Tag Archives: France

The Vincast with Ben Haines from Mount Langi Ghiran

Ben Haines wasn’t sure what he wanted to do as a career, but his father sensed that the wine industry would be a great option. After studies and experience in viticulture, he discovered that quality doesn’t stop once the grapes are harvested, it continues all the way through to bottling. Postgraduate studies in winemaking lead him on a career path that would include vintage experiences overseas, and eventually led he was appointed chief winemaker at famed Grampians estate, Mount Langi Ghiran. Ben spoke about his journey on this episode of The Vincast.

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Ben Haines from Mount Langi Ghiran

Ben Haines from Mount Langi Ghiran

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The Vincast with Emma Bentley

Emma Bentley is an English-born, Paris-based International Winery Consultant. During her varied career in the wine industry – mostly based in either France or the UK – she gradually began to find an affinity with natural wine producers, particularly those from Italy. She made the bold decision to offer her services to these wineries in helping them grow their business and educate trade and consumers in the intricacies of their terroir and traditions. She joined me on this episode of The Vincast to share her story.

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Emma Bentley

Emma Bentley

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Domaine Catherine & Pierre Breton – an Intrepid Wine Tasting

Catherine & Pierre Breton farm 11 hectares of vines organically and biodynamically, just outside of Bourgeuil in the middle-Loire Valley. They produce Chinon & Bourgeuil wines from cabernet franc, and some Vouvray from chenin blanc as well. All the estate was founded in 1982, they introduced organic viticulture in 1991 and biodynamics in 1994. The wines are being imported by George McCullough Imports, who I bought these bottles from and am happy to share my notes.

La Dilettante Vouvray 2014
Creamy pithy melons leesy pear, quince tart, oxidative vanilla. Warm apple pie, some savoury custard notes, fresh but not crunchy, quite creamy in texture.

La Ritournelle Bourgueil Rosé 2014
Sharp stalky savoury celery tomato leaf herbs, raspberries. Brisk and tight, nice crunchy tannins, fresh and focused, compelling and delicious savoury rosé.

Avis de Vin Fort Bourgueil 2014 Clairet
On the funky side, raw wild stinky, very vibrant aromatically, sour plums, blackberries and middle eastern spices. Crunchy again, darker but lighter in style, some earthy black fruit expressions, a fresh but wild finish.

Nuits d’Ivresse Bourgueil 2013
Black olive tapenade, syrupy balsamic, black cherries, wild herbal notes, brambles. Crunchy fresh, dancing tannins, wild acids, oxidative savoury bitter almonds.

Les Perrieres Bourgueil 2011
Dark pomegranate blackberry sour blood plums, earthy undergrowth, sweet carob notes. Soft but tight, lithe light crunchy, broad and mellow on the back, very long, dense but lively.

Domaine Breton wines

Domaine Breton wines

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Domaine Brendan Tracey – an Intrepid Wine Tasting

Brendan Tracey originally hails from New Jersey in the U.S.A. but went to high school in France, and moved to Paris in 1981 to work as a DJ on a new radio station. After a career in radio spanning 27 years, he decided to throw it all in and study winemaking. In 2009 he apprenticed with Loire Valley legend Thierry Puzelat who no doubt influenced his wines, as they are of minimal-intervention style. Based in Saint-Anne he makes a range of Vin de France wines in his garage from organically-farmed grapes. The wines are imported in Australia by George McCullough Imports.

Rue de la Soif 2013
Sour lime warheads, sherbet, salted almonds, quince and nashi pear. Very fresh light bright, intense fruit acids, citrus and peach, nice energy, crisp and good bite, excellent and vibrant.

Rouge 2013
A bit stinky, funky raspberries, sour cherries, earthy dried meats, dried florals. Juicy crunchy fresh, nice bite of pomegranate cherry raspberry tomato, lithe focused all through the mid palate, crisp clean finish. Surprising!

Gorge Seiche 2014
More intense darker fruits still vibrant, bitter dark chocolate, some dried mushrooms, sweat breads. Bold darker fruits, all in the mid palate, some hints of barrel, sweetness of salted caramel. Juicy but still very fresh and delicious!

Brendan Tracey wines

Brendan Tracey wines

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Domaine Matin Calme 2013 wines – an Intrepid Tasting

Véronique Souloy and Anthony Guix established this estate in the French region of Roussillon in 2006. with the oldest vines on the estate they purchased around 100 years old. The vineyards are located at 450 metres above sea level, with soil consisting of granite, schist and gneiss. The viticulture is certified organic, and the winemaking has little to no intervention, from spontaneous fermentations to avoiding the addition of SO2. The wines are imported in Australia by George McCullough Imports.

