Tag: French wine

California Rhone Wine

This past week I featured a series of California Rhone wines in conjunction with my recently published article for Edible Communities entitled Where we Rhone. This article explores the history of Rhone varietals in California and features both iconic and up-and-coming local Rhone-centric winemakers. I’ve also included a brief Rhone wine 101 sidebar, explaining the French origin and breaking down the most common varietals. Have a read, brush up on your Rhone wine 101, and then check out a few individual California Rhone wine reviews featured here on my site.

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Louis Bouillot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc de Blanc

Crémant de Bourgogne – it’s the the designation for the sparkling wines of Burgundy, which is primarily known for single-varietal, still wines only. Here, in this self-proclaimed bubbly “oasis” winemakers can, shall we say, “break the rules,” and combine various varietals to create sparkling wines. Bonus points: because these sparkles aren’t technically Champagne (though most are, indeed, made in the methode champenoise), these come at a much more affordable price point (typically between $15 and $30). So pop the cork in celebration of — what day of the week is it that you’re reading this? Yes, cheers to a random day of the week! 

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Parigot Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé

Warning: This introduction contains a bit of personal information. I was never a huge fans of rosés until I started writing about wine. Through my studies and various opportunities to taste rosés made from different varietals, made in different styles, and — of course — from different regions, I can now edit that fact to state that I am quite picky about rosés. Similar are my feelings about bubbles. I rarely had opportunity in the past to have them; when I did, they all pretty much tasted the same. I’ve hesitated to write about them because they are, in fact, a whole different wine-making game.

But here I am working an a sparkling wine series, and lo, here is a wine that combines two things I’ve been iffy about in the past — a sparkling rosé. Spoiler alert: the Parigot Crémant Rosé past this skeptics taste test…

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Antech-Limoux Blanquette de Limoux Cuvée Brut Nature

Limoux is an appellation of southern France’s Languedoc region. In an area that’s primarily focused on the production of red wine, Limoux is considered somewhat of a “sparkling wine oasis.” Here, bubbles are crafted using the methode traditionelle or methode champenoise (aka the traditional Champagne method), but this Antech-Limoux Cuvée Brut Nature is an interesting take on that sparkling wine tradition, blending together a few non-traditional varietals…

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J.L. Denois Tradition: Extra Brut Pinot Chardonnay

While the name of J.L. Denois may be one for the modern day masses, Jean-Louis (the J.L. in the name) started out as a humble grape-grower and winemaker. He purchased his first Pinot Noir vineyard in 1988 and shortly thereafter Chardonnay in 1989. In 1991 this innovative man planted the first Pinot Champagne clones: a softer skinned relative of an already thin-skinned grape — delicate is a mild description here.

His estate vineyards are located in the Aude Valley, just in the Pyrenees foothills on the Languedoc’s southwestern edge. With Atlantic breezes that swoop through the Valley throughout the day, this is the ideal cool-climate for picking crisp grapes, ripe with acidity — perfect for crafting sparkling wine.

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