The House of Courvoisier was first established in 1809 outside of the city of Paris. However, Felix Courvoisier and Jules Gallois decided to take a bold change of direction for their business. They wanted more control over the quality of the brandy they had built their reputation on, so moved their headquarters from Paris to the sleepy town of Jarnac, in the heart of the Cognac region. Since that time Courvoisier has become one of the top Cognac producers in the world. The company recently released the Rosé Courvoisier Liqueur, a fortified wine that is a blend of Cognac and premium French grapes.
The Rosé Courvoisier has a wonderful salmon pink color to it, with touches of amber along the rim. The aromas and flavors of this wine are of red and black berries, cherries, peaches, a hint of vanilla, and oak. This liqueur (18% alcohol) is best served chilled, and is smooth and velvety, with a very nice finish. My wife and I enjoyed the fruit-forwardness of this liqueur.
The Roussillon region is located in the south of France, and it borders northeastern Spain. The vines that grow in this area grow on terraces on stony soil, with a rich geological background and a warm Mediterranean climate. The three primary red grapes that are grown at Domaine de Bila Haut are Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. These varieties are a popular blend of three dark-skinned grapes used extensively in Southern France and northeastern Spain. The blend is differentiated from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend by the inclusion of Carignan, which is not one of the permitted grape varieties of that appellation. Wine made from Syrah, Carignan and Grenache is noted for its inky-dark color. It is generally regarded as a full-bodied red wine that is easily capable of delivering generous tannins with the ability to age gracefully. On the nose this wine had wonderful aromas of dark cherries, plums, dried black fruit, and warm spices. The flavor profile was of dark cherries, black plums, black currants, minerality, nutmeg, and black pepper. This was a luscious red blend, with a silky mouth-feel, moderate tannins, and a lingering finish. This is a fantastic wine that would pair well with beef or wild game.
The Loire Valley of France is one of the premier wine regions of the world. Many of the noble grape varieties are indigenous to Loire Valley, including the Chenin Blanc variety, which is not well known, but can produce exceptional wines. The one area in Loire where Chenin Blanc thrives best is near Touraine. The Monmousseau 2011 Vouvray is 100% Chenin Blanc, and has aromas and flavors of pears, yellow peaches, apricots, lemon, honey, and a slight minerality. The mouth-feel of this wine is medium-bodied, with a silky feel to it. This is an off-dry white, with some residual sugar, and can be drank as an aperitif, or with grilled chicken breast topped with a tropical fruit salsa.
Maison Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 by Louis Henry Denis Jadot, but the family had purchased vineyards of the Clos des Ursules, a Beaune Premier Cru in 1826. The philosophy behind Maison Louis Jadot is to allow each appellation within the region of Burgundy in which the grapes are grown to reflect the outcome of the wine in each bottle. The terroir of each appellation is unique, which allows the wines to express those differences in the final product.
The 2010 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages is a wonderful light red wine, produced using the Gamay grape variety. The color in the glass is a soft-red color, with aromas of cherries and red raspberries. The flavors are of tart cherries, red raspberries, strawberries, and a slight hint of anise. This is a light, easy to drink red wine, with good acidity, light tannins, and a short finish.