Unfortunately we were unable to attend the Louis Jadot 2012 En Primeur wine tasting this year but, fortunately, we have been given some samples to try at Fareham Wine Cellar. We are going to try the samples and thought we would give our customers the opportunity to try the samples with us.
If you would like to try the samples with us, please just turn up between 2pm and 5.30pm on Saturday 23rd.
Sorry for the short notice on this, it was a surprise for me too!
Louis Jadot 2012 White Wines
Pouilly Fuissé Clos des Prouges, Domaine Ferret
Santenay Clos de Malte, Domaine Louis Jadot
Beaune Bressandes 1er Cru, Domaine Gagey
Chassagne Montrachet Chevenottes 1er Cru
Louis Jadot 2012 Red Wines
Moulin A Vent Clos de Rochegres, Chateau des Jacques
Santenay Clos de Malte, Domaine Louis Jadot
Beaune Boucherottes 1er Cru Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot
Chambolle Musigny Les Drazeys, Domaine Gagey
2012 was an interesting year for Burgundy. The first half of 2012 was quite disastrous, it was cold, wet and miserable and mildew and mould was prevalent in the vineyards. Flowering was late and there was a fair bit of hail damage. However, in the end, although 2012 is a very small harvest, the quality has turned out to be very good and some are saying the reds are better than good.
Please have a look at these very good articles from Clive Coates MW and Aubert de Villaine at Jancis Robinson’s website for more detailed information.
Some of our favourite spirits that we think, pound for pound, offer some of the best value for money possible. We are also going to show a couple of Sherries, a dry one and a super-sweet and raisiny Pedro Ximenez.
Please note this a free spirits tasting at our shop. All you need to do is make sure you book a place and turn up.
Sanchez Romate Fino Marismeno is a light, pale yellow colour and has a delicate aroma —yeasty with a mineral edge and some summer flower and citrus notes creeping in. Aged in solera for 7–8 years,which is visible on the palate ; a vibrant tingling freshness, crisp and dry with the expected oxidative flavours of a typical Jerez fino balanced by perfect acidity and a lingering finish.
Maxime Trijol VSOP Grande Champagne Cognac is blended from a large proportion of cognacs aged between 10 and 20 years and will give an average tasting age of 15 years old. The method appears to have been successful since the 2003 International Spirits Challenge awarded the Maxime Trijol VSOP Grande Champagne cognac its Brandy Trophy—ahead of all the XO’s ! A virile, yet subtle cognac. Mellow and rich on the palate, but also fruity. Its length is all but perfect, leaving lingering bliss on the palate.
After a minimum of 10 years in barrel Baron de Sigognac 10 Year Old Armagnac has an attractive nose with discernible hints of vanilla, cinnamon and candied orange. Very round and full in the mouth; earthy with notes of dried fruit and toffee yet showing floral, woody and spicy notes. A long well-balanced finish with hints of almonds and vanilla. Cigar lovers will enjoy it with a classic Havana.
Doorly’s XO is a blend of six to twelve year old Barbadian rums, the last maturation is conducted in Oloroso Sherry Oak Casks. It has a very elegant nose of toffee with loads of vanilla and mocha and a touch of honey. On the palate it is a rich, spicy yet subtle rum with surprisingly mellow and complex flavours resulting from its maturation in old oloroso sherry casks. A touch of vinous flavour tied up with sweet banana and raisins that lingers with great balance. A fine finish that shows a little orange peel.
Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva is dark mahogany, luminous, clear and shiny in appearance. There are aromas of raisins and plums, espresso coffee and a touch of liquorice on the nose. The palate is sweet and fat with lots of dried fruit and more raisins. Distinctive, unique taste with a very cultured PX-influence and just enough bittersweet coffee and caramel to balance well. Well-balanced, long and nutty.
The whiskies for Compass Box Oak Cross are all aged in a mixture of American oak types for the primary maturation, they are then aged in a mix of first-fill bourbon and “oak cross” barrels (casks made from American with French oak heads). It is soft on the palate with notes of clove and vanilla, sweet maltiness and fruity notes. It is of medium weight with a fruit long finish. Non-chill filtered and no colourings added. Suitable as an aperitif served with a chilled water in the winter months. Full enough to serve as a summertime digestif. Excellent match for many cheeses.
