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To take your mind off the heat wave

17-07-2006

Ice wines (‘vins de glace’) are made from grapes frozen on the vine. We understand they don’t make any in Collioure. Picking the frozen bunches takes place – early morning – at below – 7°C. They then go straight to the press: the must that comes off is extremely concentred in sugar as the water remains frozen in the berries.
Producers: cold countries with brave winegrowers. Alsace, Germany, Austria (Eiswein), Ontario and British Columbia (Canada).
Ice wines are expensive as very few bunches of grapes are left so late in the season, very difficult to pick (mittens and spotlights), delicate winemaking, low yields (8 hl per hectare is good), and the wines... superb and tasty.
Which brings us rightly to Seppi Landman’s Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Vendange Tardive for 230 € (1993). In the end, it makes you hot too...

100 points

10-07-2006

Robert Parker’s scoring system goes from 50 to 100 points.

A wine is rated like this:

From 96 to 100 points, astonishing. With real depth and complexity representing all that’s typical in a great wine. This calibre of wine is worth every effort to seek it out, buy and drink it.
Those attaining a score of 100: “one tenth of one percent of the wines I taste” (a Robert Parker saying).
E.g. Guigal’s 1999 Côte-Roties (Landonne, Mouline, Turque) or Pétrus 2000.

90 to 95 points, excellent. A wine that stands out with exceptional complex characters.

80 to 89 points, between “just above average” and “very good.” It shows different levels of elegance, flavour and character without noticeable faults.

70 to 79 points, average, harmless. Not a lot to say. Competently made.

60 to 69, below par. This wine is definitely lacking: too much acidity or tannin, lacks flavour, faulty...

50 to 59, not acceptable.

So scoring wine starts at 50 points. The colour and appearance are rated out of 5 points. Aroma and bouquet, out of 15. Taste, length... out of 20 points. Overall quality level, ageing potential can count for another 10 points.

 

Summer reading

06-07-2006

It’s that time of year for the Revue des Vins de France’s special wine tourism issue. It was compiled by Thomas Bravo-Maza, as last year, intrepid adventurer of our vineyards, who was "taken aback by the variety on offer in the Jura (...) in Anjou and in Languedoc country around the river Orb." (Out now, 5.80 €)
Add the Sud-Ouest’s special supplement to your reading list, written by César Compadre devoted to wine tourism in Bordeaux, the best bits of which can be found on this daily paper’s website.

Champagne !

28-06-2006

Yes, Champagne. But which vintage? The ones rated as outstanding are: 2002, 1990, 1988, 1985, 1975, 1970, 1966, 1964, 1962 and 1959. There you go. Did you notice? There’s one missing. Because it’s better than all the others. 1996.

Sparkling Tour de France

24-06-2006

There are 7 Crémant sparkling wine AOCs. Alsace (22.5 million bottles), Burgundy (7 million bottles), Loire (5.1 million bottles), Jura (2.4 million bottles), Bordeaux, Die and Limoux. Crémant is made following the same rules as Champagne.

In love with electrons

20-06-2006

The Dream Taste was invented in Savigny-lès-Beaune, the decanter that eliminates corked flavours in wine. Scientific explanation: the bunch of grapes’ surface, made from copolymer, inserted into the decanter is an electrostatic trap that attracts chloroanisoles. These 2,4,6 TCA molecules, responsible for cork taint, love electrons, unluckily for them. In just over an hour, their fate is sealed.

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