21 Feb 2011

Wine(s) of the week 13

Again, you get 2 for the price of one this week! This, by the way, is to make up for this rather poor photograph.


As nobody will be able to make much out of the labels, which are just as cluttered and poorly designed as my photograph is of lousy quality, I will have to tell you what they say.

The wines are both French and bear the same brand name: "A l'Origine". This could be diversely translated as "of the origin", "from the origin", or "in the beginning". The general idea induced being that the wines come from somwhere, I suppose. And in fact each wine in this budding range (the concept has just been launched) comes from a specific vineyard, whilst being grouped under a collective brand name. The idea is a good one, providing the cosumer with a signature that is, hopefully reliable, and access to wines from different parts of France under that signature. I will be very interested to see how this idea progresses, as it definitely fills a need. The key factor to its success will be the quality of the wines. The three wines I have tested so far have been more than decent and are worth their prices. The two wines shown above, one red and one white, are my favourites.

On the right is a white wine from Burgundy (chardonnay grape). It comes from the little-known Hautes-Côtes de Nuits appellation, is of the 2009 vintage and is produced by Patrick Hudelot. This region, which lies higher up than the famous Côtes de Nuits vineyards that mainly produce red wines from pinot noir, has made huge progress over recent years and this wine shows it.

tasting notes
Quite a powerful and complex nose, worthy of more expensive Burgundies but with that crisp touch that comes from the altitude and limestone soils. Very good presence on the palate, with quite chewy flavours and a slightly chalky texture. The general feel is finely dynamic, making one want to drink this on its own as an aperitive, or with good fish dishes.
consumer price : around 11/12 euros

On the left we have a red wine from the vast Côte du Rhône Villages appellation that spreads around the town of Avignon in the southern part of the Rhône Valley. Also from the 2009 vintage, It comes from a vineyard called Boulle, but we don't know whether this is the owner's name or the place name.

tasting notes
The nose shows a lively blend of fruit, spice and wild herb aromas, and clearly evokes a warm place. On the palate it is medium-bodied with strongish flavours, quite firm and yet very drinkable now if taken with food (stews, game red meat or mediterranean-type vegetable dishes). There is no excessive warmth from its alcohol content, despite this lying at an announced 14,5%. In fact this is very well balanced and finishes with a fresh feeling. 
consumer price: around 8/9 euros