Here's a few of the latest releases from Xavier Flouret, a company that sources wines from around the world and markets them under a unified brand. This isn't unusual, but I do like the fact that they include the information about the vineyard and the winemaker on the back label. If you like the general style of wines that they're selecting, the distinctive label makes it easy to find others on the shelf--though they'll probably be spread out due to the wide range of regions and grapes.
WIth these three I've now made my way through half of the portfolio, and look forward to trying more in the future.
2007 Xavier Flouret La Pilar Malbec
Finca la Celia
Uco Valley, Mendoza
$15, 13.5% abv.
Aromas of dark plum, leather, and deep black fruit. It has a round body with a full fruit flavor, but an overall good balance. There are firm tannins with a long finish, and I'd suggest letting this breathe for a bit before serving. As with many Malbecs in this range, it's going to work great with all sorts of meat dishes. I went for a hot roast beef sandwich, and late at night it was a homey and tasty dinner.
2009 Xavier Flouret Flaca Torrontés
Bodegas El Porvenir de los Andes
Valle de Cafayate
$18, 13.5% abv.
Flaca is a Spanish adjective meaning thin, but it's also a common nickname for a skinny woman. While I might personally be on the side of an hourglass figure with an extra ten minutes in all the right places, let's be generous and use the word lithe to describe this wine. It has a delicate perfume aroma with tropical fruits like papaya and mango, and the kind of flowers you only see in National Geographic. Those tropical fruits follow on the tongue, and there's just a small burst of acidity before a short finish disappears. It honestly makes me think of the Caribbean more than the mountains of South America. Really quite surprising, and I'd love to see this with some local shellfish roasted right on the beach.
2010 Xavlier Flouret Nationale 7
Domaine de Rimauresq - Cru Classé
Côtes de Provence
45% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 15% Tibouren
$20, 13% abv.
I wrote extensively about this wine last year, and this new release is wonderful as well. Like last time, this one has a light nose of yellow cherries and violets, with flavors of wild strawberries and a tiny bit of acidity. I had it cold, cool, and at room temperature, and it's enjoyable at all three. I still maintain that it's really the most beautiful rosé I've ever had in my possession, and it seems a shame to actually consume it. But when you do, do something a little salty and savory. I made a white clam pizza last time, but I think it would be wonderful with raw oysters.
Note: These wines were received as samples.