The nose is full of menthol and ripe fruits. On the palate a much sweeter style is accompanied by some round flavours of dark cherries. The acidity is well maintained all the way giving the wine a certain purity. Beautiful finish!
Big, big, big! Plums, licorice, dark fruits, the wine is very muscular on the palate! Full bodied, yet super elegant, the acidity & minerality gives this wine a superb texture. Great length with a superb lingering finish!
At first, the wine shows dark fruits and menthol flavours, giving it an unexpected lightness. Then on the mid palate, the richness, spice, oak & silky tannins surface to give a full wine superbely done!
Chiara Boschis is one of the few female winemaker at this level in the Barolo area. Her wines are of great elegance and finesse, especially from her parcel of the Cannubi Cru. The 2004 has a great concentrated bouquet on the nose with fruits, spice & oak. Rich, yet well defined with a classic Character from the Cannubi vineyard. Silky tannins & long finish... A wine for the long run.
I have tasted the whole range of Azelia Barolos upon release in Arpil 2008 and Margheria is no exception to the excellence of Luigi Scavino's work. The wine is opulent & shows superb aromates on the nose. Liquorice, blackcurrant, leathery style at first it continues on the mid palate with plums and more violet. Present tannins with a beautiful menthol fresh finish.
Chardonnay is definitely the most widespread and famous grape in the world today. The wine connoisseurs are so in love with wines produced from this grape that Burgundy winemakers have to allocate their chardonnay Grand Crus rather than to sell them. Easy to grow and robust grapes, Chardonnay is suitable for any weather conditions and for any countries. Rich in sugar, it yields alcoholic wines with either a crisp and mineral style such as the Champagne region or a buttery, almost sweet style from the Burgundy region. Chardonnay is the white grape which suit the most with oak barrel ageing and its home, Burgundy is probably where we can find the finest examples. Its golden skin gives a natural wonderful dress to the white wines. This is indubitably a noble grape and produces arguably the finest white wines in the world. In cool climate, it may lack aromatic strength and piercing flavor. As a result it is used as a base for the blend of others wines.
Loire valley is its home but you can find it now everywhere in the world. Some will say that it is a less prestigious clone of Cabernet Sauvignon but in fact it succeeds in developing its own identity, and one of the greatest example will be the renown Chateau Cheval Blanc which uses on average 60% of Cabernet Franc in its Blend.
Lower in tannins it is supple and perfumed with raspberry and blackcurrant aromas. In the northern part of France the wines tend to be more herbaceous. Nicolas de Bourgueil or Saumur Champigny are good example of the quality of this grape.
One of the most widely planted grape in Italy, Barbera is well known for it's high acidity and cabernet-like fruit character. Mainly planted in the northern part of Italy in the Piedmont area, it yields simple, light wines to be enjoyed in their youth. Barbera has been widely exported to the New World wine regions now where it is used in blends for its acidity, especially in hot regions.
In Spain, it is the most widely cultivated grape used to lighten some dark red wine grapes. This grape is in fact perfectly adapted to hot and sunny weather conditions such as the one in spain and produces fresh and lively white wine made to be drunk young.
This painting was ordered by Louis XV to Jean-Francois de Troy in 1735. The King of France wanted it for the main dining room of the apartments at Versailles Palace in Paris. It was there that the King would eat in privacy, often coming back from hunting.
On the left hand side, the domestics are watching the Champagne cork flying (left column) whilst the Gentleman around the table are eating Oysters served with garlic, butter, salt & pepper. It was amongst the favorite dish at the end of the XVIIIth century. Henri the fourth was known to eat up to 300 of them in one dinner!
The painting shows us some of the customs of the time. The table was dressed with a white table cloth. It was round to avoid any etiquette... The cutlery was made of solid silver and the tableware of fine porcelain probably from China or Japan. The bottles of Champagne were kept cold in cool water (at the front).
It is the end of the dinner and Talleyrand serve a nice glass of Cognac to Fouche whom drinks the precious liquid in one single motion. Tayllerand surprised, intervene : "allow me, it is not the correct way to drink Cognac. Please let me show you. We take the glass in the palm of our hand and warm it up slowly. We swirl the Cognac in a nice circular motion in order to release its perfume. Then we take it to our nostrils and smell the aromas... "and then?" ask Fouche. "Then..." replies Talleyrand. "We put it back on the table and talk about it."
Domaine de la Mordoree Lirac Blanc Cuvee La Reine des Bois 2008
This wine is a blend of Viognier, Roussane, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Clear and light lemon colour. Young and intense on the nose, it is a complex mix of almond, caramelised sugar and a good presence of the alcohol. (14%) 25% of the wine is fermented in oak barrel, which gives a lively and complex palate of white peach, violette and apricot. The toasted wood flavours are well integrated and give a round finish.
Light yellow straw colour. The nose is round with aromas of chestnuts and toasted wood. On the palate, the wine is well balance with a good acidity and well integrated wood flavours of vanilla. A medium bodied chardonnay that develop some roasted oak character and an almost lemon-sweet finish. Very enjoyable indeed.
Domaine David Duband Nuit St Georges 1er Cru Aux Thorey 2004
I double decanted this bottle before tasting it, as I prefer this type of Burgundies to have some air first to get rid off any "sharp edges". The nose is complex and full of ripe fruits. The wine is very attractive on the palate with subtle acidity and tannins, well integrated to the flavours of herbs and red berries. The finish is round and generous with a medium length.
