Monday, May 21, 2012

Fri Vin 2012

David Léclapart (Champagne)
Emmanuel Giboulot (Bourgogne)
Bertrand Gautherot (Vouette et Sorbée, Champagne)
Olivier Collin (Ulysse Collin, Champagne)
Pascal & Evelyne Clairet (Domaine de la Tournelle, Jura)
Noëlla Morantin (Touraine)
Claudio Fenocchio (Giacomo Fenocchio, Barolo)
Benjamin Zidarich (Friuli)
Sylvie Augereau (Loire)
Hélène & Christophe Comte (Domaine des Vigneaux, Ardèche)
Loïc Roure (Domaine du Possible, Roussillon)
Philippe Wies (La Petite Baigneuse, Maury)
Julie Balagny (Beaujolais)
Guy Breton (Beaujolais)
Matthieu Dumarcher (Rhône)
Alice & Olivier De Moor (Chablis)
Olivier Cousin (Loire)
Jean David (Rhône)
Bruno Rochard (Domaine de Mirebeau, Anjou)
Alexandre Chartogne (Champagne)
Renaud Boyer (Bourgogne)
Isabelle & Bruno Perraud (Beaujolais)
Athenaïs de Beru (Château de Beru, Chablis)
Raimond de Villeneuve (Château Roquefort, Languedoc)
Philippe Tessier (Cherverny)
Béatrice & Michel Augé (Les Maisons Brûlées, Cher)
Théophile Milan (Domaine Henri Milan, Provence)
Françoise & Philippe Gourdon (Château Tour Grise, Saumur)
Anthony Tortul (La Sorga, Roussillon)
Sonia Torretta & Stefano Belotti (Cascina degli Ulivi, Piemonte)
Jurate & Sébastian Riffault (Sancerre)
Vincent Laval (Champagne)
Jean Montanet (Domaine de la Cadette, Vézelay)
Julien Guillot (Clos de Vignes du Mayne, Mâcon)
Alexandre Jouveaux (Mâcon)
Thomas Pico (Domaine Pattes Loup, Chablis)
François Grinand (La Vigne du Perron, Bugey)
Agnès & René Mosse (Anjou)
Giovanna (Az Ag Pacina, Chianti)
Sophie & Richard Leroy (Anjou)
Toby Bainbridge (Anjou)
Guillaume Reynouard (Manoir de la Tête Rouge, Saumur)
François David (Château de Passavant, Anjou)
Marc Tempé (Alsace)
Giampiero Bea (Paolo Bea, Montefalco)
Patrick Meyer (Alsace)
Giovanna Morganti (Le Boncie, Chianti)
Ezio Trinchero (Piemonte)
Le Piane (Piemonte)
Matteo Catania (Gulfi, Sicilien)
Fulvio Bressan (Bressan, Friuli)
Primoz Lavrenčič (Burja Estate, Slovenien)
Alessandra (Monte dall'Ora, Veneto)
Susanna Grassi (I Fabbri, Chianti)
Valerija Simčič (Slovenien)
Isabella Perego fra (Ar.Pe.Pe, Lombardiet)
Fanny Sabre

More information here:


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recently tasted wines

Many of these wines are tasted either at home or in the company of good friends without any notes taken.


3 Champagnes tasted in London with my friend, Anders.

2006 Georges Laval “Les Hautes-Chévres”

They say Vincent Laval have made his best vintage ever in 2006. Now, that would be impossible for me to judge, as I am somewhat of a novice when it comes to Laval. But my God what a Champagne I was about to taste. Mind-blowing complexity with a deep scented Pinot Noir frame, holding slightly overripe fruits and yet it has such a sleek presentation driven by a mineral overload. A very young Champagne, but with such vitality ,who can keep hands of now?

2006 Larmandier-Bernier “Vieille-Vignes de Cramant blanc de Blancs”

Hard to follow Laval’s quality and I needed a few minutes to level with this Champagne, which of course is a different grape and terroir. It’s not as deep as Laval (few are), but this is beautiful Champagne, holding creamy sensations of milk skin, banana and pastry. Cristal clear taste with good mineral bite.

2006 Georges Laval “Les Meuniers de la butte”

Fell rather lucky getting the pleasure of tasting this rare release once again. This bottle was slightly more reserved compared with my previous experience in Dec-2011. Still a one of a kind and the most exotic Pinot Meunier I know of.

At home again:

NV Laherte “Les Clos"

My last “Les Clos” in June-2011 was the first disappointment ever and I have been eager to erase that experience ever since. It happened a weekend in March-2012, were this Champagne once again won my heart. I loved it – find it absolutely stunning with sizzling fresh appeal of both greenish fruits, citrus overload, sophisticated spices (like black tea) and a great acidity game. I believe this bottle was disgorged in early 2010.

2004 Georges Laval “Cumiéres Brut Nature” from Magnum

Served for lunch at my wife’s birthday. Everyone around the table loved it – including me. Just plain a simple adorable with solid baseline of spicy scented fruit, matched up with citrus sparkling and vibrant mineral bite.

2006 Christophe Mignon “Millésimée”

First time I taste Champagne from this producer.  This cuvée is based on 100% Pinot Meunier. A Rich Champagne, with honey fruits, brioche, flowers and some caramel associations. There is deep baseline of dark phrasings, spice-window adding to its density and rich appeal. Despite such bold a character it’s also holds decent purity and a very vibrant acidity keeping everything in balance. I found it   very pleasing to drink. Very interesting new Champagne discovery.

NV (2007) TH & V Demarne-Frison “Goustan”

Another pleasurable reunion – yet it’s evolving a bit faster than anticipated. A Champagne born with really splendid sensorial sweetness, despite the absence of dosage. It’s now accompanied with deeper honey flavours and even some brioche notes, taking the seductive appeal higher. The acidity is still firm, but I believe it will have it’s peak now + 4years.

2009 Cédric Bouchard “Les Ursules”

It’s a shame I didn’t shoot an image of the colour on this Champagne. The 2009 have an incredible dark glowing colour and it’s a beautiful treat for the eye. The inside of the bottle is not bad either, yet I would like to cellar it some two years more before I try it again. It shows how compact and well build Les Ursules are. You can already tell the material is there – however it’s not unfolding yet and the dark cherry notes create too much bitter components for the moment. I am confident it will be better to wait.

2006 Bérèche “Instant Rosé No.1”

I have always loved this Champagne, but when I bought my six-pack just after its’ release I had no idea it would become a cult Champagne - and Raphaël’s best Champagne. It’s been a year since I last tasted it (April-2011 @ Terre et vins de Champage from Magnum)  and it has gained even more intensity. For me it’s a textbook rosé Champagne with salty red perfumes of strawberry and apricot. There is a bit more smoke providing a deeper spectrum and a solid intense baseline. It never get’s too much and it’s so focused and complex.  Also a Champagne ,which you can easily raise up to 16 degrees in temperature without it loosing nerve and focus.  Absolutely adorable Champagne. Disgorged 4th of May 2009.


Mostly tasted Alexandre Jouveaux and my favourites “Chez Charles” and “Selves”. But I did also have a Riesling:

2005 Müller-Catoir Riesling “Breumel in den Mauern” Grosses Gewächs

Extremely bold Riesling opening without any kind of focus and pleasure. In the glass I had an opulent and alcoholic Riesling. It gave away a lot of unfriendly spice scents – sadly leading to reductive tones and in the end giving away some sulphur resemblance. I couldn’t continue the journey and rested it for another day. Day two and three it was still horrible, but at day four some signs of improvement came forward - with a bit more clarity setting in. I liked the structure more than the bouquet itself, but overall it never became a successful date. Maybe it’s in need of further cellaring?


2001 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve

Highly sensual and seductive Italian Sangiovese wine, with a mouth coating appeal. It starts with eat-me-tiger notes of vanilla, leather and dark cherries – all wrapped up in a tense and velvet styled finish. As you pour yourself one glass after another the wine becomes more and more monotone as main attraction is not complex notes, but a wine masked by a way too high  level of new oak. That said – it’s not a wine that is hard to drink – it’s just a wine that doesn’t tell a story.  

2008 Julien Courtois “100%”

I told the retailer that I was looking for a wine with higher purity and preferably fragile red fruit. “Here is one I think you will like, but it’s not a wine with fragile red fruit”, he said.

First impression was something like “hmmmmm”…yes for sure not that fragile red fruit I am always hunting for – but instead dark luxurious fruits. The wine has certain sensuality, flowing with blackberries, dark cherries, forest floor and a sophisticated note of celery. The taste is incredible fresh, juicy, silky and best of all really light weighted. Very delicious.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Alexandre Jouveaux

(Rosé in Zalto Burgundy)

With the risk of repeating my appraisal for the wines of Alexandre Jouveaux I bring you an update on his latest releases, which includes a new white, red and rosé.

Let’s however kick of with two wines you have read about before in the current vintage: 2010. 

