A bouquet of flavours for May
M.Chapoutier Tournon Chardonnay Landsborough vineyard
Michel Chapoutier, well-known vintner and wine merchant, owner of plots of land in the prestigious appellation region of Côtes-du-rhône (Hermitage, Côtes-Rôtie and Condrieu, among others) is a terroir hunter.
In 1997, he left to explore Australia. With a six-month shift between its wine-growing calendar and that of France, the southern hemisphere is strategically ideal. In the Australian Pyrenees Michel discovered soil composed of schist and siltstone, as well as a cool climate adapted to the growth of chardonnay grapes.
At first glance, the golden yellow colour says that it was barrel-aged. A surprising freshness marries well with ripe, fleshy fruit. Its mineral aspect slides between spicy flavours and notes of wax. There’s a bitterness reminiscent of the great whites. Those who enjoy a subtly buttery chardonnay are sure to appreciate it.
“To enjoy with a dish of ravioli au gratin,” Michel Chapoutier would add.
Proyecto Garnachas La Garnatxa Fosca del Priorat
A project? No, a mission. Oenologist Raul Acha’s initiative aims to bring back the more-than-60-year-old vines considered old-fashioned, located on the steep terraces of Licorella (slate schist) in Catalogna.
Grown at between 300 m and 400 m of altitude, in the dry – even arid – climate of the Priorat, their roots have to suck the rocks to feed themselves.
It’s not surprising that these garnatxa (grenache) were abandoned in favour of tempranillo: easier to grow and easier to market.
With its beautiful, rather dense, cherry-red colour which seems to influence its flavours, this garnatxa lacks neither freshness nor mineral notes. Smooth and robust, it owes a small part of its structure to barrel aging.
It is excellent for enhancing marinades; one has only to decide between a beef flap steak or lamb chops.
Villasenor Kenos Family Selection Assemblage Vallée de Cachapoal
Speaking of wine, mythology already tells us of Dionysius for the Greeks and Bacchus for the Romans. But here’s another candidate: Kenos, the creator and hero of fire of the Ona people (of southern Chile), to whom is given the task of preserving the planet. He’ll have lots to do nowadays.
This mixture of carmenere, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot, this nectar of the Valley of Cachapoal, a tiny bit smoky, expresses itself via red stone fruits and flavours of blackcurrants and liquorice.
The fat of the alcohol supports the tannins quite nicely on a long finish that wraps the palate in woody spices. Solid! Go hunt for morels in season and grill a steak of moose meat.
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