Sanchez Romate Pedro Ximenez Cisneros has a nose full of raisins and sultanas with just a touch of nuts, dried fruit and oaky spice. The palate is big, rich with a luscious velvety feel. The finish is very sweet but with balancing acidity, creamy raisins, espresso coffee and a touch of dark chocolate. Serve as a dessert wine with ice cream, pastries and even blue cheese.
Louis Jadot Limited Edition Discovery Series (Prices correct 07/11/13, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01329 822733 for availability).
In readiness for Christmas, Louis Jadot has released some limited edition discovery cases. Alas, no photographs yet.
We are pleased to offer the following…. (please follow the links below for more information)
The first of these is 6 bottle wooden case containing 1 bottle each of 6 different Louis Jadot wines from their superb range of single vineyard (“Clos”) Beaujolais – this includes 5 different single vineyard Moulin A Vent and 1 single vineyard Morgon. We have long championed these wines. Don’t think Beaujolais – these wines are made much more in the style of, and taste like, good red Burgundy.
The second is a vertical flight of Beaune 1er Cru from one of Jadot’s top Beaune vineyards, Clos de Couchereaux. This 6 bottle wooden case contains 1 bottle each of the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages. This is a great chance to try a vertical flight of a red Burgundy from a single vineyard. Perhaps drink some now and cellar some for a couple of years!
Louis Jadot – Chateau des Jacques – A Journey of Terroirs
Vineyard Discovery Case (6 x 1 bottles)
Only £150.00 each
Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Couchereaux, Louis Jadot
Vertical Discovery Case (6 x 1 bottles)
Only £175.00 each
Explore the ‘terroirs of the different ‘Clos’ of Château des Jacques
A Journey of ‘Terroirs’
Chateau des Jacques Vineyard Discovery Gift Set (6 bottles)
Only £150.00 each
Maison Louis Jadot bought the Château des Jacques estate in 1996. It is situated in Moulin à Vent, between Fleurie and Chenas and has 28.78 hectares of Moulin à Vent vineyards. Of this, there are 6 individual ‘clos’ which cover an average of 19.5 hectares, each with their own distinctive personality reflective of their separate ‘terroirs’. The Moulin à Vent wine is now referred to as the ‘King of Beaujolais’, and is considered to be the most Burgundian Cru of Beaujolais.
For more than 40 years, the grapes at Château des Jacques have been fermented like Pinot Noir wines in open tanks with “pigeage” and “destemming”. Typically maceration
is carried out for more than 20 days (24-27). In addition to the main Château des
Jacques wines, individual “Clos” are vinified separately and aged in new oak barrels
for about a year before being bottled. All of the wines are long lived and typically take 2 – 3 years to reach their peak and can comfortably age for several more taking on a personality similar to a classic aged Pinot Noir from the Cote d’Or . Characteristically the wines are very generous, full bodied in style, even for Moulin à Vent, with the grip and depth to benefit from extended bottle ageing.
1 bottle of each of the following “single Clos” Beaujolais (6 bottles in total)
packed in a wooden case.
Moulin-à-Vent Champ de Cour 2005
The Champ de Cour vineyard covers 2 hectares and is located in the southernmost
part of the area associated with the very best Moulin à Vent . Geological origin
and soil composition are quite different from the Côte d’Or in that the soil from
the ‘Clos de Champ de Cour’ is quite sandy and deep with 6- 7% of clay. The bedrock
is mainly made of manganese and the vines are planted in some of the deepest soils
in the region. A bold but complex, firm style.
