Tag Archives: Chinon

Mini-reviews 119: OZV rose, Toad Hollow, Dupeuble, Chinon

OZV roseReviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the fourth Friday of each month. This month – two California and two French.

Oak Ridge OZV Rose 2018 ($15, sample, 13.8%): This California pink, made with zinfandel, is a heavier, red wine-style rose, that needs food. Look for crisp, almost back fruit is crisp.

Toad Hollow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 ($17, sample, 13.9%): Major winemaking going on with this California red. Somehow, it’s sweet and tart at the same time, with nary a tannin in sight. One more example of focus group wine aimed at people who don’t drink wine.

Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Blanc 2017 ($18, purchased, 13%): This French white is chardonnay from the Beaujolais region, not something you see much on store shelves. It’s well made, with green apple fruit, some minerality, a touch of mouth feel, but that it costs $18 speaks to the dearth of quality chardonnay that tastes like chardonnay at less than this price. Imported by Kermit Lynch

Charles Joguet Chinon Cuvée Terroir 2015 ($17, purchased, 13%): French red made with cabernet franc from the Loire that is a little fruitier (black cherry?) than I expected, and not quite as earthy. But well made and enjoyable, and a food wine for barbecues and steak frites. Imported by Kermit Lynch

Mini-reviews 51: Bolla, Grechetto, Chinon, Vouvray

Reviews of wines that don ?t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month; for August, some surprisingly disappointing wines.

? Bolla Soave Classico 2011 ($8, sample, 12%): Ordinarily, I don ?t review wines that are spoiled. But I mention it here, because the Soave had none of the flavors it should have had (white fruit, almonds) ? just a musty, booze-ish feel to it, probably from being shipped in the summer heat and is no reflection on the producer. So if you taste a wine that has a musty, booze-ish feel, throw it out. Unfortunately, since the wine business pays so little attention to educating consumers, hundreds of thousands of people will buy this and assume that ?s what Soave tastes like.

? Scacciadiavoli Grechetto 2012 ($11, purchased, 12.5%): Bland and boring, with almost no flavors of any kind, and apparently targeted at the pinot grigio crowd. Otherwise, very old-fashioned — the kind of wine people drink and say, “I don’t like wine.”

? Pierre Archambault Chinon 2011 ($13, purchased, 12.5%): Disappointing, but probably because I love cheap Chinon (cabernet franc from the Loire in France) and expect more. Lots of violet on the nose and subdued black fruit, which is a Chinon trademark, but the middle was a little empty, and $13 makes it a problematic value.

? Sauvion Vouvray 2011 ($10, purchased, 12%): White wine from the Loire in France made with chenin blanc that is sweet without any acid to balance it, though it does have a little flowery chenin character. Another disappointment; cheap chenin is usually much better than this.

Wine of the week: Chateau de Riviere Chinon 2009

Chinon2One of the difficulties with deciphering French wine is a label that looks like this one. It's old-fashioned, with nary a hint about what's in the bottle. And what is a Chinon?

Even wine types who are moderately familiar with France are likely to be confused, because Chinon is just not that well known. It's a red wine region in a part of France, the Loire, that is known for white wine if it's known at all. So when someone sees this bottle in a store, it's not surprising if they walk past.

Which would be a mistake. The Riviere ($8, purchased) is fabulous cheap wine, and raises the question yet again of why we don't see this kind of effort from California more often. The Rivere, made with cabernet franc, is a simple wine, but not insulting like so many of its West Coast brethren. Look for some red fruit, maybe a hint of violet, some sweet tannins, a little pepper, and enough acid to balance that odd combination. The wine, also, is not green or unripe in any way, which is often the case for cheap cabernet franc.

It's red meat wine, but also easy enough if you want to drink it on its own. Highly recommended and almost certain to make the 2012 $10 Hall of Fame.