sexta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2013

Beaujolais & Beaujolais Crus

Beaujolais is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. Like most AOC wines they are not labeled varietally. Whites from the region, which make up only 1% of its production, are made mostly with Chardonnay grapes though Aligoté is also permitted until 2024 (on condition the vines were planted before 2004). Beaujolais tends to be a very light-bodied red wine, with relatively high amounts of acidity. In some vintages, Beaujolais produces more wine than the Burgundy wine regions of Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais put together.
The wine takes its name from the historical Beaujolais province and wine producing region. It is located north of Lyon, and covers parts of the north of the Rhône département (Rhône-Alpes) and parts of the south of the Saône-et-Loire département (Burgundy). While administratively considered part of the Burgundy wine region, the climate is closer to the Rhône and the wine is unique enough to be considered separately from Burgundy and Rhône. The region is known internationally for its long tradition of winemaking, uniquely emphasized the use of carbonic maceration, and more recently for the popular Beaujolais nouveau.
Gamay grape
Gamay noir is now known to be a cross of Pinot noir and the ancient white variety Gouais, the latter a Central European variety that was probably introduced to northeastern France by the Romans. The grape brought relief to the village growers following the decline of the Black Death. In contrast to the Pinot Noir variety, Gamay ripened two weeks earlier and was less difficult to cultivate. It also produced a strong, fruitier wine in a much larger abundance. In July 1395, the Duke of Burgundy Philippe the Bold outlawed the cultivation of Gamay as being "a very bad and disloyal plant", due in part to the variety occupying land that could be used for the more "elegant" Pinot Noir. Sixty years later, Philippe the Good, issued another edict against Gamay in which he stated the reasoning for the ban is that "The Dukes of Burgundy are known as the lords of the best wines in Christendom. We will maintain our reputation". The edicts had the effect of pushing Gamay plantings southward, out of the main region of Burgundy and into the granite based soils of Beaujolais where the grape thrived.
Beaujolais Crus
The ten Beaujolais Crus differ in character. The following three crus produce the lightest bodied Cru Beaujolais and are typically meant to be consumed within three years of the vintage.
Brouilly - The largest Cru in Beaujolais, situated around Mont Brouilly and contains within its boundaries the sub-district of Côte de Brouilly. The wines are noted for their aromas of blueberries, cherries, raspberries and currants. Along with Côte de Brouilly, this is the only Cru Beaujolais region that permits grapes other than Gamay to be produced in the area with vineyards growing Chardonnay, Aligote and Melon de Bourgogne as well.
Régnié - The most recently recognized Cru, graduating from a Beaujolais-Villages area to Cru Beaujolais in 1988. One of the more fuller bodied crus in this category. It is noted for its redcurrant and raspberry flavors. Local lore in the region states that this Cru was the site of the first vineyards planted in Beaujolais by the Romans.
Chiroubles - This cru has vineyards at some of the highest altitudes among the Cru Beaujolais. Chiroubles cru are noted for their delicate perfume that often includes aromas of violets.
The next three crus produce more medium bodied Cru Beaujolais that Master of Wine Mary Ewing-Mulligan recommend needs at least a year aging in the bottle and to be consumed within four years of the vintage.
Côte de Brouilly - Located on the higher slopes of the extinct volcano Mont Brouilly within the Brouilly Cru Beaujolais. The wines from this region are more deeply concentrated with less earthiness than Brouilly wine.
Fleurie - These wines often have a velvet texture with fruity and floral bouquet. In ideal vintages, a vin de garde is produced that is meant to age at least four years before consuming and can last up to 16 years.
Saint-Amour - Local lore suggest that this region was named after a Roman soldier (St. Amateur) who converted to Christianity after escaping death and established a mission near the area. The wines from Saint-Amour are noted for their spicy flavors with aromas of peaches. The vin de garde wines require at least four year aging and can last up to twelve years.
The last four crus produce the fullest bodied examples of Cru Beaujolais that need the most time aging in the bottle and are usually meant to be consumed between four to ten years after harvest.
Chénas - Once contained many of the vineyards that are now sold under the Moulin-à-Vent designation. It is now the smallest Cru Beaujolais with wines that are noted for their aroma of wild roses. In ideal vintages, a vin de garde is produced that is meant to age at least five years before consuming and last up to 15. The area named is derived from the forest of French oak trees (chêne) that used to dot the hillside.
Juliénas-This cru is based around the village named after Julius Caesar. The wines made from this area are noted for their richness and spicy with aromas reminiscent of peonies. In contrast to the claims of Régnié, Juliénas growers believe that this area was the site of the first vineyards planted in Beaujolais by the Romans during this conquest of Gaul.
Morgon - Produces earthy wines that can take on a Burgundian character of silky texture after five years aging. These wines are generally the deepest color and most rich Cru Beaujolais with aromas of apricots and peaches. Within this Cru there is a particular hillside, known as Cote du Py, in the center of Morgon that produces the most powerful examples of Morgon wines.
Moulin-à-Vent - Wines are very similar to the nearby Chénas Cru Beaujolais. This region produces some of the longest lasting examples of Beaujolais wine, with some wines lasting up to ten years. Some producers will age their Moulin-à-Vent in oak which gives these wines more tannin and structure than other Beaujolais wines. The phrase fûts de chêne (oak casks) will sometimes appear on the wine label of these oak aged wines. The region is noted for the high level of manganese that is in the soil, which can be toxic to grape vines in high levels. The level of toxicity in Moulin-à-Vent does not kill the vine but is enough to cause chlorosis and alter the vine's metabolism to severely reduce yields. The resulting wine from Moulin-à-Vent are the most full bodied and powerful examples in Beaujolais. The vin de garde styles require at least 6 years aging and can last up to 20 years.
Source: &

