Sue Ray Uncorked
Tastin' France - 17 April 2018
London Cru, 21-27 Seagrave Road, London SW6 1RP
Tastin’ France was an event dedicated to fabulous French rosé wines from Provence, the South-West, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Loire and the Rhône. It was sponsored by Business France, the national agency which promotes and supports the international development of the French economy. On a warm Spring day, the tasting took place amongst the cool sparkling stainless steel fermentation tanks of London Cru, London’s first and only winery.
8 exhibitors showcased a selection of both innovative and traditional rosés from the various French wine regions. They were joined by Roxanna Ross who crafted some brand new and exciting cocktails at the Pop Up Box Bar.
Highlights of the day are as below:
Cap Wine International / Export Manager: Laurence Ramella
Cap Wine International is a company which invests in and develops wine-growing, wine-making and distribution in both France and Portugal. They own two high potential wine-making properties and are currently looking for a UK distributor. I met the lovely Laurence Ramella who walked me through 7 vibrant rosés. All were great and illustrated different styles, however, my top 2 are Sant Victoire and Madam.
Saint Victoire - Provence - Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire - Rosé - 2017
A youthful, fruity and floral Provence rosé with a medium body and a long finish which would perfectly compliment grilled salmon or seafood.
Madam - Provence - Côtes de Provence – Rosé - 2017
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault; this rosé is more complex, with good minerality and a long silky finish.
Château de Brégançon Cru Classé / Sales Manager: Clémentine Scy
Château de Brégançon is a stunning property which dates back to the 18th century and is situated in Bormes les Mimosas, in the heart of the Côtes de Provence. The estate spans some 450 hectares, with 52 hectares under vine. 60% of their production is rosé, 30% red and 10% white. All of the rosés are fresh and vibrant, however, my favourite has to be Cuvée Isaure.
Cuvée Isaure - Provence - Côtes de Provence La Londe - Rosé - 2017
This gorgeous rosé is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Vermentino. It is extremely fresh and light, with a wonderful perfumed nose and long lingering finish.
Château de la Maïme / Global Sales Manager: Victor Bardou
Established 20 years ago, Château de la Maïme is a family vineyard located within the Côtes de Provence AOP Appellation. Winemaker, Jean-Louis Sibran and his team are on a constant mission to create the perfect blend of harmony and balance. They produce 3 rosés: Instant “The Pleasurable Wine”, their light, fresh and fruity ray of sunshine; Heritage “The Signature Wine”, a step up and a classic style, and my favourite, Origine.
Origine - Provence - Côtes de Provence - Rosé - 2017
Origine is described as “Le Gastronomic Wine”. The top wine from the domain, it is extremely complex, yet delicate with a great concentration of fruit. From a blend of 20% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache and 40% Cinsault, it has a floral nose, a rich rounded palate and a generously long finish. Quite exceptional.
Domaine La Goujonne / Sales Manager: Noémie Kraus
Domaine La Goujonne was created in 1993 by an amalgamation of two vineyards in Tourves and Cabasse in the south of France. It is a family owned and run estate which spans some 75 hectares and was certified organic in 2016. The production is AOP Côtes de Provence, AOP Coteaux Varois and IGP Vins de Pays du Var. All wines were impressive, however, there is 1 particular rosé which is just that little bit extra special.
Noémie - Provence - IGP Var - Rosé - 2016
Noémie is their premium offering from old, low yielding vines. Described as “sensitive and adventurous”, this extremely unusual rosé was aged for 6 months in old oak barrels which had previously contained white wines from the estate. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, it has a delicate salmon pink/pale onion skin colour and a very fruity nose of raspberries, red cherries and a hint of banana. Full bodied, with a long finish, the oak is evident but extremely well integrated. Just fabulous!
Les Hauts de Montrouge / Export Manager: David Veidie
Les Hauts de Montrouge is a co-operative winery and distillery located in Nogaro in the Gers region of South-West France. It was established in 1963 and incorporates 60 farmer wine-growers covering over 900 hectares. It produces Cotes de Gascogne wines, Bas Armagnac spirits and Floc de Gascogne. David treated me to 2 elegant rosés, followed by the Floc de Gascogne, which was indeed the star of the show.
Floc de Gascogne - De Castelfort - rosé - Sud-Ouest - AOC Floc de Gascogne - Rosé - 2015
Floc de Gascogne is a blend of Armagnac and grape juice from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tannat. Deep ruby in colour, it has pronounced aromas of raspberry jam and wild strawberries. It is sweet, fruity and utterly delicious; the perfect aperitif or a sensational accompaniment to fresh strawberries and cream.
Les Vignerons du Brulhois / Export Manager: Fabienne Val
Brulhois AOP, which is particularly well-known for its deeply coloured red wines, is located between Toulouse and Bordeaux. Les Vignerons du Brulhois combines 45 winemakers and covers over 160 hectares. They export 40% of their production, which is made up of 45% red wine, 40% rosé, and 15% white. The red and rosé wines are AOC Brulhois and ICP Comte Tolosan, and the whites are IGP Cotes de Gascogne. They also produce a very intriguing and eye-catching semi-sweet rosé - Grain d’Amour.
Grain d’Amour - France - Vin de France - Rosé – 2017
This beautiful pale pink, semi-sweet rosé is produced from Muscat of Hamburg, also known as Black Muscat. This very dark-skinned grape tends to be used mainly for the production of dessert wines. Quite simply, chilled, this is the perfect light and fruity Summer sipping wine. It comes in a choice of packaging too, from the original black diamond to the elegant and feminine, Mademoiselle Amour, and finally the pink floral African inspired bottle which is simply beautiful.
L’Amour en bulles - France - Vin de France - Rosé - 2016
This delicately sparkling off-dry rosé is produced from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Gros Manseng and Black Muscat. With a delicate salmon pink colour and aromas and flavours of fresh ripe apricot and tropical fruit, the bubbles simply dance on your tongue! Another perfect sipper for a warm Summer’s day.
Pop Up Box Bar / Roxanna Ross
Roxanna Ross is a lady who knows her cocktails! She took the opportunity to create some very unusual and tasty tipples featuring some of the rosés from the show. By combining them with peach and apricot liqueurs, Antica Formula Vermouth, Lemon, Lime and Yarrow Vodka, Lillet and Byrrh, the results were simply amazing!
My thanks to both Pandora Mistry and Claire Proton of Business France for arranging today’s extremely enjoyable and informative event. It really is a pleasure to be able to taste and compare so many beautiful rosés and on such a sunny day in London too! Thanks to all the distributors and exhibitors for taking the time out to give us all a better insight into the colourful and wonderful world of French rosés. À votre santé!!
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