September Foires aux Vins

August 24, 2010

It’s that time of year again when the French hypermarkets cram their front aisles (and even the odd marquee in the car park) with cases and cases of fine wine. Lots of good value 2008s this year at not much more money than the en primeur prices; and lots of firmly-priced 2007s too!

I’m collating the prices quoted in the French wine press, before the offers are made later in September, starting with these first Bordeaux and Burgundy offers – as published in La Revue du Vin de France (RVF). I’ll be adding more regions (more Bordeaux Crus Classés soon) and more wines over the coming days and weeks…






Price (€)


Graves Château Ferrande Red 2008 7.95 Systeme U
Graves Château Lugaud Red 2009 4.90 Carrefour
Haut-Médoc Château Barreyres Red 2007 8.90 Monoprix
Haut-Médoc Château Cantemerle Red 2005 21.00 Carrefour
Haut-Médoc Château Coufran Red 2001 9.95 Casino
Haut-Médoc Château La Tour Carnet Red 2008 17.90 Intermarché
Haut-Médoc Château Sociando-Mallet Red 2007 27.51 Intermarché
Listrac-Médoc Château Fouras-Hosten Red 1999 10.90 Monoprix
Listrac-Médoc Château Fourcas Dupré Red 2008 9.75 Systeme U
Margaux Château Pieuré Lichine Red 2008 24.50 Systeme U
Margaux Château Pouget Red 2008 29.95 Systeme U
Margaux Château Rauzan-Gassies Red 2008 24.50 Auchan
Médoc Château Bessan Ségur Red 2005 7.50 Carrefour Market
Médoc Château Les Grands Chenes Red 2008 12.95 Systeme U
Moulis Château Chasse-Spleen Red 2007 17.95 Casino
Moulis Château Chasse-Spleen Red 2008 16.20 Intermarché
Moulis Château Mauvesin Red 2009 13.00 Carrefour Market
Moulis Château Poujeaux Red 2003 19.90 Monoprix
Moulis Château Poujeaux Red 2008 15.80 Leclerc
Pauillac Château Lynch-Bages Red 2008 38.65 Carrefour
Pauillac Château Lynch-Moussas Red 2008 17.65 Intermarché
Pauillac Château Pichon Longeville Baron Red 2002 69.95 Leclerc
Pauillac Château Pontet-Canet Red 2007 51.90 Carrefour
Pauillac Château Pontet-Canet Red 2006 55.00 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Château Carbonnieux Red 2008 19.30 Carrefour
Pessac-Léognan Château Carbonnieux Red 2008 19.75 Intermarché
Pessac-Léognan Château de Fieuzal Red 2008 18.90 Systeme U
Pessac-Léognan Château Haut-Bailly Red 2008 47.95 Auchan
Pessac-Léognan Château Lafon Menaut White 2009 8.50 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Château Larrivet Haut-Brion White 2008 26.95 Systeme U
Pessac-Léognan Château Limbourg Red 2008 11.50 Carrefour
Pessac-Léognan Château Olivier Red 2006 19.95 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Château Smith Haut-Lafitte Red 2008 36.95 Auchan
Pessac-Léognan Domaine de Chevalier Red 2007 29.95 Casino
Pessac-Léognan Domaine de la Solitude White 2009 13.95 Systeme U
Saint Julien Les Fiefs de Lagrange Red 2008 13.95 Systeme U
Saint-Estèphe Château Cos d’Estournel Red 2007 79.00 Auchan
Saint-Estèphe Château Haut-Marbuzet Red 2008 24.95 Auchan
