La vie est trop courte
pour boire du mauvais vin!
July 2020

As they say in France, "Life is too short to drink bad wine!" and now, more than ever this is especially true.

As a wine connoisseur, if you drank only French wines, I don't think that in one lifetime you could experience all that it has to offer.  The best bubbles, the best unoaked Chardonnays, the best G.S.M. blends, Bordeaux!, Burgundy!, Sancerre!....globally imitated, never duplicated!

We've featured a selection of wines below from ten distinctly different French regions to transport you through some of the best the country has to offer. Sip them while reading a novel set in the Mediterranean, or a film set in Paris. Enjoy them with your favourite French-inspired cuisine, or simply add cheese and charcuterie. Give yourself carte blanche to daydream. After all, that's what summer escapes are meant for. Santé!
Visit us on the web for the full portfolio of wines, and feel free to pass this along to anyone you know who loves French wines, or just needs wines delivered to their home. 

Domaine Luquet depuis 1878
Crémant de Bourgogne
Blanc de Blancs NV
$28.95 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
The Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy is a treasure trove of high quality Chardonnay at a fraction of the price of comparable wines found further north in the Côte-d'Or.  When this fruit is put through the "Champagne method" to produce sparkling wines the results can be incredible.  The Luquets have been farming here since 1878 and their Champagne method Blanc de Blancs is a gem! 

Whether you're snacking on popcorn or eating caviar off a pearl spoon, the Luquet Crémant de Bourgogne is up to the task.

"The best sparkling wines are made according to the Champagne method, by adding yeast and sugar to still wine and allowing it to referment in bottle under pressure to generate fine bubbles. That's the process used in this affordable 'crémant,' the French term for quality bubblies that come from outside the Champagne region. It's 100-per-cent chardonnay, also a key grape of Champagne. Bone-dry, it smells wonderfully of fresh-baked bread and displays a creamy texture that carries flavours suggestive of lemon curd on toasted baguette."
91 points, Beppi Crosariol, The Globe & Mail, May 2018
Click here for more on Domaine Luquet depuis 1878.

Champagne Delamotte Brut NV
$71.95 per 750ml bottle, cases of 6
If you'd prefer to drink real Champagne over Crémant, look no further than Delamotte's Brut Non-Vintage.  Approximately 55% Chardonnay with 35% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier, it is elegant yet intense, lighter on the palate than the flavours would suggest.  Simply a wonderful Champagne for any occasion.

"This wine is currently beating the pants off of most non-vintage Brut Champagnes from the region's major houses, so keep this up on your radar.  Straddling the line between light- and medium-bodied, it shows more aroma and flavor than one would expect from its "size," and though it is quite expressive and fully satisfying, there's still a classy sense of restraint that keeps this fresh and interesting for many sips on end.  A Platinum Award winner at the 2019 San Diego International Wine and Spirits Challenge."
94 points, Wine Review Online, April 2019

Click here for more on Champagne Delamotte.

Château de Maligny
Chablis "Carré de César" 2018
$33.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
$19.45 per 375ml bottle, cases of 12
Château de Maligny is the largest landowner in Chablis' Premier Cru vineyards.  Their home estate in Maligny is the former property of César of Vendome, natural son of King Henri IV, hence the name of their estate wine.

"Carré de César" is a classically structured Chablis that drinks well above its price tag.  In recent years the winery has experimented with increased use of mature barrels to age a small portion of this wine, and that technique softens the acidity just a little and brings forward the vivid fruit core.   
We think Carré de César is as good as many Premier Cru Chablis, but you'll have to try it for yourself to decide, so, shuck some oysters or grab the goat's cheese, and see if you agree!
Click here for more on Château de Maligny. 

Domaine de la Bretonniere
Sauvignon Blanc IGP Val de Loire 2019
$17.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
There seems to be two schools of Sauvignon Blanc;  the classic, beguiling Loire Valley versions, as we have here, and the flamboyant, tropical New World options that you get from New Zealand, Chile and California.   Both styles are excellent, but I am a bit old-school.  If you are too, Bretonniere's might be just the one for you.

Softer on the palate and less wild on the nose, this shows the French restraint and balance that one looks for in good Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. 

When I drink this I picture myself sitting in a Parisian bistro eating a Croque Madame with frites and mayo and watching the world go by.

Click here for more on Domaine de la Bretonniere.

Domaine Pellé
Sancerre "La Croix au Garde" 2018
$37.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
$22.99 per 375ml bottle, cases of 12

"Sancerre lovers and fans of rich white wines everywhere can rejoice [...] 2018 as one of the "most exceptional vintages" in the last 50 years"
Tom Hyland,, Dec 2019

Are you looking for an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc?  The 2018 has it all.  Single-vineyard terroir, an awesome vintage, and a highly skilled team that specializes in the grape.  Look no further!

"This is the Ingrid Bergman of Sancerres - ravishing, polished and effortlessly elegant. In great years, besides having perfect tension between acidity and fruit, the wine has a unique kind of purity and clarity, with absolutely vivid smokey/minerally flavours. Pellé himself was considered one of the masters of the Sauvignon Blanc grape, and now his family carries on, making wines that are highly admired."
Karen McNeil on Domaine Pellé, "The Wine Bible" (2016)

Click here for more on Domaine Pellé.

