A few weeks ago I participated in a virtual “getaway” to Bourgogne. My tour and tasting was lead by the always energetic award-winning sommelier and “virtual experience guru” Belinda Chang, along with expert Bourgogne consultant Anette Hanami. We also had a few guest speakers native to the region, including Anne Moreau from the Domaine Louis Moreau.
Of course, a virtual media tour is nothing like the real deal. But the event, hosted by Sopexa, was not just a lively discussion on Bourgogne as a whole, but a detailed breakdown of region’s nuanced classification system.
To discuss everything we learned would take several lengthy posts. So, I’m not going to do that. But what I do want to share are the two wines I received in conjunction with this event. In order to divide Bourgogne into digestible parts, we were split into “teams,” each of which focused on a separate region. I, along with three other women in wine, was on team Hautes Côtes de Beaune. The following two wines are just a small sip of what I experienced during Soprexa‘s “Escape to Bourgogne.”
As some of you may (or may not) know, I’m currently studying for my WSET Diploma. As part of the program, I’m conducting regular tastings that coincide with the program requirements for each unit. This is was the motivation behind tasting this wine—because it’s certainly a wine that I personally would reach for on a normal day. That being said, I was excited to see Rosé d’Anjou on the list because I’ve never actually tasted one before. Anjou is a region of the middle Loire Valley and this style of rosé is unique to the region. So, let’s have a taste…
In a recent post discussing carbonic maceration, I briefly mentioned a bit about Beaujolais. And in my Wine Regions of Burgundy post I completely ignored Beaujolias, which is, in fact, the southern-most portion of Burgundy. Yet, so different is Beaujolias from its northern neighbor that few associate the two together. And even textbooks—from the WSET to Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible—break the two areas out into separate chapters. So, let’s dive in and find out what exactly makes Beaujolais so unique.
In a previous post, I explored potential Australian alternatives to Burgundian Chardonnay. This was in response to part one of a WSET Level 3 practice question. Before I move on to part two, which (spoiler alert) takes a deep dive into the wines of Bordeaux, I want to finish up my tour of Burgundy with a quick look at the regions not discussed in that prior post.
It’s not often I review foreign wine, so when I do I always like to insert a little bit about the region. This Gris de Gris hails from France’s Languedoc-Roussilon AOC, which spans along the Mediterranean coastline, from the southern border with Spain up toward France’s region of Provence. In total, the AOC has about 700,000 acres planted to vines and is one of the biggest wine-producing regions in the world.
The terrain and climate characteristics are similar to that of the Southern Rhône region (located to the north and slightly west of Languedoc) and Provence (located to the north, arching toward the east along the Mediterranean Ocean.) Thus, the whole of the Languedoc-Roussillon region produces a wide variety of grapes and wine styles — from your classic “Bordeaux” varietals (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc) to your typical Rhône varietals (Grenache, Syrah, Viognier).
There are several appellations and sub-appellations within Languedoc that, for the most part, were originally separated based more on politics than wine-related reasons — though this seems to be changing even as we speak. However, a lot of wines from this area will still simply state “Languedoc” without any other regional or varietal information on the bottle.
On the whole, the Languedoc regions seems to be –what? — undiscovered or under-appreciated? There are quality wines coming from the AOC that are a lot more affordable than some of France’s other notable regions. I guess, for now, let’s not question it, let’s just go with it. And let’s go with it with this Gris de Gris.