Saint-Estèphe Château Lafon Rochet Red 2008 22.25 Leclerc
Saint-Estèphe Château Lafon-Rochet Red 2006 25.00 Casino
Saint-Estèphe Château Les Ormes de Pez Red 2008 16.90 Systeme U
Saint-Estèphe Château Petit Bocq Red 2008 15.20 Leclerc
Saint-Estèphe Les Pagodes de Cos Red 2008 27.50 Leclerc
Saint-Julien Château Beychevelle Red 2008 25.45 Carrefour
Saint-Julien Château Léoville-Poyferré Red 2007 35.95 Auchan
Sauternes Château de Malle White 1998 18.95 Auchan
Sauternes Château de Rayne Vogneau Madame de Rayne White 2001 14.90 Systeme U
Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux Château Montseigneur Red 2009 5.30 Carrefour
Bordeaux Château Marjosse Red 2009 6.90 Carrefour
Bordeaux Supérieur Château La Caderie Cuvée Aurélie Red 2009 4.50 Auchan
Bordeaux Supérieur Château Reignac Red 2008 13.50 Leclerc
Côtes de Bourg Château Fougas Maldoror Red 2008 9.95 Auchan
Côtes de Bourg Château Montfollet Cuvée Altus Red 2009 6.90 Carrefour
Côtes de Bourg Clos des Moisettes Red 2006 5.60 Intermarché
Fronsac Château de la Rivière Red 2002 11.90 Monoprix
Fronsac Château La Fleur Chadenne Red 2006 9.50 Casino
Graves des Vayres Château Cantelaudette Cuvée Prestige Red 2008 6.00 Leclerc
Graves des Vayres Château d’Arveyres Cuvée Prestige White 2009 6.00 Intermarché
Graves des Vayres Château Lesparre Red 2005 6.30 Carrefour Market
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château de Bel Air Red 2007 9.90 Systeme U
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château Jean de Gué Red 2008 16.99 Leclerc
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château La Fleur de Bouard Red 2008 18.95 Auchan
Lalande-de-Pomerol Château les Capucins Red 2009 5.99 Carrefour Market
Montagne-Saint-Emilion Château La Croix Bayard Cuvée Tradition Red 2009 5.79 Systeme U
Pomerol Château Clinet Red 2008 39.50 Intermarché
Pomerol Château La Croix de Gay Red 2008 20.90 Leclerc
Pomerol Château Plince Red 2008 18.50 Systeme U
Pomerol Château Taillefer Red 2005 19.95 Monoprix
Pomerol Château Taillefer Red 2005 18.90 Carrefour Market
Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion Château Bois de Cadet Red 2009 4.90 Carrefour
Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion Château Branda Red 2008 9.50 Carrefour Market
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château du Calvaire Red 2007 8.70 Casino
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Jean-Faure Red 2007 22.00 Monoprix
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château La Fleur Cardinale Red 2008 24.50 Auchan
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Larmande Red 2008 15.95 Systeme U
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Monbousquet Cuvée Angélique Red 2006 13.50 Casino
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Pavie-Macquin Red 2008 47.95 Auchan
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Château Yon Figeac Red 2007 16.95 Carrefour Market

