Roussillon Vins Primeurs

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Santiago
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Roussillon Vins Primeurs

Post by Santiago » Sun 19 Oct 2008 20:58

The fete des vins primeurs has been going on this weekend. I didn't get chance to go and I heard that someone went on Friday but couldn't find it :shock:

I've always been intrigued to know why the Roussillon has a Vin Primeur festival, given that it's a region known for robust reds that need a year or two to soften up and that it is pretty difficult to get a wine picked in Sept ready to drink by the 17th Oct. So I have acquired a few bottles.

Here are my thoughts on the first, a VDP Cotes Catalanes Syrah/Merlot from a normally respectable producer:

Light ruby colour - like a strong rose.
Fruity aroma of fresh rasberries
Tart, sour and astringent. Quite unpleasant but could possibly be made drinkable with large amounts of Cointreau and Lemonade.

This won't get any better with age so I hope they sold it all this weekend.

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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 00:08

If that somebody went on Friday then it's not surprising they couldn't find it. It was on on Thursday from 6pm and on Saturday from 11-6.
We found it both times - no problem.
Caught a bus back too yesterday.

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Post by Santiago » Mon 20 Oct 2008 09:31

As a matter of interest, what did you buy?

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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 09:49

Erm, were you meant to buy it?
I thought it was my free aperitif!
I would never buy an overpriced vin primeur

Surprisingly, the ones I enjoyed tasting most were white.
The only one I poured back into the spitoon was a disgusting white, fizzy, sweet concoction which came in a beer bottle!

We were there for the atmosphere really as we had visitors staying.
They only had only brought hand luggage for their trip so they couldn't buy anyway.
We are quite happy with what we usually drink - currently a Merlot from Leader Price at 2.10 for everyday, a Caramany at around 4.40 (unless on promo) when we feel like something better, and a Tarragona rioja at 2.99 (from Lidl would you believe) when we want something powerful.

My favourite whites are very crisp and dry (Mr. Polremy never touches it) and I like the Gasgogne from Leader Price (sooo cheap at 1.60)

We drank quite a lot of rose this summer which was unusual for us but this has stopped recently.

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Post by Santiago » Mon 20 Oct 2008 12:27

polremy wrote:Erm, were you meant to buy it?
I thought it was my free aperitif!
I would never buy an overpriced vin primeur
Thanks for that little insight. I'm so glad I didn't exhibit.

I know the organisers are looking for ways to discourage visitors with that kind of attitude.

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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 13:09

well, we did buy the glasses.
thought about trying to use last year's but decided against it

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Post by groslard » Mon 20 Oct 2008 16:46

polremy wrote: Surprisingly, the ones I enjoyed tasting most were white.
The vins primeur that I have enjoyed most over the last five years or so have all been white, often sauvignon blancs.

Interesting about the
"Tarragona rioja at 2.99 (from Lidl would you believe) "
I was going to ask if there was anything drinkable at Lidl as I have just been there for the first time, and thought that wines looked decidedly cheap and nasty..

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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Mon 20 Oct 2008 17:00

I heard an interesting fact on telly today which I didn't know. If you drink a bottle of 12% volume wine this equates to 12 units and 14% volume as 14 units. A good guide line for getting your weekly units correct......unless you no different. :D

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Post by Santiago » Mon 20 Oct 2008 18:49

What you heard on the telly was wrong, unless you are drinking 1 litre bottles of wine. Which may explain why you've asked this same question 3 times on the forum :lol: :lol:

Can I just jog your memory.

http://forum.anglophone-direct.com/ftop ... asc-60.php

Scroll down until you see your name... It's Marguerite by the way :noel:

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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Mon 20 Oct 2008 19:12

Santiago wrote:What you heard on the telly was wrong, unless you are drinking 1 litre bottles of wine. Which may explain why you've asked this same question 3 times on the forum :lol: :lol:

Can I just jog your memory.

http://forum.anglophone-direct.com/ftop ... asc-60.php

Scroll down until you see your name... It's Marguerite by the way :noel:


Does it matter if I ask it 10 times.....I shan't ask the question again, I got the answer quite clear. :twisted: If you read my previous quote again, It doesn't say what volume % equates to a unit, and thinking about it, it can't be right, 12 units in a bottle of wine. :roll:
Last edited by Marguerite & Steve on Mon 20 Oct 2008 19:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Kathy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 19:37

I saw this on GMTV too. The maths didn't add up and I think there is a bit of scaremongering going on. The latest campaign on drinkers is to make them realise how much they are drinking at home. All the money spent on adverts discouraging binge drinkers doesn't appear to have worked so a new tack is obviously being taken.

