Our friends at Artisan Wine & Spirits invited us to a tasting of ten French wines. We eagerly accepted. The wines were a good sample of the many wine-growing regions of France. But technically only eight were French. There were two Gruner Veltliners from Austria! We won’t quote prices in this review because there were special tasting deals. Also, Artisan almost certainly will only stock a few of these. Happy hunting!
And we found a few interesting wines. Two are ready to drink now. Three more need several years in your Eurocave.
Our favorite was one of the Austrian Gruner’s. The Stadt Krebs 2020 Gruner Veltliner ‘Stein’ from Kremstal, Austria is delightful. We cannot say it better than Artisan’s tasting notes:
Subtle aromas of elderflower are overtaken by an expressive palate, which features notes of white peach and green apples. It’s almost velvety in feel, with medium-to-full body texture, but the mouth-watering acidity keeps it intact.
We brought home three bottles, our sole acquisition from this trip.
Our quaffable choice among the various reds was the Domaine Tollot-Beaut 2020 Aloxe-Corton from Cote De Beaune, France. Naturally, this is 100% pinot noir. The nose is black plum and cranberry scents The palate is medium-bodied with cherries and red raspberries. This wine is tight on opening. Either decant it or let the bottle breathe for 30 minutes or so.
There was one other interesting white, a Domaine Louis Moreau 2019 Chablis Grand Cru ‘Valmur’ from Chablis, France. The wine opens with aromas of Meyer lemon and a little bit of white peach. The palate is more white peach with a hint of lemon zest. We were ready to buy until we saw the price, $99.97 a bottle. We own a few bottles of pinot noir in that price range, but our palates are apparently inadequate for appreciating expensive whites.
Put These on the Bottom Shelf of Your Eurocave
The best choice to buy and hold was the Domaine Michel Magnian 2020 Morey-Saint-Denis from Côlte de Nuits. Of course, another 100% pinot noir. You’re greeted with aromas of fresh red berries with notes of violets and spice. On the palate, tannins with a good underlying structure will keep this wine improving for at least five years.
Similarly, the Château Batailley 2018 Pauillac from Bordeaux needs some time. Aromas of currants and smoke followed by a bomb on the palate. A ton of fruit matched by 2,000 pounds of tannins. Give it at least two years.
This was a lot of fun. We hope to be invited again. And we hope James picks a larger room the next time!