In the south of France, in the heart of Languedoc-Roussillon, Baron Philippe de Rothschild's winemakers have selected the areas with the best soil and climate for growing the grapes of popular varietals such Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the region around Limoux in particular, offering a patchwork of micro-terroirs, the winemakers chose the highest-quality parcels in their partner growers' vineyards and all year round, each selected parcel is individually and permanently monitored by the Baron Philippe de Rothschild team. This location was the source of all the wines poured for the first in the series of Wine Tasting Mondays hosted by J Wray and Nephew in association with Spanish Court Hotel.
Cadet d'Oc takes its name from the French word "cadet", meaning "the younger child", and also from the wines' origin: Pays d'Oc which is one of six regional Vin de Pays, with d'Oc referring to the Languedoc-Roussillon region.
Cadet d'Oc is a relatively new brand extension from the people that brought you Mouton Cadet. Cadet d'Oc is all about the varietal and bringing to the world - dare I say "cheap and cheerful" wines for the everyday wine drinker. On Monday, the Wray and Nephew team poured four wines from the Cadet d'Oc line and one from another French producer Georges Duboeuf who has redefined its varietal line under a new name, Patch Block. Here are the winemaker's notes for the wines invited guests had the opportunity to try:
Cadet d'Oc Sauvignon Blanc: This wine has a lovely light yellow colour with green highlights. Highly intense, the nose opens on citrus fruit aromas, especially grapefruit, with a floral touch. The boxwood notes typical of Pays d'Oc Sauvignon are revealed on airing. The attack is fresh and it brings out the white blossom aromas, which then make way for white fruit flavours on the intense mid-palate, ending on a fresh, acidulated finish.
Cadet d'Oc Merlot: This wine has a purple colour with a violet tint. The highly expressive nose offers a combination of berry fruit aromas (strawberry, blackberry) with subtle notes of leather and spice. From a succulent attack on the fruit, the wine develops peppery notes underpinned by elegant tannins, building to an intense yet light finish.
Cadet d'Oc Chardonnay: This wine has straw yellow colour shading to ochre. With an intense and complex nose, it opens on aromas of white peach and white blossom (hawthorn), going on to develop notes of toasted almond and nuts. The lively and fresh attack offers a range of white fruit and hazelnut flavours, building to a full yet delicate finish.
Cadet d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon: The colour of this wine is violet. The nose offers a mixture of jammy fruit aromas (blackcurrant, cherry and bilberry) and smoky, spicy notes. From a powerful and fresh attack, the mid-palate develops ripe black fruit flavours underpinned by lingering tannins, building to an intense, creamy finish.
Patch Block Pinot Noir - This luscious Pinot Noir has abundant flavours of ripe cherries and raspberries enveloped in a silky body with hints of toasted bread and subtle, smoky notes.
Jamaica has a growing selection of wines in the "Pop and Pour" category, most of which appear on our supermarket shelves in the $1,000 per bottle price point. Try them and let me know if you like them.
Christopher Reckord - Businessman, Entrepreneur and Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord