Fri 08 Nov 2013

Absolutely Cracking Wines From France


image45Every autumn, the French food and wine marketing organisation Sopexa, on behalf of French Wines With Style, hosts the Absolutely Cracking Wines From France tasting where they ask key wine writers, bloggers and sommeliers to put forward the best French wines they have tasted in the last year.

While you’d expect The Society to feature, given the strength and depth in our French offering, this year we had more wines represented in the tasting than any other merchant – more than double the second most mentioned! Testament indeed to the combined talents of buyers Marcel Orford-Williams (Alsace, Beaujolais, Champagne, Rhône, South of France), Jo Locke MW (Bordeaux, Loire) and Toby Morrhall (Burgundy).

156 wines featured in the tasting from 75 UK merchants, and 23 came from The Society. We’ve put together a 12-bottle mixed case of 2 x 6.

FC23751My personal favourites are all from off the beaten track:

Red: Domaine du Cros, Lo Sang del Pais, Marcillac 2012
Writer, blogger & the Sunday Express‘s wine expert Jamie Goode says of this wine: “It’s bloody, ferrous, meaty and fresh, with minerality and bright fruit. It’s drinakable. It’s food friendly. And I like to drink it.” It’s one of the most versatile wines we have on our list, and while you may have never heard of the fer servadou grape, it’s very worth getting to know, and offers such excellent value for money.

FC24151White: Domaine Cauhapé,Chant des Vignes Sec, Jurancon 2012
Award-winning wine writer and regular Decanter columnist Andrew Jefford sums up this wine in his inimitable style, to which there really is nothing to add: “Gros manseng is blended with 40% of the rare camaralet de Lasseube to make this bracing, complex dry Jurançon. Aromas almost jump from the glass – pineapple, hay, pounded almonds, hawthorn blossom, a little banana, somne fresh apricot. On the palate the wine is rousing, vivid, saline and incisive, yet every bit as perfumed, and as singular, as its aromas – deverting yet palate-cleansing. I don’t think you’ll find a more intriguing aperitif from France than this, and few to match it for concentration and character.”SG1651

Sparkling: Domaine du Montbourgeau, Crémant du Jura NV
The UK’s acknowledged Jura expert, Wink Lorch, says: “This Crémant from 100% chardonnay has purity, finesse and a lightness from start to finish. Yet it remains distinctly Jura in its flavours.” She is so right – there is something so crisp, clean and … well, ‘mountain air’ about this wine. The most refreshing fizz you’ll drink this year, and cerrtainly the one the family and I will be seeing in Christmas with.

FC24461Sweet: Maydie, Tannat Vintage, Madiran 2010
Expert wine buyer Christine Parkinson, from London’s Hakkasan restaurants, says: “This is a vin doux naturel from a grape usually better known for tannic, dry wines. The wine has flavours of blackberry and damson which mesh well with the sappy sweetness and a structure reather like a young vintage Port.” Delicious, and has the added bonus of going very well with chocolate!

We regularly feature strongly at this annual tasting, but we don’t rest on our laurels. Marcel, Jo and Toby are already combing the vines of France to ensure we stay on top of our game.

Ewan Murray
PR Manager

Categories : France, South of France


  1. John Sansom says:

    Had our second bottle 0f Jurancon(above) with simple trout in butter last night-prefect, even her at home more than impressed.

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