Sunday, 29 July 2007

Domaine de Salvert - Tasting Notes Part 2 Sweet & Sparkling

We finished our afternoon's tasting with a delightful semi-sweet that Georges recommended with white meats such as roast chicken. Only produced in 2003 and 2006 it was floral and sweet but not too overpowering. This was followed a semi-sweet rose made from the cabernet franc, a personal favourite of Georges. It's orange tile red (tuille) and the fresh sweetness asking to be drunk with hot and spicy foods. It's a really drinkable wine and I can imagine its appeal to young and old alike, especially ladies.

The 2004 Cremant de Loire we enjoyed in the comfort of the living room. A great crisp taste of apples, citrus, limes and a dryness that compliments the fruit flavours delightfully. The bubbles on the tongue are insistent and vibrant and lengthy.

The final tasting of Rose Cremant, yet to be released and called Esprit de Sophie (Sophie being Georges daughter who is due to be married this September) I guess you could call the icing on the cake. Not too floral on the nose, a perfect balance of fruit and fizz on the tongue. It has a freshness and taste that's hard to describe.

It's available from next year but only to wine partners, perhaps a reason to have the vines for another year at Domaine de Salvert. I can't wait for my order to arrive.

Domaine de Salvert - Tasting Notes - Part 1

Rose - 2006 70% Grolleau/30% Cabernet Franc
To look at - brick red, changes in the light from red to orange, clear edge
On the nose - fresh strawberries and raspberries
To taste - fresh fruits can be tasted on the palate too with a dry finish loaded with fruit
A fantastic rose, made for summer evenings. Would be great with spicy salads.

White - Chenin Blanc 2006
To look at - clear and fresh, moves freely in the glass
On the nose - white fresh fruits - pears, melons at the peak of ripeness. Also some elderberry and floral honeysuckle.
To taste - fresh and dry, but not too dry with again the fruits clamoring on my tongue
A surprisingly complex wine yet simple wine (if that makes sense?) that would be a great match for fish, white meat salads and seafood such as oysters.

Red - 40% Cabernet Franc/60% Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
To look at - quite a deep red but still has the same freshness as the rose/white
On the nose - dark fruits - black currents, damsons that are fresh and ready to eat
To taste - the dark fruits handle the dry finish well, smooth and lengthy
A great accompaniment to any red meat dish including duck salads

Domaine de Salvert - Georges Bureau

I think I've mentioned before about renting a row of vines in the Loire Valley. These vines are at the Domaine de Salvert owned by Georges Bureau.
It was a cooler morning as we made our way from Domaine L'Etang our accommodation, a domaine that seems as old and as tired as the old dog that stretches out on the front lawn. The clouds were low and threatening and drops of rain could be felt on the breeze. But the greeting we received from Georges warmed the air delightfully. With the bouncing golden Labrador forever at his side (who was clearly in charge), he lead us outside and we walked along the quiet country rode to the vines.
Monsieur Bureau has owned Domaine de Salvert for 10 years now and has seen the trend for demand change from red to rose. The vines range from just a few weeks old up to 45 years old and are a mixture of Grolleau (for the rose), Chenin Blanc and some Cabernet Franc & Sauvignon. Here is a winemaker who is working with nature and the soil to use less sulphates and chemicals to keep the many diseases in check. He's passionate about quality not quantity and you can tell he loves the challenges being a winemaker brings. Phrases such as "but we do not complain" and "we will be crying" are used when talking about the bureaucracy of the french wine industry or the climate changes. His award winning red and is innovative sparkling are made with enthusiasm and determination in an industry thwart with difficulties.

France, Loire Valley 2007 - Part 2 Les Partanieres Muscadet Sur Lie 2006

From an area to the east of Nantes, again, I wish this wine had been served colder. I'm in an unusual little restaurant in Nantes called Chez Maman. The walls are covered in every imaginable item, from photos to clocks to lights, you name it, it's there. At only 20 euros a bottle it's probably a little over priced but hey, we are on on holiday.

To look at - again very light in colour, hard to see in the dim light
On the nose - granny smiths, unripe fruits such as gooseberries
To taste - this has a bit of fizz on the tongue and I love the crispness of the apples mixed with pears and hints nectar

Accompanied with some beautiful smoked salmon quite an enjoyable wine, fit for the occasion.

France, Loire Valley 2007 - Part 1 Le Soleil Nantais

Maybe it was because I had such high expectations (as normal) but the local wine I tasted during my visit just didn't get my taste buds tingling.
A visit to Nantes would not be complete without a taste of Muscadet Sur Lie, meaning on leys, the wine having be left with the leys for a time. I know Muscadet is not a complex wine but I've had a few fruity numbers in my time that have a dryness that makes you smack you lips.
Le Soleil Nantais, Guilbaud Frères was enjoyable but served a little warm. Made from 100% Melon (generally know as muscadet)from selected vineyards of the Sèvre and Maine .

To look at - it's light in colour, almost clear
On the nose - water melon and just a hint of must, perhaps some floral undertones
Taste - it's quite flat and green but also has a quite a nice minerality possibly from the calcium rich soil

Certainly a food wine and due to it's temperature it lacks the bite I love about Muscadet, or perhaps the richness of the food, pork and rhubarb, was just the wrong match.