A few weeks back I was contacted by Supertravel to see what I thought of an idea they had for offering a wine service for when people were skiing in their Chalets. They are working closely with Ronan Sayburn MW and French wine Merchants Le Verre Gourmand.
I had a couple of reactions. Firstly, it's quite flattering to be asked. Secondly, it's not really what this blog is about but then thirdly, what the hell. One of the reasons we (my family and I) drive when we go skiing is that I can take a case of wine and drink things I want to. Also we can take skis and endless things we don't really need but like to have with us. So as I love skiing and wine I thought why not agree to do a review and see what the the wines are like. So having had them shipped from France I drove them back there. So the wines:
Ugni Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2012 - Vin de France, artificial cork, 11.5%
Fresh pear and peachy nose, clean, crisp, fresh, the palate has more weight than I'd expect, possibly a little clumsy. Aromatic but with a slight sourness. Very refreshing and quaffable. Given the low alcohol I'd expect a little residual sweetness just to lift the palate. 14/20, decent.
Saumur Blanc 2012 "Eric Laurent" - La Case des Vignerons de Saumur, artificial cork, 12%.
Nice nose of green apples, aromatic with a crispness, quite "grapey" with a good high acidity, fresh but not just frivolous with some nice elegance and a bit of weight. Developed nicely over night, a nice wine. 16/20
Malbec 2012 - Vin de Pays d'Oc, artificial cork, 13%
A nice "pull n pour" wine. Primary red candied fruit with a dash of spice, mulled spices. Not bone dry, delicate for Malbec which is nice. The finish is medium in length with a dash of tannin. Very drinkable, not overly complex but very drinkable. 15/20
Cotes du Rhone 2012 - Domaine Les Grands Bois Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs, cork, 14%
Dark colour but transparent. Primary red fruit - red currant, almost cranberry but with a darker core, good fruit complexity. Little bit of grey pepper and some dryness from tannin. Best decanted or given time in the glass, a young wine. More a junior Chateunneuf-du-Pape than a fresh and fruity Cotes du Rhone. A good wine and good with the dishes you tend to find in Alpine areas. 16.5/20
The idea of having some good hand selected wines ready of you is a good one. There is no need, stylistically, to be too fussy, you want refreshing whites but mostly medium bodied reds that will go well with the rich warming dishes that often have a lot of cheese in them. I would say the balance is very much towards the reds so a mixed dozen needs to have 8 or 9 reds in there.