Ose 2013 (grenache blanc, carignan blanc, muscat petit grains, maccabeu)
Cloudy amber colour, with some sediment. Oxidative sherbet sour apricot, a hint of a fairy floss floral sugar note. Light slightly chewy, bitter almond funk on the back of the palate, raw wild porcini. Lacking a bit of definition, varietal fruit character and sense of place, but fresh vibrant textural in nature, generous and good acidity.

Mano a Mano 2013 (60% grenache, 40% carignan)
Dark raspberry colour with some haze. Quite vibrant fruits, pomegranate bitter cocoa, black cherries, dried violets and jasmine. Tight sinewy lithe tannins, a bit of bite but a generous finish, mealy rawness on the back but not pretty or too funky, nice energy and drive, happily take another glass.

Monica Mariet 2013 (60% grenache, 40% carignan)
Slightly darker colour but still bright with less haze. Darker fruits, black olives, a lot wilder gamier and funkier, showing some brett notes. Soft and round on the palate, nice fresh dark fruits in the mid palate, hints of earth and cumin, slightly dirtier texture but fairly clean finish. Possibly could open up a bit more, showing some reduction notes.

Domaine Matin Calme 2013 wines

Domaine Matin Calme 2013 wines

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The Vincast with Alex Byrne from Byrne Wines & Noisy Ritual

Originally born in Ballarat, Alex discovered an interest in wine helping a childhood friend in his family winery for harvest one year. He then worked vintages in numerous regions and countries, before returning to Australia and commencing employment at Lethbridge Wines in Geelong. Here he started playing around with his own wines, quickly getting some attention for himself with the Byrne Wines brand. More recently he launched Noisy Ritual with some friends. Noisy Ritual is an urban winery that allows people to become members and work together to make wine that they can then enjoy with their friends and family.

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Alex Byrne

Alex Byrne

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The Vincast Episode with Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

Gilles Lapalus was “born in a barrel”, as wine is in his family in the Burgundy region of France. After working for many years in different roles he took a trip to the furthest place he could think of, Australia. It was here that he was not only introduced to the “new world” of wine, but also his partner. Gaining experience in South and North America, he pursued further projects in France and Italy before he was lured back to Australia and became the winemaker at Sutton Grange just outside Melbourne. During his tenure he introduced many elements to the brand, and also launched a vermouth to a thirsty Melbourne bar scene.

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Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

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The Vincast with David LeMire MW from Shaw + Smith & La Linea

David LeMire started his career in wine similar to how I did; working in a wine shop while studying at university. He gained experience working for Oddbins in the UK, and whilst there he was introduced to the Master of Wine via his studies of the WSET. Upon returning to Australia, he spent ten years working for Negociants in sales and exports, and during this period became a Master of Wine. Since 2010 he was worked with Australia’s first MW (Michael Hill-Smith) at Shaw + Smith in the Adelaide Hills. He also has been involved with his own wine project La Linea, and the wine bar Mothervine in Adelaide.

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David LeMire MW

David LeMire MW

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The Vincast with Damon Koerner from Koerner Wines

On part-two of this special episode of The Vincast, I chat with Damon Koerner. Damon’s family have been growing grapes in the Clare Valley in South Australia for many years, and have their own vineyard in Watervale. Damon and his younger brother have recently started to make wine under the Koerner brand, drawing on Damon’s extensive experience in vineyards & wineries all over the world, and his degree from the University of Adelaide. Make sure to listen to Part A of this episode to hear from Josh Cooper from Cobaw Ridge.

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Koerner Wines

Koerner Wines

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The Vincast with Josh Cooper from Cobaw Ridge

On part-one of this special episode of The Vincast, I’m joined by Josh Cooper. Josh’s family established Cobaw Ridge in the Macedon Ranges the same year he was born, at a time when growing grapes for wine was pretty risky in such a cool climate. They found great success with their wines, particularly after converting to biodynamics. Josh spent time studying viticulture and winemaking at Adelaide University, and in the past few years has not stopped, working vintages in Australia and Europe. Recently he has started a few local projects of his own, making some left-of-centre styles that are turning a few heads.

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Josh Cooper Wines

Josh Cooper Wines

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