Saturday, April 13, 2013

Family Vacation In France

2GrandCru Jr. Flying High In Paris
When Efrat and I took the kids for a vacation in France, just about everyone I know expected me to have a lavish, wine-drenched tour. The harsh reality is it wasn't that kind of trip. I tasted only a handful of wines, in un-inspiring stemware to say the least, and the most enjoyable drink wound up being a cider from Normandy.

Nicolas Potel, Mercurey, 2011

Large producer, low rung appellation, good year, bad stemware, a blasé hotel dinner - yet I can still get earthy red fruit with a grainy mouthfeel and surprising purity. Decent plus, a serviceable generic Bourgogne without a lot of personality, which did a good job under mediocre circumstances. (Mar. 25, 2013)

10 Euro.

Langois-Chateau, Sumaur-Champigny, Vieilles Vignes, 2009

Closed, even from a bottle opened earlier in the morning (and bad stemware again). I get raspberries and tobacco leaves and a grainy mouthfeel. Rustic now, with a potential for medium plus complexity. (Mar. 28, 2013)

20 Euro.

Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, Voucray Demi-Sec 2009 and Moelleux 2011

Same bad stemware as the Langlois-Chateau, damn those tourist traps! Both are very much Vouvray and typical of their respective styles - albeit I'm concerned that the acidity is on the low side - and showing tropical fruit. Fun stuff, though, with decent depth. (Mar. 28, 2013)

About 10 Euros each.

Christophe et Anne Couturier, le Verger de Giverny, Cidre Fermier, Brut

The thing is that, while wine offers more than (and usually anything but) grape aromas and flavors, ciders are too heavily grounded in apples to inspire much contemplation or very wordy tasting notes. Or so I would guess. My experience is highly limited, and while the plan was to use our one day excursion to Normandy to somewhat expand my horizons, this one specimen is all I got around to trying. But it's a nice specimen, expanding upon and complexifying the apple aromatics with a lightly funky overlay. Nothing very deep or complex on the palate, just hearty fun. (Mar. 29, 2013)

Dominique Percereau, Touraine-Amboise, Prestige des Poupelines, 2008

According to the AOC rules, this should be a blend of Caberent Frnac, Gamay and maybe some Malbec: so, fresh raspberries from the Gamay and a hint of tobacco leaves from the Cabernet Franc is how it breaks down, I guess. Virtually no tannins to speak of at this point, just a silky mouthfeel and a spicy finish. Nice. (Mar. 29, 2013)

8-10 Euros.

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