Our annual Saint Thibault feast and celebration is always a great opportunity to taste through a slice of our French portfolio. It allows the staff to asses new arrivals, obviously gives our customers a great opportunity find new wines to bring to you, and allows our portfolio director Wil Bailey to showcase some items that are striking him particularly well.
For the 2014 event we tasted 54 French wines (out of about 450 French wines we carry at any given time), so just a small part of the portfolio is represented but we think it did a good job of showcasing many gems that we’ve found in the last few years.
We’ve asked Wil to pick his three favorite wines from the tasting; the wines that stood out to him for interesting reasons.
See the end of the post for a list of where to find these gems in Minnesota.
Take it away Wil!
Girardin St Aubin 1er Cru “Les Perrieres” 2010 – “It’s funny I was saying all night at St Thibault that with all due respect to everything else we were pouring I thought the White Burgundies were the show stopping set of the night. And that perhaps that was because we had selected all White Burgundies that I literally have at home right now. In any event, on a table full of stunners, I’d probably pick this one as my favorite. St Aubin is really a continuation of the upper slopes of Puligny Montrachet, and this wine is a shining example of why you should be looking to top sites and producers of St. Aubin to get VERY Puligny style wines at less than half the price. I just bought more for the house (again…).”
Bouissel Fronton Classique 2010 – “I honestly love this wine. Every time we buy it we struggle to sell it (as Fronton is not the world’s most recognized appellation), then the next time we taste it we get all fired up over how tasty, awesome, and unique this is. Negrette! Where does Negrette come from? Malta. Brought back to the Fronton area of SW France by the crusaders in the 12th Century. The wine is black as pitch in color (hence the name of the grape) yet the flavors are bright, juicy, zesty and super fresh. There is nothing else like this in the world. Yum!”
Chateau l’Ermitage Rouge 2011 – “For those of you who know our French portfolio it is no secret that the Chateau l’Ermitage White is one of the most consistent, tasty, and well received wines in our book. The secret has been why we didn’t spend more time presenting the white’s red partner in crime since the appellation of Costieres de Nimes produces about 80% red wines. The answer is that prior to the 2011 vintage the red was inexplicably forgettable in spite of Jerome Castillon’s otherwise undeniable talents in the cellar. Happily Jerome took a hard look in the mirror heading into the 2011 vintage and made a few adjustments which have produced absolutely OUTSTANDING results. This wine is tasty as all get out, and I’m happy to note that the 2012 following it is at least as good if not even better.”
The following accounts have purchased these wines in the previous twelve months. Please call ahead to confirm availability (they can always be special ordered through any Minnesota retailer). Accounts are listed alphabetically by city.
Girardin St Aubin 1er Cru “Les Perrieres” 2010
Bouissel Fronton Classique 2010
Chateau l’Ermitage Rouge 2011