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Sunday, 11 April 2021

Six Wines from Daniel Lambert - Part #2/3

Two more wines from Daniel Lambert - whites from France

See here for part #1 of this review.

Both these whites from Daniel Lambert are somewhat unusual in their own way and carry a certain amount of bragging rights if you like off-the-beaten track bottles.

That said, you could also just enjoy them for being inherently good wines as well.

Fabien Murail Le Clos des Chaumes, Fiefs Vendeens Blanc, 2020

Fiefs Vendeens is the region - a small zone in Vendee close to the west coast of France south of Nantes. Mareuil is the sub-region, some 20 miles inland from the coast.

In practice, this means a maritime climate with a bit more warmth than, say, Muscadet country but the freshness of the Atlantic. It also allows for a wider range of grape varieties;  Chenin Blanc (minimum of 50 percent), Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, plus Melon de Bourgogne (the Muscadet grape) and Grolleau Gris 

The region was officially created only in 1984, but winemaking here dates back to Roman times and covers red, white and rosé wines.

Winemaker Fabien Murail uses a blend of 60% chenin blanc and 40% chardonnay for this Le Clos des Chaumes.

Floral with honeysuckle and white flowers; yellow stone fruits, ripe orchard fruits and fresh, citrussy pineapple; full and supple with a saline minerality. 


A versatile food wine, match with richer dishes such as roast pork or monkfish in beurre blanc.

This would also be a great wine wine to serve blind and see if anyone can guess the blend or region.

Calmel & Joseph Le Domaine Le Penchant 2019

I have been a fan of Calmel & Joseph's Languedoc wines for some time now and it was their Malbec that first led me to importer Daniel Lambert.

Calmel & Joseph is a "maison de négoce" specializing in Languedoc-Roussillon wines from across the region. Over the years, they have built close personal relationships with a large number of growers from all appellations. Convinced of the extraordinary potential of this region, oenologist, Laurent Calmel along with Jerome Joseph work together on the vinification, blending and ageing of wines with the common purpose of demonstrating the little known yet unique quality of these Mediterranean terroirs 

The wine's name does not tell you, but it is a varietal Roussanne. This is important because varietal Roussanne is somewhat uncommon with a distinctive flavour profile.

The chances are that if you have ever had Roussanne, it was probably in a white northern-Rhône blend, possibly a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Despite being a warm-climate grape, its flavours of white fruits and fresh herbs suggest something more northerly. The richness comes via almond flavours, which develop towards greater nuttiness as the wine ages, and finally there is some minty-liquorice which is more commonly found in red wines.

So, what foods match with this unusual combination of flavours?

The view of various somms is to match the dominant herbal-aniseed notes with tarragon or fennel, so think roast chickenchicken and tarragon salad with parmesan, pork with fennel or for vegetarians, curry-spiced cauliflower steak.

Delicate white flowers and white stone fruit; orchard fruits, honeysuckle and fresh herbs with creamy-almondy-savoury richness and minty liquorice. Fresh, concentrated and saline. Delicate yet intense.

Improves with aeration and will repay cellaring.


Jancis Robinson writer Tamlyn Currin says of this wine:

Deeply fragrant, inviting, yellow blossom and nectarines with a trace of honeysuckle that pulls through to the palate like a golden thread. Ripe white-peach fruit flaring fan-like across the mouth, beautifully juicy and fresh, with the added delicacy of chamomile flowers. Fennel-seed crunch and edge towards the finish. Really gorgeous, with potential to become interesting with a bit of age.

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