Tabela de Safras - 1996 a 2010

terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2013

Chardonnay: USA vs Borgonha

Na última 5ª feira, dia 17 de janeiro, realizamos no Rosmarino a nossa primeira degustação de 2013, com a presença de 9 confrades. Foram degustados 9 vinhos, de safras recentes (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 e 2010), sendo quatro norte americanos e cinco franceses. Como de costume, o nosso menu foi escolhido pelo nosso confrade Paulo.

Couvert: Pão italiano, mini-ciabata, pão de queijo, patê de roquefort, manteiga e azeitona.

Entrada: Salada de endívia, brie e salmon defumado com dill fresco e molho vinagrete de chardonnay.

Primeiro prato: Spaghetti com atum, alcaparra, pomodorini e gengibre.

Segundo prato: Linguado em crosta de batata com aniz estrelado e pimenta rosa

Sobremesa: Entremet de chocolate, Torta de nozes carameladas, Merengue de chocolate belga e avelãs, Carolinas de creme, Ovos nevados, Profiteroles, Terrine de Frutas, Tiramisú, Creme brulée, Pastiera di grano, Bavarese de chocolate e Tarte Tatin

Novamente, voltamos ao salão principal, confortável e muito bem iluminado. Como de costume o serviço foi excelente e a execução dos pratos retornou aos padrões da casa.

A degustação contou com nove vinhos, com níveis alcoólicos variando entre 12,5% e 15,1%.

A seguir uma breve descrição dos vinhos degustados:

Mersault Genevrieres 2004
Produtor: Bouchard Pere & Fils
País/Região: França/Bourgogne, Mersault
Graduação alcoolica: 13.5%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Alessandro

Chablis 2006
Produtor: Billaud-Simon
País/Região: França/Bourgogne, Chablis
Graduação alcoolica: 12.5%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Paulo

Arthur 2010
Produtor: Domaine Drouhin
País/Região: USA/Oregon
Graduação alcoolica: 13.9%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Marcio

CrossBarn 2008
Produtor: Paul Hobbs
País/Região: USA/Sonoma Mountain, California
Graduação alcoolica: 14.2%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Altman

Beaune Premier Cru Les Aigrots 2007
Produtor: Domaine de Montille
País/Região: França/Bourgogne, Beaune
Graduação alcoolica: 12.5%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Calabro

