A stylish selection
Rebecca Evans rounds up the wines to look out for at this year's France Under One Roof tasting, taking place in both London and Manchester
This year's France Under One Roof tasting - which gives the drinks trade the chance to taste wines from the UK's leading specialist French importers - will take place in both London (March 19) and Manchester (March 17) for the first time. London's event will feature a Snapshot Tasting - a mini tasting within a tasting. All exhibitors are invited to submit wines and a selection is made to illustrate the breadth and diversity of styles available from France. Some 80 wines will aim to illustrate the "best available for both value and quality at £6 and above".
New exhibitors in 2008 include respected wine writer Robert Joseph, who will showcase his two new projects, Chantovent - Groupe Jean d'Alibert and Hugh, Kevin and Robert.
Boutinot is launching three wines : Bordeaux Classique Margaux and Sauternes 2005, plus Côtes du Roussillon Villages, which is a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend. Alsace co-operative Cave de Turckheim will show the 2007 vintage of its premium Pinot Grigio, following its successful launch in 2006. Pierre Chainier will present Clos du Nouys, Château de Poce and its leading Première Loire range. Cave de Tain will also be present with its latest range from the Northern Rhône. Finally, the award -winning Chat-en-Oeuf brand will unveil the rosé addition to the range.
Organic wines and rosé will be under the spotlight at the Provence Wines stand. Eighteen wineries from across the three AOC s - Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux Varois en Provence - will be showing a total of 32 wines, including the new 2007 vintage.
Maison Louis Jadot will showcase a pair of en primeur wines from the 2006 vintage at Hatch Mansfield's stand. The first wine, making its UK debut in 2008, is Beaune 1er Cru Avaux, and the second is Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Clos de la Croix de Pierre. A new screwcapped Pinot Noir rosé will be on show, sourced from the 2007 vintage. Jadot will be showing a broad range from its portfolio of more than 150 Burgundies.
Castel will be showing a snapshot of its range with a focus on its newly-launched brand Castel Family wines - a collection featuring different grape varieties and regions from all over France. The range includes Merlot from Bordeaux, sourced from a single vineyard. Other wines in the collection are a Grenache/Syrah from the Côtes du Rhone, Syrah from the Languedoc and rosé from Provence. The range also includes a selection of single varietal wines from the south of France. Also on show will be new vintages of the Cachet range (white, red and rosé). Launched last year, Cachet was created with creative and strategic input from Neil Tully MW at Amphora and Lynne Whitaker of Winebrand. UK wine consultants Allan Cheesman and Robert Joseph were also brought in to work with group winemaker Cédric Jenin, to create a style of wine aimed at the UK consumer.
Freixenet will be showing Yvon Mau's red, white and rosé Bordeaux wines, as well as the 2007 vintage of Maison Mau - a range of quality Vins de Pays with stylish, consumer-friendly packaging. As well as three family-run estates - Château Brown, Château Ducla and Château Preuillac - Yvon Mau has exclusive partnerships, working closely with more than 80 ch ateaux covering 1,000 h a of vines across the Bordeaux appellations.
Plaimont will be focusing on three key brands : Florenbelle, 1907 and Rive Haute. Florenbelle is made at Gers' leading co-operative Plaimont. The range consists of a white (70 per cent Colombard, 30 per cent Ugni Blanc), a Tannat-dominated red and a rosé, (also a Tannat -based blend). Key brand 1907 is the culmination of efforts from individual growers from Gascony as well as Plaimont to create one Madiran wine. The new vintages of the Rive Haute regional labels will be shown for the first time specifically for the independent trade. A Saint -Mont red, white and rosé and a Madiran will be included.