Domaine de la Mordoree Tavel Rose La Dame Rousse 2008
Deep rose colour. Intense and rich on the nose, with plenty of candied aromas. "Zesty" on the palate, this rose is a classic Tavel, with a full bodied structure, good presence of alcohol (14.5%) and great flavours of strawberries, raspberries and roses. The finish is soft and long.
Drink this wine well chilled for optimum pleasure.
Domaine Vincent Girardin Gevrey-Chambertin vieilles Vignes 2005
"Dark cherry aromas and toasty on the nose, this Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes has classic tones of earth and red berry fruit on the palate. The structure is rich with a well integrated acidity and attractive flavours of strawberry and raspberry. The finish is medium and lingering." QC
Text from The New Yorker, by Patrick Radden Keefe.
"In April, Koch wrote to Rodenstock again, asking whether the two could meet, “over a good glass of wine, at a place of your choosing,” to discuss some of his concerns about the bottles. Rodenstock declined. “From a legal point of view the purchase and the sale are barred by the statute of limitations,” he wrote. The person who sold him the bottles in 1985 was in his sixties at the time, he continued, and might no longer be alive. Questions about the bottles’ authenticity were “grist for the mill of the yellow press.” When the suit was filed, Rodenstock moved to dismiss it. Koch’s lawyers flew to London in October to interview Michael Broadbent, who was by then seventy-nine years old but still active on the international wine circuit. Broadbent said he had asked Rodenstock “over and over again” to divulge the address where the bottles were found. But he continued to maintain that the Jefferson bottles were real. In a way, Broadbent had little choice. He had based hundreds of tasting notes in his books and auction catalogues on wines supplied by Hardy Rodenstock. The notion that twentieth-century connoisseurs could testify to what an eighteenth-century wine tastes like depended on the integrity of Rodenstock, one of the primary suppliers of those wines. If Rodenstock was exposed as a fraud, the credibility of Broadbent, who had repeatedly certified Rodenstock’s findings, would suffer a considerable blow. When asked why he had not done more research into the Th.J. Lafitte before the auction, he replied, “We are auctioneers; we are like journalists on deadlines. I did not have the time.” The lawyers asked whether Christie’s had prepared any written evidence back in 1985 to buttress the wine department’s claims about the bottles. Broadbent responded that it never occurred to him to put anything in writing. “With Christie’s we are all perfect gentlemen,” he said. Last fall, Richard Brierley, the head of Christie’s wine sales in the United States, told John Wilke, at the Wall Street Journal, that while he wasn’t involved in the 1985 authentication of the Jefferson bottles, “looking back, more questions could have been asked.” (Christie’s contends that Brierley was quoted out of context.) Hugo Morley-Fletcher, who, in 1985, was the head of Christie’s ceramics department and was one of the glass experts Broadbent consulted about the authenticity of the Forbes bottle, told me, “My opinion at that time, within my experience, was that it was correct. . . . The trouble is we are engaged in an activity which is not a precise science.” He explained that he had judged that the bottle dated to the eighteenth century, and that the engraving dated to the same period. When I asked whether there was any possibility that he could have been mistaken about the engraving, he replied, “Of course,” and added, “One has to come up with an opinion. It is possible that one was conned.” Despite numerous attempts, I was unable to reach Michael Broadbent, but a Christie’s spokesman told me that “Mr. Broadbent’s decision to go forward with the sale represented his considered opinion based on all of the facts available to him at that time—a decision that we would not speculate upon twenty-two years later.” Still, Christie’s fine-and-rare-wine auction in New York in December, 2006, featured a 1934 Pétrus accompanied by a description, taken from Broadbent’s book, of a 1934 Pétrus imperial that he had tasted years earlier. “Where Hardy Rodenstock finds these wines I know not,” it read. “There are simply no records of production, of stock or sales prior to 1945. All I can say is that the big bottle was delicious.” Koch did not know whether Rodenstock had consigned the bottle (Christie’s told me he had not). But he was angry that even in the face of the allegations in his suit the auction house would promote wine with Broadbent notes on Rodenstock bottles. He telephoned the auction house to complain, but Christie’s proceeded with the auction. The wine was offered at twenty-two hundred dollars. It went unsold. No one knows how many bottles of wine—real or fake—Hardy Rodenstock has sold over the years. His deals were often in cash. (“If you pay in cash, then people don’t have to declare the sale for tax purposes,” he once told an interviewer. “Two hundred thousand dollars in cash can sometimes be better than a million-dollar check.”) Protective of both his suppliers and his buyers, he did not volunteer information about particular sales. Jim Elroy thinks that, at ten thousand dollars a bottle or more, Rodenstock could have sold ten bottles a month and made more than a million dollars a year. As Koch was launching his suit against Rodenstock, a Massachusetts software entrepreneur named Russell Frye filed a lawsuit against the Wine Library, a distributor in Petaluma, California, alleging that it had sold him nineteenth-century Lafite and Yquem, along with dozens of other rare old wines, that were counterfeit. Frye’s complaint notes that one of the defendants in the case “has recently informed plaintiff that many of the bottles that plaintiff alleges are counterfeit or questionable were ultimately obtained from Hardy Rodenstock.” Koch owns some forty thousand bottles of wine, stored in three cellars. In May, I visited one, a refrigerated warren of dark-wood racks underneath his house in Osterville, on Cape Cod. Jim Elroy had sought the help of two experts, David Molyneux-Berry and Bill Edgerton, to go through the cellar and identify suspicious bottles. Molyneux-Berry worked at Sotheby’s