Les Dauphins rose for summer

Jun 24, 13 Les Dauphins rose for summer

Posted by in France

Over the weekend I went to the Taste of London and was re-introduced to the wines of Les Dauphins, most specifically to the new Les Dauphins rose. Les Dauphins is made by a co-operative in the Southern Rhone called Les Cellier des Dauphins and they are one of the largest producers in the Rhone accounting for over 30% of all production. I’ve had their Cotes du Rhone Villages in the past and think it’s a great summer time red. Perfect for hamburgers, grilled chicken or sausages, it has a spicy profile with a strong core of black and red fruits running through it. One of the most eye-catching things about the wine is the label. Done up in a 1920’s style font, the French were at first aghast when this label was presented to them, according to their UK rep, Louise Hill, “…they thought they needed a more classic label…” but the French were over-ruled and the label certainly does have an appeal to the UK market place. Happily, the wine inside deserves to be talked about as well. At Taste of London, I also had the opportunity to try the rosé, made of 80% grenache, 10% syrah,10% cinsault, it’s a cheeky little number, full of fruit but having good acidity which saves it from being cloying and gloopy (for lack of a better word), in the mouth. Very refreshing and I think it would be a good match with a prawn salad or grilled sausages. The Cotes du Rhone Villages is available from Waitrose, retailing for £8.49 and the rosé will be available in Asda at a retail price of £6.75. Two wines that are perfect for summer picnics, if summer ever arrives here on these soggy isles… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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A little something for Valentine’s Day, Billecart Salmon Brut Rose

Feb 04, 13 A little something for Valentine’s Day, Billecart Salmon Brut Rose

Posted by in Champagne

Alright lovers, it’s that time of year again – Valentine’s Day!! I know, I know, many of you may be rolling  your eyes but let’s face it, if you don’t do something on Feb.14th, you’re going to be in big trouble with your significant other. Going out to dinner is VERY romantic on Valentines Day, you and a 1000 other couples all smushed into a restaurant with that special (overpriced) ‘Valentines Day Menu’- where all the tables have been converted into ‘romantic’ two tops, situated cheek by jowl with red and pink streamers, cupids floating overhead and roses galore as decoration. Rather than share your one big romantic evening of the year with everyone else, wouldn’t you rather have a quiet, un-rushed, candle lit dinner at home with your sweetie? And, we all know no evening dedicated to Eros would be complete without rosé champagne (well, you can’t ditch all the accoutrements that go with V-Day). To help you out, Billecart-Salmon are running a special giveaway this year. If you buy a full sized bottle of their Brut Rosé, Blanc de blanc Grand Cru or Vintage 2004, they’ll throw in a half bottle of the Brut Rosé just to keep the magic of the evening going. This offer is valid from 1st to 14th of February at participating retailers (subject to availability, first come, first served).  I can tell you that Berry Bros & Rudd, Hedonism Wines and Fortnum & Mason are just a few of the retailers involved along with various others around the UK. To see the full list of retailers giving away half bottles of Billecart Rosé, click here. I have always enjoyed Billecart’s Brut Rosé, a delicate champagne with fine bubbles, an aromatic nose and delicate but divine flavours of fresh red fruits, good as an aperitif or perhaps a dessert of fresh strawberries topped with whipped cream – I’m sure you can find other uses for any left-over whipped cream later in the evening…like, putting it in your coffee 😉 Happy Valentine’s Day from The Wine...

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Lunch/Launch of Billecart-Salmon Elisabeth Rose 2002

