With France being the theme country for the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020, there were many more French wineries in attendance than in other years. And with that many more wines to taste. Which made me very happy. France has a great variety of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines, from the range of noble grape varieties. I spent several sessions in the Festival tasting room trying out wines and speaking with winery principals. Here is a list of the French wines that I quite enjoyed. Some are available in BC while others were here just for the Festival.
White and Sparkling Wines
Advini Domaine Laroche Chablis – St. Martin 2018 – This wine has a light stonefruit nose. Light body with medium acidity. Crisp apple and stonefruit flavours and a mineral streak.
Boisset Effervescence Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Perle Rare 2015 – Light flint and apple aromas. Medium-plus body, dry with higher acidity. Medium-sized bubble. Toast and apple flavours. Light creamy mouthfeel.
M. Chapoutier Hermitage Chante-Alouette 2017 – Made from the Marsanne grape. It has a light lemon colour and has a rich honey, spice and stonefruit nose. Medium-plus body with a thicker mouthfeel. Lower acidity. Sweet spices, some toast and light stonefruit flavours. Elegant.
Francois Martenot Petit Chablis 2018 – Pale lemon colour. Light stonefruit nose. Medium-plus body with a silky mouthfeel. Stone fruit, apples and honey flavours.
Francois Martenot Saint Veran 2018 – Lemon green colour. Sweet ripe stonefruit nose. Fuller body, dry, with a smooth mouthfeel. Stonefruit flavours with mineral behind.
Francois Martenot Carton et Trebuchet Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé 2017 – This wine has light lemon, floral and vanilla nose. It is off-dry with higher acidity. Small creamy bubble. Stone fruit flavours. Nice.
Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut Classique NV – Bright lemon colour. A nice nose with toast and bruise apple aromas. This wine has higher acidity and creamy bubble. Bruised apple and tart crab apple flavours.
Alfred Gratien Champagne Rosé Classique NV – A nice orangy rose colour. Wonderful nose with crisp red fruits and red apples. Full body, dry, with higher acidity. Tiny creamy bubbles. Crab apple flavour.
Chateau Minuty Rosé et Or 2018 – Interesting nose with aromas of rhubarb and strawberry. It has a medium body, smooth with an acid edge. Rhubarb and strawberry flavours.
Hugel & Fils Estate Riesling 2015 – Nice ripe stone fruit and a touch of petrol on the noes with more on the palate. Big flavours on the palate. The wine is off-dry with a thick, smooth mouthfeel.
Hugel & Fils Limited Edition Grossi Laue Riesling 2013 – Grossi Laue represents a single vineyard (and a particular soil) and is Alsace’s equivalent to Grand Cru. It is a rich golden colour. It has a medium intensity nose showing deep ripe honeyed tropical fruits and petrol. It has a medium-plus body and acidity, showing tropical fruit, marmalade, honey, floral, and petrol flavours. A wonderful wine.
Domaine Michel Gassier Rosé 2018 – Light intensity sweet ripe strawberry nose. This wine is dry with a light body and medium-plus acidity. Tasty strawberries and red fruit flavours, and a peppery finish.
Mouton Cadet Blanc 2018 – Nice lime and jalapeno pepper aromas which continue to the palate. This wine is dry with a light body and medium acidity. A touch of honey and pepper later on the sip.
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV – Toasty, brioche and apple nose which continues to the palate. Light bubble. Medium body. –
Chateau Pesquie Terrasses AOC Ventoux Rosé 2018 – This wine has a light intensity strawberry and tropical fruit nose. Medium-plus body with light acidity. A nice smooth mouthfeel. Light spices, red and tropical fruit flavours. An easy sipper! –
Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve NV – This Champagne has nice stonefruit aromas. Tiny creamy bubbles. It is off-dry with a medium body. Ripe stone fruit and apples along with some pepperiness. –
Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV – Nice red apple nose. Light body; dry. Creamy light bubbles. Red fruits followed by red apples on the palate. –
Champagne Taittinger Prelude Grands Cru NV – Light apple and stonefruit nose. Medium-plus body with higher acidity. Citrus apple and light toast on the palate. Very creamy bubbles.
