mandag den 28. april 2014

French Discoveries

The 9th edition of French Wine Discoveries took place in April at Børsen in Copenhagen. The festival is arranged by Wine4Trade whose aim it is to connect Wine Makers and Professional Wine Buyers. 
Nearly 30 different winemakers from all over France were present, and they came from both old well known regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone and Alsace and “newcomers” like Languedoc-Roussillon. A festival like this is not the place, if you want to taste the famous Chateaus and the First Growths. But I always find it interesting to meet new winemakers and try wines that I have never heard about before, and quite often there are some lovely discoveries to make.    
Champagne was present as well with seven producers, so that is where I started my little Tour de France. Honestly I am a newcomer when it comes to Champagne, but my impression was very positive. As a starter I had a glass of Carte Or Brut from Champagne Paques et Fils ( – fresh, dry, fruity and with a clear taste of lemon.
After that I went for the full range at Champagne Leclerc Briant (, who is making organic wine. The Brut was fresh and fruity with acidity and some melon on the palette. The Brut Reservé was a bit shy in the nose, but better balanced and with more dept. My favourite was the Brut Millésime 2006, more complexity, honey and herbs in the nose, less fruit, but the fruit came with full power in the long, lovely aftertaste. A bit like having two different wines in one. Their Premier Cru, Les Chévres Pierreuses, was nice as well. It is based on a field with mixed grapes (40 % Pinto Noir, 40 % Chardonnay and 20 % Pinot Meunier), fermented together, very fruity and well balanced. Finally I tried the Cuvée Divine made in the best years. Complex, more fruit and a long tail.  

The third Chapagne House I tried was Champagne Pertois-Lebrun ( from Côte de Blancs, who are making Blanc de blancs – single grape Champagne based only on Chardonnay. The Instant Brut was full of freshness, fruit in the nose, some peach and great minerality in the taste and tail. The Millésime 2006 had a fruitier nose with lemon, grapefruit and a bit melon, and again a long tail with minerality. The Cuvée Exaltation had lemon and grapefruit too in the nose, great complexity and well balanced.
After that I had a short stop in Alsace, whose Pinot Noir still don’t impress me, Loire Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon and Burgundy before I went to Bordeaux, where I visited two Chateaus.
Chateau Montaiguillon ( from Montagne Saint-Emilion was the big surprise of the day. The region is placed behind the more famous and respected – and more expensive – Saint-Emilion and close to Pomerol as well. The Chateau is owned by the Amart family through three generations. They are only making one wine, the AOP Chateau Montaiguillon based on 70 % merlot, 5 % Cabernet Franc and 25 % Cabernet Sauvignon (the blend is a bit different from vintage to vintage) with an average vine age of 50 years. 2011 had a lot of blackcurrant, cherries and fruit, tannins, but was very well structured. The 2010 had softer tannins, a very delicious, elegant and well balanced wine. A great wine, comparable with some Grand Cru Classé wines from the more famous neighbours in Saint-Emilion.
Saint-Emilion was exactly the next stop with Chateau La Marzelle (, who presented both their Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru wine, Prieuré. I tried both in 2007 and they were both very nice. Chateau La Marzelle Grand Cru Classé was dry with blackberries and other dark berries, some spices, good dept, well balanced and quit elegant. The Grand Cru with softer tannins, a bit more easy going and well balanced as well.

Finally I will mention Chateau Armandiere ( in Cahors – a region that I normally don’t appreciate that much, because of its too rustic appearance. The entry level, Fee Violine 2012 based on 95 % Malbec and 5 % Merlot had a bit smoky notes and the typical Malbec aftertaste, but was quit easy going and modern in its style. The Grand Reserve 2002 (100 % Malbec) impressed me. It was dark, powerful, spicy and with a lot of berries, but without the rustic character and with a very nice taste of tobacco box in the finish. Finally I tried their fortified wine made of 100 % Malbec too. Black fruit and plums, not to sweet and enjoyable, And that is said by a port lover!

A lot of other producers were present, but you have to make your choices… Most of the producers are looking for importers in Denmark. I sure will welcome some of them on the Danish marked. 

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