HwCg will showcase a number of new wines and vintages covering the key regions of Burgundy, the Rhône, the south and south west, and the Loire. The pioneering Blason Group is showing new wines and vintages from its latest addition to the Burgundian group - the Hautes Côtes co-operative - considerably strengthening the reds in the range. New addition Blason de Bourgogne Hautes Côtes d e Beaune 2006 will be available, as well as new vintages of Blason de Bourgogne Aligoté and Blason de Bourgogne Beaune 1er Cru. Wines from young Languedoc winemaker Laurent Miquel will be on show, including the newest addition to the Viognier and Syrah -driven range Syrah Générations 2005. New vintages from the Rhône's Caves de Rasteau will be available.
At the London tasting, Mentzendorff will be showing M Chapoutier's Rh ône wines. The Chapoutier range is diverse, from the rustic Tricastin to the ethereal single vineyard Ermitage - the aim of each wine being to capture winemaking precision. The range on show at FUOR includes a selection of organic and biodynamic wines including: Granges de Mirabel Viognier V in de Pays de l'Ard èche, Saint Joseph Blanc, Châteauneuf -du -Pape La Bernardine and Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne Rouge. Wines from the 2005 and 2006 vintages of Burgundy's Domaine Chanson will also be showcased. Loire wines from Langlois-Ch âteau will also be in focus, including Cr émant de Loire Rosé, Saumur Blanc and Saumur Rouge Vieilles Vignes. In Manchester, only M Chapoutier wines will be on show.
Liberty Wines will show a selection of wines from Paul Jaboulet Ain é (Rhône), Jean-Claude Boisset (Burgundy), Jaffelin (Burgundy), Ch âteau de Pierreux (Beaujolais) and Terra Burdigala (Bordeaux). Jean-Claude Boisset winegrower Gregory Patriat and Anne-Helene Delage of Paul Jaboulet Ain é, will be on hand to discuss their wines from both the 2005 and 2006 vintages. The Causse Rouge Bordeaux Rouge and Ch âteau Manoir du Gravoux C ôtes de Castillon from Terra Burgidala - which are bottled under screwcap for the first time - will be available to taste. Also to be launched at F U O R is the new packaging for the Paul Jaboulet Ain é range.
Wines from across France will be available for tasting at Thierry's stand. Languedoc brand Skalli will launch two new ranges - Couleurs du Sud and Famille Skalli. The Couleurs du Sud brand comprises of a range of varietal Vins d e Pays from Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon rosé at £4.99. The Famille Skalli range has three tiers: varietal V ins de Pays at £6.99 ; Minervois, Corbières and St Chinian at £7.99, and Pic St Loup along with Picpoul de Pinet at £8.99. Skalli will also showcase the Caves Saint Pierre Rhône Valley range and the new rosé addition, Syrah Nielluccio blend, to its Corsican Terra Vecchia range. Chamarré's repackaged Reserve level Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir single varietals will be on taste. Mont Tauch and G érard Bertrand will also be showcasing a selection of their more premium wines from the Languedoc.
Organic wines will be among the selection shown by Languedoc-based producer Les Domaines Paul Mas at Stratford's stand. The range is described as modern, fruit-driven and accessible. New wines in the range include the 2006 Organic Ribet Red Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot. Another organic wine, the 2006 vintage of the new Les Tannes Chardonnay and Les Tannes Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot under the new Sud de France banner, will be available for tasting. Also on show will be Jean Claude's flagship organic blend, Mas des Tannes Cabernet/Grenache/Mourvèdre 2006, Vin de Pays des Côteaux de Bessilles.
Bottle Green will focus on extensions to its French Connection range, with new wines from Burgundy and Beaujolais available to taste. Developed in partnership with the well-established Burgundy producer, Collin Bourisset, the five new wines mark an "exciting new stage in the development of French Connection, as the brand looks to expand into key regions of France". The wines on display at the tasting will be Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Beaujolais Villages, M âcon Villages Blanc and Fleurie. The range will also extend into Tetrapak for the first time, with S election Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Three wines from Rhône range Palais des Anciens will also be available for tasting - Côtes du Rh ône Villages, Vacqueyeras and Gigondas. Wines from Champagne Pannier, Lirac's Domaine du Joncier and Hospices de Roman èche Moulin à Vent will be on taste.
