Whether you’re attending the festivities in Franschhoek, or planning a Francophone affair of your own, throw one of these top-notch French wines into the mix this Bastille Day (14 July)
Marks & Spencer Burgundy Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014
“Chardonnay from Burgundy is the gold standard by which all Chardonnay is measured,” says Allan Mullins, Cape Wine Master and wine selector for Woolworths. “This unwooded example has lemon and lime flavours with riper notes of nectarine and peach, a succulent fruity palate and a long finish with ripe citrus notes.”
Delicious on its own in the crisp winter sunshine, it’ll also pair nicely with lightly poached salmon in a beurre blanc sauce “or with free-range chicken breasts, grilled with lemon and herbs and served with asparagus” suggests Mullins.
Domaine Grier Odyssea 2014
The Grier family of Villiera are well known in the Cape winelands, famous for producing the delicious Tradition Brut Méthode Cap Classique as well as wonderful Chenin Blanc, Bordeaux blends and other bubblies. But did you know the family also has a property in France? In 2006 the Griers purchased 22ha of vineyards near the village of St Paul de Fenouillet in the Roussillon region of southern France. A short drive from the city of Perpignan, the vineyards here are famous for Syrah, Carignan and Grenache Noir, and the Domaine Grier Odyssea showcases these classic local cultivars beautifully. Gently wooded, it’s full of fruit, spice and minerality and offers a wonderful introduction to this lesser-known corner of France.
Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2012
Over the last 30 years Alain Graillot has become one of the most respected producers in the northern Rhône valley, and this 100% Syrah from Graillot’s 18ha of vineyard between the Rhône and Isère Rivers show just why it’s worth the spend.
The wine has “aromas of blackcurrant buds and vanilla, with remarkable freshness and refined tannins to due long oak ageing,” explains Mike Bampfield-Duggan of Wine Concepts in Newlands.
Graillot farms his vineyards organically and all grapes are hand-harvested. Made in a classic Rhône style, the wine will age happily for the next five years. If you’re opening it for Bastille Day, give it a few hours in a decanter to open up.
Villiera Wine Shop
Words: Richard Holmes | Images: Supplied