05 April 2013

Wine Tasting Notes; Chateau d'Angles Oorain-Victoria

Well balanced, fruit forward, supple tannins, dried figs, earthy.....

What does this gibberish mean to you? Seriously. This is the first post I've created to be about wine and what I'm tasting/drinking these days.

A little disclaimer before we proceed;
I hear the above comments everyday from wine salespeople and read many reviews online at various wine critic sites and what does it really mean to you? One of our key objectives at The Market when selling wine is to find a wine you might like to drink and sell it to you. I cannot stand a snippy little wine person that sniffs when you describe what you want. But I am also honest when I say, "live a little" there is an amazing world of wine out there that you may be surprised at what you like. The wine spectrum does not culminate at "I only drink red". Why? When it's 90 degrees in Michigan I cannot think of anything more repulsive than a heavy, high alcohol, red wine. Even our Italian winemakers will throw red wine to chill during the hot weather or drink a lovely dry rose. Hmmmm. I am not judgmental when it comes to wine. I like all types of wine because each is made to represent something special and work with certain foods, temperatures, etc.

The other main point I would like to make is this; there is tasting and there is drinking....these are not the same things. The next time you attend some wine tasting, I urge you to discover possibilities. Is it possible that the wine you're sampling might be amazing with dessert? Or fish? Or sitting by the fire? Or relaxing on the patio? Why do I like it? Why do I not like it? This analytical tasting will create more success for you in purchasing/drinking and knowing what you do/don't like in wines.

I do not mean this to be a critique of wine but simply a fun description and what I'm experiencing. By no means am I an expert in wine, I simply taste.


This wine caught my eye in one of my distributor's catalogs for 3 reasons, it is made by Eric Fabre who was Technical Director at Ch√Ęteau Lafite Rothschild (oh yes, that means winemaker), it comes from one of my personal favorite wine regions of France (la Clape which is now an AOC) and it is red wine made with Maple Syrup. Weird. (#4; and it has a really cool label)

Mainly Syrah (shiraz) with a bit of Grenache and about 10% Maple Syrup (French spelling maple sirop). How can this be? And it's only 13% alcohol so it's not fortified like a Port. After reading a bit of background, it's a collaboration between Fabre and Oorain brands Victoria, a chocolate and confections maker from France.

I was actually quite surprised upon tasting that this wine isn't very sweet. It's more of a concentrated fruit style wine with lots of dried fig notes, distinct maple syrup flavors mid-palatte that disappear quickly and some tannins (that dry feeling) that give the whole wine structure and interest. It's nice and earthy like I expected from this region, yet elegant. The overall impression is rich flavor, a bit velvety and a great lingering taste. I like it very much. I also like the fact that it has some staying power once opened (I opened it the day before I had the flu and 7 days later its still very nice. I would drink this wine as an aperitif, in place of dessert or with a rich oozing chocolate dessert. It would also be incredibly lovely with a cheese plate. Stinky French cheeses of course :)

If you're interested in trying a bottle of your own, give me a call at The Market 517.423.6000 and we can special order it for you. The going price is going to be around $34, so not cheap, but far from expensive given the quality and interesting nature. Being an 06 vintage I think it's best to be drunk now, but I'm not great at determining cellaring, I think the color looks a bit off of garnet and that's usually a decent observation as to how long lasting it will be. (there are tons of online experts to help with that!)

Have a great weekend...and drink some fun wine!!

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