White Grapes : Chasselat

It has been discovered that Chasselat grape came from Egypt and was brought on the European continent by the Romans conquest. Although unknown to many, Chasselat is probably one of the oldest grape variety cultivated by man. Today, Chasselat is mainly a Swiss and French, where it is used in the Pouilly-sur-Loire blend to produce sweet wines. product, but has also been planted in California, New-Zealand and Australia.


White Grapes : Albarino

This is definitely the grape of sun with a citrus attack and a fresh after-taste. No surprising that it is widely planted in Portugal (known as Alvarinho) and Spain. More surprising is its origin supposed to be a clone of the Alsace Riesling (Northwestern France).


A great evening...

I received a text message a few days ago, sent by my boss, to tell me he had discovered in his cellar a couple of nice bottles. He kindly asked me if I wanted to join him for a little degustation and gratefully I accepted.
An hour later, I was poured my first glass of the evening and the show began...

Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1992
(see Tasting Notes : Burgundy - Puligny-Montrachet)

Paul Jaboulet Aine, Hermitage La Chapelle 1990 (in half bottle)
(see tasting notes : Rhone - Hermitage)

Domaine Groffier, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 1993
(see tasting notes : Burgundy - Bonnes Mares)

What I liked the most (after the wines of course!) is that there was no special occasion or celebration, just the pleasure of drinking beautiful wines and sharing them with people passionate about it.

This little story of life tells us that sometimes the special occasion of drinking beautiful wines, is simply to open them...

An evening my palate will definitely remember.


Tasting Note : Domaine Groffier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 1993

Domaine Robert Groffier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 1993

A beautiful nose of ripe fruits and hints of leathery aromas. The palate is complex and powerful, but not explosive. Flavours of red berries and rotten vegetables gives a rustic style on the palate. Slowly as the wine unfold in the glass, the aromas become more delicate but the wine keep is muscular style. the length is quite long and well balanced.


Tasting Note : Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 1990

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 1990

Well, well, well. I have add a few La Chapelle in my life, but it was the first time I had the chance to taste the 1990. Decanted from a half bottle, the wine was only open twenty minutes before I tasted it. The colour is still opaque and even after 19 years, it seems the wine has not even started to change in colour! On the nose, a complexity of layers : Blackcurrant, dark cherry, leathery, smoky and spicy. But what surprise me the most, is the freshness of the fruits still developing. On the palate the wine is generous and concentrated with tannins well integrated in the structure, but still in their youth though. More aromas of black berries and spice with round flavours of toasted wood. The acidity lifts the wine and gives it balance. It has great power, but no heaviness. The finish is long and dense. I was hoping for a slightly more explosive finish, but this will come with many more years of cellaring...

Tasting Note : Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 1992

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 1992

For me a great Combettes is when they offer a round structure and at the same time minerality. And the 1992 Domaine Leflaive is no exception. The nose is attractive with a nutty character and plenty of white fruits. Round and generous on the palate it offers delicate flavours of peach and apricot with oak and honey towards the mid palate. The minerality is in perfect balance with the fruits and leads to a nutty finish.


Tasting Note : Les Vins de Vienne, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape "Les Oteliees" 2005

Les Vins de Vienne, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape "Les Oteliees" 2005

The nose is fairly complex with chocolate, leather and wood tones. On the palate a well structured wine with balance. This 2005 develops red berries, tobacco and chestnuts flavours with a classic blackpepper spice. Medium tannins and a good acidity that seem to be fading slightly after half an hour of opening. The length was persistent and quite round.


Tasting Note : Chateau Haut-Brion 1995

Chateau Haut-Brion 1995

Dark ruby colour. I have tasted this wine along the other four 1st great growth and Haut-Brion seems rounder with more vanilla extract. On the palate it is lightly spicy and presents flavours of balckberries, dark cherry and toasted wood. The acidity is still high but well integrated with the fruits. The wine posses great balance with soft tannins and lingering finish.

Tasting Note : Chateau Mouton-Rothchild 1995

Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1995

Deep purple colour. The nose is very impressive! Truffles, coffee and liquorice, it was all over... On the palate, even more impressive with great finesse and yet power. Plenty of black and red berries, more truffles and a rich texture. The wine is full bodied and gives a beautiful long length. Can be enjoyed already, but will go for quite some time! A great wine!