Burgundy & Beaujolais

Appellation Producer Colour Year Price (€) Supermarche
Saint-Amour Château de Saint-Amour Red 2009 5.90 Carrefour
Givry Domaine Vincent Lump Red 2009 7.95 Carrefour
Chablis 1er cru Sélections Domaines Brocard White 2009 9.95 Carrefour
Chambolle Musigny Domaine Frédéric Magnien Coeur de Pierres Red 2009 27.95 Carrefour
Morgon Domaine de Bellevue Red 2009 4.95 Casino
Chablis 1er cru Andrée Tremblay Montmains White 2009 10.50 Casino
Pommard P Charlopin Grandes Réserves Red 2009 21.90 Casino
Macon-Villages Domaine Eloy White 2009 4.70 Intermarché
Juliénas Domaine Grumeline Red 2009 4.85 Intermarché
Pouilly-Loché Domaine du Clos des Rocs White 2007 13.95 Intermarché
Gevrey-Chambertin Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Red 2007 18.95 Intermarché
Rully Jean Chartron Mont Morin White 2008 10.59 Systeme U
Santenay Domaine Sorine & Fils Vieilles Vignes Red 2009 10.05 Systeme U
Saint-Aubin Chateau de Santenay En Vesvau White 2007 12.50 Systeme U
Chambolle Musigny Dominique Laurent Vieilles Vignes Red 2008 29.00 Systeme U
Moulin-a-Vent Domaine des Rosiers Red 2009 6.75 Auchan
Rully Domaine du Meix Guillaume Vieilles Vignes White 2009 8.95 Auchan
Santenay Domaine Saint Francois-Michel White 2008 13.50 Auchan
Passe-Tout-Grains Chateau Ferrey Montangerand Red 2009 3.95 Monoprix
Pouilly-Vinzelles Domaine du Clos des Rocs White 2008 9.95 Monoprix
Ladoix Domaine Claude Chevalier Red 2008 15.50 Monoprix
Meursault Ropiteau White 2007 18.90 Monoprix
Savigny-les-Beaune 1er cru Louis Jadot Les Lavieres red 2003 19.95 Monoprix
Juliénas Thorin Terres de Galene Red 2009 4.95 Carrefour Market
Chablis Domaine Eugene Carion White 2008 7.80 Carrefour Market
Brouilly Les Tours de Pierreux Red 2009 5.95 Leclerc
Morgon Arnaud Aucoeur Vieilles Vignes Red 2009 6.15 Leclerc
Chiroubles Domaine Cheysson Cote 400 Red 2009 6.65 Leclerc
Nuits-Saint-Georges Coron Pere & Fils Les Vigottes Red 2009 15.80 Leclerc
Gevrey-Chambertin Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Red 2009 18.50 Leclerc

I told you it was good!

August 17, 2010

Congratulations to Manu and Tess Guillot-Broux (right). I’ve just read in this month’s Bourgogne Aujourd’hui magazine that their excellent organic Mâcon Cruzillle ‘Les Genièvrières’ 2008 has been awarded 18.5 points by the mag’s esteemed tasting panel.  “a sublime Genièvrières…quite simply a true ‘vin de garde’ with a fresh, pure nose and floral and vanilla notes…an unctuous palate, subtle, round and ‘gourmande’.”  The red wine, noted as “superb” gets 16.6 points.

Claribès Wins Bronze at IWC

June 15, 2010

Congratulations to Helen and Nick at Chateau Claribès in Gensac near Sainte Foy whose latest wine – Vieille Vigne Malbec – has just been awarded a Bronze Medal at the International Wine Challenge in London.  This award follows stars from the renowned French wine guide the Guide Hachette and goes to prove that British winemakers are pleasing palates on both sides of the channel!  You can visit Helen and Nick’s organic vineyard, taste their wines and stay in the gite next door to the Chateau – click here for details.

Loire Reds: a blind tasting

April 11, 2010

La Manche Wine Circle blind tasting, last night: A rough comparison of the main Loire red sub-regions from recent vintages (2005 to 2009), wines from Anjou Brissac, Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Bourgueil, Saumur Champigny and Chinon – plus an ‘intrus’ from Cheverny. Once again Chateau de la Varière was the panel’s coup de coeur closely followed by Christophe Baudry’s Chinon – Domaine de la Morandiere. Bronze goes to the ’05 Bourgueil – Domaine du Carroi.

2006 Château la Varière Anjou-Villages Brissac

Black red sombre robe with crystal clear highlights – no signs of ageing. Ripe, rich, sweet black fruit – far more complex and concentrated than the others in the flight with hints of cherry tobacco, vanilla, pepper and confiture. Velvety smooth on the well-balanced palate with a pleasant bitterness on a medium-long finish. Great food wine with the potential to age well – a real Bordeaux-beater! IH (84 pts.)

Chateau de la Variere’s 15th-century cellar

2008 Domaine de la Morandière Chinon

Very dark red, ruby rim and good legs. Tingly ‘bonbons’ aromas at first then sweet, ripe fruit. Almost a Burgundy-style nose. Nice balanced palate, good acidity; refreshing and clean. One to keep 2-3 years. PH (80 pts.)

