This month we’re taking a little advice from Atanas Nechkov, resident wine expert at ABC. This globetrotting, Bulgarian-bred, level 2 Court of the Master Sommelier knows a few things about wonderful wine.
There are "wine experts" and there are wine experts. "Wine experts" tell you that Bordeaux is split between the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Wine experts tell you the type of soil that is on each bank. Shayne Hebert is a wine expert.
The first vineyards in the Languedoc were planted by the Greeks before the time of Christ. Planting much more extensively, the Romans who arrived later, planted what are known today as some of the oldest vineyards in France.
This French appellation is known for its white wines--specifically Sauvignon Blanc. But that's no surprise because Sauvignon Blanc is the only grape grown in Pouilly-Fumé. Brightly flavored, though more subtle than New Zealand's recently popular version, Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly-Fumé shows well with lemon chicken, grilled fish and creamy cheeses. Try this delicious bottle from Jonathan Didier Pabiot!
Moët & Chandon’s top cuvée honors the name of the person commonly referred to as the Father of Champagne: Dom Pérignon is credited by wine historians to be the creator of Champagne as we know it today, though one thing he didn’t create is the “bubbles.”
I am thrilled to see the wines from Domaine des Remizières back in select ABC stores; this domain crafts some of the world’s finest Syrah, certainly one of my favorites, and quite possibly best value ever with the Cuvée ‘Particulière’ priced at $19.99 and the Tête de Cuvée ‘Christophe’ at only $27.99!
The 30-hectare domain is currently owned and managed by Phillipe Desmeures and his children Emilie and Christophe, using organic practices under a newly created category (2007) called HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale), High Environmental Value, which is the highest of a three-level certification.
2016 was certainly a complicated year for most wine regions in Northern France, with biggest losses in volume in the Loire Valley, Champagne and Burgundy, due to unusual climatic conditions and the warmest winter on record in France which provoked an early bud break and exposed the vineyards to the dangers of late spring frost.
As a young(ish) wine traveler I have something to confess. While traveling through different wine regions, I’m so intent on enjoying everything that I rarely stop to actually enjoy anything. It’s an odd notion; but I do oftentimes find myself stepping off the plane, back in the states with a wine journal full of notes comparing the structure and acidity of wine x from vintage y with wine y from vintage z. My notes take me back to moments of furrowed brow, nose dug into a glass of wine, blinders on, breaking my brain over the wine; instead of telling myself, “WID! Do you even remember where you’re at right now?! Open your eyes!” For such the romantic, I become such the pedant while traveling. That all changed one rainy, chilly September afternoon during my first trip to Bordeaux.
France’s Rhône Valley is home and birthplace to one of the most diverse and interesting collections of grape varieties for an area its size in the world.