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Tag Archives: French wine

Wine of the week: Delaunay Sauvignon Blanc TYDY 2013

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Delaunay TYDYOne of the great joys of my early wine drinking days was sauvignon blanc from the Loire region of France, many of which were cheap, well made, and full of terroir. Sadly, too many of those wines have become too expensive to be worth buying, and their style has shifted from the traditional minerality to the citrusy, fruit-forward approach popularized by New Zealand.

So I was excited to try the Delaunay TYDY ($13, sample, 13%), which we did for the French portion of my El Centro wine class, James McFayden of Favorite Brands in Dallas, who talked about French wine as only he can, brought the Delaunay TYDY for just that reason — to show that there is still quality, affordable sauvignon blanc from the Loire.

The wine didn’t disappoint. It was crisp and fresh, and if there was a bit of lemon fruit, it wasn’t overdone and didn’t prevent the wine’s other qualities from showing, including a hint of flowers and a touch of minerality. If it’s not the Loire sauvignon blanc that I remember so fondly, it doesn’t need to be. Highly recommended, and an ideal wine for anything shellfish, to drink on its own, or bring to a holiday party.

Mini-reviews 78: White Rioja, Peter Zemmer, Benoit Gautier, Mouton Cadet

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white RiojaReviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Blanco 2013 ($11, sample, 13.5%): Pleasant enough white Spanish blend from the Rioja region, with some white fruit and a hint of orange. We don’t see white Rioja much in the U.S., but the novelty isn’t enough of a reason to buy it and there are better wines for the same price.

Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2014 ($16, sample, 13.5%): Premiumization rears its ugly head. This Italian white isn’t appreciably better than any $8 grocery store pinot grigio, with the same bitter finish, tonic water taste profile, and little noticeable fruit.

Benoit Gautier Vouvray 2013 ($13, sample, 12%): There were once a host of $10 well made and slightly sweet chenin blancs from the Vouvray region of France, but many of them aren’t as well made any more and aren’t $10, either. The Gautier almost fits the bill as one of the former, but there isn’t enough white fruit or acidity to back up the sweetness.

Mouton Cadet Rose 2014 ($11, purchased, 13.5%): This French pink wine from the Bordeaux region is bitter, without much fruit, not very interesting, and very disappointing. It’s the kind of wine people drink and then switch to sweet tea.

Wine of the week: Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône 2013

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Saint-Cosme Cotes du RhoneDespite all the doom and gloom in the wine business, with prices rising and quality vanishing, there are still producers who care. And France’s Saint-Cosme is one of the best.

Its Little James Basket Press red and white blends from the Rhone are terrific examples of $10 wine, and the Saint-Cosme Cotes du Rhone red ($15, purchased, 13.5%) is a step up, a lesson in how to provide varietal character, terroir, and value. Or, as I wrote in my notes: “What a red Rhone blend at this price should taste like, and why can’t anyone else do this?”

Look for deep red fruit from the syrah and a little licorice, but more subtle than usual and almost tight; that is, where you think there should be more fruit flavor but it’s hiding but will come out as the wine ages. This Sainte-Cosme is earthy but not off-putting, and speaks to the traditional Rhone style where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Highly recommended. Pair this with any fall stew or meat dish as the weather gets cooler. And know that someone, for all the focus groups and private labels, still cares. Writes Sainte-Cosme’s Louis Barroul: “It is my pleasure to offer every year a wine of this quality at a reasonable level of price. This is what French wine means: bottle a bit of spirit even at an affordable price.”

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