for years before becoming a private wine consultant, and it was he who rejected Hans-Peter Frericks’s bottle of Th.J. Lafitte. In Frericks’s cellar, he had identified one obvious fake after another. According to the collector’s detailed records, they had all come from Hardy Rodenstock. Molyneux-Berry was also suspicious of Rodenstock’s many colorful discoveries. As a representative of Sotheby’s, Molyneux-Berry had made frequent official trips to Russia. “I went to Kiev and saw the cellar there,” he told me. “I went to Moldova and saw the cellars there. I had the highest introductions you can get. Yet Rodenstock goes to Russia and finds the tsar’s cellars somewhere else. And it’s the entire first growth of Bordeaux. . . . And he found magnums. In volume.” From a sample of three thousand bottles of pre-1961 vintages of often counterfeited brands, Molyneux-Berry and Edgerton identified about a hundred and thirty suspicious or obviously fake bottles in Koch’s collection. “You get to know what bottles look like,” Molyneux-Berry told me. “Obvious fakes stand out like a sore thumb.” They put a white sticker on each suspicious bottle. The next day, a professional photographer took high-resolution pictures, which, if necessary, could be introduced in court. In some cases, the bottle, the label, and the capsule all appeared genuine, but the rarity of the wine alone was ground for suspicion. Koch owns two magnums of Lafleur from 1947, for instance. “Forty-seven is the great Lafleur,” Molyneux-Berry said. But, he continued, he has heard that in 1947 the vineyard bottled only five magnums. “What’s the chance of him having two out of five?” he asked. Edgerton maintains an online database that tracks auction sales and prices. Nineteen magnums of ’47 Lafleur have sold at auction since 1998. Serena Sutcliffe, of Sotheby’s, told me that most wealthy collectors would rather not know about the fakes, or, if they do know, would rather not make it public. She said that on a number of occasions she has inspected a cellar that a collector was interested in auctioning and rejected it, in whole or in part, because of the preponderance of fakes, only to learn that the collector sold the phony wine through one of her competitors. The collectors “don’t want to take the hit,” she said. “The case is much bigger” than Rodenstock, Koch told me. “When I get finished going through all the wine in my collection, I’m going after all the people who sold it to me,” he said. “The retailers, they know they’re doing it. They’re complicit.” One of Koch’s problem bottles is a magnum of 1921 Pétrus that he bought for thirty-three thousand dollars at an auction organized by the New York wine retailer Zachys, in 2005. Koch believes that the wine originated from Rodenstock; he mentions the bottle in his lawsuit. (Zachys says it has no evidence to indicate whether the wine originally came from Rodenstock.) It was another magnum of 1921 Pétrus that Robert Parker had awarded a hundred points and pronounced “out of this universe” at Rodenstock’s Munich event in 1995. Last spring, Jim Elroy took Koch’s magnum to Bordeaux to have it inspected at the winery. The Pétrus staff ultimately concluded that the cork was the wrong length, and that the cap and the label appeared to have been artificially aged. Pétrus confirmed that they had doubts about the authenticity of the bottle. And the cellar master, in his interview with Elroy, said that he had never heard of a magnum of 1921 Pétrus and did not believe that any were bottled at the vineyard. This raised an interesting question. If Pétrus made no magnums in 1921, what was Parker drinking at the Rodenstock event? Parker’s nose is insured for a million dollars; it seems almost pathological that Rodenstock would invite such a man to his table and serve him a fake. Elroy sees this as further proof of Rodenstock’s guilt, maintaining that this kind of risktaking is not unusual in a counterfeiter. “I know a lot about fraudsters,” he said. “I put a lot of them in prison. They feel, I’m so smart. I’m smarter than anyone in the world. Rodenstock feels that way.” If indeed Parker’s hundred-point 1921 Pétrus was a fake, such hubris might not be misplaced. Could Rodenstock have become so proficient at making fake wine that his fakes tasted as good as, or even better than, the real thing? When I asked Parker about the bottle, he hastened to say that even the best wine critics are fallible. Yet he reiterated that the bottle was spectacular. “If that was a fake, he should be a mixer,” Parker said. “It was wonderful.” Early this summer, Hardy Rodenstock fired the Manhattan lawyers he had engaged to contest Koch’s suit. In a letter to the trial judge, he objected that the court had no jurisdiction over him, as a German citizen; that Koch had bought the bottles not directly from him but from third parties; and that the case should be barred by the statute of limitations. It might be Koch’s “hobby to take actions against people for years,” he suggested, but he wanted no part of “such ‘silly games.’ ” After spelling out his objections, he announced, “I get out of the procedure.” Rodenstock would not agree to be interviewed for this piece, but in a series of faxes, most of them in German, he maintained his innocence and fiercely objected to Bill Koch’s portrayal of him, denouncing Koch’s “concoctions and shenanigans.” He acknowledged that his legal name is Meinhard Goerke, but insisted that many people change their names, pointing to Larry King as an example. Rodenstock denied telling Tina York that he was a member of the Rodenstock family, and maintained that he was indeed a professor, writing, “That is a fact! Verifiable!” He disputed accounts that he found a hundred cases of Bordeaux in Venezuela, observing, “That would be 1200 bottles?!?!?!” As for Andreas Klein’s allegations about finding empty bottles and labels in his basement, Rodenstock wrote that it was not uncommon for wine connoisseurs to save empties after a wine tasting. “I take the labels from old bottles to have them framed,” he said. “This looks very nice!” He denied supplying any bottles to the Wine Library, or the magnum of Pétrus that Koch mentioned in the lawsuit, and insisted, “My 1921 Pétrus bottles were always absolutely genuine!!!” He cited Parker’s hundred-point review, and asked, “Is there