The kickoff with the Tour de France
Skip the bikes, add five glasses of wine, and you’ll have the Tour de France for a sophisticated palate without the physical exertion. On Friday night, wine lovers, wine enthusiasts, and those new to the wine game gathered at La Maison Française (in The Embassy of France) to attend the first of four tasting classes offered by Le Studio this season. The program’s leader and renowned wine journalist Claire Morin-Gibourg, along with educator Vincent Morin and sommelier and wine connoisseur Philippe Marchal, presented five wines.
The trio kicked off the evening with a glass of delicate Champagne Taittinger Brut La Française. Spoiler alert: this was definitely the table favorite. With its heavy Chardonnay presence (over 40%, twice the normal amount used in a standard cuvee), the buttery notes, and the light and dry mouth feel started the tasting with a bang.
We then continued onto Bourgogne/Mâconnais where we sampled a 2008 white Burgundy from Pouilly Fuissé Domaine Ferret. The Domaine’s location is set in one of the most diverse appellations with a wide spectrum of rocks and soil. The mineral and chalky overtones of this terroir in the wine were a true representation of a southern Burgundy.
We stayed in the Burgundy region with our next wine, but traveled to the Côte de Beaune province to Savigny lès Beaunes. The vineyard is set between Beaune and Pernand, and third in production of red wine in the Côte de Beaune area. We sampled the 2007 1er Cru la Dominode Louis Jadot. The wine had a true Pinot taste with a black pepper finish, a perfect spicy end to our Burgundy stop.
What’s a wine tour without hitting Bordeaux? The Pomerol Christian Moueix 2006, while not the best year (admitted by Vincent Morin), was deep in color, and rich in nose. While we were slightly disappointed with the flavor, we were assured that we would not be disappointed with a change of year.
Our tour ended in Rhône at the Châteauneuf-du-Pape to sample the 2007 Château Mont Redon. The wine consisted of four different grape varieties that each brought out a different feature of the wine. The Cinsault grape emphasized the fruitiness, the Grenache spiced up the wine, Syrah added the structure, and Counoise (not found in any other blend) enhanced the alcohol and added a degree of acidity.
The wine experts were thorough in their presentation of each wine, and passionate about their subject giving us pairing suggestions and tasting techniques to enhance our wine experience. After the tasting, guests were invited to indulge in the cheese and charcuterie buffet, and try some our own pairing creations.
The program has four classes remaining. October 18th will be all about Burgundy, November 10th will consist of wines from the Loire Valley, and the last class on December 1st will indulge in Cognac Hennessy.
“The great thing we are doing this year, is inviting actual winemakers from these regions,” says Vincent Morin. “We are hoping this will add an extra element to these classes so participants can interact and talk with the people who actually make the wine.”
All the wines tasted were made available at a discount through Bassin's Mac Arthur Beverages.
Classes are $75 per person and can be purchased at La Maison Francaise.
Written by Hillary Leeb