Moulin-à-Vent Clos du Grand Carquelin 2008
Situated on the south-facing slopes of Moulin à Vent and covering 4 hectares, the
soil from the ‘Clos du Grand Carquelin’ is quite light, comprising of sand and a
little bit of clay. The deep colour of the wine can be attributed to the high manganese
content of the underlying bedrock. A superb example of just how good the Gamay grape
Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Rochegrès 2007
Louis Jadot Moulin à Vent ‘Clos de Rochegrès’ is a special ‘cuvée’ made from old
vines. This is the largest of the Clos and often produces the most profound and
long-lived of the Château des Jacques wines. Planted on the appellation’s highest
vineyard, the 8 ha site is gently sloping with 55 numerous underground streams keeping
the vines well irrigated. The soil is typically granitic, not very deep and overlying
a very hard bedrock. Generous and complex with great length.
Moulin-à-Vent La Rochelle 2011
La Rochelle is the latest addition to the Clos with 2011 being the first vintage.
It is located at the heart of the appellation, between La Roche, the Clos du Grand
Carquelin and the Clos de Rochegrès. Its vines are planted in shallow soils composed
of metamorphic granitic sands, crisscrossed by very ancient seams of granite. Very
mineral flavours here that combine well with the generous fruit and judicious oak.
Moulin-à-Vent La Roche 2006
“La Roche” vineyard is situated along the crest of Moulin à Vent. The 1.5 hectare
site has very good exposure halfway up the hill with deep soil composing of manganese
and clay. Often rich and generous of fruit, perhaps the easiest to appreciate young.
Morgon Côte du Py 2011
Morgon is one of the 10 ‘Crus’ of the Beaujolais region. The production area of
Morgon is about 1,100 hectares (2,718 acres) located on granite and schist soil.
Louis Jadot own a number of vineyard sites in Morgon which are carefully managed
in an environmentally sustainable manner to produce some of the very best Morgons.
The Côte du Py is considered their best site, situated on the slopes over the village
of Villié Morgon. Stylistically the wines tend to be quite dry and firm.
Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Clos de Couchereaux Domaines des Héritiers Louis Jadot
Vertical Discovery Gift Set (6 bottles)
Only £175.00 each
1 bottle of each of the following vintages (6 bottles in total) packed in a wooden
The vintages from 2004 to 2009 offer the chance to explore how each vintage influenced
the characters of a wine from one single vineyard.
The Aux Coucherias vineyard occupies 9.7 hectares and lies on the upper reaches
of Beaune’s Premier Cru slope, equidistant from Pommard and Savigny. Louis Henry
Denis Jadot purchased 2 hectares in the Clos des Couchereaux, within Aux Coucherais
in the 1800′s, and this holding has remained in the Jadot family ever since.
The superb east-southeast position of the vineyard results in a wine of particular
fruit ripeness and supple full body.
A rare opportunity to try a vertical tasting of wines from one single vineyard.
2004 – Overall the crop was a good one but produced wines of differing qualities. The most conscientious growers – those who controlled their production with green harvesting, careful soil management, vinified with rigorous grape selection and
controlled fermentation temperature produced the more impressive cuvées. With careful selection from reliable producers, 2004 is a good year for quantity and quality.
2005 – On the whole, 2005 was to be a vintage everyone will remember for its quality.
Although a few areas, such as Chassagne Montrachet and Santenay, were damaged by
hail storms, it was overall an excellent vintage.
The 2005 Beaune Clos des Couchereaux smells fascinatingly of lavender, black tea, dried cherry and red licorice. Dried cherry and cherry pit flavors dominate on the firm, well-concentrated palate. A bitter-sweet herbal pungency joins the tea, dried fruit and licorice in a finish that is long but at least for now slightly awkwardly marked by its tannin. (6/ 2007) – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
2006 – After some challenging growing conditions, the 2006 harvest landed safely.
The Ban des Vendanges for whites was on the 18th September, and on the 20th for
reds – although special dispensation was given to certain sites in the Côte de Beaune
where there was a degree of rot. Sugar levels across both varieties were acceptable.
Overall this is a consistently successful vintage, with the best wines displaying
a great balance of fresh, crisp acidity and pure ripe fruit.