any better proof that the wine was genuine when world-renowned experts described it as superb and gave it the highest possible grade?” Rodenstock took particular exception to Bill Koch’s account of their one meeting, in 2000, at Christie’s Latour tasting. “I was not late!!” he insisted. “I neither looked uncomfortable nor did I run away from him fast. My facial expression was, I am sure, full of pleasant anticipation of the wonderful Latour tasting. I was in a very good mood!!!” In Rodenstock’s recollection, Koch said that he owned some Jefferson bottles, and Rodenstock replied, “Good for you, but you didn’t get them from me.” When it comes to the authenticity of the Th.J. bottles, Rodenstock offers a number of sometimes contradictory defenses. “If Christie’s had the slightest doubt about the authenticity, they would not have accepted the bottle of 1787 Lafitte,” he wrote. “I am therefore beyond reproach!” He suggested that Koch’s analysis of the initials was performed not by scientists but by “amateur engravers” who were friends of Koch, and were being paid for their conclusions. But in his letter to the court he entertained the possibility that the initials were modern, hypothesizing that whoever originally sold him the wines “had some bottles re-engraved over the old engravings . . . because they were no longer clearly legible.” He has also suggested that Koch himself or one of his staff may have had the bottles reëngraved, and added, “A great deal can have happened to the bottles in twenty years!!!” (When Hans-Peter Frericks sued over his Jefferson bottle, Rodenstock made a similar claim, suggesting that Frericks had tampered with his own bottle in order to frame Rodenstock.) On August 14th, the magistrate judge, who has supervised pretrial procedural issues, recommended that the court enter a default judgment against Rodenstock, because of his refusal to participate. The trial judge must now decide whether or not to accept Rodenstock’s various procedural defenses. But even if he is handed a default judgment Rodenstock insists that German courts will not enforce it. Meanwhile, Jim Elroy has turned over the findings of his investigation to the authorities, a grand jury has been convened to hear evidence, and the F.B.I. has begun issuing subpoenas to wine collectors, dealers, and auction houses. “It’s going to have a salutary effect on the whole industry,” Koch told me. “And if the judge throws the lawsuit out for some technical reason I’ve got five others I could bring.” In the back of his Palm Beach wine cellar, past rows of priceless bottles, behind elegant cast-iron grillework, is a closet in which Koch keeps his very oldest bottles, many of which he now believes are fake. I picked up a bottle of the 1787 Th.J. Lafitte. It was cold and surprisingly heavy in my hands, and I ran my fingers over the letters. Could a shared passion for the rarest old wines have blinded everyone—the collectors, the critics, the auctioneers—to the sheer improbability of those initials? Jefferson had asked in the 1790 letter that his wine and Washington’s wine be marked, but surely he was referring to the cases and not the individual bottles. Koch uncorked a bottle of 1989 Montrachet, and we walked upstairs and settled into comfortable leather chairs in the cowboy room. The wine was crisp and minerally; to my untutored palate, it tasted pretty good. As we discussed the case, I noticed that Koch seemed anything but aggrieved. He has thrown himself into his battle against Rodenstock and phony wine with the same headlong enthusiasm that he devoted to collecting wine. “I used to brag that I got the Thomas Jefferson wines,” he said. “Now I get to brag that I have the fake Thomas Jefferson wines.” Outside, the sun was beginning to set, and Koch’s chef informed him that dinner would be softshell crab and venison. Koch flipped through his cellar book, a hefty binder listing his wines. Upstairs, one of the children was bouncing a basketball. Bridget Rooney walked in, with the couple’s one-year-old daughter, Kaitlin, in her arms. “We’re talking fake wine,” Koch said. “Want to join us?” Rooney took a seat next to him. She wore a rope of enormous pearls around her neck, and didn’t seem to notice that Kaitlin was chewing on them. She reached for Koch’s glass and took a sip. “Mmm,” she murmured. “That’s not fake.” "
Text from The New Yorker, by Patrick Radden Keefe.
"Skeptical of both parties’ tests, Elroy sought out Philippe Hubert, a French physicist who had devised a method of testing the age of wine without opening the bottle. Hubert uses low-frequency gamma rays to detect the presence of the radioactive isotope cesium 137. Unlike carbon 14, cesium 137 is not naturally occurring; it is a direct result of nuclear fallout. A wine bottled before the advent of atmospheric nuclear testing contains no cesium 137, so the test yields no results for older wines. But if a wine does contain cesium 137 the short half-life of the isotope—thirty years—allows Hubert to make a more precise estimate of its age. Elroy flew to France, with the Jefferson bottles packed in two bulletproof, impact-resistant cases, which he carried as hand luggage. (He had obtained a carnet, a sort of passport for objects, so that he would not have to pay any duties while crossing borders with a half million dollars’ worth of wine. When airport security scrutinized the bottles between flights at Heathrow, Elroy deadpanned, “You just can’t get a good bottle of wine on the airplane.”) The lab where Hubert and Elroy tested the wine is under a mile-high stretch of the Alps on the French-Italian border. The bottles were placed into a detector that was surrounded by ten inches of lead and were subjected to a week of tests. Elroy was confident by now that he and his investigators were closing in on Rodenstock. “With the evidence I’m seeing from Monticello, combined with what I’m seeing from Germany, I’m ninety-nine-per-cent sure this guy is a fraud,” he recalled. When Hubert completed the tests, however, he identified no cesium 137 in the bottles. “I don’t know whether it’s 1783 or 1943,” Hubert told Elroy. But the wine predated the atomic age. “I can’t tell you how disappointing it was,” Elroy told me. “I’ve got the historical evidence, but if we’re going to do this criminally there’s got to be more than that. I’ve