It’s not every year that Billecart-Salmon releases it’s Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon rosé but lucky for us they’ve deemed the 2002 ready to drink now. The Cuvee Elisabeth is named for wife of the founder of the Billecart house, Nicolas Francois. Nicolas has his own prestive cuvee and in 1988, Billecart decided to name their prestige rosé in tribute to the co-founder of the house, Elisabeth Salmon. The 2002 is 50/50 chardonnay/pinot noir blend, coming from Grand Cru vineyards. 7% of the pinot noir used is the still wine used to give the champagne its copper coloured hue. The berries used to make the still wine are hand selected to achieve that beautiful, bright colour that this rosé champagne sports. Colin Palmer, Managing Director of Billecart-Salmon UK, told us over lunch that the rosé is only released when Francois Domi, chief winemaker of Billecart believes it’s ready. For this reason, the cuvee is not released in chronological order which is why not all the vintages are available. Even when they are released, it’s made in such small quantities that they quickly sell out. It’s so special that it’s even packaged in it’s own specially designed box. Billecart had chosen Morton’s Club in Mayfair to kick off the launch and we were treated to a delicious lunch paired with some of their other champagnes before the big reveal. We had the Extra Brut Non-vintage, as an aperitif, of which I made a video with Winebird TV, click here to see the video. It was still delightful and great with the anchovy tapanade served with breadsticks.The Extra Brut is a zero dosage champagne but doesn’t suffer from being overly acidic or tart as the fruit is perfectly balanced. Aromatic and fresh with complex aromas of brioche anad dried fruit, on the palate – biscuit notes and flavourful white fruits, great to drink on its own.  The Billecart-Salmon Blanc de blanc followed, which was great with the crab salad starter. A whole seabass was roasted and presented at the table to...

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Roses of Bordeaux on board in the Bay of Archachon

Jul 31, 12 Roses of Bordeaux on board in the Bay of Archachon

Posted by in Food and Wine, France

Rosé is still fighting an up hill battle. Despite the variety of styles available, most people either associate it with sickly sweet Blossom Hill or the light, pale rosés of Provence. There are however, wines that fall into the middle and that is where you can find the rosés of Bordeaux. Deeper in colour but still bursting with fruit, they are dry with balanced acidity and some even have a hint of tannin to them. As part of my trip to the Fete le Vin with the CIVB, we got to spend one sunny day on the Bay of Archachon, which is less than an hour’s drive away from the centre of Bordeaux, sailing, eating and drinking those lovely wines. Archachon is the beach playground of Bordeaux and it has a long promenade of cafes facing a wide beach of tan coloured sand. We arrived at around 10am as people were setting up beach football pitches and sun umbrellas. Arcachon is also famous for its oysters and we got to sample them once we were on the boat. A few winemakers were also along for the ride (and they just happened to bring along some white Bordeaux) along with the rosés. White Bordeaux is probably just as misunderstood as Bordeaux rosés. If people know about it, they think of the sweet white wines of the region but dry whites are also made from the sauvignon blanc and semillon grapes that are predominately grown in the region, along with a bit of muscadelle and ugni blanc. The Bordelais seem to be focusing on sauvignon blanc and I do like the wines, they have body and weight to them with lemon and grapefruit aromas and flavours. The rosés made an appearance and were very welcome as we were boating along. A cavalcade of seafood joined the roseés and we had literally buckets of langoustines, crabs, oysters, snails, all on ice and just waiting to be cracked open. We had to shuck the oysters ourselves but it’s...

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2011 Secret de Leoube, Provencal rose

Jul 22, 12 2011 Secret de Leoube, Provencal rose

Posted by in France

It looks like summer is finally going to make an appearance and really not a minute too soon as I was beginning to give up hope. I’ve been drinking rosé wines anyway because I think that rosés can be drunk anytime of year. I say that with the proviso that I like my rosés to be dry with the fruit not too apparent on the palate. I tried Chateau Leoube’s rosé last year and enjoyed it very much. A delicately hued pink colour, it ticked all the boxes of a Provencal rosé . I tried the 2011 vintage this year and it is still a great wine. Chateau Leoube is a venture started by the same folks who own Daylesford Dairy so they do all they can to ensure that the vineyards are as organic and sustainable as possible. The wine estate consists of 65 hectares of vineyards and 20 devoted to olive trees for their organic olive oil. I also tried their Secret de Leoube 2011. A wine with body and elegance, it dances on the palate, a pale peachy colour, red berry fruits on the nose, creamy in the mouth with strawberries, cranberries and a bit of spice with a long finish (for a rose). This is a wine that is much more then an everyday rose, I loved it! The Secret de Leoube is available from Corney & Barrow and retails for £21. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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