La Violette 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
The Wine Advocate - "Fashioned from yields of 18 hectoliters per hectare with 13.5% natural alcohol, the opaque ruby-hued 2008 exhibits tell-tale floral notes intertwined with raspberries, sweet black cherries, licorice and cassis. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and strikingly pure as well as multilayered, the 2008, despite its precociousness, will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 20-25 years. It is one of the top successes of the vintage."
Wine Spectator - "This is ripe and filled in, with plum sauce, warm currant paste and cherry preserve flavors all wrapped together and carried by the plush, velvety finish. There's a modern kiss of toast on the back end. Nicely done."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Superripe aromas of blackberry and licorice. Fat, lush and sweet, with excellent depth of texture. Wonderfully layered, large-scaled, utterly seamless wine, yet I found myself wishing for some more floral high notes. Will give great early pleasure."
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La Violette Winery
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It's a tiny region, and it has no classification system. But the wines produced from Pomerol can be sensuous and life-changing. Here lies Chateau Pétrus, one of the most expensive and sought-after wines of the world – many vintages commanding prices higher than the first-growth chateaux of the Médoc. The area is all vines, with no real town center, just roads connecting the lands and small, farmhouse style chateaux.
Soils in the area are primarily gravel based, intermittent with a clay subsoil, which is a factor in the rich flavors of the wines. Like its right bank neighbors, Pomerol sticks mainly to Merlot, with at least 2/3 of the land under vine growing the variety. Cabernet Franc makes up most of the remainder, with some Cabernet Sauvignon and a spot or two of Malbec. Vines are old and yields are extremely low – add those factors to the soil, and it's a recipe for an elegant, distinctive wine, with typical descriptors of intense aromas, ripe fruits and supple tannins. Quality can be vintage-dependent - in a good vintage, expect melt-in-your-mouth wine.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.