2005 Domaine du Carroi Cuvée Tradition Bourgueil

Darkest of all the wines in the flight – viscous. Concentrated, ripe blackcurrant fruit with cedar and fresh coltsfoot. An easy-drinker with soft tannins. Another good BBQ wine with enough weight to go well with char-grilled meats and spicy marinades. Drinking well now. DG (78 pts.)

2009 Sylvain Bruneau Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil La Croix Blanche

Very young, dark black cherry with big legs. Black fruit and white pepper over a robust alcohol giving pleasant amylic and menthol aromas and a hint of cedar. Very juicy acidity – one to keep 1-2 years to reveal its potential. IH (75 pts.)

2007 François Cazin (Le Petit Chambord) Cheverny

Ruby robe with a bright rim. Lovely, perfumed red fruit on the nose with a hint of the spice cupboard. Green, herbal, feminine. Pleasing crushed redcurrants and greengage on a medium palate. A very pleasant summer BBQ wine to drink now – the scoring was probably brought down 5-10 points by putting this pinot/gamay blend in a flight of cabernets. DA (71 pts.)

2008 les hauts buits Saumur-Champigny

Mid-red robe, thin. Nice blackcurrant fruit on the nose like weak Ribena but a tad one-dimensional. Very soft palate – a passable breakfast wine! GT (70 pts.)

No surprise to find the 100% cabernet sauvignon Brissac at the top of list for a panel with ‘Bordeaux’ tastes. A first time for a Cheverny for most of the panel and this pinot/gamay wine was easily identified as the odd one out – its relatively low score reflects this but it’s not a bad little wine at all and it went very well with the Thai-style marinated prawns in chilli. The bigger wines from Chinon and Anjou were perfect accompaniments to a hearty Catalan lamb casserole.

Bordeaux Organic Primeurs

March 29, 2010

48 Organic wines at Chateau Franc Pourret in Saint Emilion – Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st of March.  Click here for a full list of exhibitors…

Where can I learn more about wine?

March 27, 2010

From today’s Independent – Traveller’s Guide To: Wine journeys in Aquitaine…

“Among the courses on offer in the region, French Wine Adventures offers two-hour introductory sessions every Tuesday afternoon at 2pm during the season for €15. They are run by Caroline Feely, who, with her husband Sean, makes wine at the Château Haut Garrigue in Saussignac. The sessions begin with a tour of the château’s organic vineyard before moving inside for a more formal explanation of the appellation system, followed by a tasting. Feely also runs classes specialising in the grand cru classe wines, and a food and wine matching class takes place every Thursday afternoon at 3pm during the season; the cost is €25.”

Full atricle here…

Fontenay’s Medal-winning rosé

March 21, 2010

There’s something for everyone to taste in the chalet-style tasting room next-door to Château de Fontenay at Bléré on the river Cher: reds and rosés from cabernet, cot (the south’s malbec) and grolleau, sweet white chenins, bone dry sauvignons, sparkling chardonnays… The dry rosé – Les Garennes 2008 – won a gold medal at Macon last year and it’s available at the end of this month. 

After a wine tasting there’s lots to do along the valley of the Cher. In Bléré there’s an award-winning cheese maker (one of the best in France), and there are many small farms nearby where you can buy meat, eggs and vegetables ‘at the gate’. For more energetic pursuits, you can take part in harvest days, go hiking or a take a pleasant bike ride along the towpath to the beautiful renaissance château of Chenonceaux; as you reach your destination, the view from the river is spell-binding. 

Château de Fontenay le Rosé des Garennes 2008 Touraine 

A perfect example of the dry Touraine style – an intense pink robe with orange tints revealing aromas of red fruits, plum blossom and broom. Propped-up by a full, fruity mouthful of pleasure, this medal winner is the consummate accompaniment to summertime barbecues.

To book a room – or a gite – at Fontenay, click here for details…