Category Archives: France

Domaine Tempier Bandol 2010


Concentrated blackberry and purple plum with deep, organic notes of cacao, French roast coffee, allspice and clove. Medium bodied with immense, broad flavors. Superbly well integrated showing complex savory characteristics. Artisan-rustic and exceptionally well crafted. In this full-color world, we have here a magnificent portrait by Irving Penn in glorious black and white — art as it should be. 75% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 2% Carignan. A very good wine. (Reviewed 1/2/15)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Domaine de Terrebrune Rose 2012

Barely-there salmon-pink color with light fruit flavors of pink grapefruit guava, pear and watermelon, plus notes of hibiscus, savory, coin minerals and lemon zest. Complex yet subtle, quaffable yet thought provoking — here’s a wine for the hoi palloi and bougouis alike. She plays in a Czech folk band alongside grizzled gents twice and three times her age and girth, and holds together rhythm and melody with virtuositic prowess wielding a contemporary bass guitar amongst others’ vintage-relic instruments. 50% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault. A very good wine. (Reviewed 9/13/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose NV

Delicate strawberry, raspberry and pear — quite light — with notes of vanilla cream, caramel and citrus peel. Beautifully salmon pink with exquisite bubbles that dance on and on. Refreshing and light, yet full of flavor. It’s that magic of one’s first taste on cotton candy; ooh what a thrill — and the magic and joy of a lighter-than-air concoction. 100% Pinot Noir. A very good wine and a great value. (reviewed 7/13/14)

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Filed under $20 and less, France, Sparkling Wine

Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine 2010

Mature plum, black cherry and boysenberry with deep notes of graphite, tar, mace and a hint of cacao. Medium bodied with an interesting slightly rustic quality and present tannins providing a pleasant chew. A real charmer. Not a big-city sophisticate, mind you, but a character who rolled in from another town and got things done — with wit, guile and a little force. 70% Sciaccarellu, 30% Neillucciu. A very good wine. (Reviewed 6/7/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France

Louis Jadot Macon-Villages Chardonnay 2012

Fruit of guava, apple and pear with notes of honeysuckle, lemongrass, stoney minerals and grapefruit zest on the finish. Medium bodied, slightly viscous, unoaked and quenching with modest acidity. An easy drinking wine, unpretentious and versatile. This one’s a charmer at any occasion; comfortable in his skin, he wins the crowd whether it’s formal or backyard. A very good wine and an outstanding value. Wine provided by Wine Chateau. (Reviewed 7/28/13)

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Filed under $20 and less, Chardonnay, France

Regis Bouvier Clos Du Roy 2009

Mature cherry and raspberry fruit revealing fresh barnyard aromas and savory tastes of earth, clove and orange zest. Complex and very well integrated with interweaving fruit and soil notes. Medium bodied with pronounced, thought-provoking flavors, a polished texture and a pleasant tart lift on the finish. A bucolic rural countryside, the air fills with open vegetation and soil; a breeze picks up delivering the natural essence of the barn and sties from across the road. That’s Pinot Noir from Burgundy, like no other. A very good wine. (Reviewed 2/16/13)

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Pinot Noir

Piper-Heideieck Brut NV

Lemon fruit and zest with green apple and young pear, and notes of pineapple, stone minerals, vanilla, chervil and green tea. Focused, pleasantly dry with satisfying acidity and classic effervescence. This bright and bubbly child enlivens the soirée with her look-at-me performance — attention-intent, but less than over the top — and yet there’s sufficient talent to deliver a sublime, entertaining choreography; best of all, the child eventually leaves allowing the adults to carry on. 55% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 15% Chardonnay. Among Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2012. Commonly available at $30 to $36. A very good wine. (Reviewed 1/1/13).

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Filed under $21 to $50, France, Sparkling Wine

Chateau Aney Cru Bourgeois 2007

Blackberry and mature plum fruit with deep aromas of decomposed wood and soil, plus accents of cardamom, bay, cedar and orange zest. Medium bodied, smooth texture and medium-light on the palate with present tannins. A touch of acidity brightens the finish. Reasonably complex and very entertaining. She’s a charmer, and while perhaps not the first on the invite list, she’s the one who made the affair — sustaining joy long after the posers and pretenders have deflated. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. A good wine, nearly very good. (Reviewed 12/1/12)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Cabernet Sauvignon, France

Chateau de Beaucastel Blanc 2007


Crisp minerals greet the nose with melon and pear on the palate, accented by grapefruit pith, honeysuckle, stoney minerals and a hint of oak. Fresh, clean and slightly weighty satin mouthfeel. Complex and well-integrated with exceptional balance — one note leads to many others with soft grace. She wears layered white linen this early Spring day, the sun still low in the sky and the air impossibly both warm and cool, and seemingly created anew for just this morning. 80% Rousanne, 20% Grenache Blanc. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 10/28/12)

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Filed under $51 to $100, France, Vigonier | Rousanne | Marsanne

La Bastide Saint Dominique 2009


Medium-bodied cherry, raspberry and rhubarb supported with earthy flavors of forest floor, redwood and camphor, and a slight chai-spice back note. Chamois-like, slightly grainy texture offers a hand-hewn feel to this well-crafted bottling. An intriguing muscularity-and-agility counter-play captures attention and holds interest. He’s a slight fellow, of lean, sinuous muscle, firm sun-baked features and a cerebral tenacity; quite strong for his build, his focus and grip are solid and nearly unyielding, but to a point. 100% Grenache, fermented in tanks. A very good wine. (Reviewed 10/28/12)

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Filed under $51 to $100, France, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre