Give a Little Touche Française to your Holiday #Winophiles

vignobles et signatures champagne drappierTis’ the season. And this this month it’s about four wines that will give a little French touch to your holiday season.

Holiday clues are everywhere. Streets and store windows are decorated and all those holiday decisions are upon us, especially when it comes to wine and food. And Le Club Vignobles & Signatures is helping the #Winophiles with wine selections. Through travels, cooking experiences, and a little research we’re ramping up this French-style season with wine choices and food pairings to please any palate.

We teamed up with Le Club Vignobles & Signatures (Club V&S) and Vinconnexion pulling a range of wines from various French areas. This group of wineries established in 1984 represents most French wine regions as leaders. Red, white, champagne, and other types of wine and spirits, everyone can find something to like this season. We are thankful for their generosity supplying wine samples to many #Winophiles! Scroll down for more French wine, food pairings, recipes and tips from other #Winophiles.

vignobles et signatures le club

Members of Le Club Vignobles & Signatures

Who Is Le Club Vignobles & Signatures? In brief:

  • 17 domains / family businesses, “haute couture” wines
  • 1,600 hectares of vineyards with 11 million bottle annual production
  • Alsace, Rhone, Beaujolais, Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Champagne, Chablis, Loire, Juraçon, Languedoc-Roussillon, Bas-Armagnac, Calvados
  • Camaraderie and solidarity between vintners and the love of a job well done

Season With A French Wine Touch

It’s easy for me to immerse myself in everything French. And that’s what I’ve done this month with help from the following four wineries. Disclosure: All wines were provided as samples. I received no compensation for this article and all opinions are my own.

Take me to the Jurançon with Domaine Cauhapé

Domaine Cauhapé in the Juraçon

Cauhapé is considered the benchmark estate of Jurançon in southwest France in the foothills of the Pyrenees south of Bordeaux. This is their Camaralet vineyard in foreground.

Jurançon production is 99% white and it’s the sweeties that made a name for the area. Cauhapé makes them but was one of the first to produce Jurançon sec (dry style) using a combination of Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Corbu, and historical grape varieties Camaralet and Lauzet. They pair nicely with aged and goat cheeses, mushrooms, grilled seafood, and white meats. But for the holidays, Cauhapé Sales Manager Pierre Simonet shared a favorite holiday pairing with Jurançon sec: smoked salmon appetizer. Here is a recipe video

Domaine Cauhapé 2017 Chant des Vignes – Jurançon Sec – $16

Domaine Cauhapé Jurancon sec gros manseng

 

60% Gros Manseng, 40% Camaralet

These lesser known grapes produce a refreshing citrusy wine with oat hay and light honeysuckle. Bone-dry and bright, balanced acidic structure, and medium body it’s a super alive glass of wine. We started our evening sipping but found it shined with food.

jurancon sec Domain Cauphape smoked salmon crudites food pairingSimple Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Crudités – the acid in the wine cuts through the fatty richness of the salmon while bright crème fraîche compliments it.

Find this wine through the following distributors:

Domain Cauhapé Website  |  Twitter: @domain_cauhape

Head To Alsace Valley With Domaine Paul BLANCK & Fils

Considered an Alsace ambassador, Domain Paul Blanck is north of Colmar in the picturesque town Kientzheim. Interesting to note 60% of the wines utilize screw cap closure to guarantee quality and 90% of their vineyards are organically farmed. They are a vigneron independent, meaning they are smaller and grow all their own grapes, similar to a grower champagne producer.

Domaine Paul Blanck Rosenbourg Riesling 2017 – $18

Domain Paul Blanck Alsace Rosenbourg RieslingThe wine presents slightly more body from spending 6-months in large barrels on lees. Lively, lime pith, wet stone and white blossom aromas; dry with a refreshing lime and crushed stone taste that lingers. I could sip on this wine all night, enjoy it with aperitifs, or even the roasted bird that often graces holiday tables. Outside of the holidays, it could pair with many things all year.

Find this wine through the following distributors:

Domain Paul Blanck Website  |  Instagram @philblanc68  |  Twitter @DomaineBlanck

Dramatic Pic Saint Loup and Domaine de l’Hortus

Between two distinctive peaks in the Languedoc – Montagne de l’Hortus and the Pic St Loup- you’ll find Famille Orliac since 1970. Here terrain and climate change becoming rugged. Transitioning from warmer coastal plains to the higher and cooler inland plateau means a variety of micro-climates. And this is where the Syrah grape is showcased in blends and most the soil has some form of limestone.

Domain de l'Hortus Pic Saint Loup Languedoc France wine

Domain de l’Hortus against the Hortus

L’Hortus de Bergerie 2017 Classique – Pic Saint Loup AOP (Languedoc) – $15

domaine de l'hortus bergerie rouge 2017 pic saint loup aop60% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache – Hortus Syrah is on cooler, northeast-facing slopes under the Pic Saint Loup peak. Most of the wine aged 8-months in stainless steel tanks with a small portion in 2-year old oak barrels.

Clean, fairly subdued aromas grew as the wine sat: red and darker berries with a dusty quality (think the smell of a dusty trail in the wild west!), hints of licorice, pain d’epices, and savory caramel taffy in the background. Lower acidity than I though it would present, more upfront young but fine tannins, an overall balanced and versatile wine.

cassoulet french languedoc food Poultry, fowl, meats and sausages are common French items in varying renditions.

