During our trip to Champagne, we visited the lovely grand cru village of Cramant famous for the Blanc de Blancs.
This Champagne was aged for five years and became a perfect example of crispy mineral blanc de blancs with the fruity taste of fresh green apples. Ideal as an aperitif or for festive occasions.
If we are talking about hidden gems, this Touraine sauvignon blanc is one of them.
This is one of our favorite sauvignon blancs from the Loire Valley. It has very expressive floral aromas with the refreshing scents of white fruit. Low acidity, smooth, complexed. Ideal to pair with fruits de mer or goat cheese salad.
We’ve selected some brilliant Chardonnays in those tiny charming villages of Côte de Beaune.
If you like that oaky, buttery, creamy Chardonnay with the textural chalky minerality, then this one is a must. Pairs perfectly with rich fish (salmon, tuna etc), mild and soft cheese or charcuterie.
We’ve selected some beautiful Sangiovese from Tuscany.
The ones we prefer have a nice blend of jam, ripe fruit, plum, tobacco and vanilla. The full body and good tannins of these wines are made to be paired with meat. Think of grilled or roasted beef, lamb, wild boar, and duck.
- Blanc de Blancs (“white from whites”):
- Pinot noir
- Pinot meunier
- mix of white and black grapes or via the Saignée method – bleeding off juice after several days of cold maceration in contact with grape skins
- Tradition – is an assemblage of several years. The pinots noirs provide strength, the pinots meuniers for the fruitiness, the chardonnays for the freshness.
- Réserve – aged for up to seven or eight years giving the wines richness and complexity.
- Millésime / Vintage – made from the grapes of a harvest year, often a very good harvest year. The taste is more complex and therefore more interesting, mainly because it ripens longer in the bottle in cellar and the quality of the grapes is higher.
- Sauvignon blanc
- Pinot blanc
- Pinot gris
- Cabernet franc
- Pinot noir
- Pinot meunier
- Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to the wide range of quality levels and regions Cabernet is highly variable. Look for wines with deep color, moderately low pH (e.g. higher acidity), balanced alcohol levels, and noticeable tannins.
- Merlot. With age Merlot becomes softer and often more smoky (think tobacco). Right-bank Bordeaux is a great place to start with aging Merlot.
- Monastrell (Mourvèdre) has extremely high tannin and color. In the Bandol region of Provence, this grape doesn’t usually come around in exceptional taste until after at least 10 years of aging. Expect rich, peppery, rustic flavors.
- Sangiovese. This is another top-notch grape variety to age long-term because Sangiovese has such spicy acidity. Over time, this wine mellows out and produces sweet figgy notes. Check out Brunello di Montalcino for a cellar-worthy example.
- Nebbiolo. The regions of Barolo and Barbaresco are burned in collectors’ brains as the places to look for age-worthy wine. Why? Nebbiolo produces wines with incredibly high tannin that softens and seems to sweeten over time.
- Aglianico. The old way of producing Aglianico made it almost undrinkable until it’s aged for at least a decade. These wines reveal extremely savory and compelling flavors of cured meats and tobacco.
Annual production millions hl