Certified Specialist of Wine Review
Maps Review France Major AOC Wine Producing Regions Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, Rhone Valley, Provence, Languedoc, Bordeaux, Loire Valley Chris and Bored Raj Played Little Balls Loudly Major Topographical Features: Massif Central ( Central highlands of the country), Alsp in SE, Loire, Garonne, Dordogne , Rhone and Rhine Rivers and Vosges Mountains – NE France – Shields vineyards of Alsace , Champagne and Chablis Mediterranean climate : Rousillion, Languedoc, Provence and Rhone Regions Red Grapes dominant: Full Bodied, Moderate acidity
Maritime Climate: Western part of France, Loire Valley White Grapes dominate: high acidic, low to medium body, low in alcohol White Grape Varieties 1) UGNI BLANC ( Trebbiano), Chardonnay, Sauv Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne ( Muscadet), Muscat ( Vin Doux Naturales), Chenin Blanc Red Grape Varieties: 1) MERLOT ( Bordeaux and Languedoc), Grenach, Syrah ( N. RHONE), Carignan, CAB ( Bordeaux), Cab Frank ( tolerates cool weather – Loire), Gamay, Pinot Noir ( Burgundy), Cinsaut ( blending grape of South), Pinot Meunier ( other Red grape of Champagne), Mourvere ( Languedoc & Provence)
Vin de Table, Vin de Pays, VDQS, AOC (300, ? of French Wine) Bordeaux Highlights ( SW FRANCE) Known for Long Lived, High Quality Reds & Sweet White Dessert Wines Varieties: Melot, Cab, Cab Frank, Malbec & Petit Verdot, Garonne and Dordogne Rivers form the GIRONDE, flows into Atlantic River divided region in 3 Sections 1) Left Bank – West a. Upper End Left Bank Reds : Cab Territory, Medoc Region – World’s Finest b. Sweet White Wines comes from Sauternes on Left Bank, Botrytis Condition/ Noble Rot 2) Right Bank – East . Upper End Right Bank Reds : Top Quality, Long Lived Reds i. Pomeral & St. Emilion AOC’s 3) Entre – Deux – Mers a. Dry White Wine Area – Graves, Area of Left Bank North is called MEDOC, south and west of the city is called GRAVES – Most White Varietals are found here… Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, Muscadelle Bordeaux AOC vs Bordeaux Superior – Can be used for Red and Sweet White, tighter restrictions, older vines ,lower yields, several months of aging, higher minimum ripeness at harvest, half degree higher alcohol
MEDOC: Four of the most esteemed villages – St. Estephe, Pauillac, St. Jullien, Margaux GRAVES: Sauternes – Sweet Wines, Pesac – Leoganan – split off from Graves to establish its own identity – most highly regarded Ch. Of District Bordeaux Classifications Top Level – Premier CRU comprised of 4 Chateaus : Haut Brion (Graves ), Lafite – Rothschild, Latour & Margaux , WHITES – FIRST SUPERIOR GROWTH = Chateau d’ Yquem St. Emilion Grand Cru: only classification system on Right Bank: Grang Cru Class and Premier Grand Cru Classe: Ch.
Ausone and Ch Cheval Blanc – Category A RANKING LOIRE VALLEY Loire River = Longest River in France, Flows NORTH Known for Crisp White Wines, Light Red Wines and some Fine Sweet & Sparkling Valley Divides into Three Winegrowing regions, West to East… Pays Nantais ( Nantes County) – Chilly maritime Climate, Melon de Bourgogne ( muscadet), 4 MUSCADET AOC’s Central Loire ( Anjou and Touraine) – Humidity remains high from sea, Botrytis Development, Chenin Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc, Cab Frank for Reds and Roses, Malbec / Cot, Grolleau and Gamay FINES BULLES ( Fine BUBBLES) : Specialty here, made in Traditional Champagne Method but uses Chenin Blanc and either Cabs as Main Ingredients – Anjou AOC ( primarily Cab Frank), Raose d’ Anjou ( Rose/Mainly Grolleau ) Cabernet D’Anjou ( 2 Cabs ony), Rose de Loire ( Dry Rose) Sweet dessert wines are the specialty , botrytis favors conditions – Coteaux de Layon AOC : Subregions are Bonnezeaux and Quarts-de- Chaume (100 % Chenin Blanc), Premier Dry White Appelation = Savennieres ( 100 % Chenin Blanc) SAUMUR: Known for its sparkling wines – Chief Source of Grapes for Cremant de Loire – Sparkling wine – TOURRAINE: Bourgueil & Chinon – regions that are known for excellent red wines , 90 % Cab Frank , Vouvray – uses 100 % Chenin Blanc and can be dry or sweet, also Montlois Su Loire – produces similar wines – Sancerre & Pouilly – Fume : 100 % Sauvignon Blanc Wines, Also Pinot Noir Eastern , Upper Loir ,( Sancerre/Pouilly – Fume) Continental climate, Sauvignon Blanc- minerally with high acidity and fine aromatics , flinty soil makes SMOKIER flavor CHAMPAGNE Four Zones : Montagne de Reims ( Chard), Vallee de La Marne (Pinot Meunier &Pinot Noir), Cote des Blancs (Chardonnay), Cote des Bar (Pinot Noir) Kimmerdigian Clay: In Cote de Bar Region, Clay created during the Jurassic period, Chalky soil formed by Microscopic Shellfish – High Water Retention capacity, heat retention and heat reflection Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier
Champagne Styles: Non Vintage ( Blend of Wines from Several Vintages – MUST age for 1 year on lees in the bottle), Vintage (Single Year Harvest – min 3 years aging), Prestige Cuvee (Top of Line produced by Champagne House), Blanc de Blancs (Chard), Blanc de Noirs, Rose Dry to Sweet: Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, Demi Sec, Doux ALSACE NE Corner of France, Vosges Mnt & Rhine River ,Lies Across German Region of Baden, Cold Continental Climate, Dry because of shadow of Vosges Grape Varieties: Reisling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris & Pinot Noir 2 Styles of Dessert Wines ) Selection de Grapes Nobles: Sweet, Sauternes Style , Botrytized Wine 2) Vendange Tardive: Late harvest grapes, may or may not be affected by Botrytis Alsace AOC: 100 % of any of the following; Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, Auxerrios, Pinot Noir, Sylvaner, Muscat and Chasselas – Blends of these varieties are called EDELZWICKER CREMANT D’ ALSACE AOC: sparkling wine – Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Auxerrois BURGUNDY Known for elegant, silky and complex Pinot Noirs and complex dry white wines from Chardonnay Distinct Vineyard Areas Chablis ( Makes STILL wine) Cote d’ Or – Lies SW of city of DIJON Divided into 2 Segments: Cote de Nuits – North (Pinot NOIR DOMINATES), Cote de Beaune – South Cote Chalonnaise Macconnais (Gamay) Grape Varieties: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir – CLAIM TO FAME, Gamay, Aligote (Minore white Variety of BURGUNDY) Burgundy Wine Styles: All Dry and Still, Moderate in Alcohol, Acidity & tannin , Earthiness, Oak Aging is Norm, South of Chablis – Chardonnay is Richer and Less Acidic, Cotes d Or – Wet Earth Wine Style