Ask Chuck

Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Three Wines That Will "Knock Your Socks Off"

 Tasting New Wine 
Always a lesson and many times a surprise, tasting new wine that I had not the pleasure of  doing so previously can be so surprising. This week I visited The Case For Wine Agency in Pickering. Three wines awaited me----all from France and all with exceptional quality/price ratios. Trust me, if you happen to get a chance to taste these wines and like them-----make sure you buy more than just a couple since I am sure that once "discovered" they will fly off the shelves. 


(Note: Doudet's wine will not be released in Ontario until January 2023 However both of the wines are available via the SAQ if you happen to be in Quebec----Vive La Quebec!!)                                                                                      
Founded in 1849 by Albert Brenot of  Savigny-les-Beaune, this Burgundy Maison is now headed by Christophe Rochet of the Doudet family which purchased it in 1933! Determined to produce wines through valued techniques and practices, Doudet-Naudin has holdings throughout Burgundy and Southern France.
Both the Doudet-Naudin wines that I tasted are of the Vins de France designation and come from the Aude River Valley located between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean. The region was once part of the Languedoc-Roussilon which is now under the name of Occitanie.   
The Aude Valley is a superb scenic region that is part of the winding Aude River. It is full of ancient castles and geographic formations. 
Doudet-Naudin Chardonnay    2021                   Price: $17.95      Points: 94/100
Colour: Clear, Lemon-Yellow
Nose: Citrus,  apple, peach, pear,  touch of Butter, vanilla
Plate: Silky smooth mouth feel, stone fruit, light to medium body, pleasant acidity and clean finish.
Pairing: Light meat, pasta with cream sauce, prosciutto, grilled vegetables, salmon, chowder. Excellent on its own!
Comments: Don't let the Vins de France designation fool you. This is a first class wine for the money! It is aged in stainless steel and  15% of final blend is aged in barrel. 
Doudet-Naudin Pinot Noir       2021                     Price: $17.95     Points: 92/100
Colour: Red, Clear
Nose: Cherry, raspberry, blackberry, earth, forest, floor, vanilla wood and floral violet
Palate: Medium body, fresh fruit flavour, pleasant tannin, smooth clean finish.
Pairing: Pork, chicken, light meat
Comments: A good Pinot based on price. Aged in stainless steel tanks with part of the blend being aged in barrel. Well worth the price! 
Chateau Vaugelas   2019      Vintages # 154617      Price:$15.95    Points: 94/100 
This wine comes from the same general area as Doudet-Naudin (Occitanie formerly Languedoc-Roussilon). The winery is in  a historic area in the centre of Corbierres. The vineyards were introduced by the   Greeks in the 2nd Century BC and further developed by the Cistercian Monks. Vineyards rose prominently in the 18th century and this was furthered by the organization of producers was established in 1923 and Corbierres joined the AOC classification in 1985. Chateau Vaugelas is owned by the Vinobles Bonfils!
Grape Blend: Syrah (40%), Grenache (30%), Carignan (27%), Mourvedre (3%)   
Colour: Dark red, clear
Nose: Dark fruit, cherry, blackberry, fig, vanilla, jam and a touch of chocolate
Palate: Medium plus body, fruity, pleasant tannin, integrated acidity and long finish 
Pairing: Red meat (burgers, steak, roast beef, filet mignon), roast turkey, venison 
Comments: Certainly a super wine at this price. It will develop well over the next five to ten years. I was tempted to give this wine a 95 points based on the price but 94 says it all about this super wine. If you haven't got it yet, I would certainly suggest you grab some asap. Once discovered this wine will be gone at that price! 

France has continued in its march to produce some fine wine at great prices. One does not need to break the bank to enjoy wine and food. Let's just hope that the fortunes of Europe will swing around to the positive in the next few years concerning climate change. Meanwhile try these wines!