all the boxes for a truly delightful drinking experience. Rioja is a big producer of  rosés and they are made up primarily of grenache and tempranillo, both varietals which produce dark red wines so it’s no surprise that Riojan rosés are usually quite dark in colour. I had 4 sent to me to try and they all had the roughly the same characteristics. Dry yet with a fabulous red fruit character, they are perfect food wines, matching with everything from tapas to BBQ. The Campo Viejo Tempranillo rosé is made from 100% tempranillo and is a fresh and funky rosé with plenty of bright red fruits on the nose and palate but no residual sugar. It’s closed with a screwcap so it’s a handle bottle to take along to the park and perfect with snacks. Marques de Vitoria rosé is another 100% tempranill and is a dry and fresh wine, light body but plenty of strawberry and red currant rolling around...

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Cricket in the park and Teres Rosé

I was introduced to the mysterious (for an American) game of cricket last weekend. My friend Ayesha’s husband plays occasionally in Regent’s Park and they invited me down one sunny Saturday afternoon to while away the day at the cricket pitch. Despite Ayesha’s best efforts to explain the game to me, I’m still mystified as to why is has so many devotees. The real reason I went was to have a chat with Ayesha, enjoy the sunshine and the lovely rosé that I had brought along. I stopped by Wines of the World  in Earlsfield to pick up a bottle. WotW is my local but I rarely stop in, even though they have a great selection of wines to choose from, probably because I get home so late from work that they are usually closed when I pass by. I chose a rosé from Provence, more precisely, it was a Vin de Pays des Maures, which is a relatively new (in existence for about 7 years) VDP in Provence. The wine is from the well known producer, Ch. du Rouet. The Teres 2007 (12.5% alc),  is their entry level rosé. It’s a blend of primarily grenache with a bit of cinsault thrown in for balance. The vineyard is situated on the Mediterranean coast allowing the grapes to enjoy the sea breezes coming off the sea. This in turn keeps the grapes cool and the sugar levels low producing light, dry, yet fruity wines. The wine was a  pale pinky/salmon colour, it didn’t have very intense aromas on opening, we detected wafts of raspberries and red fruits emanating from the plastic cup (hey, we were in the park). Drinking it was a delightful surprise. Strawberries and cream, raspberries, sour cherries, full of fruit but crisp and smooth. It effortlessly slipped down our throats. A perfect wine for a summers’ day in the park. It was so easy to drink we couldn’t believe how fast the bottle emptied. Oh well, it was a good thing we...

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Ch. du L’engarran Rose

One of my colleagues, Tom from Fulham, decided to organize a day out in Hyde Park for all off us slogging away in the London shops. Somebody brought a football and an American football but really I was just there for the wine. Even though the sun is still playing hide and seek with us, Wed. was a brilliantly sunny day and the Ch. du L’Engarran rose that I brought was perfect for  a day out in the park. I really like these guys, or rather ladies. The Chateau is run by a feisty Frenchwoman, Francine and her two daughters. The Chateau has been seriously producing wine under Francine since the 60’s  but since it is an AOC Coteaux du Languedoc, it’s not as well known as it could be. So on to the rose. I  used to be one of those wine snobs who wouldn’t touch rose but now that I’ve discovered dry rose, I’m all for it, esp. the ones from Southern France. This particular one is a blend of granache and cinsault,  a pale, peachy salmon color which looks so inviting in the bottle and even more so in the glass. It’s a dry, fruity glugger. I got raspberry, cherry and strawberry on the nose, following thru  with more of the same on the palate. This was a nicely balanced rose, refreshing and tasty and at the same time finishing off with a bit of a citrusy zing. We all agreed that it was a perfect summer wine, with or without food. I think if I’d had a tuna nicoise to go along with it, the day would have been perfect. Next week is the International London Wine Fair. I can’t wait! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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