got to have some kind of scientific or other evidence, or it’s not going to be prosecutable.” On the plane back to the United States, Elroy took one of the bottles down and held it in his hands. “I’m looking at the capsule and the glass itself,” he said. “I run my hand over the engraving. I can feel it. And then I think, This is a tool mark. This was done with a tool.” When Elroy landed, he called the F.B.I.’s laboratory, in Quantico, Virginia. The lab’s ballistics experts specialize in tool-mark examinations, noting the telltale impression that a gun barrel leaves on a bullet, or a screwdriver makes when it pries open a window. The lab gave Elroy the names of some recently retired specialists. He also visited the Corning Museum of Glass, in upstate New York, where he was referred to an expert glass engraver, Max Erlacher, an Austrian-born craftsman who had done work for a number of American Presidents. Several weeks later, Elroy hired Erlacher and a retired F.B.I. tool expert named Bill Albrecht to examine the bottles at Bill Koch’s estate in Palm Beach. Elroy wanted to know whether the writing on the bottles had been done with a copper wheel, the sort of tool used in the eighteenth century to engrave glass. In Jefferson’s time, the copper wheel, usually operated by a foot pedal, spun in a stationary position, and the engraver moved the bottle around it. Erlacher and Albrecht inspected the bottles, examining the ridges of the engraving under a powerful magnifying glass. Letters engraved by a copper wheel tend to vary in thickness, like the strokes of a fountain pen. But the lettering on the bottles was strangely uniform, and it slanted in a way that a copper-wheel engraving would not. The initials could not have been made in the eighteenth century, Erlacher concluded. Instead, they looked as if they might have been done with a handheld tool like a dentist’s drill or a Dremel—a tool powered by electricity. This was “a quantum leap,” Elroy thought. As it happened, he had a Dremel tool at home. “I get a bottle of wine, and I screw with it,” he recalled. “And in an hour I can engrave ‘Th.J.’ ” On August 31, 2006, Bill Koch filed a civil complaint against Rodenstock (“a.k.a. Meinhard Goerke”) in New York federal court. Although it was the Chicago Wine Company and Farr Vintners that had sold Koch the wines, the complaint alleged that Rodenstock had orchestrated an “ongoing scheme” to defraud wine collectors. “Rodenstock is charming and debonair,” the complaint read. “He is also a con artist.” Before filing the suit, Koch’s lawyers were interested to see whether Rodenstock would acknowledge a personal connection to Koch’s Jefferson bottles (given that Koch had not bought them directly from him), and whether he might effectively continue the alleged fraud by still insisting that they were real. So Koch faxed Rodenstock a cordial letter, in January, 2006, saying that he was trying to authenticate his Jefferson wines, and asking Rodenstock to send a letter indicating that he had “every reason to believe” that the bottles “once belonged to Thomas Jefferson.” Rodenstock replied on January 10th, saying, “The Jefferson bottles are absolutely genuine and . . . come from a walled up cellar in Paris.” He pointed out that Christie’s had vouched for the bottles’ authenticity, and enclosed a copy of Bonani’s report. “You will surely understand that the discussions on the genuineness of the Jefferson bottles [are] herewith closed for me,” he wrote. "
The nose is biscuity, with complex aromas of ripen fruits. Apricot, peach and toasted chestnuts. The palate is very fine and delineated with a rich honey and brioche style. Balanced and well integrated acidity with a floral and silky finish.
At first the nose was clearly marked by citrus notes fading slowly after a few minutes. Almond, peach and herbal flavors were nicely integrated in its lacelike structure. The finish is clean with plenty of red berries. Nice Rose, yet not as impressive as I thought. Maybe it will need some time to come up to the expectations. Acidity was quite present, meaning a long life ahead!
Scents of delicate aromas, citrus, vanilla and grass with an amazing yeasty style. The bubbles are fine and enhanced the medium bodied creamy style on the back of the palate. Then more citrus and mineral tones are developing with great depth and finesse, leaving all senses to a rich finish.
Tasting from Magnums. Perfume of roasted chestnuts and floral notes. The palate was delicate, yet firm with beautiful citrus aromas and a well balanced, but still high acidity. The finish was long and re-enforced the nutty elements. Somehow the format made a big difference and the Champagne had a higher acidity and will obviously age longer than the bottle format.
This Champagne is also referred as Fleur de Champagne in the United-States.
Domaine Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 2005
Impressive nose after a few seconds of opening. Beautiful scent of vanilla and wood. Irresistible! The acidity is well integrated to the aromas. Apricot, peach, citrus and nutty flavors are all balanced in this fatty style Chardonnay that shows a great structure even so young! The fruit is very much present and exotic! Superb!
After less than 1 hour decanting. (shame we didn't have more time) The wine was opaque. Deep Ruby colour. Complex aromas on the nose. Raspberries, strawberries and cassis. Slightly minty at first, it shows a wonderful silky palate with present but not overwhelming tannins. A full body wine that has a long life to live. Acidity is there, but the wine is very powerful and gives the palate sometime to tune to the even more complex finish! Try this now or in 10 years, it's to die for!
Controversial. That will be the best word to describe this wine. It has gone through many phases in the bottle and last time I tried it (this year) I discovered a totally changed wine. We open the bottle for a mere 24 hours before giving it a try! It filled up the room with its scents and needed that much time to untighten...Leathery, smoky, minty, herbal, aromatic, such a complex wine! Full of suprises on the palate, with a spicy tone that unveil more fruit on the back of the mouth. Big, very big, it last for a good 30 seconds! Not a typical La Chapelle, but a wine that will be enjoyable for another 15 years at least!