Advini Clos de l’Oratoire Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2017 – A clear light garnet colour in the glass. It has a nice raspberry nose. It is medium body and dry, with medium acidity and tannins. Floral and raspberry flavours along with some pepperiness.
Domaine du Causse d’Arboras 2016 – Deep ruby-garnet colour mix. This wine has a light intensity nose showing blueberries and smoke. It has flavours of ripe raspberries and nutmeg. It has medium acidity with soft tannins.
Vignobles Alain Brumont Chateau Montus Cuvee Prestige 2002 – Made with the Tannat grape this wine has a deep translucent garnet in the glass. Light toast and red fruit aromas. It has a light body, with fine, firm tannins. Cedar/Old World oak, red fruits and sweet spice flavours along with a touch of pepper. –
Aubert Vignobles Chateau d’Anielle Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 – A deeper translucent garnet colour. Gamy, sausage and red fruit aromas. Medium body, dry with medium acidity and a lighter mouthfeel. Gamy, red fruit and raspberry flavours along with some pepperiness. Tannic finish.
Borie-Manoux Chateau Lions de Batailley 2016 – Lighter translucent garnet. Light cedar and red fruit nose. Quite fruity with vibrant red fruit and raspberry flavours. It has a medium-plus body, is soft and round in the mouth. Medium acidity and chalky tannins.
Crus et Domaines de France Chateau de Lamarque 2015 – Medium intensity translucent garnet colour. It has a light intensity red fruit and oak nose. It is medium-bodied with firmer tannins. Floral, red cherries, sweet spices and vanilla flavours. It is round with medium acidity. Tannic finish. A nice wine.
Domaine Boutinot La Cote Sauvage Cairanne AOC 2016 – Medium translucent garnet. Red fruit, smoke and earthiness on the nose. This wine is off-dry, medium body and acidity. Medium intensity firm tannins. Red fruit flavours.
Domaine Boutinot Les Coteaux Schisteux Seguret Cotes du Rhone Villages 2016 – Translucent medium intensity garnet. It has light raspberry and vanilla aromas. It is fuller-bodied, dry with a soft mouthfeel. Raspberry flavours. Fine tannins. An excellent wine. –
Fortant de France Gaia Saint-Chinan Organic 2017 – Deep translucent garnet colour. A light intensity red fruit and bacon nose. This wine is dry, with medium body and medium acidity. It is smooth with some medium intensity tannins. Raspberries, red cherries and a touch of oak on the palate. A drying finish.
Francois Lurton Le Chateau des Erles 2017 – Medium bright translucent garnet colour. Ripe raspberry nose. Fuller body with medium acidity and fine tannins. Raspberries, bramble berries and blueberry flavours. Tasty.
Les Vins Georges Duboeuf Morgon Jean-Ernest Descombes Cote du Py 2018 – Light translucent garnet colour. It has a light intensity red fruit nose. A light body, dry with angular medium intensity acidity, and fine tannins. Floral and red fruit flavours.
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Bartavelles Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016 – Medium translucent garnet. A light red fruit nose. It is dry with a light body and mouthfeel. Red fruit flavours. Medium acidity and tannins.
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2018 – Made with the Gamay grape. A light raspberry nose. It is dry, light-body, with fine tannins. FLoral, red cherries and red fruit flavours.
Mouton Cadet Reserve Saint-Emilion 2017 – Dull but translucent light garnet colour. It has a light intensity mix of red and black fruit aromas. It is soft and round with a medium-plus body. Mixed red and black fruit flavours. FIne tannins.
Les Halos de Jupiter Cotes du Rhone 2017 – Made with the Grenache grape, this wine has a medium intensity translucent garnet. Cloves and red fruit aromas. Light lifted flavours of red fruit and cloves. Lighter acidity and tannins.
Les Halos de Jupiter Gigondas 2016 – This wine has dark fruit and chocolate aromas. It has a fuller body with bright acidity and light tannins. Raspberry flavours along with some pepper. –