After the earliest harvest for years, Berenice Lurton is enjoying the rarity that is a quiet Autumn. The work is done, the grapes are in and she is absolutely delighted with both the quality and the quantity. So it seemed like a great opportunity to return to some of those great vintages of the past. With nature putting on a wonderful display as the leaves turn golden and the mornings crisp and misty, we are reminded of the unique, yet often overlooked, wines of Sauternes and Barsac. And what better opportunity to enjoy a glass than with the autumnal apple tart. Many of you will have your traditional Hallowe’en tart with the hidden ring and coins, but for those of you looking for a French twist to your apple tart, here is Berenice’s own recipe:
Tarte aux Pommes d’Automne
6 golden delicious apples
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or castor sugar with a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 fistful of blanched hazelnuts
-Preheat oven to 220 C (mark 7)
-Spread out the puff pastry to fit your pie dish
-Take 3 apples, peel and make a compote over low heat with a little butter, the juice of the lemon and a spoonful of the vanilla sugar. Spread the compote over the pastry and then arrange the other 3 apples peeled, cored and quartered, around the tart. Cook in oven for around 30 minutes. Remove, switch off oven and turn on grill.
-Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan and add, away from the heat, 2 dessert spoons of liquid honey. Pour evenly over the apples. Crush or finely chop the hazelnuts and add half to the warm coulis.
-Put back under grill but keep a close eye – once golden, take it out and sprinkle the rest of the crushed hazelnuts over the top.
Serve warm with crème fraiche and a glass of Climens or Cyrpes de Climens.
And so to the wines….
The wonderful thing about Sauternes is that it goes such a long way, so even a half bottle of Climens or the second wine, Cypres de Climens will serve 8 – 10 people. Chill the wine for 2 to 3 hours beforehand and serve in small tulip shaped glasses to make the most of the wine:
Cypres de Climens 2011 37.5cl (2nd wine of Chateau Climens)
Bottle Price £15.95 / €21.99 - Case price per bottle £14.36 / €19.79
Case price £172.26 / €237.49
Second wine of Chateau Climens. Aomas of white fruits and flowers, citrus fruit, lime blossom, apricot, pineapple, mint - a profusion of fresh fruit flavours, Cypres de Climens offers the incomparable aromas of the Climens terroir to be enjoyed in the full blossom of its youth. Picked by Wall Street Journal as offering good value for money. (WSJ, 14 April 2012).
Chateau Climens 2005 37.5cl
Bottle Price £45 / €64.99 - Case price per bottle £40.50 / €58.49
Case price £486 / €701.89
"Simply one of the standout wines of this horizontal. An understated nose, quite minerally with touches of white peach and apricot all with wonderful definition. The palate displays exquisite balance, a sense of controlled power the Climens carries off so well. A touch of clear honey, acacia, peach, a little quince. Very long and supremely well focused. Another year, another great Climens. Tasted April 2007. 96 pts." (eRobertParker.com, May 2008).
Chateau Climens 2004 75cl
Bottle Price £71.00 / €91.50 - Case price per bottle £63.90 / €82.35
Case price £766.80 /€ 988.20
"This has a very deep, almost meaty nose, certainly showing a huge amount of depth and complexity rather than just primary notes. Lovely style on the palate, again showing great depth and complexity, with soft acidity melded with honey, stone fruit, quince and pineapple, roasted together in a very complete panoply of flavour. Very distinct style in this vintage, huge and really incomparable; there is not a wine here close to this. From my 2004 Bordeaux assessment. 18+/20." (thewinedoctor.com, Oct 2006).
Gorgeous, round and fresh. Big and opulent and very clean though with a strong streak of greenness. 17 pts. Drink to 2025. (Jancis Robinson Purple Pages, 5 March 2014).
Please note: Other vintages available in both bts and half bts. Contact us for further info. Shop@jnwine.com