The Vineyard Wine Market

Rhone Wine Seminar

Steven McKenzie describes one of the wines.

Steven McKenzie describes one of the wines.

The Vineyard Wine Market had a full house for their Rhone Wine Seminar Wednesday, February 2nd. No one left disappointed. The group tasted seven wines from southwest France and a bonus bottle of Italian Valpolicella that owner Roger Strohl added at the end of the evening.
Steven McKenzie, southeastern regional manager for Frederick Wildman and Sons, described the wines and provided a lively and entertaining commentary on the region and how the wines are made. Each of the wines had some fans around the tasting table.
Following the repeal of Prohibition, Frederick S. Wildman, a Connecticut-born wine connoisseur, bought the century old Bellows and Co., a wine importer and fine-food emporium. That same year Wildman traveled to Europe’s finest vineyards to pursue suppliers and to grow his importing business. Within a short time, Wildman signed on some of France’s finest wine producers, many still in Frederick Wildman’s portfolio today.

Frederick Wildman has a portfolio that is one of the most respected in the business. McKenzie focused on the Rhone & Languedoc-Roussillon areas of France.
Where: Vineyard Wine Market (map), 4414 Evans to Lock Road, Evans, GA. (706) 922-9463
When: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, 7pm
Cost: $20. Reservation required. Limited to 30 people.
Here are the wines presented:

Jaboulet Parallèle 45 Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2009
From: France
Winery: Jaboulet
Grapes: A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah
Comments: This is an iconic label that has been around for years, producing a very nice, approachable wine. The 45 on the label refers to the 45th parallel. Most of the world’s great vineyards are grouped just north and south of this latitude. It’s a medium-bodied, fruity wine with good acidity. It’s a nice sipping wine.

Jaboulet Parallèle 45 Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2007
What: Blend of Grenache and Syrah from vines averaging 25 years old.
From: France
Winery: Jaboulet
Comments: This is a very simple, smooth, enjoyable wine that goes well with cafe food, such as bread and cheese. It’s a great everyday wine. At $13.99 it’s a real bargain.

Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage “Les Jalets”: Syrah
What: Its name comes from the word “jalets” which is the Old French word for the pebbles left by alpine glaciers, as can be found at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s 100% Syrah.
From: France
Winery: Jaboulet
Comments: This is a wine with polish and elegance produced on what the French consider young vines of 20-25 years old. It has a full, rich flavor, and should continue to develop in the bottle for a few years.

Jaboulet Châteauneuf du Pape Les Cedres
What: This is the most famous appellation of the southern Rhône and also one of the best-known in France and abroad. Its rise to fame goes back to the presence of the papal seat in Avignon from 1309 to 1376. It was Pope John XXII who developed the château, which is today in ruins.
From: France
Winery: Jaboulet
Grapes: 70% Grenache ; 15 % Cinsault ; 10% Syrah ; 5 % Mourvèdre.
Comments: This wine took some time to open up, but once it did, it was a powerhouse. It has good depth and body, and is definitely worth cellaring. It also benefits from a good food pairing. A beef fillet or some wild game would go nicely with it.

Maison Hecht et Bannier Minervois 2007
What: A blend of 45% Syrah, 45% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Carignan.
From: France
Winery: Maison Hecht
Comments: This is a rare new winery, founded in 2002 and taking a fresh approach to wines in the Languedoc-Roussillon area, which had been known for cheap jug wines. They are taking some of the oldest vineyards in France and raising the quality. This wine needs a big meal to bring out its best. Nice fruit flavors with plenty of tannins. Should age well for another 5-7 years.

Maison Hecht et Bannier Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2007
What: A traditional blend of 55% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 5% Carignan and 25% Syrah
From: France
Winery: Maison Hecht
Comments: This is an elegant, silky wine, with touches of limestone and minerality. Everything is in balance. This is only the second vintage of this wine.

Maison Hecht et Bannier Faugeres 2007
What: Faugeres is a small appellation located somewhat inland on the Mediterranean coast to the west of Montpelier and Nimes. This blend of 55% Syrah, 35% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan is vinified in a combination of 10% tank, 30% large neutral oak casks and 60% oak barrels. 30% of the oak is new.
From: France
Winery: Maison Hecht
Comments: A beautiful blackberry taste, rich, full and complex. It should continue to improve in the bottle for another 5-8 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*