01.24.2013 Wine Reviews: Pic & Chapoutier, Domaine De La Mordoree, and Louis Cheze

Hello Friends, I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Below are a few of my recent sips – all wines from the Rhone Valley, which sits in southeast France. Winemaking in this region predates the Romans and bargain hunters seeking interesting and substantive red wines find this region attractive. The Rhone Valley also produces some rather nice white and rosé wines, which is what I have reviewed below. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Pic and Chapoutier 2011 Côtes du Luberon Blanc

1) Pic and Chapoutier 2011 Côtes du Luberon Blanc (SRP $12):  This wine is a collaborative effort between Anne-Sophie Pic (French chef) and Michel Chapoutier (Rhone wine-grower). It’s a white blend that hails from the Luberon appellation, which is located in the southern Rhone. I rarely see wine from this appellation on store shelves, so I picked it up when I spotted it at a local wine shop. This light-to-medium bodied wine offers aromas and “delicate” flavors of white-stone fruits, white flowers, and very subtle mineral undertones with refreshing (food-partnering) acidity. It has a nice, slender texture and ends with a short, clean finish. The label says pair it with grilled sea bass, but it did a good job with stuffed flounder for us. Overall, this is a fairly simple, but well-made wine that won’t break and would complement a wide variety of foods. It could also be served as an aperitif. Click here to find this wine.

Domaine De La Mordoree 2011 Tavel Rose

2) Domaine De La Mordoree 2011 Tavel Rose (SRP $30): Tavel is an appellation in the southern Rhone and is the only AOC in France to only produce rosé wine (… I think). Of course, these are not your ordinary/average bright and light Rosé wines. These are relatively substantive, [beautiful] salmon colored wines that will pair well with fatty fish like salmon and tuna. This particular example has nice weight on the palate (medium-to-full in body) with fleshy red fruit and perfume-like/floral complexities that’s balanced by good structural acidity. There is a slight (very slight) bitterness on the finish, which may be the alcohol (14.5% ABV), but all around a very nice Rosé from Tavel. In my opinion, you should serve a wine like this at same temperature you would a fuller-bodied Chardonnay [cellar temperature … around 55°F]. Click here to find this wine.

Domaine Louis Cheze 2009 Condrieu

3) Domaine Louis Cheze 2009 Condrieu (SRP $45): The small appellation of Condrieu, located in the northern Rhone just south of Côte Rôtie, makes white wine exclusively from the Viognier grape variety. Condrieu is the homeland of Viognier and is considered the benchmark for fine examples throughout the wine world. This example, pale gold in color, exhibits aromas of mandarin orange, pretty lilac scents, hay, and a touch of [dried] apricot and peach that extends to the palate with good viscosity and acid balance ending with a nice dash of spice in the medium-length finish. I enjoyed a glass of this with a warm and delicious bowl of bouillabaisse; which was a surprisingly good pairing. I also enjoyed another glass with a good book. Overall, this is a nice entry-level [ish] example at an entry-level price point. Unfortunately, Condrieu isn't cheap. Lastly, Condrieu, in my opinion, is also one of the few examples of Viognier that can gain complexities and evolve with a little patience. Outside of the northern Rhone, most Viognier wines are meant to be consumed in their youth. Click here to find this wine.

Happy Sipping from #DC, my friends!

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends!

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