The Louis Jadot 2006 Beaune Clos des Couchereaux features fresh, tart but ripe purple plum, with bittersweet overtones of tangerine zest and lily-like perfume. Silken and caressing in texture, it finishes with juicy generosity of chalk-tinged plum and cherry, as well as buoyancy typical for many of the best wines of its vintage. It would be a shame not to enjoy this young, although it might well prove worth following for a half dozen or more years. (12/ 2009) – 90 Points, Robert Parker’s
2007 – The level of rain was rather high in the year which was considered either
a handicap or a positive advantage. Certainly, in the past the level of ground
water had been very low, and in 2007 probably allowed for easier demineralisation.
This is beneficial for developing the wine’s aromas and at Louis Jadot, we think
this added some style to the wines as well as a certain touch of elegance.
2008 – With the exception of December the 2007/2008 winter was mild. April was cool
but humid and summer arrived in May with sunny periods at the end of June and July.
Rain then followed causing some disease in the vineyard and careful management was
required for quality. Harvest time saw very good ripening of the grapes and after
precise sorting, the good quality of this vintage became obvious.
2009 – A fine April saw early flowering with a plentiful crop. June was unseasonably
hot and there was some drought stress in certain areas. By July ripening was advancing
at a pace. August was hot and dry and a fine harvest promised for September. For
once the triage table was largely superfluous with perhaps only 10% of the crop
discarded. Overall, a great vintage in terms of quality and quantity.
The 2009 Beaune Clos des Couchereaux is impressive. Silky tannins frame a radiant, expressive core of fruit. This is a beautiful, refined Beaune that should drink well right out of the gate. Clean mineral notes frame the gorgeous finish, where floral notes add lift and freshness. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. (05/11)
89-92, Allen Meadows, Burghound
I was lucky enough to visit Hambledon Vineyard on a very windy, and rainy, day in late October 2013. So, I don’t really have any great pictures of the vineyards and grapes etc. to share, but I do have some really interesting photographs of their brand new winery – currently, and I imagine for some time, the only 100% gravity fed winery in the UK. This sort of winery is unusual even in more traditional wine-making countries and I have only come across this twice on my travels – once at Quinta do Vallado in the Douro, Portugal and once at Tobelos Bodegas Y Vinedos in Rioja (admittedly not quite 100% gravity fed, but nearly!). What is clear from my visit is that the people behind Hambledon Vineyard are very serious indeed.
About Hambledon Vineyard
The small village of Hambledon is located in Hampshire some 15 miles north of Portsmouth (approximately 6.5 miles from Fareham Wine Cellar, as the crow flies!). It has two claims to fame, one of which is the slightly debatable title of the “Cradle of Cricket” (Hambledon Cricket Club dates back to 1750). Hambledon’s other claim to fame is not contested – it is the location of the oldest commercial vineyard in England.
Hambledon Vineyard was established by wine-loving Francophile Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones. After researching the feasiblity of planting vines on the original, chalky, south-facing slopes in front of his house, and after consultation with friends and connections at Champagne Pol Roger, the first vines were planted in 1952. A range of about half a dozen grape varieties were planted (mainly Germanic varieties including Seyval Blanc as I understand) on soils that are identical to the Kimmeridgian / Clay soils of Champagne and Burgundy. Soon the first English wines available to buy. Long-serving winemaker Bill Carcary joined the team in the mid-1960s and before long Hambledon Vineyard wines were flying the flag for English wines on the domestic market and were being sold in places as varied as the Houses of Parliament, UK embassies overseas and even on the QE2. The vineyard saw a good few decades of fame, success and expansion, however by the the time the vineyard had passed through successive owners by the 1990s, the vineyard was in a sad state of serious decline and there were only 4 acres of vine plantings left.
Hambledon Vineyard Renaissance
The second most important thing to happen at Hambledon, after it being established by by Salisbury-Jones in 1952, was the purchase by current owner Ian Kellett in 1999. Kellett, a former equity analyst and biochemist by training, arrived at the vineyard with the dream of owning his own winery and producing English wine. He soon realised that the still wines being produced were not particularly good. However, he persevered with Hambledon Vineyard, studied oenology at Plumpton College and undertook his own extensive research before concluding that the way forward for Hambledon Vineyard would be to concentrate on producing high quality English sparkling wine. By 2005 all of the old vines had been grubbed up and there was a 10 acre test planting of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties (the three main wine used in Champagne) using different clones and rootstocks to see which of the 27 combinations work best.