Domaine des Baumard
Savennieres "Clos de Saint-Yves" 2018 
$58.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 6

Domaine des Baumard
Savennieres "Clos de Saint-Yves" 2012  
$25.99 per 375ml bottle, cases of 12
"Florent Baumard is a brilliant winemaker. If he had been born a Californian, Burgundian or Bordelais, wealthy vineyard owners would be standing in line to employ his services as a consultant..."
Pierre Rovani on Domaine des Baumard, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

These Chenin Blancs are biodynamically farmed and hand-harvested from vines more than 30 years old in the Clos St. Yves vineyard on the slope of Savennières, between the prized vineyards Clos du Papillon and Roche aux Moines.

Multiple passes are made through the vineyard in order to pick grapes at perfect maturity. They are then whole-cluster pressed, fermented dry in stainless steel, and matured nine months on the lees before bottling.

Pure and crystalline while young, with notes of bitter almond, honeysuckle, pear, and driving minerality, top vintages of Clos St. Yves age for up to 20 years (!!) and emerge as spectacular mature white wines.
Click here for more on Domaine des Baumard.

Vignerons de Bel Air
Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2017
$24.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
Full disclosure - this is one of the best $25 Pinot Noirs I've tasted in recent memory....sorry, scratch that.  One of the best $25 Pinots I've ever tasted!

Gently dry and medium rich with clear dark cherry and earthen flavours, framed with soft tannin, then a rush of minerality in the finish.   If you want to have one red on hand for the summer, this should be the one.

"Beautiful garnet. Clean nose of red fruits recalling cherry. The palate is fleshy and fresh with more of the same crunchy aromas. A very approachable wine."
Gold, Gilbert & Gaillard, 2018

Click here for more on Vignerons de Bel Air.

Château Morillon
Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2015
$43.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
A new addition to the Rogers & Company catalogue, Château Morillon, comes to us by way of Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, which owns Château Bélair-Monange Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé (basically a "top three" winery in the appellation).  As well, J-P Moueix has exclusive distribution rights to over twenty eminent "right bank" châteaux. 

15.4 acres of vines more than 40 years old are planted on gently sloping clay soils, which are perfect for Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and the wines were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and concrete tanks, and then aged in French oak barriques for up to two years. The blend is 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc.

Saint-Émilions are the quintessential hedonistic red, satiny and rich, and long on the palate.  You can pair them with red or white meats, lots of cheeses, French Bistro fare, or if you're like me, just drink them all by themselves.
Click here for more on Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix.

Domaine Brusset
Côtes du Rhône Rouge "Laurent B." 2019
$21.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
Domaine Brusset's charming Côtes du Rhône is a staff favourite.  A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignane, and Mourvedre from stony, clay- and limestone-rich soil.  It is fermented in fibreglass lined tanks and goes straight into the bottle, no oak at all.

Don't overthink this one, I prefer it with a little chill and drink it out of a tumbler or stemless glass.   Its the go-to for burgers, gourmet dogs or wood fired pizza.

While the 2019 has yet to be reviewed, the 2018 received  88-90 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and the 2017 received 90, so you can be sure that the pedigree is good for the 2019, which was an excellent vintage in the region.

"The Côtes du Rhône Laurent B [...] sees no wood. It's medium-bodied, fresh and fruity, with cherry and blueberry fruit that's juicy, delicious and silky on the finish. "We're looking for drinkability," says Brusset."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate on Laurent B., October 2018

Click here for more on Domaine Brusset.

Clos Bellane
Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas Rouge 2017
$28.99 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
"Clos Bellane was purchased by Stephane Vedeau, of Ferme du Mont, in 2010. The estate covers 42 hectares, with a tiny 1.14 hectares in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wines are gorgeous." - Jeb Dunnuck on Clos Bellane, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, March 2016

A total steal - creamy yet fresh on the palate, with excellent texture and length. 

"A 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah, the 2017 Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas delivers notes of briny black olives and black cherries. Full-bodied, concentrated and creamy in texture, it finishes savory, lush and long. It's slightly more impressive than the 2016, as Syrah excelled in 2017."
92 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Nov 2018

"Peppery herbs, flowers, and mint as well as plenty of black (and some blue) fruits emerge from the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas. Based on 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah, it's medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, and balanced, with both richness and freshness."
90-92 points,, Aug 2018
Click here for more on Clos Bellane.

Château Mire l'Etang
La Clape Rouge 2017
$18.95 per 750ml bottle, cases of 12
Château Mire L'Etang's wines are remarkable for their sense of place, capturing viticulturally the essence of the limestone soils, the intense sunlight and cool Mediterranean breezes of France's southern coast.

Little-known outside of France, Château Mire l'Etang is held in high regard by France's Guide Hachette and has been twice awarded the Coup de Coeur, the publication's highest recommendation.

An inviting blend of Grenache and Syrah with structure and bold flavour to spare. It is deep, brilliant ruby red to the eye with a complex nose of garrigue (Mediterranean wild herbs) and intense red fruit. It is firm and silky on the palate with a powerful, spicy finish. A real "value" red in my opinion.

Click here for more on Château Mire l'Etang.

Chris McLean

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