Anthony’s Picks: Bastille Day Wines from France

Piper Heidsieck, Brut Champagne – Considering how hard it is to find veritable Champagne in Busan for under 70,000 won, this a great deal for this maison, popular since 1785 and based in Reims: the historic, cultural heart of Champagne. This medium-bodied bubbly bottle offer notes of pear, apple, slight citrus and interesting notes of yeast and flinty smoke. (Home Plus, regularly 68,200 won or 52,000 on sale.)

2011 Baron de Lestec, Bordeaux Blanc – An affordable white wine summer quaffer, it blends Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle in the traditional Bordeaux fashion. It offers a flowery, tropical, vanilla nose with flavors of pineapple, mango and tangerine supported by light oak and lime. It’s summertime! (EMart, 12,000.)

2009 La Griveliere, Cotes du Rhone – Though lighter and smoother than more typical wines from this southern France region, it’s still a classic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre and Carignan to hit the right Rhone notes of dusty cherries, fresh, sweet herbs and a pleasant earthiness balanced by mild acidity and tannins. (EMart, 17,000.)

2002 Pierre Gelin, Fixin 1er Cru ‘Clos Napolean’ – This 100-percent Pinot Noir from a single premium cru vineyard, individually Domaine owned (a rarity in Burgundy) from the north end of the Cotes de Nuits (the most important provenance of Pinot Noir), it hails from a vineyard once owned by an Imperial Guard officer who escorted Napolean to Elba. Now owned by Domaine Pierre Gelin, these sturdy, rustic age-worthy Pinots now epitomize complex, elegant Burgundies due to the fantastic 2002 vintage and its terroir. (Shinsegae basement wine shop, 74,200.)

2008 Chateau Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc – To find a classified growth at this price is a rarity for Bordeaux lovers. While the 2007 is also available, the 2008 delivers a fuller, more concentrated effort from this vintage with flavors of black and blue fruits, earthy minerality, and the structure which typifies this Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. (Shinsegae basement wine shop, 60,000.) 

Anthony Velasquez
Prior to moving to Busan in 2009, Anthony Velasquez worked in the Alexander Valley of Northern California as a winery lab tech. He has nearly a decade of experience serving, bartending and teaching wine in the finest farm-to-fork restaurants in Sacramento, California.

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