French Regional Wines, Lancaster

A number of wines from the portfolio of French Regional Wines in Lancaster tasted 30th September 2007.

Prices shown are the list prices from French Regional Wines.  For French Regional Wines' own website, click here

French White Wines

2006 Domaine de Millet, AC Côtes de Gascogne, 11.5% (£5.69)
This is a blend of colombard and ugni blanc.  It has a crisp, yet characterful nose, and tastes even better than it smells.  There are some interesting flavours here, and all nicely balanced.  Very Good.  

2006 Le Lutin Blanc, Les Vignerons de La Suzienne, AC Côteaux du Tricastin, 13% (£6.20)
On the nose, I mistook this viognier for a muscat, as it was so floral.  On the palate, though, it feels a bit over-extracted and isn't really to my taste.  OK-ish.

2006 Châtea de Saurs, AC Gaillac, 12.5% (£8.00)
This is a blend of len d'el, mauzac and sauvignon blanc.  It has a gentle, somewhat reticent nose.  In the mouth, it is light, fresh, easy and very refreshing, but with some complexity behind.  Good.

2003 Muscat, Domaine René et Vincent Fleith, AC Alsace, 13% (£8.99)
I've had this Alsace muscat before and greatly enjoyed it.  This bottle wasn't typical of previous experiences.  Three years is not over-old for an Alsace Muscat, so maybe this is going through an awkward, dumb phase?  Anyway, it seemed to me to have a very soapy nose: exceedingly floral, with a real soapy edge.  The nose is very much reflected on the palate, which is dominated by very scented, floral flavours.  Good-ish.

2005 Domaine de Crampilh, AC Pacherence du Vic-Bilh Sec, 13.5% (£9.99)
On the nose there are some slightly confected, musky tropical fruit aromas, which in part follow through on the palate.  Overall, though, it seemed a bit closed and dull on the palate, finishing with a firm acidity.  Good-ish.

2004 Gewurztraminer, Domaine René et Vincent Fleith, AC Alsace, 13% (£8.99)
This has some lovely, really elegant, floral rose petals on the nose.  On the palate, this is a good example of a firmly textured Alsace gewurztraminer with nice balance.  It is bone dry and finishes with excellent length.  Very Good+.

2003 Domaine du Crampilh, AC Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh,  12.5% (£12.70)
A nice clean nose with hints of grapinees, apricots and honey.  Super palate: fresh, cealn, delicate and very elegant.  Very Good Indeed.

Whites from the rest of the world

2005 La Mura Grillo Bianco, Sicily, 13% (£4.99)
The grillo grape is traditionally a major component of the blend used for Marsala, and it was interesting to taste it vinified separately and as a dry white.  The most immediately noticeable thing is its very green colour.  The nose is crisp with some nice pear, citrus and gooseberry fruit.  This is nice and attractive in the mouth, with nice fresh flavours.  A lovely, clean drink.  Impressive.  Very Good Indeed.

2005 Grüner Veltliner, Höpler, Burgenland, Austria, 12% (£6.75)
A rather dumb nose.  This is a good, simple grüner veltliner.  Nothing exceptional but perfectly drinkable.  Good.

2005 Wakefield Estate, Unwooded Chardonnay, Clare Valley, South Australia (£7.50)
This has lovely fresh melony fruit on the nose.  Light, fresh, creamy palate.  Easy and delicious.  Good/Very Good.

French Red Wines

2006 La Coudraie, AC Touraine, Barré Frères, 12% (£6.10)
Made from the gamay grape (like Beaujolais), this Loire red has fresh raspberry fruit on the nose.  Light, fresh and clean on the palate, with a certain savouriness.  A very attractive wine.  Very Good+.

2005 Vieux Clocher, AC Côtes du Ventoux, Maison Arnoux & Fils, 13% (£7.20)
This has an interesting nose, redolent of slightly astringent summer pudding.  Clean and fresh on the plate, this is very attractive easy drinking with a nice character too.  Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

2004 CT, AC Côteaux du Tricastin, Les Vignerons de La Suzienne, 13% (£6.70)
There is atractive raspberry and blackberry fruit on the nose.  The palate too is attractive and open, and very inviting, with a nice depth and character.  Very Good Indeed.