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2008
Produtor: Francois Labet
País/Região: França/Bourgogne, Vougeot
Graduação alcoolica: 12.5%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Alberto

Belle Côte 2010
Produtor: Peter Michael
País/Região: USA/Sonoma County, California
Graduação alcoolica: 15.1%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Ricardo

Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons 2010
Produtor: Jean Paulu & Benoit Droin
País/Região: França/Bourgogne, Chablis
Graduação alcoolica: 13%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: João Luis

Chardonnay Lot 11 2010
Produtor: Grayson Cellars
País/Região: USA/California
Graduação alcoolica: 13.1%
Uvas: Chardonnay
Confrade: Joubert

Vinhos degustados

O painel estava excelente, alguns dos vinhos degustados se mostraram bastante complexos e aromáticos, apesar da pouca idade. Os resultados do painel apresentaram, uma pequena amplitude de notas, em linha com as boas degustações do ano, sendo na média aparada de 2,3 pontos (de 87,7 a 90).

O vinho que ficou em último lugar foi o Bourgogne Chardonnay 2008, produzido por Francois Labet, na região da Borgonha (Bourgogne AOC), com 12,5% de alcool, escolhido o pior vinho por 4 confrades e o segundo melhor por outros 2.

O segundo melhor vinho do painel, foi o Beaune Premier Cru Les Aigrots 2007, produzido pelo Domaine Montille na região de Beaune, com 12,5% de alcool, escolhido o melhor vinho por quatro confrades.

O Campeão da noite, foi o Chardonnay Lot 11 2010, produzido por Grayson Cellars, na California, com 13.1% de alcool, tendo sido escolhido o melhor vinho por dois confrades e o segundo melhor por outros tres.

Vejam os resultados completos abaixo.

[tabela geral]

Não se esquecam que no dia 21/Fevereiro degustaremos Cru de Beaujolais. Até lá....

Não percam a próxima degustação.