Hambledon Vineyard Chardonnay Vines
Since 2005 Kellett has created Hambledon Vineyard Plc and has implemented an innovative fundraising via an EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) which sees the appointment of two leading independent directors, one of whom is John Armit - who has had a long career in the UK wine trade and will be familiar most in the trade. Their successful fundraising has allowed them to build an extremely hi-tech, 100% gravity fed, £2.5 million winery and to expand their vineyard plantings to some 50 acres. The planting and design of the winery has all been under the direction Hervé Jestin, former Chef de Cave at Champagne Duval Leroy who remains as the main consultant.
Hambledon Vineyard – Ian Kellett amongst Chardonnay Vines
Speaking to, now managing director, Kellett, it would seem that Hambledon Vineyard is still looking to expand in the future to around 200 acres of vineyards with a target for production of three quarters of a million bottles per year (750,000 bottles). This has been hampered and slowed down by the very poor 2012 vintage – most English vineyards didn’t even bother to pick in 2012. Of course, this is a lot of wine, too much for the UK domestic market, and it is no surprise that Hambledon Vineyard plans to target two-thirds of their sales to overseas markets such as China, India and larger, cosmopolitan cities such as New York and Paris. Perhaps the cricketing connection as the “cradle of cricket” could see natural links forged with cricket playing countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and, to a lesser extent, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
One of my favourite Chilean red wines has had a facelift. Caliterra Tributo Carmenere, and the rest of the Tributo Range, has a new, cleaner, less cluttered looking label. Here is picture of the new label and the old label Caliterra Tributo Carmenere side by side. The new label is on the left hand side.
Caliterra Tributo Carmenere New and Old Labels
I think the new label is better but I still like the old label and can’t quite make up my mind which I prefer. Another difference, I notice, is that the fact that the grapes are sourced from Caliterra’s Boldo Block of vines seems to have disappeared from the label, and there is no mention of this on the back label either. The 2011 Carmenere is actually a blend of 91% Carmenere, 3% Syrah and 6% Cabernet Franc which is a bit of a change from previous vintages that did not have any Syrah in them. The 2010 was 91% Carménère, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec for example. It is aged for for 14 months in a 70 / 30 mix of American and French oak barrels where it undergoes malalactic fermention. Caliterra Tributo Carmenere 2011 is a dark and brooding wine with loads of dark fruit character. There are aromas of blackcurrant with spicy aromas of black pepper, cloves and roasted pepper and herbaceous notes. The palate it full and rich, yet soft with voluptuous tannin and good length. Think fruits of the forest. It seems a bit lighter than previous vintages and I don’t know if this is vintage variation or perhaps the change in blend.
The name Caliterra is taken from Spanish word ‘Calidad’ for quality and ‘Tierra’ for land. The Caliterra vineyards are located in the heart of the Colchagua Valley in a protected valley southeast of Lago Rapel and adjoining the Apalta Valley, 150 meters above sea level. The Tributo range is a homage to the quality of the land and its people and consists of a range of fruit driven and complex wines including the Carmenere, a Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc. The Tributo range sits above Caliterra’s Reserva range and are great food wines.
We were lucky enough to have Cristina Torres, niece of Miguel Torres and daughter of Marimar Torres, visit and host a Torres Wine Dinner for us at Lysses House Hotel in Fareham, High Street on Wednesday 9th October 2013. A big thank you to Cristina Torres and to Dominic Thranum from John E Fells for helping us to organise the event.
Please find a few photographs from the event and some of my brief tasting notes.
To see the full menu and wines served please visit this blog post.
