Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir 1999
Pinot Noir from France
The Domaine de Valmoissine is located on the site of the ancient monastery and university of Valmoissine at 500 metres above sea-level which guarantees sunshine during the summer months whilst remaining cool and limits the possibility of spring frosts. The ideally exposed south-facing vineyards bring the grapes to maturity at the same time as our Corton Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy. They are entirely hand-picked before being fermented in stainless steel open-vats for a short period of 3-4 days. Pigeage will take place 2-3 times a day to extract colour and tannins. The wine is then matured in old oak casks from Maison Louis Latour's cooperage in Beaune in which the wines flavours and aromas develop naturally, and harmonise with the mellow wood flavours of the oak. The style of this wine resembles Burgundy's classical 'Vin Vermeil' that the first Louis Latour was producing at the end of the 18th century. Elegance and finesse packed with fruit, and a vivid 'vermeil' or bright red colour. Bottled after 8 months of maturation, it can be drunk with pleasure only a year after having been made. The resurrection of this style of wine already has a dedicated following.
Maison Louis Latour Winery
1997 marked the bicentenary of Maison Louis Latour. There has been a Louis Latour at the company for seven generations. Originally from the village of Aloxe Corton, the Latour family acquired a large domaine as well as the Chateau Corton Grancey in the 19th century. Chateau Corton Grancey is surrounded by the vineyards of Corton.
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About Other French
Vin de Pays
(vahn duh peh-YEE)
One of the lower levels in the French Classification system, Vin de Pays is an intermediary wine, created for vineyards who were not quite AC, but vastly superior to Vin de Table wine. Vin de Pays has restrictions similar to the AC, but on a lesser scale. Regulations include specified region, minimum alcohol level and grape varieties. The wine also goes through a tasting panel. Some winemakers able to make wine at an AC level, instead choose to create wine at the Vin de Pays level as it allows more flexibility in grape varieties and yields. There are five regional Vin de Pays, with the most popular being Vin Pays d'Oc (from Languedoc & Roussillon). Vin de Pays wines offer wonderful value and good wine finds.
About France - Other regions
When 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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.