I wasn’t planning to go to the Tastin’ France 2018 event held in Spices, Manila Peninsula.
I easily give in to specific peer pressure (like the promise of learning about new wines while sampling them, of course!), however. So, at the invite of one of my friends Rodolphe of G.H. Martell (who people might remember from my articles on Hong Kong wine expos), I decided to drop in.
Organised by Business France (the national agency that “promotes France’s companies, business image, and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location”), Tastin’ France featured wines from major wine producing regions of France (Champagne, Rhône, Bordeaux, etc).
Here are some of my favourite finds:
Champagne Charles de Cazanove, Stradivarius 2009 – It’s always great to be treated to a vintage Champagne. See, most Champagne houses only make vintage Champagne on good years, and quality plus limited quantity normally equate to a whopping price tag. Emphasising the good quality, however, I became a fan of the richness of the Stradivarius.
Domaine Corty, Jurançon Sec (50% Gros Manseng, 50% Petit Manseng) – I’ve never had wine from the Jurançon region (located in the South West of France), let alone wine made from Gros Manseng or Petit Manseng. I learned that these grapes, when blended together, could be incredibly aromatic, but retain a refreshing acidity. I liked the wine’s dry version because it was something I could imagine drinking on its own during a hot day.
Influence, Jurançon (100% Gros Manseng) – I also learned that it’s the Gros Manseng that lends the incredibly aromatic, white flowers and fruit notes to the previous wine’s blend. It was a wine I could definitely inhale all day.
Arraditz, Béarn (100% Tannat) – It was my first time to try a wine from Béarn, and a wine that was 100% Tannat. The wine was incredibly tannic and had intense aromas of ripe red fruits and baking spices.
Privilège d’Automne, Vendanges Tardives, Jurançon (100% Petit Manseng) – I found out that the Petit Manseng could also be made in the Late Harvest (or Vendanges Tardives) style. The grape grounded what would otherwise be an incredibly sweet wine, giving it an earthy, truffle element.
Cave de Tain Syrah – I normally would not start a wine flight with a Syrah, but the winery’s interpretation of the wine was incredibly elegant, and did not overpower the palate. I would recommend this to people looking to try a gentler take on a French Syrah.
Cave de Tain Hermitage – On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Cave de Tain Hermitage is a powerful wine, but not one that lost its elegance. I would definitely recommend this to a person looking for a more robust version of a Rhône Valley wine (and I’d prefer it paired with food).
Le Grand Méchant Loup, Pic Saint Loup – I initially got attracted to the French of the label (it roughly translates to “The Big Bad Wolf”), but finding out that it came from a tiny appellation of Pic Saint Loup in Languedoc-Roussillon was pretty cool too.
Le Gros Rouge qui Tache, Pays d’Herault – The label translates to “The Big Red that Stains”, which I blame for the stains I had on my mouth when I looked at the mirror after I left the event (haha). Again, from a small appellation in Languedoc-Rousillon, it was a light enough red to drink during a warm day.
L’Amour en Cage, Pezenas –Funky label? Check. Tiny, little known appellation? Check. Something I can imagine pairing with Filipino food? Bring on the sisig, because this wine can work with that.
Little F*ck Malbec, Cahors – It was, by far, the rudest wine label I’ve ever seen (P.S., it’s probably why it’s not easily found online). The wine, however, is something completely up my alley, because I admit that I like red wine from the Cahors region (again, preferably with food) with its heady aromas and rich, food friendly flavour.
With that in mind, I’m off to update my mental rolodex of French wines. Santé!