Category Archives: France
All About Syrah
Other producers to check out that make a fine Syrah would be Purple Star and Arbor Crest, both from Washington State. Purple Star is a Columbia Valley winery, and for this 2008 Syrah ($14, 13.9%) the grapes were from both the Whaluke Slope AVA and the Yakima Valley AVA. This wine had a smooth finish and aromas of blackberries and spicy vanilla. Arbor Crest makes an excellent Syrah as well, with the 2009 vintage ($24, 13.8%) being quite exceptional. This wine is made from Columbia Valley grapes sourced from 3 vineyards. It is full bodied with aromas of spicy blackberry and oak, and has a nice spicy finish as well. The 2010 vintage is also an excellent choice.
Now that spring has sprung, might as well enjoy it with a nice glass of syrah:)
The Loire Valley
Well the 2012 crush season is now over, and at the winery where I work, Arbor Crest Cellars, we crushed close to 300 tons of grapes and we are still making wine, so I’ve been a little busy. But I’ve still managed to try some great wines during that time, and I figured its about time to get back to work on the blog! A couple of wines I tried were from The Loire Valley of France. Now this is a famous wine producing region known for a variety of wines. Most notable are wines made from Sauvginon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, and Muscadet. The Loire Valley is also the second largest sparkling wine producing region, second to
Champagne of course. There are several important sub-regions within the Loire, which include Pays Nantais, Anjou-Saumur, Touraine, and the Central Vineyards. The wines I tried were a Vouvray from Touraine and a Cabernet Franc from Anjou-Saumur. Now Vouvray is an AOC located within the Touraine region, and all of these wines are made from the Chenin Blanc grape, with a few exceptions being made from Arbois. The Vouvrey I tried was made from Chenin Blanc. Typical Vouvrays can range from Dry all the way to sweet, and most I have tried have all been more toward the-off dry level of sweetness. The bottle I uncorked was a 2010 Sauvion Vouvrey. It had a pale light green color, with a refreshing nose of honey. The wine had great acidity which gave it a nice crisp refreshing taste of honey and apricot. With just a touch of sweetness, this was a very enjoyable glass of wine. This would be perfect as an aperitif or even to pair with something sweet. My sister Chloe, who is in the middle of a virtual world wine tour, also tried a vouvray as well.
The Cabernet Franc that I tried was a 2009 from Saumur Champigny, produced by Alliance Loire. The Saumur Champigny AOC is southeast of Saumur, and some people here believe that the best red wines are produced from the village of Champigny. Now I’m not sure it was the best Loire red that I have ever tried, but it definitely was a very good wine. In color it was dark red, with a little bit of brown on the rim. The nose had aromas of light red fruit, earthiness and a hint of vanilla. There was a very good structure to wine and the first sip yielded a flavor of light cherry with a touch of earthiness. It was a very good glass of wine, one that I think would be excellent paired with grilled meats, or by itself. There are many other great wines from the Loire Valley, and these are just a couple. But at price points of $9 for the Vouvray and $12 for the Saumur Champigny, these two were bargains. So if you have the urge to try some wine from the Loire Valley, I would recommend them both.