This year I have joined the fair of french winegrowers right in Paris, a fair also meant for people who live in Paris and here can buy their favourites wines without leaving the city as, in this fair, it is possibile to buy directly from the producers.
Although the importance of the location (Paris) it appears to me as a “local” event, the english language is banned and everyone carries its own trolley to pick the wines to bring home without wasting to much time. All the producers are mixed up and they are not grouped by region which makes the tour a little bit confusing if you like to taste by region to compare different wines from the same area; someone suggests that this is meant to avoid a concentration in just some specific (and more famous areas). Anyway I survived!
I had the all of the french regions available (Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, Loire and so on) but, of course, I did not have the time to taste the all of them. Moreover, in my opinion, does not make sense tasting only one or 2 products from each single wine region if you really like to get an idea of the style of that kind of wine. So I decided to focus on regions or wines I was curious about and that I cannot easly find in Italy.
Do not worry, I am not going to bore you listing wine notes addresses, I am happy to share my general impressions about the (current) situation and the style of some wines or wine regions especially for those who are not big experts!
- Cabernet d’Anjou is the quite famous rosè from Loire valley. It does not really have its own personality: it can be made with Cabernet franc or Cabernet Sauvignon or even the both and this is not the main problem, it does not have any depth or complexity and the evident sugar level makes it flat and often boring. “Still” very far away from elegance of rose wines in Provence
- This brings me to another point: rosè wines from Provence can be more mineral or maybe more fruity but they are always very delicate, even in color, anyway elegant and Bandol is always one of the best cru. Anyway, what I like to underline is the quality of the small production of whites and red from Provence and especially form the appellations Bandol AOC as well as Pallette AOC where I have loved the wines of Chateau Henri Bonnaud; his red (a blend of Mourvèdre, grenache, vieux carignan) has such a different bouquet made of herbal infusion, light spices, mediterrean herbs and wild berries, a touch of spices and a great refreshing and lively finish
- The other face of Chardonnay: Pouilly Fussè, it is produced in the south of Burgundy (Maconnais), out of the Cot d’Or where the best Chardonnay are supposed to be, but unless you have the fortune (and the money!) to buy the top cru, this is a wonderful opportunity! (Pouilly Fussé is not to be confused with Poiully Fumè poroduced in Loire valley and made of Sauvignon). They can be bold or more vertical and thin but never disappointing
- Alsace has a huge potential in producing dry wines but the problem is not only represented by the communication to explain people they can find dry wines (and not only the most popular sweet wines, made by late harvest or selection de grain nobles) but even the producers still leave an evident level of residual sugars (even in the wines they label as dry). I loved the production of Albert Mann.