French Regional Wines: Wine tasting
Lancaster Town Hall
10th June 2005

John Dickinson, the proprietor of French Regional Wines, invited me attend this public wine tasting as the company's guest (so I declare that interest).  Unfortunately I could only arrive fairly late and although I continued after the public tasting, I was not able to taste the full range of wines available.

For French Regional Wines' own website, click here).

Vin de Pays

2004 Camas Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d'Oc (£5.40)
A clean fresh nose.  Very simple and straightforward: a bit pedestrian.  Dull and a bit dear for what it is.  OK.

NV Cuvée des Pierrots, Cave Anne de Joyeuse, Vin de Pays de l'Aude (£5.20)
A rather closed, dull nose.  Dullish, thudding attack (that's what I wrote, presumably referring to a certain weight).  This is a fairly basic easy drinking white wine, light and inoffensive on the palate. Much better on the finish and after when some spices appear on the palate.  Enormous length.  Very Good +.

2003 Sauvignon, Eric Montintin, Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France (£6.70)
A very light nose with a bit of cat's pee sauvignon blanc character.  Very full attack.  Simple and straightforward Loire sauvignon blanc.  Good/Very Good.

2004 Fecos, Cave Anne de Joyeuse, Vin de Pays d'Oc (£5.20)
A blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and syrah.  Very vibrant young colour.  The nose is really lovely with soft plummy fruit and tobacco.  Round and simple, this is a good, straightforward drinking wine that would be great in the garden with the barbecue in full production.  Nice spicy tannins on the finish.  Very clean and fruity on the finish and after.  Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

2004 Camas Merlot, Cave Anne de Joyeuse, Vin de Pays d'Oc (£5.20)
A very young bright purple colour.  Quite a zingy nose.  A bit unexceptional, but unchallenging, decent, easy drinking.  Good.

2002 Le Cadet de Montirius, Domaine Montirius, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse (£6.80)
A very light appearance - a touch watery and very young. Soft, fruity nose. Soft and round on the attack. Good fruit, with some spice building on the palate. Soft tannins, becoming slightly grainy on the finish, give a decent structure. Very Good/Very Good Indeed.


2003 Tokay Pinot Gris Vignoble d'Epfig, Domaine Philippe Schaeffer, Alsace (£9.20)
Mid, pinky straw.  Slightly strange whisky-ether nose that lacks pinot gris typicity.  On the palate, all is much more normal, and this is a good example of a basic Alsatian pinot gris, though in a rather light style.  A touch hollow maybe, especially on the finish.  Good/Very Good.

2002 Riesling de Wolxheim "Réserve", Domaine Joseph Scharsch, Alsace (£9.00)
A pale lemon colour. The nose is very light indeed - crisp, fresh creamy citrus with a slightly confected note. Light, fresh and clean on the palate. Nice crisp fruit and lots of stony minerality: absolutely bone dry. Very clean and elegant and very well balanced. Good crisp finish. Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

2003 Gewurztraminer, Domaine Joseph Scharsch, Alsace (£9.75)
Very clean, fresh gewurz nose, very precise with nice elegant floral notes.  A good, light, very well-balanced wine on the palate.  Round and clean and fresh.  Very Good +. 


2003 Muscadet sur lie, Domaine A. Barré (£6.80)
Pale straw appearance.  Lovely, very leesy nose, almost cheesy.  Round yet crisp, and very refreshing.  Notably good on the finish when similar wines can end up a bit hard.  Very Good Indeed.

2003 Vouvray La Lanterne Demi-Sec, Barré Frères (£8.90)
Very, very pale, almost watery appearance.  A bit dull on the nose, and unfortunately the same on the palate, when I really only get a bit of sweetness.  Lacks fruit, lacks character, lacks style.  OK.

2003 Ch. de la Guimonière, Côteaux du Layon (£11.00)
This has an attractive mid gold colour.  The nose is really lovely - very complex and quite elegant.  Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to the promise of the nose on the palate.  Very well balanced with a decent weight on the palate, but just a bit simple.  It's a useful wine, though, which would make a good aperitif, go well with most patés (or even a pork pie!) or as a palate cleanser before or instead of dessert.  Very Good.

2003 Sancerre, Eric Montinin (£12.00)
A very pale, lemony straw.  Powerful, round nose with some rough oak.  Very high acidity on the palate, without much fruit to balance it.  Poor.

2003 Pouilly-Fumé, Eric Montinin (£12.50)
Good, grassy nose.  Very light and a bit undistinguished on the palate.  A bit short.  OK.

2004 La Primaudière, Rosé de Loire, Barré Frères (£6.30)
A very pale, coppery salmon pink.  The nose is delightful - lovely fresh strawberry fruit.  Very fresh and refreshing on the palate.  Really good balance.  The fruit remains throughout and onto the good finish, with decent length.  Very Good Indeed +.

2002 Chinon La Thouette, Barré Frères (£8.50)
Pale, light, young appearance.  A slighly green, raw nose.  Light on the attack, but it fills out well in the mouth and has decent depth.  A touch astringent on the finish - common in many young Loire reds.  Very Good.

2003 Saumur Champigny, Domaine G. Lavigne (£8.60)
A good, even light burgundy colour, and appearing quite light-bodied too.  Rather nice nose with plums and raspberries.  Good, clean attack.  Very nice fruit on the palate.  Builds with lots of spice and character.  Great finish.  Very Good Indeed +.


2003 Sélection Le Lutin, AC Côteaux du Tricastin, Cave La Suzienne (£5.70)
75% grenache; 25% syrah.  A very light ruby in appearance.  Nice gentle ripe fruit on the nose.  Good attack, with lots of pleasing fruit.  Nice character and nice balance.  Soft, grainy tannins add a good structure.  Some green notes on the finish just add a slightly jarring note.  Very Good/Very Good Indeed.

2001 Rabassière, AC Côteaux du Tricastin, Cave La Suzienne (£6.90)
A blend of 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah which has been aged in oak.  A light mature ruby.  Gorgeous inviting nose with red fruits, crème de mûre and a touch of woody bay and vanilla.  Very open and full on the palate.  Very good finish.  This is a winner. Excellent.

2001 Cairanne, AC Côtes du Rhône Villages, Vieux Clocher (£7.80)
Quite a big wine with good fruit and balance.  A very satisfying wine with superb length.  Very Good indeed.

2004 Montirius, AC Côtes du Rhône
100% Grenache. Rather closed nose. Very very young; very tense. Tough and a bit raw. But has promise if given a year I think. Good +.

2001 Clos Montirius, AC Vacqueyras
A powerful, smoky nose. Lovely attack: round, full and sweet. Good body. Fine tannins on the finish. Very Good Indeed.

Andrew Stevenson


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Last updated: 15 December 2005 17:45