The wines all showed very well on the evening, with my particular favourites being the Marimar Torres Don Miguel Pinot Noir and the Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon – it was interesting to hear Cristina describe this as a “baby” Mas La Plana, I hadn’t thought about it in those terms before, but I suppose it could be. The Torres Cordillera Carignan was very good too, you can read about this at my recent blog post.
It was also interesting to hear that all of the Miguel Torres Chile Wines are not only organic, but biodynamic, since 2010 – although there is no mention of this on any labels!
I think the most popular wine on the evening, in terms of what people ordered was the Torres Santa Digna Estelado Sparkling Rosé, apparently the only sparkling wine made from the Pais grape variety.
Some selected tasting notes on Torres wines
Marimar Torres La Masia Don Miguel Pinot Noir 2008, Russian River
Bright, ripe, red fruit on the nose with key aromas of cherry and strawberry jam. There are also hints of white pepper. The palate is soft and packed with more strawberry and a little vanilla. Good, sweet, round finish. It matched quite well with the pressed duck confit terrine, but not quite as well as the La Masia Don Miguel Chardonnay.
Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Penedes
Good dark red / black colour. Lots of dark, smoky blackcurrant fruit on the nose, hints of blackcurrant jam or confit. Quite a dark and brooding wine with a good firm, tannic backbone. Very good. Great for the money too.
Marimar Torres Las Masia Don Miguel Chardonnay 2009, Russian River
Clear, light golden colour. Quite a smokey oak nose with hints of peach and creamy buttery notes. The palate is quite viscous and has good mouthfeel with more rich buttery, perhaps butterscotch notes on the palate. It has good acidity and some nice minerality that means it is not too overpowering on the finish.
Miguel Torres Chile Nectaria Vendimia Tardia, Valle de Curico
100% Riesling. Slightly waxy / polish nose, typical of Riesling but with sweet honeyed, nutty characteristics. Hints of bergamot / Earl Gray – I always get this with Chilean dessert wines, but I think I am on my own! Lots of pineapple on the palate, good acidity and not quite as sweet as I was expecting.
I have already written a blog post about Pisco, methods of production etc. which should answer all your questions about Pisco. We have just taken delivery of a brand new Chilean Pisco called Kappa Pisco.
Kappa Pisco is a new ultra-premium, hand-crafted Chilean Pisco made by the Marnier-Lapostolle family. The Marnier-Lapostolle family are more famous for being the owners of the Lapostolle winery in Chile as well as the owners of the world-famous Grand Marnier Liqueur.
Buy Kappa Pisco at the Fareham Wine Cellar Website.
Where is Kappa Pisco made?
Kappa Pisco is made from grapes grown in the Elqui Valley which is a long narrow strip through the Andes which averages 300 days a year sunshine, perfect for ripening the Muscat grapes (Alexandria and Rose) used to make this Pisco. The vineyards are at 1300 meters above sea level. Grapes are harvested when ripe, distilled twice and then combined with pure water from the Andes mountains and bottled at 42.5% abv. Only 5000 cases are currently made and there is a barrel-aged version in preparation.
Kappa Pisco has a very fruity, floral nose with definite grape-y / muscat and citrus notes. The palate is soft and smooth, with good depth, but with quite a punchy finish which is dry with lemon peel and floral notes. Very aromatic.
The name comes from the Kappa Crucis constellation, discovered by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751/52, and later named The Jewel Box by Sir John Herschel who described it as “a casket of variously coloured precious stones.” The Jewel Box cluster is regarded as one of the finest objects in the southern sky and is visible by eye from the vineyards of the Elqui Valley.
Visit the Kappa website for some great Pisco cocktails. Of course, the most famous of these is the Pisco Sour, here is Kappa’s version, the Kappa Sour.
2 oz Kappa Pisco
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a small Champagne flute. Top with three drops, or half dashes of Angostura bitters and create the shape of the Southern Cross (good luck with that!!).
