ALICE LOUBATON IS AN AMERICAN who lived and worked in France for 10 years. Now settled in the United States, she combined her love and considerable knowledge of wine with marketing experiences in both countries to establish Loubaton Imports, a small company bringing the wines of France’s small, family-owned and -operated producers to the United States. None of these producers make large quantities of wine. Some of the wines have never before crossed the Atlantic. Fresh to the American palate, many are worthy discoveries in quality and price.
At a tasting of Alice’s wines, I began with Marlon- Bosser Brut Champagne 2008 ($65), made equally of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Delicious and intriguing, it is well-balanced and amazingly complex.
Next, I tried her Château Tourril 2016 ($15), a white from the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Made from the Roussanne grape, it is a vibrant, forward wine, silky-smooth on the palate, lightly herbaceous, with a long, satisfying finish.
Alice also imports Château Tourril’s Havana 2018 ($14), a rosé made of Cinsault and Grenache grapes. Rich and textured, it displays layers of fruit.
The red Château Tourril, Philippe 2011 ($15) combines Grenache, Carignan and Syrah to produce a pleasant wine of medium body, with a hint of raspberries against a background of light spice.
Alice also imports wines from Domaine Treloar in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. One, its Côtes du Roussillon One Block Grenache, 2014, is a particularly interesting wine made mostly from Grenache and the rare Lledoner Pelut grape. This ripe wine, deep red in color, features a scent that recalls berries and a hint of chocolate.
From the Loire Valley comes Domaine Dozon Chinon C Du Plaisir 2017, a bright, fresh, well-structured, especially attractive wine whose aroma recalls cherries and berries.
To complete the tasting, I sipped Domaine Treloar Muscat de Rivesaltes 2013, a beautifully balanced sweet wine made from the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. Most dessert wines of this caliber are expensive. This one, in 500 ml bottles, averages about $16 to $20, offering a rare and tasty way to end a meal.
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