DiscoverVin™ is a wine importation and distribution company, sourcing wines from the South West of France.
The company started with three people passionate about wine and food, who live in the heart of the wonderful food and wine region in the north east of Victoria, Australia. And whilst being surrounded by fantastic cuisine and Australian wines, they also greatly appreciate the varieties, style and differences that the southern French wines offer .... and of course the French cuisine!
It was whilst living in the south west of France in 2009, that they discovered the many affordable, good value for money wines available that have never made it to Australian shores. Their DiscoverVin website provides information on regions and varieties, it provides clues on how to 'de-mystify' French wines and offers affordable good quality wines.

This blog brings together their passions for food and wine, and gives updates on restaurants and events in the south west of France, and in places closer to home. Please enjoy! And if you enjoy this blog you may well enjoy their website:

Click here to order wines… www.discovervin.com.au


23 October 2014

Luc de Conti - Organic Wine Maker



Luc de Conti is deeply committed to organic and bio-dynamic methods. His wines are among the finest and most exciting wines of Southwest France. 

Chateau Tour des Gendres wines are produced on layers of calcareous soil south of the Dordogne river in the appellation of Bergerac.
 Built on a hilltop Gallo-Roman site, the property has been famous for its wines since the 12th century! 
Luc and Martine de Conti bought the property in 1981. The vineyard is fifty hectares in size and offers three very different “terroirs”: Les Gendres, Les Grand Cailloux and St. Julien d’Eymet. At Les Gendres the soil is very calcareous and gives colorful, full-bodied wines with round and ripe tannins; At Les Grand Cailloux the soil is clayey and calcareous and gives fruitier wines and at St. Julien d’Eymet, the sandy, clayey-calcareous mixture brings suppleness and fruit. 


Known since the 12th century as the winery of “Chateau de Bridoire”, Chateau “Tour des Gendres” (literally “Tower of the sons in law”) is located on the site of an old Gallo-Roman villa. Owned and run for the past 3 generations by the “De Conti” family, Chateau “Tour des Gendres” is the flagship of the Bergerac appellation.
 

The De Conti’s have 52 hectares, all in Bergerac, all organically farmed since 1994, AGROCERT certified since 2005. Yeilds are managed based on grape varieties, soil, vintages, the style and balance of the wines and their agricultural plots. average yield: 5-6 bunches per vine. Vinification techniques are customized to reflect the true vintage expression.

DiscoverVin is proud to offer both red and white  wines from Tour de Gendres.

Chateau Moulin des Dames Rouge is a  complex beautifully balanced and satisfying red wine.
Grapes: 60% Merlot, 40 % Cabernet Sauvignon
The wine is a deep red colour, with a very ripe, intense nose.
Aromas of liquorice, mint and blackberries mingle with discreet oaky notes.
The palate is supple, elegant with delicate tannins and perfectly balanced.

Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss, Dec 2010: By softening the extract and reducing the use of wood, Luc de Conti has succeeded in making a smooth, elegant wine in a difficult year.  89/100

20 October 2014

WIne and Food Dinner: Talking French- Bishop Sessa Thursday November 6th


We are looking forward to seeing our friends in Sydney for a great night of wine and food at Bishop Sessa, 527 Crown Street, Surry Hills on Thursday November 6th.

It will be a pleasure to see what amazing things chef Paul Cooper comes up with. Have a look and see what customers have been saying recently about Bishop Sessa on Trip AdvisorWe know the wines will be great!  

Call 02 8065 7223 to secure your spot. 



Melbourne French Festival Paris to Provence November 21-24


The Team at DiscoverVin is excited to be participating in the Paris to Provence Festival in Melbourne November 21-23.

To whet your appetite here is the Paris to Provence Web Series - Gabriel Gaté cooking at home!

By the way you will find our friend Gabriel Gate in some of our earlier our earlier blogs, cooking with some DiscoverVin wines.



15 October 2014

Lesser Known Grape Varieties- The Daily Telegraph Discover the Next Big Thing -

In the article below,  from the UK's Daily Telegraph of Tuesday 14 October, 2014,  Producteurs Plaimont from Gascony in South West of France are referred to as producers of excellent wine from unusual grape varieties.

 DiscoverVin imports and distributes wines from authentic producers such as  Domaine du Crampilh annd Producteurs Plaimont, made from the unusual grape variety Tannat.   The Chateau St Go Rouge  has been one of best selling wines, particularly at the City Wine Shop in Spring Street Melbourne.



 In February 2013 Sean Mitchell from The Grape Observer wrote "Aromatically, the Chateau Saint-Go 2007 has pronounced notes of blackberries, supplemented by the scent of sweet cloves, dark plum skins and dark cherries, and is generally rather opulent in expression.  On the palate, the wine is dry, with medium acid, fine grained tannins and medium to long length.  Blackberries abound, and the finish is balanced.  I found myself drinking this wine rather effortlessly, enjoying its nuances of length, grip and blackberry flavours.  I would suggest that it is fully developed and provides excellent drinking right now.  Good"

"Nero d’avola. Tannat.  Picpoul. Manseng Teroldego.  Furmin,  Carmenère. Cortese. Arrufiac.  These are the names of just some of the lesser-known grapes you can find on our supermarket shelves. As I wrote earlier this summer, big retailers have been growing increasingly adventurous over the past few years, supplementing the usual mass-produced brands with interesting grapes, partly to satisfy curious appetites, and partly because supermarket wine buyers love wine, too, and want to share the fun.

It was a chat with Olivier Bourdet-Pees, managing director of the excellent Plaimont Producteurs cooperative in deepest Gascony, that made me realise how extreme the effects of the globalisation – or Starbucksisation, as I sometimes think of it – of the wine market since the end of the Second World War have been. 
“In 1950 in France,” said Bourdet-Pees, “the most popular 20 grapes – merlot, cabernet, syrah, chardonnay and so on – made up only 50 per cent of the vineyard. Now those same 20 varieties account for 93 per cent. It’s a motorway of taste. It’s difficult to explain, and difficult to show.”
Data from the Wine Economics Research Centre in Adelaide demonstrates that this is not just a post-war phenomenon: grape diversity is still in decline in the 21st century, not just in France but globally: in 2010 significantly more of the world vineyard was accounted for by the same grapes as in 2000. Or, to look at it another way, 12 of the 44 countries studied had more than one-third of their vineyards covered with just one – very popular – grape variety. 
Plaimont Producteurs runs a conservation project to rescue forgotten local grapes from obscurity, searching for and propagating the vines and carrying out experimental micro-vinifications on its fruit. Its nursery includes 12 varieties whose identities are completely unknown. It also works with non-mainstream varieties, and does it well.
Plaimont Producteurs is far from being the only growers labouring to maintain a ranger network of winding lanes and overgrown byways as an alternative to the international merlot superhighway.
Across Europe other small and dedicated resistance fighters, like Walter Massa in Piemonte, are engaged in the campaign to restore grape diversity.

The distinctiveness that different grape varieties – and geography, too – can offer is not just important in Europe, with its richness of indigenous grape varieties, but in the New World, too. It is thrilling to see Australians making fiano, Uruguayans growing albariño and New Zealanders vinifying gamay. One of my favourite eccentric vineyards in Marlborough belongs to the Swiss Hans Herzog, who is borderline-obsessed with cultivating varieties not usually found in this land of sauvignon blanc. He has arneis, zweigelt, nebbiolo, barbera… the rows of unexpected vines stretch on. 

But why, even as there is an increase of choice on our shelves, do the popular grapes grow ever more popular? Sales of the top white grape, sauvignon blanc, have increased by 13 per cent in the last year even as overall sales of wine remained flat. It might simply be a consequence of being bewildered by choice. Studies have shown that the more options people are given, the more likely they are to make a conservative selection. Perhaps it’s the same with grapes: offer drinkers three possible glasses (or bottles) of white and maybe they will curiously pick the verdicchio. Over-face them with a menu of 20 and – oh goodness, sauvignon blanc please. 

Of course, this is why local grapes were more popular when they were local grapes, available in certain patches of the country, before globalisation took a hold and simultaneously made everything more available and everything less. It’s a classic Catch-22 situation. Happily, we can solve it with a glass of wine. The right glass of wine."

6 October 2014

The Alliance Française Albury-Wodonga French Film Festival 17/18 October

Its on again! The  Alliance Francaise Albury-Wodonga French Film Festival! Come and enjoy a glass of French wine and nibbles at the opening Night Cocktail party session, on the evening of Friday 17th October sponsored by DiscoverVin.


DiscoverVin will be sharing some of their favourite wines.



Tickets are on sale now. In previous years the opening night session has sold out.


Call the Regent Cinemas Albury on 0260 213 044 for  bookings. 


The opening night film is Folies Bergère
This fabulous comedy, both charming and poignant, stars the gorgeous Isabelle Huppert. She and her husband are cattle breeders- so expect country idyls and scenes with lovely cream colored vaches!

2 October 2014

The Wine Gang Visit Producteurs Plaimont

The Wine Gang, five UK wine critics put on berets to visit Saint Mont in the South West of France.  This is their description of visiting the charming town of Saint Mont and touring the area including spending time at  Producteurs Plaimont.   
The Wine Gang have graciously let us reproduce their blog on the DiscoverVin blog.
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Eric shows Grace how to wear the beret Saint Mont style
Leaving Côtes de Gascogne, we headed to Saint-Mont, a charming town surrounded by vineyards and blessed with beautiful ancient stone buildings including a magnificent monastery (which is also a hotel). Eric Fitan (president of the Saint Mont Wines trade body), Charlotte Grizeaud (communications manager) and Xavier Didelon (area sales manager, Plaimont Producteurs) stuck a beret on our heads (the beret is almost a uniform in Saint Mont!) and took us for a walk around the town.
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Ferme Descoubet’s owner shows us his sustainable farming methods
We then joined Christine Cabri in Plaimont Producteurs tasting room for a brief introduction on the three main Saint Mont terroirs and their influences on the wines from the appellation.
We tasted a selection of Saint Mont white and red wines, including a rare wine made from vines that date from before phylloxera destroyed most of the French vineyards in 1863.

Saint Mont is a world-famous site for grape variety and vine research, and international amphelographic (grape and vine) experts come here to study the region’s unique heritage.
Not only does Saint Mont have some vines that are more than 180 years old, but it also has grape varieties that are so rare that they have not been identified yet!
Saint Mont
Saint Mont terroirs
Eric shows us around the Saint Mont classified plot
 In front of Chateau
Visit of Saint Mont monastery with Eric, Charlotte and Xavier
We moved on to Château de Sabazan and then Château Saint Go, where we tasted a flight of Saint Mont reds, including a vertical tasting (several vintages of a same wine), showing the ageing potential of these tannat-based wines.

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Saint Mont vineyards
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Plaimont Producteurs have played a key role in preserving andidentifying Saint Mont’s grape variety heritag

We then drove to the Maison des Vins in the tiny village of Madiran, where Paul Dabadie (President of Madiran wines trade body) was expecting us. Paul had prepared a special blind tasting of 20 Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic Bilh wines to introduce us to the denominations.
What a great way it was to discover the two appellations! We tasted our way through the different expressions of the local varieties: Tannat, complemented by Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for the reds of Madiran; and Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Petit Courbu, and Arrufiac for Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh’s dry whites and sweets.

Dry white Pacherenc du Vic Bilh
Pacherenc du Vic Bilh’s barrique d’or
We moved on to dinner at the restaurant Le Prieuré, our appetites whetted by all the lovely wines we had just tasted.
We were joined there by Frédéric Richevaux (Plaimont Producteurs) who had brought wines from their respective properties to complement our dinner.
We first enjoyed a homemade foie gras terrine with sweet Pacherenc du Vic Bilh. Followed by a white fish in a creamy saffron sauce, paired with dry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.
We then had duck served with a sauce and vegetables. It was brilliant to taste Madiran wines with food, after having tasted them on their own an hour earlier. We could see how the tannins of the wine cut through and lifted a rich dish like the duck.
Our hosts had prepared another surprise for dessert, pairing chocolate fondant with a 100% tannat Madiran wine. And what a success!

Our trip ended with a lunch at the restaurant de la Tour in Lembeye, where the chef and winemakers had worked together to pair a Moroccan inspired meal with their wines.
It highlighted how modern these wines are, and how they can be a perfect match for not only local cuisine, but international dishes, including spicy food.
So, next time you order a curry from the take-away, try and match it with a Madiran or a Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh!
A million thanks to all the producers and representatives involved in the trip, who made it a great voyage of discovery, and who made us fully experience the warmth, the hospitality and the passion of South West French wine producers!
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With Roland et Emmanuel



http://www.thewinegang.com
http://southwestfrancewines.com

Discovervin is pleased to sell the wines of Producteurs Plaimont in Australia, including this mixed pack of 6 bottles of their wines.

25 September 2014

Crus Bourgoeis wines of 2012: more producers meet the standard




The Classification of Bordeaux wines can seem complex. Vineyards of the Médoc were classified in 1855 by the government of Napolean III, which was seeking to rank the best vineyards/producers for a trade exposition in Paris. Since then the structure of this system, with 5 levels of classified "grand cru" producers, has been more or less maintained.

However the classification of some Bordeaux wines is not based on historical quality but has to be earnt each vintage. "Cru Bourgoeis" represent the best quality, and often the best value, of the wines produced in the Médoc region of Bordeaux. Since 2009 the title of a cru bourgeois wines is based on a blind tasting of samples provided each vintage.

Right across Bordeaux, the vineyard practices and winemaking techniques have resulted in a vast improvement in quality across the region. High quality wines are produced by many more producers than ever before.  As a consequence these wines called Cru Bourgoeis consistently represent good value-for-money wines.

On September 19th 2014, the association for Cru Bourgoeis wines announced the wines that could be called Cru Bourgeois for the 2012 vintage. 267 wines were included- the highest number yet. These producers come from the many sub-regions of the Médoc eight prestigious AOCs : Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis en Médoc, Margaux, Saint Julien, Pauillac and Saint Estèphe. The increase in numbers reflects the increase in quality of production methods.

We were pleased to see some of our favorite producers retained in the 2012 classification Chateau Rollan de By, Chateau Greysac, Chateau Tour Séran, Chateau Semeillan Mazeau. Click on these links to have a look at  the recent vintages of these producers that were given the classification of Cru Bourgeois. 

And if all of this still sounds complicated, don't worry! We only stock wine that we can vouch for, would happily buy for our own cellars and serve to our friends and family. At the end of the day we hope that you are able to trust us, or other wine merchants, to search for the best value wines of this fantastic region.





21 September 2014

Great Value Champagne from Achille Princier




DiscoverVin is excited to add an elegant value-for-money grower champagne from independent family producer, Achille Princier, to our portfolio of wines. 

DiscoverVin have emphasised independent, artisanal winemakers and grape growers in our portfolio.  Achille Princier Champagne complements our range of  producers, and fits with our philosophy of sharing wines crafted by small independent producers to demonstrate their terroir, with Australian wine drinkers. 

Our customers often ask us if we have Champagne to sell. We have spent more than 12 months researching a good value for money Champagne, and we are very happy to have finally found it! 
Achille Princier Grand Tradition NV has won 2 stars in the Guide Hachette in 2014 (one of the main French wine guides).  Excuse our french translation of the Guide's notes: "Its golden colour invites you to smell citrus fruits and white stone fruit which one finds in the mouth. Nice to taste, generous, suave and balanced. This bottle will hold its own well enough as an aperitif or with a meal".
Winemaker Maxime Mansard is the fifth generation of winemakers at Achille Princier.


Terroir: This wine is produced from 66 different parcels of vines in 10 communes extending across 24 hectares in the Marne Valley near Epernay. This dividing up of the vineyards is a major plus as it allows an "assemblage" of wines. This enables the producer to achieve a balance between freshness and complexity by blending different parcels, and ensuring a consistent but unique style for Champagne Achille Princier.
Grapes: This champagne is a mixture of 3 varieties: Pinot Noir 30% , Pinot Meunier 35% and Chardonnay 35%.
The average age of the vines is more than 30 years old (the youngest are 7 years old and the oldest 84!) 
Pinot Meunier brings an intense bouquet, a freshness on the pallet, often described as giving a "fruitiness" and a "roundness" to the wine. Pinot Noir gives aromas of red fruits and a more marked/stronger structure. Finally Chardonnay adds a freshness on the pallet, and a finesse and elegance.
Wine making: Made by traditional méthode champenoise. From vineyard management to picking to pressing to bottling, the grapes and resulting wines are looked after meticulously.  Only the first pressings of the grapes are used to ensure finesse for the Champagne and the wines that are kept for future blending. Dosage 8 g/L. Malo-lactic fermentation in stainless steel. The bottles are rested for many years in traditional underground caves at a constant temperature.

Our tasting notes: A deep yellow/gold colour, clear and bright. In the mouth its fresh, soft and harmonious, and endowed with good length on the palette. It evolves in the mouth, its balanced, profound and subtle. Excellent.
Alcohol:  12%
An excellent Champagne at this price! Jump on our website to buy. Trade price available on application 0260 206 016 or info@discovervin.com.au






31 August 2014

Red Wine Gift Packs for Fathers Day

Who can honestly say a Dad wouldn't like a nice bottle of wine or two for Fathers Day?

Make it easy, buy online and we can ship Australia-wide.

We have some gift packs ready to go and you can check out the details on this page. We have selected 2 excellent award-winning reds that are ready to be shipped.

Alternatively you can give us a call on 02 6020 6016, or jump online and choose whatever you think Dad might like, and whatever you would like to spend. 




Once you get to the checkout, you can choose the gift wrapping options (single bottle box, double bottle box and 3 bottle box which cost $3.50, $5.90 and $6.90 respectively.)

Delivery is a flat rate of $10 Australia wide. (For our customers in Albury-Wodonga we can deliver for free!).

Happy Browsing and best wishes to all the Dads!

By purchasing this wine you confirm that you are over 18 and accept the terms and conditions of sale. 




28 August 2014

International Cabernet Day 2014 is upon us

The last Thursday of August each year is Cabernet Day...a global celebration of The King of Grapes.
Tomorrow Australian boutique French wine importer, DiscoverVin, will celebrate the 5th Annual Cabernet Day with Château Haut Vigneau, 2009, a captivating, great value Pessac-Leognan cabernet from Bordeaux, the home of cabernet sauvignon.
International Cabernet Day (28 August) will focus on tasting and talking about cabernet with social media as the platform to connect the global conversation. Most of the action will take place on Twitter using the hashtag #CabernetDay to link the conversation.
DiscoverVin’s Craig Underhill is urging cabernet fanciers to be part of the day and to follow DiscoverVin’s cabernet tweets on @discovervin where 2009  Château Haut Vigneau in particular will be sniffing, swirling and sipping its way across the Twittersphere.
‘This wine was one of Gourmet Traveller Wine’s  “Bordeaux Beauties” in the current August/September edition and has scored 89/100 from Wine Spectator‘, so it is something to tweet about – and tasting it is an even better reason. So tweet up and tipple,” he says. 
“The 2009 Château Haut Vigneau is complex and rich with sweet fruit, mocha and beef-stock flavours, yet finely structured with good length. “Power and flesh on the mid-palate,” said panelist Forrestal.  It’s ready now but will age well for several years.”
Château Haut Vigneau, 2009 Online RRP $38.00 www.discovervin.com.au

The Producer
Situated in the commune of Martillac, this 20-hectare property once belonged to Baron de Montesquieu. Today, Mr. Eric Perrin owns the estate.  He set up a vast land clearing and plantation programme in the 1980s, rejuvenating the vineyard from the ground up.

The Appellation
The appellation of Pessac-Leognan was created in 1987 from the section of the Graves district south of Bordeaux city. Some of the vineyards are surrounded by the development of the Bordeaux suburbs. Pessac and Leognan, the key towns in the appellation, form part of the suburban sprawl, with vineyards next to houses and industrial estates.

Graves means gravel and Bordeaux’s reputation as a great wine region for Cabernet has been built on the gravel.

The red wines of Pessac-Leognan have a rich and flamboyant style, developing deep and spicy flavours with age. 

The Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (30%)

Cellaring Potential
Can be enjoyed now but will keep for many years (2014-2025)

Our Tasting notes
A wine with very pleasing aromas of black fruits (blackberries, black currant), red fruits (raspberries) and with subtle roasted notes (grilled and smoky). Good fruit weight and fine gravel tannins giving it a lovely mouth feel. Hints of minerals and chocolate.
Its style typifies the silky tannins, minerals and structure of the cabernet wines of Pessac-Leognan.