Complex and aromatic on the nose! Roasted nuts, coffee and Thyme aromas. I couldn't resist to take a mouthful of it and my senses awaken once again to a big and powerful palate, yet with an incredibly well balanced acidity. Medium to full bodied, it was fresh, sophisticated and round. Full of energy with a beautiful lingering finish that lasted for a long long time. Impressive work from Bollinger.
David Duband Nuit St Georges 1er Cru La Richemone 2004
Warm and attractive nose of rose petals and red berries. On the palate, intense flavours of raspberry and blueberry. The acidity is still high for a 5 years old wine, which means it should age very well over the years. Would be very interesting to try this wine over the next 10 years to see it evolve. The finish is quite long and keeps the complexity of the wine 'til the end.
A well crafted Nuit St Georges, in a classic form. This 100% pinot noir is all about subtlety.
Etienne Guigal did it again and manage in 2005 to score on his three top Cote Roties 100 points each from Mr. Robert Parker Jr.
2005 was indeed a fantastic vintage for Northern Rhone and even if April brought a little snow around Hermitage, the growing season was nearly perfect. The great fruit and good acidity of the wines will give these wines amazing ageing time, therefore are perfect for investment.
My advise will be to get the three together and put them aside for a few years.
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne 2005 RP100
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline 2005 RP100
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 2005 RP100
As the 2005 vintage is as good or better than 1999 for Guigal, we should expect a 100% growth within 6 years if the market conditions are picking up.
Price evolution of the 3 E. Guigal Cote Rotie 1999:
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne 1999 (RP 100) : 2003 = $433 /2008 = $789
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline 1999 (RP 100) : 2003 = $432 /2008 = $812
E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque 1999 (RP 100) : 2003 = $408 /2008 = $777
As we can see on the graphs, the price growth is around 100% from 2003 to 2008.
Text from The New Yorker, by Patrick Radden Keefe.
"The forger’s greatest advantage is that many buyers wait years before opening their fraudulent bottles, if they open them at all. Bill Koch told me that he owns wine that he has no intention of ever drinking. He collects bottles from certain vineyards almost as if they were baseball cards, aiming to complete a set. “I just want a hundred and fifty years of Lafite on the wall,” he said. He would hesitate before consuming the harder-to-come-by vintages, because to do so would render the set incomplete, and also because the rarest old wines often come not from the best vintages but from the worst. Historically, when good vintages were produced, collectors would lay them down to see how they would age, Koch explained. But when renowned vineyards produced mediocre vintages people would drink them soon after they were bottled, making the vintage scarce. When I wondered why he would buy old wines that he never intended to drink, Koch shrugged. “I’m never going to shoot Custer’s rifle,” he said. The second great advantage for wine forgers is that when collectors do open fraudulent bottles they often lack the experience and acute sense of taste to know that they have been defrauded. To begin with, even genuine old wines vary enormously from bottle to bottle. “It’s a living organism,” Sotheby’s Serena Sutcliffe told me. “It moves, it changes, it evolves—and once you’re into wines that are forty, fifty, sixty years old, even if the bottles are stored side by side in similar conditions, you will get big differences between bottles.” Studies suggest that the experience of smelling and tasting wine is extremely susceptible to interference from the cognitive parts of the brain. Several years ago, Frédéric Brochet, a Ph.D. student in oenology at the University of Bordeaux, did a study in which he served fifty-seven participants a midrange red Bordeaux from a bottle with a label indicating that it was a modest vin de table. A week later, he served the same wine to the same subjects but this time poured from a bottle indicating that the wine was a grand cru. Whereas the tasters found the wine from the first bottle “simple,” “unbalanced,” and “weak,” they found the wine from the second “complex,” “balanced,” and “full.” Brochet argues that our “perceptive expectation” arising from the label often governs our experience of a wine, overriding our actual sensory response to whatever is in the bottle. Thus there is a bolder kind of forger who actually substitutes one type of wine for another. He often works with genuine bottles bearing genuine labels, obtaining empties from restaurants or antique shops, filling them with another type—or types—of wine, and replacing the cork and the capsule, assuming that the status-conscious buyer will never taste the difference. And, in many cases, this assumption is right. Sutcliffe believes that the vast majority of fake wines are happily enjoyed. Rajat Parr, a prominent wine director who oversees restaurants in Las Vegas, told me that several years ago some of his customers ordered a bottle of 1982 Pétrus, which can sell in restaurants for as much as six thousand dollars. The party finished the bottle and ordered a second. But the second bottle tasted noticeably different, so they sent it back. The staff apologetically produced a third bottle, which the diners consumed with pleasure. Parr closely examined the three bottles and discovered the problem with the second one: it was genuine. If the Th.J. bottles were counterfeit, the question facing Jim Elroy was whether someone else’s genuine eighteenth-century bottles had been passed off as Thomas Jefferson’s or whether the wine had actually been adulterated. The fact that Broadbent and other connoisseurs had tasted several Jefferson bottles and declared them authentic seemed to suggest that the wine in the bottles was the real thing. Jancis Robinson, another Master of Wine and the wine columnist for the Financial Times, had attended the 1998 Yquem tasting, and found the two Th.J. bottles “convincingly old,” slightly moldy initially, but then, as “the miracle of great old wine began to work,” opening up, with the 1784 giving off a “feminine fragrance of roses” and the 1787 “autumnal aromas of burnt sugar and undergrowth.” But Brochet told me that, in tastings, experts are more susceptible than average drinkers to interference from their own experience and presumptions. And these endorsements seem to be disputed by the scientific test commissioned by Hans-Peter Frericks, which found that nearly half of the wine in his 1787 Lafitte dated to sometime after 1962. Following Frericks’s test, Rodenstock had commissioned his own, on another bottle of 1787 Lafitte, from Dr. Georges Bonani, a Zurich scientist. Bonani carbon-dated the wine and determined that no wine in the bottle dated to 1962 or later, thus contradicting the specific finding of Frericks’s study. Rodenstock frequently referred to Bonani’s results as “conclusive” in their authentication of the bottle. But it seems difficult to consider any of these tests truly conclusive. For one thing, the different tests were conducted on different bottles, and it seems rash to extrapolate from the results of one bottle anything about the authenticity of the others. Further, carbon dating can’t provide a reliable determination of the age of wines bottled during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and an examination of Bonani’s lab report reveals that his findings reflected a considerable margin of error. While the test might have ruled out the presence of late-twentieth-century wine, it did not provide absolute proof that the wine dated to 1787. “The test says only that the wine is from somewhere between 1673 and 1945,” Bonani wrote in a recent e-mail."
