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April 3, 2006

The French are Coming!


Yes, Sunday is the great day of the next tasting. We'll try to cover some new white and red French wines and rate them using the NEW Cheapfunwines star rating system. Instead of doing points, a la Wine Spectator, we are copping the New York Times system of using stars. I figured this would be easier since I was always so challenged by numbers as a child. Anyhow, the PIT (partner in tasting) and I got off to a good start last night with the French during dinner at our friends' house. We tried two excellent affordable white wines. First was a 2003 Sebastien Roux Meursault and the second was a 2003 Domaine Andre Vatan Sancerre Les Charmes. (We got it backward, starting with the chardonnay and moving on the sauvignon blanc) One of the main reasons why I find French wine so confusing is that there are references to about 10 things on the label, all of it, of course, in French. I am consulting Wine for Dummies now for navigation tips. The book, rather simply, says France has five wine regions and each are known for certain types of wines. Most French wines are named after multiple places, which I knew. The problem, for me, is that there are always so many places listed on the label and since it's in French, it's more confusing.

Getting back to the wines we tried last night...The first, the 2003 Sebastien Roux Meursault, is a Chardonnay from Meursault, which is located in the Burgundy region South of Paris, which is known for great whites and reds. I really enjoyed this wine, which at $10 is a steal and worthy of 2 1/2 stars -- a notch above a solid table wine.
From Cellartracker.com: At this price ($9.99 at Trader Joe's) and with this pedigree it is hard to find anything seriously wrong with this bottle. Great fruit, soft nose, distinctive mineraliness of this region of France. I'm getting more of these today and plan on laying them down and drinking one every six months for the next five years to see if there is any development of that classic Meursault flavor. For this price it's going to be a better bet than almost all of the allegedly age worthy chardonnays available. Cellartracker is a pretty cool resource I just discovered today.

Our second wine, the Les Charmes Sancerre, (about $14) is reviewed at Cellartracker, too: pale golden blonde appearance. Lots of pear, hint of fennel seed, with a (not entirely unpleasant) reminder of windex on the nose. nice. Kind of muddled taste. Flabby. Tried serving colder, but still flat. Needs more citrus or acidic balance.

I tasted heavy pear in this wine, too, and found it light and refreshing. I'm not quite there yet when it comes to identifying a wine as "flabby." So far, this description is strictly reserved for thighs. A tasting course I am planning to take this month should help me unveil the flabbyness in a wine, too. I give this wine two stars.

Read More in: Trader Joe's Alert! | Wine Reviews

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Posted by Blogpire Productions at April 3, 2006 9:45 AM
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