Tasting Note : Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1995

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1995

Ruby colour. The nose was made of a large aromatic bouquet. On the palate, the acidity was a little high at first, once settled in the glass for a few minutes, the wine start to show some exceptional flavours of cassis, wood and roasted nuts. It is much more balanced than the first time I tried it. It is now developing slowly a mineral style which gives a wonderful texture to the wine. A classic Lafite. Beautiful.

Tasting Note : Chateau Latour 1995

Chateau Latour 1995

I have tasted this wine after one hour of decanting. Dark Ruby colour. Shy on the nose at first, it came to life after a few minutes in the glass. Plum, cherry and a rich texture it was well balanced but might need some more time to develop. The palate was elegant and the tannins not overwhelming. I am convince this Chateau Latour will have much more to say in the next 5 years. (tasted in August 2008)

Tasting Note : Domaine Rene Rostaing Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge of Domaine Puech Chaud 2003

Domaine Rene Rostaing Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge of Domaine du Puech Chaud 2003

A deep ruby colour; it already tells you how muscular this wine is going to be. Full of dark cherries, cassis and bull's skin on the nose with a good presence of alcohol. On the palate the wine is smoky, spicy with undertones of leather. This is a fine example of how good a wine can be even in the entry level appelation.

However, the 03 must be drunk within the next few months.


Tasting Note : Kofererhof Muller-Thurgau Valle Isarco 2006

Kofererhof Muller-Thurgau Valle Isarco 2006

Fresh and quite intense on the nose, it has a nice perfumed bouquet. On the palate the wine is well balanced with subtle acidity and a lovely round and aromatic style. Flavours of peach, white flowers and citrus, it is a perfect wine for lunch time.


Red grape : Tempranillo

Arguably Spain's most noble grape, Tempranillo produces complex wines with scented bouquet. It can be responsible for wines of great structure and power when young with dark berries and leathery flavour, to smooth and lingering wines with age. It is often said that Tempranillo is for Spain, what Pinot Noir is for France.


Tasting Note : Domaine Louis Moreau chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2005

Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2005

A complex nose of white fruits and subtle aromas of seaweed. On the palate, the Valmur shows all of its aristocratic style. A well built structure, with a strong character. Complex, with a mid palate of apples and pears, it develops flavors of shellfish and sea water. This is a beautiful trademark from this vineyard and this is a very good representation of its terroir. This wine will need probably another year to fine tune itself in the bottle and be ready for drinking.


Tasting Note : Seghesio Barolo La Villa 2004

Seghesio Barolo La Villa 2004

La Villa 04 is one of the most elegant Barolo we have tasted. Still young, it showed great finesse and purity. Floral on the nose, it develop a marked toasted wood and spicy style. The red berries come on the mid palate with grace, giving the wine great complexity and finesse. A great effort from Seghesio!


Tasting Note : Marengo Barolo Le Brunate Vecchie Vigne 2004

Marengo Barolo Le Brunate Vecchie Vigne 2004

The Vecchie Vigne Brunate 04 has very similar flavours to the straight Brunate but with a more concentrated style. The minerality is therefore lower than the latter. The finish is pure & the lenght fairly long. First vintage.


Tasting Note : Marengo Barolo Le Brunate 2004

Marengo Barolo Le Brunate 2004

Impressive on the nose, this wine is opulent & well structured. Spice, menthol, dark cherries & hints of cumin, it is still at its very early stage of development. This wine should go a long way & will be superb after some cellaring.

Tasting Note : Marengo Barolo 2004

Marengo Barolo 2004

This lighter style of Barolo comes as a real surprise & is very well done! Elegant with a balanced acidity, it is also slightly mineral on the mid palate. The length is medium with floral tones. Great value Barolo!


Tasting Note : Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo Le Coste 2004

Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo Le Coste 2004

Attractive nose with wood & spice. The earthy style of this medium to full bodied Barolo is elegant and layered with dark fruits, taosted oak & herbs. Superb wines with silky tannins & extended length!


Tasting Note : Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo 2004

Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo 2004

The nose is pure with fruits & floral notes. The palate is sweet, with marked acidity. A wine that opens up quickly and will be perfect drinking for some time.