Tag: chenin blanc

May 05 2015

Wines to Put on Your Radar: Great value Vouvray – Domaine Pichot, Couteau de la Biche Chenin Blanc

Posted on May 05, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth calls chenin blanc the “insider’s” variety, describing its following as small and loyal. For savvy wine consumers, its relatively low profile is good news. Not only is this unfamiliar white wine variety of the Loire Valley a great conversation starter over dinner, but even in Australia you can find very good examples at great prices!

The best expressions of chenin blanc in France come from Vouvray, where the ‘tuffeau’ chalk covered with clay, flint and sand soils creates minerally wines with a chalk or flinty streak and typically notes of pear, ginger, honeysuckle, persimmon, quince and lime zest. Naturally high in acidity, it’s versatile enough to be used for  a variety of styles including sparkling, dry, off-dry and dessert-style versions.

Last week I thoroughly enjoyed the dry style Domaine Pichot Couteau de la Biche Vouvray 2011 over dinner at China Doll.  At first it was aromatic and light, but after a bit of time in the glass the wine opened up and gained weight and texture. Its clean fresh palate displayed crisp apple flavours complemented by ripe pear and honeysuckle. It proved a perfect accompaniment for the the slightly spicy yet delicate Asian cuisine.

Domaine Pichot is an amalgamation of the properties of the father (Jean-Claude) ‘Coteau de la Biche’ and the son (Christophe) ‘Peu de la Moriette’ located mainly in the prime Vouvray sites of Le Mont and Haut Lieu at the top of the village. The Pichot family is one of the oldest in Vouvray with origins as viticulturists and restaurateurs going back to 1739. Its 25 ha of organically farmed vineyards are considered among the best in Vouvray.

by Merrill Witt, Editor

Cracka Wines has the Domain Pichot Couteau de la Biche Vouvray 2012 for $28.99. The wine is imported … Read the rest

Nov 11 2010

Why Drinking Only Aussie Wine in January is a Great Opportunity!

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

My initial reaction to the campaign by McLaren Vale winemaker Stephen Pannell to ask Australians to pledge to drink only Aussie wine in January was phew! Well at least we can still drink French Champagne on New Year’s Eve!

As Rebecca Gibb reported in her article,  Aussie petition accused of protectionism, Decanter.com, 24 November 2010, Pannell has caused a bit of controversy with his online petition, All for One Wine, which invites people to pledge that they will only drink Australian wine from 1 January to 26 January 2011 (Australia Day!)

I can understand why the Kiwis aren’t happy about the campaign (Australia is New Zealand’s biggest export market for wine), but accusations that Pannell’s promotion amounts to protectionism are surely not justified. After all, he’s not asking retailers to pull the foreign stuff off the shelf, he is just advocating that consumers buy local wines for 26 days (not even a whole month)!

Shortly after I had read the article about Pannell’s campaign, I drove out to my nearest Dan Murphy’s to stock up on some Xmas grog! Not the biggest Dan Murphy’s in the country, but still numerous aisles of mainly Australian and, yes, New Zealand wines. Despite the impressive selection, however, I was actually struck by the omissions. Of the approximately 2,300 wineries in Australia, I’m guessing that only a couple of hundred at the most were represented!

So I really think Pannell has a point when he says that he sees the campaign as an opportunity for Australians to “discover incredible local wines, and celebrate the rich diversity and quality that exists in this country.”

Yes, New Zealand makes very fine sauvignon blanc, but so does Australia! Dandelion Vineyards, Geoff Weaver and Shaw & Smith are just a few of the dozen or … Read the rest