Le Grand Noir Chardonnay 2014
Great by itself or to accompany all fish and white meat dishes. Will work well with oriental foods as well.
Blend: 85% Chardonnay, 15% Viognier
Robert Joseph is author of 27 books on wine, including French Wines, Bordeaux and its Wines and The Complete Encyclopedia of Wine. He also founded the International Wine Challenge and built it into the world’s biggest wine competition. He was described by Decanter Magazine as one of the 50 people who would influence wine drinking in the 21st century.
Hugh Ryman was one of the first “flying winemakers” and has made wine in 10 countries, winning numerous awards. His experience gives him a uniquely broad view of the 21st Century wine world. Hugh lives in Bordeaux and in Bergerac where he owns the Chateau de la Jaubertie and loves the terroirs of France.
Labels from Kevin Shaw, devised at his Stranger & Stranger studio have helped to boost sales of wines and spirits ranging from Hendricks Gin to Michel Rolland's Clos de Siete. He is a devoted wine lover himself, with a cellar full of eclectically chosen bottles from both the New and Old World.
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.