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Post by Santiago » Mon 20 Oct 2008 19:48

M&S - I thought you'd take it lightly - sorry :oops:

There would be 12 units in a (standard) bottle of wine if the wine was 16%.

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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Mon 20 Oct 2008 19:56

Santiago wrote:M&S - I thought you'd take it lightly - sorry :oops:

There would be 12 units in a (standard) bottle of wine if the wine was 16%.

I have taken it lightly Jon but being reminded that I had done it 3 times previous didn't really matter and I wanted to say so, I don't take many things too seriously lifes too short, but thanks for putting the question right as I do find it abit confusing. Does that mean then that I can have lot more glasses at 12%..

:wink: :wink:

M,

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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 21:22

i think it is a maths thingy here.
a bottle of wine usually contains 75 centilitres of liquid - 750 ml.

one unit of alcohol is 10 ml of pure alcohol.

if the wine you are drinking is 10% proof then the whole bottle will have 75ml of alcohol in it.
(750 x 10 divided by 100)
that means it contains 7.5 units of alcohol.

if the wine is 12% proof then the whole bottle will have 750 x 12 divided by 100 ml of alcohol in it. (90 ml)
that means it contains 9 units of alcohol.

we were once told by a vigneron that if a bottle says it is 13% then it is probably more because that is the most they can put on the label without it coming under the category that sherry/muscat and so on belong to.
Which means it will contain probably well over 10 units of alcohol.

Have scared myself now. Going downstairs to check the label on that bottle of merlot that we have just polished off.

and mr. polremy has just been recording the wrong channel for the last twenty minutes (no university challenge for us tonight) so it must be quite strong!

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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 21:38

Yep. As I feared. It was 13%.
Ah well. Not to worry.

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Post by Kate » Mon 20 Oct 2008 22:26

polremy wrote:
Erm, were you meant to buy it?
I thought it was my free aperitif!
I would never buy an overpriced vin primeur



Thanks for that little insight. I'm so glad I didn't exhibit.

I know the organisers are looking for ways to discourage visitors with that kind of attitude.
If they are trying to discourage 'that sort of attitude' they shouldn't call it a dégustation or tasting but a 'taste and buy or bugger off'

I had a long chat with somebody selling apricot juice in a supermarket last year - he said that he found it insulting when people tasted and didnt buy! I find it insulting to be offered a taste of something and to be put under obligation!

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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Oct 2008 22:34

merci, kate.
great minds think alike obviously.

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Post by Santiago » Tue 21 Oct 2008 09:28

we were once told by a vigneron that if a bottle says it is 13% then it is probably more because that is the most they can put on the label without it coming under the category that sherry/muscat and so on belong to.
The figure is actually 15%.

Actually the alcohol level on a bottle of wine only needs to be accurate to within 1%. Therefore one labelled 13% could be 13.9% in reality.

I too agree with Kate and the French generally understand that a "degustation" at a wine fair is an opportunity to try before you buy, not an opportunity to have a booze-up at somebody else's expense.

Tasting and deciding not to buy is everyone's prerogative. Tasting with no intention of buying anything is freeloading.

The vignerons who exhibited paid for their stands in the hope that they would recuperate their costs through sales. It is not a subsidised event.

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Post by polremy » Tue 21 Oct 2008 10:34

Erm.
In my defence, I do always take note of the names of the vignerons for future reference and I find it interesting to note the differences in taste.
Being a real amateur (in the original sense of the word) I find it really helpful to try the wines in fairly quick succession while I can still remember what the last one was like.
I do pick up leaflets of the ones I find interesting to read through afterwards.
I can and do use these on my travels in the spring and summer (often with visitors) when we will more than likely call in and buy from the ones which took our fancy.
I think most vignerons would be quite content to display their wine at the fete des vins primeurs without relying on an instant sale.
In return they are publicising their business and reaching far more people than usual on a Saturday.
Don't forget, each degustation was only 25cl (30 to a bottle) so I don't think my "freeloading" has put anyone out of business.
Of course, I don't know the cost of each pitch.
Sorry if I upset anyone out there.

