Wines for Father’s Day and Beyond, Chateau Chantelune and Premier Cru Chablis

Jun 08, 13 Wines for Father’s Day and Beyond, Chateau Chantelune and Premier Cru Chablis

Posted by in France

Father’s Day is just round the corner but it’s not too late to get your Dad the perfect gift. If you’re visiting me, you must be looking for a few wine recommendations and I’ve got a few from The Perfect Cellar.  I was recently sent these two lovely wines (Chateau Chantelune and Premier Cru Chablis 2011 Mont de Milieu) by the Perfect Cellar and think they’d be very good choices for your Father’s Day gift giving. The first one is a red Bordeaux produced by Chateau Chantelune. They may not be very well known but are a small vineyard that has been developed and cared for by Jose Sansfins, technical director of Margaux house, Ch. Cantenac-Brown. I tried the 2009 Chateau Chantelune, a fabulous blend of merlot and petit verdot, with a plate of charcuterie and bread. I decanted it for about half an hour before drinking it and it opened up nicely. On the nose, loads of black fruits and spices jumped out of the glass, followed by a smooth, velvety textured palate. I noticed flavours of blackberries, licorice and toast with a long finish. A great choice and priced at £32.99 a bottle, a Bordeaux that punches above it’s price point. I was recently in Chablis and came away with a new found appreciation of Premier Cru Chablis. There are only 40 Premier Cru in Chablis, most planted on southeastern facing slopes which helps them get as much sun as possible. Premier cru wines also spend a bit of time in oak which gives them complexity and flavour but they still have the crispness that one associates with chablis. The Mont de Milieu 2011 Premier Cru by Domaine Charly Nicolle. A fresh but elegant wine, full of white flower and white stone fruits on the nose with a distinct hint of minerality. This wine would be great with creamy seafood dishes or roast chicken. Retailing for £20.45 a bottle, a real charmer. As an added bonus, The Perfect Cellar is running a promotion in...

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Cheval Blanc, the secret’s in the…

Cheval Blanc. To those unfamiliar with the wines of Bordeaux, it was the fine wine that Miles gloomily drank from a styrofoam cup with a burger in the movie Sideways. To Bordeaux wine afficionados, it’s one of the two wines that stand head and shoulders above the rest in St. Emilion, being designated a Premier Cru Grand Classe (A) wine (the other being Ch. Ausone) in the Classification of St. Emilion in 1955. Having seen “Sideways” and being something of a wine afficionado (I adore French wines although Premier Cru is a whole new world for me) I was beyond excited to be visiting such an iconic vineyard. The first thing you notice about Bordeaux is how boringly flat it all is, they consider a very slight incline to be a hill and an irrigation ditch is most certainly a river in their eyes. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?   I wasn’t there for the scenery though, I was there for what was under my feet, for terroir is the most important thing to Cheval Blanc and it’s unique mix of gravel, sand and clay in the vineyards, (which covers 37 hectares) the lack of limestone and the fact that the vineyards are at the limit of the demarcation between St. Emilion and Pomerol is their secret. As Pierre Olivier Clouet, Technical Director, told me over lunch, “there are no secrets in the winemaking, all the secrets are in the ground.” What does he mean by that exactly? Pierre Olivier wanted to convey the fact that by the time they pick the grapes off the vine, they will already know how the vintage will turn out. Cheval Blanc are firm believers in vineyard management and 80% of the hard work done to produce their wine is done in the vineyards. Be it quantity control, management of maturity, picking when the grapes have reached their maximum potential, winter pruning-which is very important to guard against too much vigor, and protection against disease...

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