A taste of France

14 May, 2010

Once again the French Zone boasts the biggest space at the wine fair. It will be home to individual producers, brands and generic bodies for regions including Beaujolais (G40/1), Loire (G40/2) and the south west (G22/1).

There will be three tasting areas at the Fast Track to France stand (F40/2), featuring the new version of the Top 100 Vins de Pays competition, French AOC wines and a selection of best-value wines from new category Vin de France.

Visitors will have the opportunity to taste the Project Loire Cabernet Franc Ambassadors – 35 wines selected by Sam Harrop MW, journalists Sarah Ahmed and Jamie Goode, broadcaster Joe Wadsack and buyers Christine Parkinson from Hakkasan and Nick Room from Waitrose. They selected the wines which best represent the style of Loire Cabernet Franc suitable for the UK market.

Stand G40/2??Provence Wines will show around 35 different cuvées from the three AOCs represented by the generic organisation Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence.

Stand F40/1??Les Producteurs & Vignerons de France will offer more than 125 wines from Alsace, Champagne, Loire, Languedoc, Provence and Rhône. There will be the opportunity to win a case of Toques et Clochers AOC Limoux to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fair. Stand F50/7??Sud de France will be hosting some 20 winemakers on its collective stand, showcasing the wide variety of styles and products from Languedoc-Roussillon with a series of tutored tastings on all three days of LIWF.

Designed to illustrate the strapline Sud de France from Languedoc-Roussillon: where creativity meets diversity, the tastings will be hosted by wine experts Matthew Stubbs MW, Isabelle Legeron MW and Charles Metcalfe. Stand F30/12, G30? The wineries that make up the Advini group following the merger of Laroche and Jeanjean will be showing wines from the south of France, Chablis and Bordeaux.

Rigal will unveil the Colombard following the launch of the Original Malbec last year. Also on show will be the new Bivouac organic range, aimed at environmentally conscious consumers, comprising Bivouac Rouge Merlot/Cabernet, Bivouac Blanc Chardonnay/Sauvignon and Bivouac Rosé Cinsault/Grenache. All three come in the “ultra ecofriendly” Wine Pouch packaging. The wines of Domaine Laroche in Chablis and Mas La Chevalière in Languedoc will be shown by Michel and Gwénaël Laroche. Jeanjean Languedoc will have new vintages of Bergerie de Lunès, AOP Côteaux du Languedoc Red 2007 and White 2009 from its Mas de Lunès estate. One of Advini’s newest acquisitions, Antoine Moueix in Saint-Emilion, will feature, with managing director Marc Lecomte and winemaker Pierre Gouttenoire showing its Grand Cru 2008 as well as Eden Bordeaux Blanc 2009. Stand G45??Stratford’s Wine Agencies will host Jean Claude from Domaines Paul Mas on its “big purple” stand on May 18. Wines on show include two new Mas des Mas AOC Appellation wines, Picpoul de Pinet 2009 and Saint-Chinian 2008 (rrp £10.99), La Forge Estate Carignan 2008 and Malbec 2008 and various new vintages. Stand N22 ?Mentzendorff will be showcasing Champagne Bollinger’s range including recently released Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 2002 and showing Ayala & Co’s Perle d’Ayala Nature 2002, a “prestige cuvée that illustrates its zero dosage winemaking philosophy”. Burgundy’s Domaine Chanson will show highlights of the 2008 vintage and M Chapoutier will have its organic and biodynamic wines on taste, along with new wines from Southern Rhône’s Luberon ‘La Ciboise’.

Stand O72? The Grassa family, from Domaine du Tariquet in Gascony, will be launching a rosé wine made from Marselan, which was approved for use in the region following the 2009 harvest. Stand G71? Mont Tauch, Fitou’s largest co-operative, is to launch two ranges: the Mont Tauch range and the Sweet range. The first is split into three categories named the Winery Selection (rrp £5.99), Cellar Reserve (rrp £7.99) and Single Vineyard (rrp £9.99) and includes a total of nine Fitous. The Sweet Range (rrp £6.99 for 50cl) features two fortified red and two fortified white wines from three different appellations: Maury, Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes in Roussillon. Stand J50??LGI-Alain Grignon Wines will be showing a selection of brands from its Languedoc-Roussillon and Gascony portfolio. Prickly French is a new range of three wines (rrp £6.99), made from Colombard/Chardonnay, Carignan/Merlot and Cinsault/ Syrah. Another new range will be on taste: Esprit Soleil – single variety wines aimed at the off-trade (rrp £6.99).