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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Tue 21 Oct 2008 10:45

I am of the same opinion as you polremy, try before you buy, altho if I don't like the wine then I won't buy, it is like anyone who is in the retail trade, you set your stall out and present the goods as good as possible but if they don't take your fancy then you walk on, the times I have tasted wines and not bought, tried on clothes and not bought, and tested cars and not bought..... :roll:

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Post by Santiago » Tue 21 Oct 2008 10:56

Now that is a much more considerate view than "I thought it was my free aperitif" and more in the spirit of what a wine fair is all about.

I'm sorry if I get uppity about it but I do think that by dishing out free tastings it gives the impression that the wine is worth very little. The producers and the wine bodies of this region who continue this theme don't do much to raise the profile of the Roussiilon as a serious wine region. You don't see that in Burgundy, Champagne, California or New Zealand.

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Post by polremy » Tue 21 Oct 2008 13:35

Glad we are friends again.
We certainly take Roussillon wines seriously and very, very rarely do we drink anythig from outside the region - only Tarragona rioja really and we got a taste for that when we stayed in Tarragona.
That's apart from white and rose which we dont drink very often anyway.

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Post by thumbelina » Wed 22 Oct 2008 22:14

Not sure I totally agree with your comments, Santiago. When all is said and done, there are some excellent wines available in this department - particularly the vin doux. At this point in time, the department is relatively unknown on the wider stage and if, by having a wine festival for the primeur, the profile of the winemakers here is raised, so much the better. It wasnt just the primeur which was being offered at the tastings in Perpignan. At least they are making an effort to bring good honest wine to the masses and not getting stuck up their own backsides with the pomposity of most wine makers!

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Post by rbg » Thu 23 Oct 2008 10:16

thumbelina wrote:. At least they are making an effort to bring good honest wine to the masses and not getting stuck up their own backsides with the pomposity of most wine makers!
I don't know how many wine makers you have visited in this region, but I don't think any of them are "stuck up their own proverbials" .. anyone who has been on our wine tours will find them charming, modest and hard working people and, in a lot of cases , struggling to survive in an increasingly difficult farming environment.

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Post by Santiago » Sat 25 Oct 2008 13:23

Polremy, What did you taste at the fete that you liked?

Here is my second one. A wine which made me think there is a point to Vin Primeur.

Domaine Cazes Vin Nouveau 2008 (red)
Nice strawberry jam nose. Well balanced wine. Cleanly made and quite drinkable. A solid alternative to Beaujolais Nouveau.
It's biodynamicaly grown as well, that that lights your candle.

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Post by Roger O » Sat 25 Oct 2008 13:50

Santiago wrote:Domaine Cazes Vin Nouveau 2008 (red)
Nice strawberry jam nose. Well balanced wine. Cleanly made and quite drinkable. A solid alternative to Beaujolais Nouveau.
It's biodynamicaly grown as well, that that lights your candle.
Domaine Cazes ("Credo") http://www.cazes-rivesaltes.com/index.p ... how=window
was always our favourite wine (since 1991!) when we were entertaining and a bottle was always very well received as "tip" by our plombier, maçon and electrician - when they had done a good job!
The "Le Canon du Maréchal" range is also very good.
http://www.cazes-rivesaltes.com/
Of course, one can buy their "Millismes", as shown, for really special occasions.

As Santiago mentions, "biodynamism" is now their strong point!!
http://www.cazes-rivesaltes.com/Biodyna ... m5-en.html

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Post by polremy » Sat 25 Oct 2008 14:38

Cazes is the name we look for when our neighbours come for dinner.
The female half finds that AB is the only wine she can drink without a headache.

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Post by Santiago » Sat 25 Oct 2008 18:44

Oh no, don't get me started on AB wines and all the fiction surrounding them. Seems as though the marketing has worked on your neighbour though :lol:

Next time, switch two wines in the bottles and see if she complains of a headache - my guess is that it's a placebo.

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Post by polremy » Sat 25 Oct 2008 18:48

inclined to agree with you, santiago.
bit of a cynic myself.

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