Les Producteurs & Vignerons de France will exhibit wines from four of its producers: Vinovalie ( south west France), Aimery (Limoux-Languedoc), Bougrier (Loire) and Domaine Viticole de la Ville de Colmar (Alsace). Vinovalie will also launch its So Chic range, created to highlight local grape varieties Loin de l'Oeil, Negrette, Braucol and Malbec. Aimery will launch its new AOC still white and red Terroir de Vigne et de Truffe . Bougrier will be showing the new Famille Bougrier range of Loire Valley wines.
Sancerre producer Domaine Fouassier will present a selection of wines from the 2007 vintage. The family-run business is handed down from father to son and currently, the ninth and 10th generations are continuing the ancestor's know-how with "respect du terroir" as key words. Biodynamic methods are being introduced on the farm.
Berkmann Wine Cellars will showcase wines from its premium French selection of wineries : Georges Dubœuf (Beaujolais and M âconnais), Champagne Deutz, Delas Frères (Rhône), René Muré (Alsace) and Les Ma îtres Vignerons de St Tropez (Provence). Join the team for a glass of recently repackaged Champagne Deutz Brut Classic and the opportunity to taste the rest of their French selection and new vintages, including Rhône producer Delas Fr ères and two rosés from Les Ma îtres Vignerons de la Presqu'ile de St Tropez.
Off-trade specialist Guy Anderson Wines' highlights will include two wine brands from Bordeaux co-op Terroirs de Tutiac - Les Champs Bordelais and La Chapelle de Tutiac. Other wines include Bordeaux's family-owned Ducourt Reserve de Famille, as well as a full list of Languedoc and Côtes de Gascogne producers including Riviera, La Grande Tour, Les Montgolfiers, Hospices Catalans, La Fête du Village and La Croix d'Azur. La Châsse du Pape Réserve red is still the number-one selling Rhône brand in the UK and the new 2006 blend with upgraded packaging will be available to taste alongside the recently launched Réserve white 2007, a range of varietals and a new sparkling wine. Another brand created for Donatien Bahuaud (Meffre's Loire subsidiary) appearing at FUOR will be Maison des Princes.
Free Run Wines will present its organic wine brand L'Olivier wine. The wine supports The Tropical Forest Trust. The L'Olivier de La Reze Organic Minervois range consists of a red, a white and a rosé. All three are produced in the heart of the Minervois AC region in southern France, by Andrieu Frères, one of the largest organic single estates in France. A selection of other organics will also be on taste. French winemaker Stéphane Vedeau will be at the tasting for the first time, presenting wines from his new venture La Maison des Deux Rhônes.
Languedoc wine company Val d'Orbieu will present new additions to the Cuvée Mythique brand. The Mythique Languedoc tier of the portfolio will reference the new regional appellation and will be launched in the UK at the tasting. The range currently consists of Mythique Languedoc Syrah /Grenache /Carignan and Mythique Languedoc Rosé. Both wines, which were recently launched in France, will retail in the UK at £4.99. Priced at £9.99, the Mythique Vineyards range features three wines from specially selected vineyard sites in the Languedoc, with a limited production of only 1,600 9-litre cases per SKU. The range will initially feature two wines - 2004 AOC Minervois Ch âteau de Pouzols and 2004 Ch âteau de Fabrezan Corbières. Both wines are blends of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. The newly available 2005 vintage of the flagship Cuvée Mythique Reserve - a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Mourv èdre - will also be on taste, alongside a new three-wine vin de table range.
Epicure Wines will be presenting its new range of wines from Fitou, Corbi ères, Muscat de Rivesaltes, V in de Pays Vallée du Paradis, from Les Ma îtres Vignerons du Paradis in southern Languedoc. Other wines - from Cahors, Gaillac and V in de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne - will also be on show.
Dates and details
March 17 The Bridgewater Hall, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS
10am - 5pm
March 19 Nursery End Pavilion, Lord's Cricket Ground, London NW8 8QN