2010 Préty

The 2010 Préty are pretty insane stuff. There are some obvious resemblance to the previous vintages, but still the 2010 vintage are even more avant garde. It oozes and flirts with flor yeast notes, which are typical for Vin Jaune and it even have notes of sherry, ammoniac (what you sometimes find in brie cheese), sherry, fennel, liquorice and tarragon. With air – which it’s really in need of – it becomes more linear and although these characteristic flor notes are still present they take a step back.  What also appears are more citrus fruits, flowers and butter in sync with an enormous intensity. The taste is ultra sleek, clear, bone dry - with nerve wrecking energy, acidity and mineral spine. Despite I have already had it twice I am confident it’s better in 2 years time. Possibly the best release I have tasted of this wine. 

2010 Le Mont

Le Mont also flirts with these flor notes, but it’s somewhat different glass of wine. Le Mont might not have the same depth as Préty, yet it offers a more direct attack with even more energy, purity and higher acidity. Le Mont is so political incorrect, filled with personality and  The 2010 are a beautiful specimen and equal with the stunning 2008 vintage. 

A fresh update on Le Mont, which I have just tasted 12th of May-2012. With this bottle, there was a different string of stronger minerality, lime, white flower and crushed rocks. It was ultra clear without any of these flor yeast notes. Beautiful wine and so direct and energetic.  

2010 Combarnier

A new realse and consider to be a kind of entry-level wine. It’s less complex than the Préty and Le Mont, but offers and splendid flowery spectrum, citrus, lime and are filled with Jouveaux’s signature of tense freshness, clarity and acidity. Loved it.

2010 Rosé

When it comes to rosé – both still and Champagne – I often find temperature decisive and an individual parameter. Some do better by always being cold and preserving a mouth-watering freshness. Other has more red wine character and structural base and really do much better in the range of 14 <> 16 degrees. I most often start from 10 degrees and see what happens with warmth.

Here the lower temperature presents some dilemmas, as the wine gave away some rather strange aromas of rifle oil (don’t ask) - mixed with far better notes of red salted fruits. With warmth the profile completely changes and when reaching *14,5 degrees the wine enters a magic zone and becomes one of the most sophisticated still rosé I have ever tasted. The oily aromas are more a dark herbal touch and the salted red fruits now get companionship of strawberry, rosehip, cranberries, iodine and chicken skin. Taste is ultra sleek, tight, salted and with immensely beautiful red perfumes adding a lovely inner warmth.

*To measure the correct temperature I use this little gadget. Highly recommended.

2008 Rouge

The red was the only offering I wasn’t ecstatic about. It’s still a fair wine, but holds some earthed notes of wet forest floor, becoming a bit rustic and lowers the energy and purity a few gears down for my taste.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sans Soufre

The fact that I do indeed like Natural wine and are exposed to lower thresholds of sulphur doesn’t necessarily mean that I am obsessed with a hunt for numbers and a clear division on what wines are on the right side of the “law”.

Nevertheless I am eager to see more and more going for lower dosed sulphur wines as there is clear evidence that sulphur has an impact on wine. Many are spooked and see ghost of movements in the making when discussing sulphur, but in fact the only movement is in their own minds.

I am also pleased to see how it’s often a small authentic grower pushing the boundaries and often producers located at the periphery of the most famed appellations.
To add another trophy for the diversification and alternatives for the wine lower, it pleases me even more to see Champagne now also being exposed to sans soufre and especially to see such a cuvée emerge from the skilled Marie-Courtin in Polissot (Aube).

2009 Marie-Courtin “Concordance”

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Terroir: Clay and chalk
Vines: Planted in 1968
Dosage: 0 g/l
Winemaker: Dominique Moreau
Disgorded: Jan-2012
Glass: Spiegelau Adina Red Wine (Water Goblet)

Let me just say that this experience came across several phases – including; exiting, worrisome and thrilling. The start was good, kicking off with exotic notes of currant, mango and pineapple - wrapped in such a lively and fragile package. It also seemed rather tight and there were distant breezes of seawater indicating a very young Champagne. After having shared 2-3 glasses with my wife, I rested it and returned an hour later. The result was devastating and like sunshine had been replaced with sea fog. In real language this meant a Champagne on the verge of dissolving itself , with this seawater component in completely control, leaving behind a Champagne without nerve, direction or focus. 

Obviously disappointed, I decided to rest maybe 20% of the bottle for the day after.
My excitement was low, but my curiosity was on the other hand elevated, as I released the Champagne stopper on day two. I couldn’t believe it. In the glass were the most focused, fragile and weightless Champagnes I have encounter in a while. Fruit wise, the Pinot Noir character was singing with Aube's magical terroir definition of black cherries and warm currant perfumes. I enjoyed those remaining 3 glasses like it was the last drops of wine I would ever taste. Pure bliss.

Summarizing: I can’t help to wonder what to do when opening my next bottle? I will think like this – it’s one way or the other in need of cellaring and I think 2-3 years should do the trick. Fingers crossed.