For July there is one word that describes the month – France. After much planning and longing it was finally time for our two week road trip to France and visits to Champagne, Paris, Normandy, Brittney, Loire, Burgundy and Alsace.
During those two weeks I learned immensely about French wines, the wine makers and how proud they are of their work. I also got try some amazing wines and hear the story of the wine straight from the winemaker’s mouth. I had also forgotten what lovely country France actually is. My French is so and so, but I do understand a lot more than I can speak. I’m sure I’m shocked some people with replying in English, but what to do when I understand but don’t know the correct word.
To point out a special highlight of the trip is tricky. Most everything was fantastic. But I guess our first dinner in France and Champagne will always be remembered. In Champagne we stayed at L’Assiette Champenoise in Tinqueux just outside Reims. The restaurant is headed by Chef Arnaud Lallement and has two Michelin stars. Needless to say we were in for a treat when having dinner. As aperitif a glass of Krug Grand Cuveé and then 10 amazing courses with both new and old flavours honouring Chef Lallement’s father. To drink with the food? Champagne of course. 2004 Dom Pérignon and NV Henri Giraud Esprit Brut, which matched the food perfectly. We ended the meal around midnight with sitting on the terrace savouring on coffee and a digestif.
Another stay we most likely always will remember was in Montbazon outside Tours in Loire where we stayed at Domaine de la Tortinière for one night. A very charming Loire chateau turned into a boutique hotel. On the hottest day and night of the year (sweltering +37) we had a late night dinner on the terrace overlooking the valley of river Indre. As the moon came up we feasted on tomato jello with mozzarella bubbles, grilled tuna, plenty of cheeses and profiteroles. And being in Loire, we of course had a marvellous Sauvignon Blanc - Xavier Weisskopf 2011 Le Rocher des Violettes La Négrette from just Amboise area just an hour away.
2012 Graham Beck Chardonnay Viognier
2008 Rotari Rosé
2007 Masi Amarone Costasera
2010 Jacobsdal Pinotage
2011 Biecher Riesling
2012 Sancerre Les Baronnes Rosé
2008 Domaine Guy & Yvan Dufouleur Fixin 1er Cru "Clos du Chapitre" Monopole
2012 Minuty Rose
2012 Le Rosé de Mouton Cadet
2012 Les Restanques du Moulin Bandol Rosé
2012 Mommessin Bourgogne Aligote
2010 Crozes Hermitage Les Jalets Paul Jaboulet
2011 Xavier Weisskopf Le Rocher des Violettes La Négrette
2010 Domaine Champy Pernad-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles
2010 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Enfants Terribles AA Aegerter
2007 Chateau de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2006 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée Margot
2012 Couly-Dutheil Domaine Rene Couly
NV Couly-Dutheil Brut de Franc Rosé