The Wines of France

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Scott Phinney uploaded a presentation on the wines of france. http://scottphinney.org

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The Wines of France

  1. 1. The Wines of France Some of the World’s Best
  2. 2. The Bordeaux Connection The Soul of the Wine Industry
  3. 3. Classification System • Napoleon III called for classification before 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris • Promoted by the Gironde Chamber of Commerce • Bordeaux Wine Brokers' Union • Only part of region was classified
  4. 4. The Implications • Set certain Bordeaux wines apart from others • Set Bordeaux as the premiere wine production area • Limits potential for up and coming vineyards • Maintains control by a select few
  5. 5. French Wines Laws • Classifications – Vin de Table – Vin de Pays – Vin Délimite de Qualité Supérieure – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée
  6. 6. Vin de Table • Primarily the southern regions • Produced using safe procedures • No quality standards • 12% of total production
  7. 7. Vin de Pays • Conversion from vin de table – Higher price and demand for better wines – Removal of less desirable vines – Regional tasting panel approval – Grown in region from recommended varieties • Regions, departments, zones like…. – New England, New Hampshire, Seacoast – Roughly 33% of total
  8. 8. Vin Délimite de Qualité Supérieure • VDQS wines roughly 3% of total • Produced from slightly higher yielding vines that AOC • A step toward AOC classification
  9. 9. Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée- (Controlled Naming of Origin) • Roughly 52% of total • Region, district, village, single vineyard – Grapes grown within the names area – Grapes approved for that area – Reach a set alcohol level – Meet yield per acre standards – Maintain specific viticulture practices – Tested by taste and chemical analysis • Also crus designations
  10. 10. Terroir • Soils • Grapes • Selection • History • These four elements combine to produce the unique character that goes into each wine
  11. 11. Bordeaux in Brief • Blending – Fermented by lot – Blended to yield best potential wine of that vintage • Cabernets strong on left bank • Merlots strong on right bank • A typical offerings when one variety fails • Cabernet Franc grown minimally • Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc primary whites • Second labels offer great value
  12. 12. Top Players • Medoc – Margaux – St. Julien – Pauillac – St. Estephe • Graves – St Emillon – Pessac-Leognan • Pomerol • Sauterne
  13. 13. Margaux • Margaux • Châteaus in all 5 cru classifications – 1 first growth – 4 second growth – gravel – perfume – feminine – Château Margaux – 75% cab 25% merlot
  14. 14. St Julien • St. Julien – 5 second growth – Deep-rooted vines – perfect – balance of opulence and austerity – Château Ducru Beaucaillou – 75% cab, 20% merlot, 8% cab franc
  15. 15. Pauillac • Pauillac – 3 First growth – 2 second growth – Classic rich flavor – black current and cassis – pencil box – Château Lafite Rothschild • 70% cab, 20% merlot, 10% cab franc – Château Mouton-Rothschild • 76% cab, 13% merlot, 9% cab franc, 2% petit verdot
  16. 16. St Estephe • St. Estephe – 2 second crus – Very deep rooted vines – high tannin but softening of late – longer to soften – Chateau Cos d’Estournel • 60% cab, 38% merlot, 2% cab franc
  17. 17. St Emillon • Gravel and limestone • Higher merlot content – Drinkable young or cellar • Château Cheval Blanc – 60% cab franc, 40% merlot
  18. 18. Pessac-Leognan • Pessac-Leognan – better graves – smokey – minerally reds – Chateau Haut Brion
  19. 19. Pomerol • Pomerol – deep clay – creamy & seductively rich – Chateau Pétrus • Average vine over 40 yrs.
  20. 20. Sauternes • Sauternes – Dry or sweet – one vine= one glass – three pressings – >20 degrees sugar – 10 years
  21. 21. Alsace & Loire
  22. 22. Alsace- On the border of Germany • The geography and turns of historical events shape the wines of this region
  23. 23. History • 1870 End of Franco Prussian War… Alsace becomes German territory • 1918 End of WWI…Alsace becomes French • 1945….German again • Always a French flare for wine making and matching with cuisine • Increasing move toward dryer wines
  24. 24. Alsacian Wine Region • 70 miles long, avg. 1 mile wide • vines hang on eastern slope of Vosges • 600-1500 ft. elevation • slow ripening...low heat summation • influenced by Rhine river • extension of German Pfalz • wines more vinous than German cousins
  25. 25. Alsace- A Single AOC • Strong German Influence • Typically, label carries grape variety • Sparkling=Cremant d’Alsace • Blended=Edelzwicker • 10% Pinot Noir • 90% White – Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot blanc
  26. 26. Alsatian Wine • Dry yet fruity Muskat • Rieslings dryer than Germany • Gewurtztraminer that’s spicy, light bodied, & slightly sweet • Pinot blanc in small quantities • Some Tokay