Text from The New Yorker, by Patrick Radden Keefe.
"Broadbent wrote letters to Monticello as well, standing by Rodenstock and the bottles. Some unbridgeable philosophical gap seemed to separate the historians in Virginia and the connoisseurs in Europe. Broadbent, like Rodenstock, expressed confidence that the sensory experience of consuming a bottle of wine trumped historical evidence. In June, 1986, he noted that he had just tasted a bottle of Rodenstock’s 1787 Th.J. Branne Mouton. The wine was “sensationally good,” Broadbent wrote. “If anyone had any lingering doubts about the authenticity of this extraordinary old wine, they were completely removed. . . . Admittedly, there is no written evidence that these particular bottles had been in the possession of Jefferson, but I am now firmly convinced that this indeed was the wine that Jefferson ordered.” It wasn’t only the researchers at Monticello who raised doubts about the wine. Before Christie’s auctioned the bottle to Forbes, Rodenstock had offered a bottle of the Th.J. Lafitte to a German collector named Hans-Peter Frericks, for around ten thousand Deutsche marks. After Forbes spent forty times that sum, Frericks decided to auction his own bottle and approached Broadbent. But Rodenstock intervened, saying that he had sold the bottle to Frericks on the condition that Frericks not resell it. (Frericks denies that such a condition existed.) Frericks turned to Sotheby’s, but, after examining the evidence, the auction house declined, citing the bottle’s uncertain provenance. Rodenstock’s efforts to stop the sale, along with Sotheby’s doubts about the bottle, made Frericks suspicious, and in 1991 he sent the bottle to a Munich lab to have its contents carbon-dated. All organic material contains the radioactive isotope carbon 14, which exhibits a predictable rate of decay; scientists can thus analyze the amount of the isotope in a bottle of wine in order to approximate its age. Carbon 14 has a long half-life, and carbon dating is relatively imprecise for evaluating objects that are several centuries old. But nuclear atmospheric tests in the nineteen-fifties and sixties offer a benchmark of sorts, since levels of carbon 14 rise sharply during that period. In this case, the amounts of carbon 14 and of another isotope, tritium, were much higher than one would expect for two-hundred-year-old wine, and the scientists concluded that the bottle contained a mixture of wines, nearly half of which dated to 1962 or later. Frericks sued Rodenstock, and, in December, 1992, a German court found in his favor, holding that Rodenstock “adulterated the wine or knowingly offered adulterated wine.” (Rodenstock appealed, and sued Frericks for defamation. The matter was ultimately settled out of court.) In addition to the former MI5 agent, the indefatigable Elroy employed two private investigators in Germany, who discovered that Hardy Rodenstock was a fictitious name. The investigators visited Rodenstock’s home town, Marienwerder, in what is now Poland. They reported to Koch that Rodenstock had started out as Meinhard Goerke, the son of a local railroad official. They interviewed Rodenstock’s mother and visited his elementary school. The investigators told Koch that Rodenstock had trained as an engineer and taken a job with German Federal Railways; they could find no evidence to support his claims of being a professor. They also interviewed Tina York, a German pop singer with whom Rodenstock was romantically involved in the seventies and eighties. York told them that during her decade-long relationship with Rodenstock he hid the fact that he had two sons from an earlier marriage. “He always talked about two nephews,” she said. Rodenstock had adopted his new identity at about the time he met York, the investigators said, and told her that he was part of the famous Rodenstock family. It was while he was with York that he first became interested in wine. She didn’t share his devotion to the hobby. She remembered placing a bowl of potato salad in his air-conditioned wine cellar one day, to keep it cool. “Rodenstock just flipped out,” she said. Rodenstock was known for his discerning nose and his ability to identify wines in blind tastings. Elroy wondered whether he might possess the skills of a mixer, the type of expert that vineyards employ to achieve a precise blend of grapes. There are no scientific tests that can reliably determine the grape varietals in a bottle of wine, and Elroy speculated that Rodenstock might have concocted forgeries by mixing various wines—and even a dash of port, as forgers have been known to do—in order to create a cocktail that tasted like the real thing. Pursuing these suspicions, Elroy’s team of investigators asked several people they interviewed whether they had any recollection of Rodenstock’s having a laboratory where counterfeits could be made. Then, last October, a German named Andreas Klein approached Koch’s team and said that Rodenstock had lived for several years in an apartment owned by his family. The two had quarrelled over Klein’s desire to add an apartment above Rodenstock’s, and ended up in court. In 2004, after Rodenstock abandoned the apartment, Klein entered his former tenant’s cellar and discovered a collection of empty bottles and a stack of apparently new wine labels. In response to these claims, Rodenstock has initiated legal proceedings against Klein. There are two types of wine counterfeiters: those who do not tamper with what is inside the bottle and those who do. Because the price of a great vintage of fine wine often dwarfs the price of an indifferent one, many forgers will start with a genuine bottle of, say, 1980 Pétrus and simply replace the label with one from 1982. (The ’82 vintage is especially coveted and expensive.) With a good scanner and a color printer, labels are easy to replicate—one former auctioneer I spoke with called it “desktop publishing.” The cork in the bottle is marked with the year, but forgers sometimes scratch away the last digit, assuming that the buyer won’t notice. Moreover, because corks tend to deteriorate after decades in the bottle, some vineyards offer a recorking service, so a bottle with a newer cork might not immediately arouse suspicion. In any event, the cork is generally concealed by the foil capsule until the buyer opens the bottle. "
On the nose the Clos St Denis exhibit concentrated black fruits and provence herbs. This is a precise wine with clean flavors of ripe fruits. The alcohol and acidity are well integrated in the structure of the wine. This is a wine very well made with good ageing potential.
