On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Masterclass on Vouvray (Loire Valley)

28 Sep 2022

(April 28, 2022) ...

Today, it was all about Vouvray with some facts and figures about the region and its wines. Here’s what we learned:

Vouvray is made up of 60% sparkling wines, 30% still/dry wines and 10% off-dry/sweet wines.

Chenin Blanc (aka Pineau de Loire) is the main grape used.

10,000 hectares of Chenin is grown in France - Vouvray makes up 3,000 hectares of that.

There is a sweet side to Vouvray, as 1.5g is still considered dry.

There are 1449 “le dit” - small parcel of land     within the region.

The Wines …
(all wines made from Chenin Blanc)

Domaine de la Canopee 2020 Clairiere Sec Blanc
Nice dry palate, with pear and almond paste notes; there’s also subtle beeswax and good texture. The acidity helps balance the wine.  (****)

Domaine Champalou 2021 Champalou Sec Blanc
There is a perceptible sugary note from the nose to palate: pretty floral and pear notes, but once again the acidity helps to balance the wine and keep it from being syrupy.  (*** ½+)

Domaine de la Galiniere 2019 Terroir Sec Blanc
A little lemon and lime, hints of pear, this one was pretty underwhelming, but still a drinkable wine.  (***+)

Vignoble Chateau Moncontour 2019 Les Chapelles Blanc
Richer texture, almost chewy at points with candied grapefruit, dried pear, and a nice length.  (*** ½+)

Domaine Brisebarre Philippe 2018 Vignoble Brisebarre Sec Blanc
Pretty pear and apple blossom kick things off with a freshness factor that I very much enjoyed. Nice length with subtle semi-sweet beeswax / buckwheat honey finish; all nicely balanced.  (****)

Domaine Brunet Sebastien 2016 Renaissance Sec Blanc
The waxy note seems to dominate the wine; fruit seems to be hiding in the background as the honey and beeswax notes rise to the surface, there's nice acidity and a bitterness to the finish so there is a complex element behind the wine.  (*** ½)


Anteprima Sagrantino: Montefalco Rosso Riserva

19 Sep 2022

(May 2022) … Some of the wines below are barrel samples, and therefore are given a Good / Better / Best rating for potential in the future. Any wine that is finished and in bottle is given a star rating.

Observations and Comments …

This might sound like a putdown, but it's a serious comment/criticism about this style of wine: it’s un-necessary and dilutes the output; to me it’s a style in search of a reason, and it shows in the product. There’s nothing wrong with these wines, but to carry a “Riserva” moniker on the label one should be wow-ed by the wine inside the bottle, here there was very little "wow-factor".

Here is something to seriously consideration: as more consumers look away from the Reserve realm and more into Single Vineyard, or wines of small sources or limited origin, I believe it would serve the region much better to turn this level of wine into a single vineyard, or "cru" level, instead of using "Riserva" on the label. 

Lungarotti 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva (barrel sample) ... Good
Adanti 2015 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva ... *** ½
Briziarelli 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva Rosso Matone ... (*** ½+)
Moretti Omera 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva Faccia Tosta … (*** ½)
Terre de la Custodia 2016 Montefalco Rosso DOC Rubium … (*** ½+)
Pardi 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC (barrel sample) ... Good
Tenuta di Saragano 2017 Montefalco Rosso DOC Saragano (barrel sample) ... Good
Terre San Felice 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (*** ½)
Valdangius 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (*** ½+)



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