  27. 27. Loire Valley Region
  28. 28. Loire • Grape Varieties – Chenin Blanc – Muscadet – Cabernet Franc (red) • Four Regions – Western (Nantes) – Central (Anjou & Saumur) – Upper (Touraine) – Jura & Savoie • mountainous
  29. 29. Nantes • ~1635 Burgundians introduced Melon grape • Survived –20C temps in 1709 • Became known as Muscadet • First appellations – Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine – Muscadet des Coteaux de la Loire – Muscadet • 1972 compulsory tasting instituted to grant or deny use of appellation
  30. 30. Anjou & Saumur • Vineyards begun in middle ages • Monks played major role • Canalization of tributaries important for trade • Anjou known for rose wines • Different grapes in each sub region – Cabernet in Cabernet d’Anjou – Grolleau in Rosé d’Anjou
  31. 31. Anjou & Saumur • Saumur is known for…. – Sparkling wines made from red (primarily cabernet franc) and white (primarily chenin) grapes – Campigny made from cabernet franc – Reds from cab and cabernet franc – Whites primarily from chenin blanc grape
  32. 32. Touraine • Most credit to monks in 300’s AD • Numerous sub-areas- – Chinon= primarily red from cab franc, deep red – Vouvray solely from chenin grape to produce a dry to semi-sweet wine – Touraine primarily gamay from reds and sauvignon for whites
  33. 33. Centre • Evidence to the first century • Major development in 12th century • Sancerre best known sub-region – Sancerre grape for white – Some pinot noir for rose
  34. 34. Burgundy
  35. 35. Burgundy in Brief • 100 miles SE of Paris..225 miles long • 6 major districts • 111,000 acres of AOC wines • 27+ million cases each year • 15% of France’s AOC output • Great Wine….Montrachet • Popular Wine….Beaujolais
  36. 36. Labeling of Wines • Small vineyards • Bottling & distribution primarily by negociant-eleveur • Self-bottlers = domains or clos – e.g. Mis en Bouteille au Domaine • Limited quantities, high prices • Best wines carry name of vineyard
  37. 37. Labeling of Wines • Single vineyard= Grand Crus • Best communes= Premiere Crus • Communal level= Village names • Regional level= – Bourgogne, Bourgogne Ordinaire, Bourgogne Passe- Tous-Grains – Grape variety= major distinguishing feature
  38. 38. By the Sub-Regions • Chablis-4.7% – 7 grand crus, 17 premier crus – Chablis, Petit Chablis – northern location, limestone, south facing vineyards
  39. 39. Continuing South • Cote de Nuits-3.2% – Gevrey Chambertin, Nuits St. George – 25 grand crus
  40. 40. Further South • Cote de Beaune-6.9% – 15 Grand crus – Beaune, Pommard, Puligny- Montrachet • Cote Chalonnaise-2.1% – increased plantings since 1980 – primarily pinot noir and chardonnay – Vlgs- Mercurey, Montagny
  41. 41. Still further South • Maconnais-10.9% – white equivalent of Beaujolais – 68% chardonnay, 25% gamay, 7% pinot noir – Vlgs- Pouilly-Fuisse, Macon-Villages
  42. 42. Most Southern • Beaujolais-59.2% – largest area in Burgundy – 14.8M cases red, 98K cases white – gamay grape country – half of the production is consumed domestically
  43. 43. Beaujolais- 35 m. long 5-10 wide • Haut Beaujolais…including – Crus Beaujolais= 25% of total – 39 Beaujolais Village=25% • Bas Beaujolais…. – Beaujolais – Beaujolais Superieur total of 50% – Beaujolais Nouveau 3rd Thursday of November each year
  44. 44. The Rhone From Avignon to Vienne
  45. 45. A Bit About the River • Much of the river is canalized • Agriculture and industry share the shore • Dozens of medieval cities line its banks
  46. 46. The Region • Divided into – Northern Rhone • Single varietal wines (Syrah) • Temperate climate, fair rainfall – Southern Rhone • Blended wines • Mediterranean climate – Côte du Rhone term used throughout – Côte du Rhone Village reserved for defined area
  47. 47. Northern Rhone • Top appellations: – Chateau-Grillet – Condrieu, Cornas – Cote-Rotie – Croze-Hermitage – Hermitage – St. Joseph – St.-Peray
  48. 48. Northern Rhone • Syrah grape predominates • Some viognier • Marsanne and Roussanne for white Hermitage
  49. 49. Southern Rhone • Top appellations: – Chateauneuf-du-Pape – Cotes du Rhone – Cotes du Rhone Village • Grenache grape predominates • Syrah and Mourvedre used for blending • Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc are the primary white grapes
  50. 50. Chateauneuf-du-Pape • A favorite that feel from grace in the 1980’s • Now staging a comeback • Primarily grenache but blended with up to 13 other wines • 320 domains produce this wine today
  51. 51. Vermouth • Red or White – Originally aged in casks at sea – Now aged in seaside courtyard – Barrels left loosely corked • Speeds aging
  52. 52. Vermouth • Herbs and other botanicals blended with wine to impart subtle flavor • White vermouth as aperitif or mixed in martini • Red vermouth in Manhattan or on the rocks
  53. 53. Champagne • We cover Champagne in a separate presentation along with sparkling wines

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