domingo, 20 de janeiro de 2013


Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as a "rite of passage" and an easy entry into the international wine market.
The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France to New World wines with oak, and tropical fruit flavors.
Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne. A peak in popularity in the late 1980s gave way to a backlash among those wine drinkers who saw the grape as a leading negative component of the globalization of wine. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most widely-planted grape varieties, with over 160,000 hectares worldwide, second only to Airén among white wine grapes and planted in more wine regions than any other grape – including Cabernet Sauvignon.
For much of its history, a connection was assumed between Chardonnay and Pinot noir or Pinot blanc. In addition to being found in the same region of France for centuries, ampelographers noted that the leaves of each plant have near-identical shape and structure. Pierre Galet disagreed with this assessment, believing that Chardonnay was not related to any other major grape variety. Viticulturalists Maynard Amerine & Harold Olmo proposed a descendency from a wild Vitis vinifera vine that was a step removed from white Muscat. Chardonnay's true origins were further obscured by vineyard owners in Lebanon and Syria, who claimed that the grape's ancestry could be traced to the Middle East, from where it was introduced to Europe by returning Crusaders, though there is little external evidence to support that theory. Another theory stated that it originated from an ancient indigenous vine found in Cyprus.
Modern DNA fingerprinting research at University of California, Davis, now suggests that Chardonnay is the result of a cross between thePinot and Gouais Blanc (Heunisch) grape varieties. It is believed that the Romans brought Gouais Blanc from Croatia, and it was widely cultivated by peasants in Eastern France. The Pinot of the French aristocracy grew in close proximity to the Gouais Blanc, giving both grapes ample opportunity to interbreed. Since the two parents were genetically distant, many of the crosses showed hybrid vigour and were selected for further propagation. These "successful" crosses included Chardonnay and siblings such as Aligoté, Aubin Vert, Auxerrois, Bachet noir, Beaunoir, Franc Noir de la-Haute-Saône, Gamay Blanc Gloriod, Gamay noir, Melon, Knipperlé, Peurion, Roublot, Sacy and Dameron.
In France, Chardonnay is the second most widely planted white grape variety just behind Ugni blanc and ahead of Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc. The grape first rose to prominence in the Chablis and Burgundy regions. In Champagne, it is most often blended with Pinot noir and Pinot meunier but is also used to produce single varietal blanc de blancs styles of sparkling wine. Chardonnay can be found in Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) wines of the Loire Valley and Jura wine region as well as the Vin de pays wines of the Languedoc.
Chardonnay is one of the dominant grapes in Burgundy though Pinot noir vines outnumber it by nearly a 3 to 1 ratio. In addition to Chablis, it is found in the Côte d'Or (largely in the Côte de Beaune) as well as the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais. It is grown in 8 Grand cru vineyards; The "Montrachets"-Montrachet, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet as well as Charlemagne, Corton-Charlemagne & Le Musigny. In addition to being the most expensive, the Burgundy examples of Chardonnay were long considered the benchmark standard of expressing terroir through Chardonnay. The Montrachets are noted for their high alcohol levels, often above 13%, as well as deep concentration of flavors. The vineyards around Chassagne-Montrachet tend to have a characteristic hazelnut aroma to them while those of Puligny-Montrachet have more steely flavors. Both grand cru and premier cru examples from Corton-Charlemagne have been known to demonstrate marzipan while Meursault wines tend to be the most round and buttery examples.
South of the Côte d'Or is the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais wine regions. The villages of Mercurey, Montagny-lès-Buxy and Rully are the largest producers of Chardonnay in the Côte Chalonnaise with the best made examples rivaling those of the Côte de Beaune. In the Mâconnais, white wine production is centered around the town of Mâcon and the Pouilly-Fuissé region. The full bodied wines of the Pouilly-Fuissé have long held cult wine status with prices that can rival the Grand cru white burgundies. Further south, in the region of Beaujolais, Chardonnay has started to replace Aligote as the main white wine grape and is even replacing Gamay in some areas around Saint-Véran. With the exception of Pouilly-Fuissé, the wines of the Mâconnais are the closest Burgundy example to "New World" Chardonnay though it is not identical. Typically Mâcon blanc, basic Bourgogne, Beaujolais blanc and Saint-Véran are meant to be consumed within 2 to 3 years of release. However, many of the well made examples of white Burgundy from the Côte d'Or will need at least three years in the bottle to develop enough to express the aromas and character of the wine. Hazelnut, licorice and spice are some of the flavors that can develop as these wines age.
The Serein river runs through the town of Chablis, with many of the region's most prestigious vineyards planted on hillsides along the river. Chardonnay is the only permitted AOC grape variety in the Chablis region with the wines here developing such worldwide recognition that the name "chablis" has taken on semi-generic connotations to mean any dry white wine, even those not made from Chardonnay. The name is protected in the European Union and for wine sold in the EU, "Chablis" refers only to the Chardonnay wine produced in this region of the Yonne département. The region sits on the outer edges of the Paris Basin. On the other side of the basin is the village of Kimmeridge in England which gives it name to the Kimmeridgean soil that is located throughout Chablis. The French describe this soil as "argilo-calcaire" and is a composition of clay, limestone and fossilized oyster shells. The most expensive examples of Chardonnay from Chablis comes from the seven Grand Cru vineyards that account for around 247 acres (100 ha) on the southwest side of one slope along the Serein river near the town of Chablis—Blanchots, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur and Vaudésir. The wines from these crus most often capture the goût de pierre à fusil or "gunflint" quality that is characterized of Chablis wine.
