Welcome to another fun evening of real wine tasting in a virtual setting!
Tonight, we’re tasting two stand-out reds from our latest ‘2018: A Fairytale Vintage’ offer - from what buyer Marcel calls ‘Cinderella regions’
Here’s a little bit of background info on the wines:
Côte Roannaise Éclat de Granite, Domaine Sérol 2018
Our buyer Marcel has been visiting Domaine Sérol for over 25 years!
This is a leading estate in a little-known sub-appellation in the south of the Loire Valley called Côte Roannaise (it’s sort of between Loire and Beaujolais).
You can see it on the bottom right of this map (the lighter yellow region):
Here’s the region in more detail:
And here’s a map of Domaine Serol from their website - you can see it’s a little northwest of Renaison in the centre of the region:
The Serol family has been making wine here since the eighteenth century, and today it’s Stephane in charge, although I believe his father Robert still lends a hand (always wearing his trademark trilby, according to this Travels in Wine blog by Marcel from 2016!).
Being so close to Beaujolais, it won’t surprise many of you to know the domaine excels at the gamay grape used for Beaujolais wines. Their wines aren’t dissimilar to Beaujolais - only even brighter! - and best served lightly chilled.
This particular wine is grown on granite soils, much like the ones found in the Brouilly appellation in Beaujolais.
It’s also probably worth resharing this excerpt from the introduction of our Fairytale Vintage offer, where Marcel explains how this wine is sort of what inspired the entire offer:
The genesis of this offer goes back to January 2019 and my first trip of the year. Travelling though the Auvergne, my first stop was at Domaine Sérol, an estate in the Côte Roannaise I have been visiting for 25 years. Never had I come across wines of such beauty, and winemaker Stéphane Sérol was lost for words; nothing in his experience could match 2018 which is truly exceptional.
Bonus fact: if you enjoy the wine tonight, you might be interested to know another of their gamays is currently a bin-end, on sale at £13.95 down from £16.50:
Vin de Savoie, Mondeuse Terres Rouges, Jean-François Quénard 2018
This Alpine wine comes from the Savoie region right in the east of France in the Alps:
Here’s a slightly more detailed map:
And Domaine Jean-François Quénard is in the west of the region, north of Les Marches:
The family has been making wine here since the 1600s, with Jean-François working here since 1987!
To get a feel for their winemaking, here’s a lovely excerpt from their website:
There is a spiritual dimension in growing vines. One studies at the school of humility. We are tied to the soil and dependent on what nature gives, frost, hail….We are simply those who pass through, but the land carries on from generation to generation. Each parcel is vinified separately, like giving birth to a baby. From grape to wine.
The wine we’re tasting tonight is made from the mondeuse grape, and comes from a tiny 1-hectare vineyard of 30-year-old wines on average.
We’ll also be tasting the latest Bin Series wine - a one-off 2011 furmint from Hungary!
There’s more info on that wine here, but here’s a short quote:
Last year we were told by a Hungarian importer with whom we have a fantastic relationship about a parcel of aged white wine, sitting unlabelled in the depths of a cellar in the historic Tokaj region. This furmint was, they said, superb and perfectly mature, but it had no home to go to and as a result was being offered at a special price. It all sounded a little too good to be true… but when we tasted it, it was clear that this was one of our best wine surprises of the year, and that we had to secure what little there was for members to enjoy. After nine years of ageing, this is a complex, electric white wine, offered at a superb price for its quality. With a character which hints at the zippy freshness and intriguing kerosene aroma of good bone-dry riesling and the beeswax-like flavour of aged Hunter Valley semillon, complemented by nuts, lime and honey, it offers great depth of flavour and a remarkable backbone of crisp acidity. The perfect match for seafood or creamy dishes and very possibly the best-value aged white wine on the market. We hope you’ll try it for yourself, but hurry: this is a very small parcel and is limited to six bottles per member.
Shall we get ready to taste the Bin Series wine just before 8? And if so, who’s joining us for that portion of the evening?
- I’m here for Bin Series!
- I’ll just join for the Cinderella region reds
- I’m lurking…