2005 Domaine du Val Brun, Saumur-Champigny, 14% (£6.99)
This has nice light cherry fruit on the nose.  Decent palate, though perhaps a bit lacking in fruit for some tastes.  Notably good after.  Good+.

2005 Domaine G Lavigne, Saumur Champigny, 12.5% (£8.60)
A very nice, gentle nose - a touch green, but very attractive.  Quite light on the palate.  Good+.

2001 Réserve Eliézer, AC Gaillac, Château de Saurs, 13.5% (£10.75)
This is a blend of merlot, brancol, syrah and duras grapes.  It has a very attractive nose, reminiscent of clean, fresh hedgerows.  On the palate, there is a rather green raw feel to the full, concentrated fruit.  An interesting wine, nonetheless.  I suspect this is going through an uncommunicative phase and will be showing beautifully in, say, three years time or so.  Good/Very Good as it stands for now.

2004 Montirius Côtes du Rhône, 14% (£9.00)
The nose has some herbal black fruit, with a touch of cough medicine.  Fairly complex on the palate, this has very good balance too.  Excellent length.  Very Good Indeed.

2001  Classique, Domaine du Garinet, AC Cahors, 13% (£8.40)
100% malbec, the Classique cuvée sees no oak.  On the nose, this seems to be showing some age, but remains nicely rounded, with some black fruit and a touch of stink.  A lightish, balanced paate with good character and depth.  Very Good.  

2001 Réserve, Domaine du Garinet, AC Cahors, 13% (£9.30)
An identical wine to the classique, except that this has been aged in previously used barrels.  The nose is very similar to the classique with black fruits and a touch of sawdust.  Lovely palate.  This is very open and expressive with very good balance.  An impressive wine.  Very Good Indeed.  

2001 Fûts de Chêne, Domaine du Garinet, AC Cahors, 13% (£10.60)
Again, the same wine as the classique, the difference coming from the ageing regime, this cuvée being aged for a year in oak barrels, a quarter of which are new each year.  It has a lovely nose with black fruits, a bit of chocolate and some vanilla coming from the oak.  Very good in the mouth: this has good depth and structure.  The oak is nicely in control.  Very Good Indeed.

2002 Premier Vin, Château la Rayre, Bergerac Rouge, 13% (£11.79)
A big, leafy cassis nose.  Very attractive, easy palate with a very nice balance and a lovely, almost floral elegance.  Cracking stuff.  Very Good Indeed.

2003 Cuvée l'Originel, Domaine du Crampilh, AC Madiran, 14% (£8.99)
A touch closed on the nose, but there are some woody, spiced black fruit aromas with lots of tobacco still making their way out.  Very good palate: this is very interesting with layers of flavours, but also excellent balance.  Impressive.  Very Good Indeed.

Reds from the rest of the world

2006 Diamond Bay Ruby Cabernet, South Africa, 14%, screwcap, (£4.99)
This has light, fresh raspberry fruit on the nose with a rather unusual clotted cream note.  There's light, sweet fruit on the palate.  It's very simple, but it has an attractive easy fruitiness.  Good.

2005 Val Viadero, Bodegas Valduero, DO Toro, 13.5% (£7.99)
There are ripe black fruits on the nose with a plummy, chocolatey richness.  Fairly light and fresh on the palate with good depth and a nice bite on the finish.  Very Good.

2005 Sepia Carmenère, Vistamar, Maipo Valley, Chile, 13.5% (£5.99)
A woody nose with lots of tobacco and black fruit.  Good palate: open and expressive.  A pleasant wine.  Good/Very Good.

2005 Santa Alvara Cabernet Sauvignon, Casa Lapostolle, Rapel Valley, Chile, 14.5% (£6.25)
Quite a smoky, young cabernet nose.  There's velvety black fruit on the palate, though it's a bit spirity on the finish.  Good.

2004 Tapiz Merlot, Fincas Patagonicas, Argentina, 13.5% (£7.50)
The nose has sweet, plummy, berry fruits.  On the palate, it's fresh and fairly simple.  Great finish.  Great length.  Good.

2004 Tapiz Malbec, Fincas Patagonicas, Argentina, 13.5% (£7.50)
A fairly dull nose with some tobacco and black fruit.  Fullish palate with notable tannins providing much grip.  Good/Very Good.


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Last updated: 30 December 2006