Berkmann Wine Cellars South West Wine Tasting 2013
Monday 30th September 2012
At The Grand Café, Southampton
Late last month I had the opportunity to attend Berkmann Wine Cellars South West Wine Tasting 2013 at The Grand Café in Southampton, Hampshire. It is always a pleasant surprise when one of the larger suppliers remembers their customers out in the sticks and that not everyone is based within few miles of central London. Would I have traveled into London for this tasting? No, probably not. But I am of the mind that, if someone is going to put on a regional wine tasting then it is only polite that us local wine merchants, restaurateurs, sommeliers etc. should attend. It must be working well for Berkmann because this was their third event (which they organise every two years) and it seemed pretty well attended. So, I am afraid that any customers coming to visit the Fareham Wine Cellar on Monday 30th would have found it closed, sorry!!
So I thought I would share some thoughts on the wines tasted.
The first two Drappier wines were the Drappier Brut Nature San Soufre (sulphur) and the Drappier Brut Nature Zero Dosage. These are essentially the same wine, both 100% Pinor Noir and both with no dosage (sugar) added. The only difference is that the San Soufre, naturally, does not have any sulphur added. How different could they be? Actually they were both quite different, the San Soufre was crisp and dry but with quite a developed, yeasty, autolytic aromas. The Zero Dosage was very crisp and dry but the wine seemed a lot more pure and fresh. I have to say I preferred the fresher, purer Zero Dosage style.
Champagne Drappier – Unusual Grape Varieties
I read something about these Champagnes in the press last year and it was great to finally taste them. A most people know Champagne is made from three grape varieties – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Right? Wrong! There are other grape varieties allowed in Champagne production. According to the 2010 Champagne appellation laws, there are actually seven grape varieties allowed. The other 4 grape varieties are Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. These four varieties are allowed mainly for historical reasons and I believe that new plantings of these varieties are allowed. These are pretty rare and Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Pinot blanc only account for 0.02% of the total vines planted in Champagne. Drappier makes two Champagnes with these varieties.
Champagne Drappier Blanc de Blancs Signature NV – 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Blanc – the Pinot Blanc, also known as Blanc Vrai in Champagne, adds complexity and roundness. Very good.
Champagne Drappier Quattuor NV – this is an equal four way blend of 25% Chardonnay, 25% Arbanne, 25% Pinot Blanc and 25% Petit Meslier. This is a floral, yeasty, biscuity Champagne with a very particular note of almonds that I don’t normally detect on Champagne.
Albarino and Arneis from Coopers Creek, New Zealand
It was a surprise to see an Albarino and Arneis from New Zealand wine producer Coopers Creek. I have read about Arneis grapes planted in Gimblett Gravels before, but have never had the chance to try an, until now.
Coopers Creek produce the Select Vineyards “The Little Rascal” Arneis and the Select Vineyards “Bell Ringer” Albarino both from Gisborne. Both interesting wines, although I have to admit I didn’t really like the Arneis, it was quite sulphurous. The Albarino had a sweet, confectionery nose with aromas of green apples and had a very crisp and dry finish.
Champagne Drappier Grande Sendrée Rosé NV – This single vineyard rosé Champagne is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay aged for 7 years on the lees. Very attractive nose of red, stewed fruits and herbaceous, floral notes. Very well balanced palate with strawberry notes on the palate with good minerality and acidity on the finish.
Masi – I didn’t try the Masi wines because I had recently tried them all at a very interesting wine tasting comparing wines made from “fresh” and dried grapes.
Il Bruciato, Guido Al Tasso, Famiglia Antinori 2011 – A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Syrah from the Bolgheri appellation. Loads of chocolate and violet notes on the nose smelling a bit like a very good Cabernet Franc with no green notes!! The palate is smooth, round and very well balanced with good length and is, for me, reminiscent of a Bordeaux red.
NePriCa, Tormaresca, Puglia IGT 2011 – A blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has lots of tarry, dark and spicy black fruit notes on the nose. The palate is round and spicy with plummy jam notes. A very interesting blend. Soft and balanced with quite a dry finish.
Morgicchio Negroamaro, Tormarecsa, Salento IGT 2010 – Leathery, tobacco-y nose with lots of floral aromas and plum and blackcurrant fruit notes. Full, round and spicy. Very good. I now want to try its big brother, the Masseria Maime.