Lafite was founded in the fourteenth century. Established as a medieval seigneury, the land already bore vines, yet it was not until Jacques de Segur in 1670, that the vineyards were organised and cultivated. His son, Alexandre de Segur will take over the property and in 1695 married Chateau Latour 's heiress and united the two Domaine with the birth of their son, Nicholas-Alexandre de Segur.
In 1732-1733, Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of her Majesty, buys one Barrique of Lafite every three months, despite the fact that in France nobody is interested in red wine from Bordeaux!
Indeed, French were only drinking the rose wines from the region. The term clairet (meaning pale in french) represented the light colour of these wines and was the origin of the English word Claret.
The reputation of the wine's quality quickly grew and at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Chateau Lafite was brought to London by the Royal Navy in Barriques. The wines were sold to the finest families of the Kingdom and at auctions.
From 1716, Nicholas-Alexandre de Segur started to develop the Lafite's name at the King's court in Versaille. He was often called the Prince of vines and after a discussion between Louis XV and the Marechal Richelieux, the King of France decided to gratified the wines of Lafite as the King's wine. Needless to say, that everyone in France wanted to buy and drink the wines of the now famous Chateau and most dinners were accompanied by a few bottles.
Since Nicholas-Alexandre de Segur had no heir and his four daughters inherited the Domaines (including Latour). In 1784 a distant cousin Nicolas Pierre de Pichard took over the Chateau and eventually Lafite left the Segur family, when Nicolas was executed by the French Revolutionaries.
The Domaine changed hands several times during the nineteenth century, until it was bought over by the Baron James de Rothschild in 1868.
Until the second world war, the Domaine is shining above the rest and after 5 years of difficult war times, Elie de Rothschild is in charge of bringing back the reputation of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild to its former glory. A succession of incredible vintages helped the process : 1945, 1947 and 1949.
Until today, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild remains one of France's finest winery and the vintages to come will continue to be nothing but excellence.
Deep ruby colour with opaque core. On the nose, aromas of creme de cassis and black cherry. The palate is soft with a good presence of tannins. Once the wine opens up (after 15 minutes in the glass) the tannins start to fade away and complex flavors of candy, cassis and black cherry develop around the well balanced acidity.
Fine bubbles are the trademark of this great Champagne house and their Brut Reserve cuvee is no exception. The nose has a biscuity style with exotic fruits and hints of white flowers. The palate presents a good structured Champagne lifter as it should by the fine bubbles. Aromas of bread and biscuit are in the front with a sweet background. The acidity is well integrated. The finish is soft and mineral yet rich enough to last.
I have tried this Champagne many times with food and the best match I have experienced will be with sushi and sashimis. Really worth the treat!
Chateau de la Font du Loup, Chateauneuf-du-Pape "Le Chateau" 2005
The colour is deep with purple stripes under the light. The legs are thick and shows a good sugar concentration as well as a good alcohol content.
On the nose, a powerhouse with complex aromas of spice, liquorice and black cherry. The alcohol is showing off on the upfront but stay in line with the structure of the wine.
The palate is suprisingly soft, for such a powerfull wine, with beautiful aromas of blackberry, tobacco and more black cherry. The tannins are well integrated and even in early development remain soft and balance with a present acidity. The finish is long with some background of chocolate and menthol.
A wonderful wine with most of the great characteristics of a great Chateauneuf.
Hospice de Beaune Savigny les Beaune 1er Cru Cuvee Fouquerand 2002
The Colour of this Pinot Noir seems still too deep even after 7 years of maturing. The nose is very upfront and developed, yet attractive with overly pronounced aromas of strawberries and raspberries. On the palate, it shows a good structure with sweet and round edges. The acidity is still a little at the back as I think this wine might need another 6 months to fully develop. The finish is lingering and last longer than expected.
Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 1er Cru Les Fourneaux 2006
The Domaine Louis Moreau tends not to use too much wood or not at all on their wines, giving a true expression of the terroir of Chablis. Minerality and fruit are in my opinion the pleasures we should look for when drinking wines of that sub region in the 1er Cru level. But when very well made, the wines have also a good structure and some roundness, typical of Burgundy Chardonnays.
The nose on the Fourneaux 2005 is delicate with white flowers aromas. The palate is mineral with citrus and peach flavors dominating. The wine is not shy at all and develop a solid structure on the mid palate with the slight roundness expected at this level. The finish is slightly short. A wine well made to enjoy now. QC