Stand G30/8? More than 20% of the PLB stable is made up of French producers, including Cellier de Marrenon, Producteurs Plaimont, and Alliance des Vignerons du Beaujolais.

Lorgeril will showcase new wines from its flagship Château de Pennautier Estate, plus the recently acquired Château de Ciffre and Mas de Montagnes properties. Blason de Bourgogne’s oenologist David Delaye will be on the stand on May 19 to introduce the latest 2009 vintage wines. Three additions to the brand will also be launched at the fair: a Rully, a Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Noirs and a Crémant Extra Brut.

Laurent Miquel will debut three new wines in its off-trade-focused L’Artisan range. For the first time, all its wines are available in lightweight bottles.

Cordier will show a selection of wines from the new Club Elite Cordier range, which comprises wines from “partner chateaux” in top Bordeaux appellations, including Pauillac, Margaux, Pomerol and St Estèphe. Each cuvée now comes in a specially produced bottle with individual labels. Stand N60??Myliko will be unveiling a new range of wines from La Compagnie Rhodanienne under its Les Combelles brand. The range includes wines from the southern Rhône valley from Côtes du Rhône up to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as examples from Provence and Costières de Nîmes. The importer will also be unveiling a range of lower-alcohol offerings from Domaine la Colombette in Béziers. These wines, under the Plume label, come in at 10% abv. Stand L10??Percy Fox will showcase Piat d’Or’s new Sauvignon Blanc (rrp £4.99), designed to capitalise on the variety’s success. The wine will join the brand’s varietal range, comprising a Chardonnay, Merlot and Grenache Rosé. Available in all trade channels, the Sauvignon Blanc will be sealed under screwcap. Percy Fox will also be showing the Vranken-Pommery Monopole portfolio, including the Champagnes of Pommery, Heidsieck & Co. Monopole, Charles Lafitte and Demoiselle. Stand L62 ?Bottle Green says it will push relaunched French Connection at the fair. On show will be both the relaunched varietal range under the new Vins de France classification and the Classics range of AOC wines. Stand L70? Bordeaux-based producer and shipper Maison Sichel is presenting new wines from Domaine de Pellehaut, shown for the first time this year by winemaker Mathieu Béraut. The company will also be showing its own newly relaunched estate Château du Trillol, formerly Domaine du Trillol from the Haut Corbières area of the Languedoc. Château Clauzet, AOC St Estèphe, will make its UK debut with Sichel. The estate is owned by Belgian Baron Maurice Velge and made by José Bueno, former Maitre de Chais at Baron Philippe de Rosthchild for 23 years. Stand G55? Burgundy producer Louis Jadot’s latest vintages of core wines from its 150-strong portfolio will be available to taste for the first time. These include Beaujolais Villages 2009, Bourgogne Chard­onnay 2008 and Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2008. Other highlights include limited-availability parcel wines from the Côte d’or. The new vintage Taittinger 2004 will also be available to taste and the new packaging of the range will be on show. Stand P35

iberty Wines will be exhibiting more than 230 wines from across its portfolio at this year’s fair. New to Liberty this year are Baron de Badassière (Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc) and Domaine Perraud (Mâcon, Burgundy) together with wines from Laroche estates: Domaine Laroche in Chablis and Mas La Chevalière in Languedoc. Stand P40? Free Run Wines will be presenting Le Cellier des Princes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007, Gold Medal winner at the IWC 2009, its Champagne ranges from Champagne Paul Laurent and Lallement Dubois and a selection of French AOC project wines developed in partnership with Grands Vins Selection.

Stand M62 ?Bordeaux producer Dourthe teams up with parent company Groupe Thiénot to present a portfolio of Champagnes, Bordeaux and Languedoc wines. Included are new releases from châteaux Belgrave (Grand Cru Classé Haut-Médoc), Reysson (Cru Bourgeois Supérieur), Le Boscq (Cru Bourgeois St Estèphe), Rahoul (Graves), La Garde (Pessac-Léognan), Château Pey la Tour Réserve (Bordeaux Supérieur) and Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac (St Emilion). Stand F74

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