Preamble Tasting October 2002 
Generic French Wine Tasting
Jean Smullen, Sopexa


1. Chardonnay Michel Picard, VdP d'Oc, France, 2001
Nose of tropical fruits.  Some wood.  Not as "unidimensional" as expected; has interesting notes of acid, good fruit. Don't think I'd drink too much of it, though.  Nice.
Spar, Supervalu, independents 8.89

2. Domaine Coussergues, Sauvignon Blanc, VdP, France, 2000
Quite smoking, masking the grape notes.  Citrus, wood (too much),  acid (not enough).  Quite flinty, a hint of tartar.  Not as nice as the preceding and dearer as well!
Restaurants and selected off-licences  11.99

3. Sipp Mack, Riesling, Alsace AC, France, 2000
Nose with none of then expected petrol. Sweet note.  Some petrol comes through as it warms.  On the palate some petrol, quite a lot of wood, lemon.  Very dry; honey but not much .  Very good and at a nice price.
Mitchell  12.75

4. Chateau de la Colline, AC Bergerac, France, 1999
Nice honeyed nose.  Probably more than 50% Semillon.  Hint of marmalade.  Good acid, but slightly synthetic note. A bit of the wet blanket.  Interesting though.
McCabes, 10.50

5. Domaine de Pellehaut, VdP de Cote de Gascognes, 2000
Tannat is the main grape in this region, but this wine is mainly Merlot.  Although (possibly) made by maceration carbonique, it hasn't been totally destroyed by it.  (Why people insist on destroying good grapes with this method is beyond me.)  A bit of sour milk. Wouldn't rush out to get it.
Mitchell 9.50

6. Domaine Mont d'Hortes, VdP Cote du Thongue, Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Nice deep red in colour, but very, very green.  Fruit, condensed milk.  A bit odd at the end. Could be very good in a year or two.  Pure Cab Sauvignon.
Widely available  8.20

7. Domaine de Coussergues, Pinot Noir, VdP d'Oc, 2001
 Extremely light, quite pink.  A bit dumb.  Quite  aburn.  A sour note; good fruit; a bit jammy and baked.  Interesting to see what it would be in a few years.  A bit of a gamble, though.  14% alcohol.

8. Vignobles J Quiot, AC Cotes du Ventoux, 2001
Mid deep, pinky, young looking.  Warm country nose.  Good peppery feel, fruit and soft tannins.  Lots of alcohol (14%) but not dominating.  Nice bitter twist at the end.  Mostly Grenache. Way too young but coming together nicely.
Widely available  10.99

9. Chateau Pech Celeyran, AC Coteaux du Languedoc, 2000
Beautiful clear red.  Lots of fast moving legs.  Bit dumb. Slightly leathery tannins. Some jammy fruit.  Quite restrained.  Has it enough fruit to age well?  Oz Clarke likes it; the general consensus here was "not sure".
McCabes and others 9.69

10. Chateau de Meaume, AC Bordeaux Superieur, 1998
Mid red, nice colour.  Nose with cedar.  lots of tannin, softened a bit.  Good fruit.  Not together yet, a bit green, but has the fruit and tannin to make it.  A good price and not too "new world"  Cab Sauvignon, Cab franc and Merlot.  13% alc.

Widely available 11.25

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