Chardonnay was believed to be first planted in Chablis by the Cistercians at Pontigny Abbey in the 12th century. Today, the Chardonnay made in the Chablis region is one of the "purest" expression of the varietal character of the grape due to the simplistic style of winemaking favored in this region. Chablis winemakers want to emphasis the terroir of the calcareous soil and cooler climate that help maintain high acidity. The wines rarely will go through malolactic fermentation or be exposed to oak (though its use is increasing). The biting, green apple-like acidity is a trademark of Chablis and can be noticeable in the bouquet. The acidity can mellow with age and Chablis are some of the longest living examples of Chardonnay. Some examples of Chablis can have an earthy "wet stone" flavor that can get mustier as it ages before mellowing into delicate honeyed notes. The use of oak is controversial in the Chablis community with some winemakers dismissing it as counter to the "Chablis style" or terroir while other embrace its use though not to the length that would characterized a "New World" Chardonnay. The winemakers that do use oak tend to favor more neutral oak that doesn't impart the vanilla characteristic associated with American oak. The amount of "char" in the barrel is often very light which limits the amount of "toastiness" that is perceived in the wine. The advocates of oak in Chablis point to the positive benefits of allowing limited oxygenation with the wine through the permeable oak barrels. This can have the effect of softening the wine and make the generally austere and acidic Chablis more approachable at a younger age.
North America
In North America, particularly California, Chardonnay found another region where it could thrive and produce a style of wine that was noticeably different than that of France. It is the dominant white wine variety of the area, overtaking Riesling in 1990. In the United States it is found most notably in California, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington but also in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont wine. In Canada, Chardonnay is found in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
The first successful commercial production of California Chardonnay was from plantings in the Livermore Valley AVA. Wente Vineyards developed a Chardonnay clone that was used to introduce the grape variety in several Californian vineyards throughout the 1940s. In the 1950s James David Zellerbach, one time US Ambassador to Rome, started Hanzell Vineyards winery and dedicated it to making Burgundian style Chardonnay. His success would encourage other Californian winemakers to follow suit and culminated in Chateau Montelena's victory over Burgundy Chardonnay in the 1976 blind tasting event conducted by French judges known as the Judgment of Paris. In response, the demand for Californian Chardonnay increased and Californian winemakers rushed to increase plantings. In the 1980s, the popularity of Californian Chardonnay would explode so much that the number of vines planted in the state eclipsed that of France by 1988. By 2005 there was nearly 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) accounting for almost 25% of the world's total Chardonnay plantings. The early trend was to imitate the great Burgundy wines but soon gave way to more rich buttery and oaked styles. Starting with the 1970s, the focus was on harvesting the grapes at more advance degrees of ripeness and at higher Brix levels. New oak barrels were used to produce wines that were big in body and mouthfeel. Frank J. Prial of The New York Times was an early critic of this style, particularly because of the lack of "food friendliness" that was common with these massive wines. Another criticism of California Chardonnays, and one that has been levied against other Californian wines, is the very high alcohol levels which can make a wine seem out of balance. In recent years, Californian winemakers have been using process such as reverse osmosis and spinning cones to bring the alcohol levels down to between 12 and 14%.
The Californian wine regions that seem to favor producing premium quality Chardonnay are the ones that are most influenced, climatically, by coastal fogs that can slow the ripening of the grape and give it more time to develop its flavors. The regions of Alexander Valley, Los Carneros, Santa Maria Valley, Russian River Valley and other parts of Sonoma county have shown success in producing wines that reflect more Burgundian styles. Other regions often associated with Chardonnay include Napa Valley, Monterey County and Santa Barbara County. The California Central Valley is home to many mass produced Chardonnay brands as well as box and jug wine production. While the exact style of the wine will vary from producer, some of the terroir characteristics associated with California Chardonnay include "flinty" notes with the Russian River Valley and mango & guava from Monterey. A large portion of the Californian sparkling wine industry uses Chardonnay grapes from Carneros, Alexander and Russian River valleys with these areas attracting the attention of Champagne producers like Bollinger, Louis Roederer, Moët et Chandon and the Taittinger family who have opened up wineries in last few decades.
Other states
Washington Chardonnays can be very similar to Californian Chardonnays but there tends to be more emphasis on fruit than creaminess. In 2000, it was the most widely planted premium wine grape in the state. Rather than using Dijon clones, Washington vineyards are planted with clones developed at the University of California-Davis that are designed to take longer to ripen in the warmer weather of the state's wine regions. This allows winemakers to maintain the acidity levels that balances the fruity and flint earthiness that have characterized Washington Chardonnay. Apple notes are common and depending on producer and appellation can range from flavors of Golden Delicious and Fuji to Gala and Jonathan. In Oregon, the introduction of Dijon clones from Burgundy has helped to adapt the grape to the Oregon climate and soils.
Fonte: Wikipedia