Last week, Charlotte Serve from Le Marchande dropped into the studio whilst on a whirlwind sales tour of the states, armed to the teeth with what is lovingly referred to here at UTGT as a “whino’s dozen.” 18 wines from France, encapsulated in about an hour.
I had not met Charlotte before, and usually when I meet someone for the first time, I find myself at a loss for words. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit I am pretty friggin’ boring in person (hard to believe, right?). Hell, I am more than a bit surprised my wife hasn’t died from boredom after 13 years of marriage.
Yet I digress.
One thing I did ascertain from my meeting from Charlotte – she knows her stuff – as she walked me through a portfolio of value:
French Aperó Sauvignon Gascogne 2012. Grade=Good. The nose was a bit aggressive but in the glass, it drinks of lemon, lime and guava notes with a smooth, fleshy finish.
Le Pree Vinette Sauvignon Touraine 2012. Grade=Very Good. Lime and melon mixing it up with chalky mineral and a hint of lemon.
Jean Colin Sancerre AOC 2012. Grade=Very Good. Citrus notes and mineral combine in a nice, light-bodied white with well-balanced acidity.
Jean Colin Pouilly-Fumé AOC 2012. Grade=Outstanding. Clean, crisp acidity buoys pretty lime, honeydew and quince notes.
Domaine Tabordet Pouilly-Fumé AOC 2012. Grade=Outstanding. A touch of brine amidst a marionette of lime and crushed limestone. Pretty and nuanced.
Didier Desvignes Beaujolais Blanc 2011. Grade=Very Good. A nice, soft, round Chardonnay, showing toasted apple, pear and hints of Meyer lemon.
Domaine du Calvaire de Roche Gres Beaujolais Villages 2011. Grade=Very Good. Nice, soft, approachable red.
Domaine du Calvaire de Roche Gres Chiroubles 2011. Grade=Outstanding. Pretty, floral, with tart cherry and red raspberry notes.
Domaine du Calvaire de Roche Gres Fleurie 2011. Grade=Outstanding+. Crushed violets, dark cherry and a hint of dried herbs, finishing with a touch of vanilla bean and cinnamon.
Domaine du Calvaire de Roche Gres Morgon Le Chaune 2011. Grade=Outstanding+. Meatier than the Fleurie with some lush notes of black cherry, red raspberry and dusty earth.
Domaine du Calvaire de Roche Gres Moulin-a-Vent 2011. Grade=Outstanding. Medium-bodied, creamy cherry and red currant notes, a touch of spice and hints of cocoa.
Antoine Simoneau Gamay Touraine 2012. Grade=Outstanding. Soft and supple red with mild tannins, sour cherries, light spices and a touch of red plum skin.
Jean Colin Sancerre Noir 2011. Grade=Outstanding. Earthy notes of red berry fruit, geranium, black truffle and chalky earth.
French Aperó Cabernet-Merlot Gascogne 2011. Grade=Very Good. Medium-bodied red with touches of cherry, anise, peat and pepper.
Le Debauche Rouge Gascogne 2011. Grade=Very Good. 100% Cabernet Franc. Blue fruited with medium tannins, earthy undertones and hints of pepper and spice.
Domaine des Pasquiers Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2011. Grade=Very Good. A bit of red berry fruit, blueberry, rhubarb and white pepper.
Domaine des Pasquiers Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Rouge Sablet 2010. Grade=Outstanding. Lusher and richer than the CDR, with bold dark fruits, spices and crushed rocks.
Domaine des Pasquiers Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Rouge Plan de Dieu 2010. Grade=Outstanding. A gorgeous red, spicy and zesty with red fruits, blueberry and a touch of garrigue.