Tasca , Sicily Cygnus Sicilia IGT 2009 – A blend of Nero d’Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is fruity and floral with notes of cherry, violets, vanilla and also some chocolate / mocha notes. The palate is soft, round, intense and slightly medicinal. Good long finish.
Chateau Ste Michelle, Washington State - the surprise for me here was that I favoured the white wine over the red wines. The 2011Gewurztraminer is very floral but with a really fresh and clean palate. My favourite wine was the 2011 Dry Riesling. This had a really nice lime-y, sherbet nose and more lime and green apple notes on the palate. A really fresh and zingy Riesling with very good acidity.Lapostolle Wines
Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Chardonnay, Casablanca 2011 – quite a rich wine with good citrus, oaky notes and nice minerality. It shows great finesse and elegance. It seems that there is a move away from the bigger, oakier wines of previous vintages.
Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot, Colchagua 2010 – this is one of the best Chilean merlots I have tried for a while. Big, chunky with quite a sweet finish.
Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2010 - 71% Carmenère, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot aged in 100% new French oak. For me, this was the outstanding wine of the tasting. It just oozes class and elegance. Like a very good Bordeaux. Loads of red and dark fruit notes on the nose with spicy vanilla and clove from the oak. The palate is full, rich and very well balanced with polished tannins. Very long and classy finish.
Berkmann Wine Cellars Tasting
ting at The Grand Cafe
Wine Tasting at The Grand Cafe
Wine Tasting at The Grand Cafe
Lapostolle and Santa Rita Wines
Wine Tasting at The Grand Cafe
Coopers Creek Wnes
Selection of Dessert Wines
A big thank you to Berkmann Wine Cellars for putting on this great wine tasting. Read more about the Kappa Pisco.
I sold some Baron de Lustrac 1923 Vintage Armagnac the other day to a gentleman in Norway for his fathers 90th Birthday and he sent me a short bit of information about the town that the Armagnac was shipped to. With his permission I share his email. It is always so gratifying when a customer takes time out to thank you (after all, I am just doing a job) and to also go beyond that too.
The bottle of 1923 Baron de Lustrac just arrived at my house in perfect condition. I do think my father will appreciate this gift for his 90th anniversary. The last leg of the journey of this bottle will be to the town of Narvik, formerly Victoria harbour (yes, named initially after the queen of England), well known in the British Isles because of what transpired during WW II.
The town also should be known as the place where the scottish navy commander Kenneth Dalglish Job started his undertakings during the same war; undertakings and missions that led to the creation by Ian Fleming of the James Bond character. What Job / Bond undertook in Narvik in 1940 may well have saved the lives of my parents.
I hope providing this bottle of vintage armagnac has been as interesting to you as it has been to me.
Name and address supplied.
This email made me want to know more about about Narvik and Bond. I was reading up about it Narvik and the man who inspired James Bond (one of many it would seem) and I think that the author of the email must mean Patrick Dalzel-Job, a British Naval Intelligence Officer and Commando, who saved a lot of civilian lives in Narvik. From Wikipedia,
“April until June (1940), he served with the Anglo / Polish / French Expeditionary Force to Norway during which time he disobeyed a direct order to cease civilian evacuation from Narvik. His action saved some 5000 Norwegians for which King Haakon of Norway awarded him the Ridderkors (Knight’s Cross) of St. Olav in 1943. This award saved him from being court-martialled.”
A very interesting story. I must find out more!!
Baron de Lustrac 1923 Vintage Armagnac
Baron de Lustrac 1923 Vintage Armagnac
I always have a pang of worry when I pack something like this up and no amount of polystyrene posting packs, bubble wrap or shredded paper seems to ease this worry. Essentially your reputation (and your goods) are in the hands of your chosen courier firm as soon as the parcel leaves the shop. But, as the above email demonstrates, this 1923 Baron de Lustrac Vintage Armagnac arrived safely in Norway and, hopefully, made it a 90th birthday to remember.
Check to see if there is a Vintage Armagnac available from your birth year or for a special anniversary here.