North of Montpellier in Languedoc where Hortus is located Cassoulet makes an appearance. Perhaps not a specific holiday item but certainly a fabulous choice when the cooler season sets in- you can’t get more French than Cassoulet!

This Cassoulet rendition with less beans and chunky carrots and potatoes is my pairing choice for the cooler winter season with Hortus Bergerie Rouge.

Find this wine at these distributors:

Domaine de l’Hortus Website  |  Instagram @domainedelhortus

Champagne Drappier Brut Nature, Blanc de Noir – $57

Located south of Epernay, east of Troyes in the Côte de Bar region (within the Aube) were Pinot Noir dominates – this bottle is 100% Pinot Noir!

champagane drappier brut nature pinot noir

Not a newcomer (founded in 1808), here are some things you might not know about Champagne Drappier:

  • Known for minimal sulfite use and low quantities of dosage
  • Michael Drappier, his father and one of his children are allergic to sulfites
  • Their primary grape is pinot noir
  • They work with all allowed champagne grapes including the lesser know varieties Arbane, Petit Meslier and Blanc Vrai
  • Have a strong focus on organic methods and a portion of their vineyards is organic
  • First producer to release sulfite-free champagne
  • First carbon neutral producer in Champagne
  • Use 90% recycled glass and 75% of their electricity is sourced from solar panels!
  • Considered a smaller (compared to the big champagne houses) yet large producer.

About This Champagne

Full and pure, clean and sleek, quince and peach give way to red and black berry juice and a hint of yeasty toast. Higher acid makes gives it an assertive, fresh and direct palate that’s dry without being overly so. This combo makes it a perfect winter Champagne and a natural match for oysters and shellfish, both are plentiful on French holiday tables. However Mark and I enjoy it anytime of the year.

You can find this Champagne via Dreyfus Ashby . Purchase in California at K & L Wines.

Champagne Drappier Website  |  Instagram @champagne_drappier

The #Winophiles Bring You A French-Style Season December 15th

We hope you’ll join us on Twitter for a discussion about having a French-style holiday season using the hashtag #winophiles — 8am PT – 11ET – 17:00h France

22 thoughts on “Give a Little Touche Française to your Holiday #Winophiles

  1. Robin Bell Renken

    What a brilliant piece! I loved learning about Le Club Vignobles et Signatures . And your photos and details on each of the wines gave me great insight into each region and winery. Thank you also for all the details on pricing and distributors!
    Have a wonderful Holiday! And thank you for putting all of this together!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      They are really a great group of vignerons, Le Club V&S. Glad the info is helpful. A very happy holiday to you Robin!

      Reply
  2. Camilla Mann

    Brilliant! Thanks for hosting this month and for challenging us to think about French holiday style. I can’t wait to share pairings for the other wines, but that Champagne was fantastic!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Glad you had fun Cam! I look forward to your notes on the other wines, and especially your pairings… you always have great food 😉

      Reply
  3. Michelle Williams

    Wonderful, Lynn. Thank you for hosting this month. All the posts are so great. And the rest of the wines look awesome. I love your pairings.

    Reply
  4. Lauren Walsh

    So cool that you have had a chance to meet and get to know some of these vignerons! And even more cool that you secured samples for the group. I am going to seek out a few of these bottles when I get to NYC on Monday – they will be perfect for sipping over the next few weeks. Thanks for hosting, Lynn, and happy holidays to you and Mark.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      It’s a large group of #winophiles this month! I’m thrilled the V&S group wanted to work with us, it’s been a fun few years getting to know some of them and others. I hope (and bet) you can find some of these bottles, all great value.

      Reply
  5. Deanna

    Those smoked salmon crudites look so cute! Really nice pairing. It looks like an interesting wine that I’ve not seen before.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      The best thing about the crudites, they are super easy Deanna. If you like Sauv Blanc I think you will like this wine from Domaine Cauhapé as very fun alternative.

      Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Oh great Liz, it’s always nice to taste new wines. Enjoyed your article and great wine descriptions. Look forward to more engagement in the future!

      Reply
  6. Pingback: Frenchify Your Festivities with Fun Wines from France! #Winophiles – What's in that Bottle?

  7. Jane

    Lynn what an absolutely fun theme, “French Style Season.” Thank you for the informative background on the Le Club Vignobles & Signatures and the wines supplied by them. I know I could live the “French Style” life and get rather dreamy after each month of the French #winophiles! Happy Holidays!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      It did end up being a fun theme, the topic got everyone thinking indeed! So much fun participating with the group each month.

      Reply
  8. Allison Wallace

    What a fantastic article Lynn! The only one of these i’ve had before is the Drappier so appreciate your notes on the others too. We were disappointed to miss this topic this month but hope to jump in with both feet in the New Year :).

    Reply
  9. Casey

    Yum! I’m incredibly thirsty and hungry after reading this. I’d love to try them all. You’ve inspired me to seek out some French wine this month now, thank you!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Hope you’re able to find some of these, and those the other #winophiles wrote about Casey! The good think about these- they won’t break the bank yet are high on quality and flavor.

      Reply
  10. Jeff

    Lynn, thanks so much for connecting us with the Vignobles & Signatures group and Vinconnexion. I was surprised and pleased to see we’ve visited a couple of the wineries already. Now I’m ready to expand that list on our next trip!

    Reply
  11. David

    Fun to read about the wines you enjoyed! Only one we tried was the Drappier Champagne, and got some interesting facts about it here from you too. Merci!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks for participating David. Drappier is certainly doing some interesting things, and making very nice bubbles!

      Reply

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