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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wine I tasted & enjoyed in 2011

New year, New discoveries!


Ad Libitum, 2010
Origin : France
AOC : Touraine Amboise
Vine : 45% Gamay, 35% Côt, 20% Cabernet Franc
Wine grower : Coralie & Damien Delecheneau
Type : Red
Vintage : 2010
Bio Wine!. With Gamay as the main varietal you anticipate to have a very fresh and fruity wine. The color, the smell and the taste are totally in line with this initial assumption. Putting your nose in a basket full of red fruit would certainly be a comparable experience!. As for me, this is typically the wine you'll enjoy with friends: easy to drink, tasty, smooth tannins, full of flavor, beautiful color: "enjoy & drink" basically. Even though I still tend to be cautious when it comes to drink red wine from Loire Valley that I do not know (sometimes tannins are way too much harsh!), this one was again a good surprise. A young couple (Coralie & Damien Delecheneau) took over the property in 2002. Since then, they are totally devoted to making the best out of their vineyard in the upmost respect of nature (moto). This hard work was recently awarded with an AB certificate (France bio certification). Still, they are even pushing it further towards biodynamy. The kind of wine you should have into your cellar: very good price/quality ratio. Plus, you do good by supporting truly passionate wine makers!. By the way, this Domaine also produce Montlouis-Sur-Loire white wines, and you know what it means : one of the best expression of Chenin Blanc!

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Beychevelle, 1980
Origin : France
AOC : Saint Julien
Vine : Cabernet Sauvignon 54%, Merlot 38 %, Cabernet Franc 5%, Petit Verdot 3%
Wine grower : Olivier Richaud (cellar manager)
Type : Red
Vintage : 1980
What a bottle, what a wine, what an experience!
To be frank, I was scared the closer the tasting moment was coming. I had no idea what the wine would taste like, even though I have been many times told that wines are best kept is large bottle. Still, this bottle had a personal history, so I was stressed and truely respecful !
To start with, 1 hour before the tasting, I took off the wine from my cellar, where the bottle had been kept at 14°C for the last 6 months. Then, as soon as all attendees were there, I chirurgically opened the cork and start to fill-in carafe. Only 1 at a time. As soon as the carafe was empty, I was filling-in another one.
Then, came the tasting experience. In fact, troughout the evening, the wine opened itself and evolved until it reached a perfect state about 2 hours after being opened. It was like an old vintage car that needed some times, care and detailed obervation to let us perceive all its strength and unique beauty!. Definitely a wine for connoisseurs due to the very large palets of flagrances and flavors. Drinking such wine and vintage was an experience full of emotions. Despites its 31 years of age, this wine had still some very nice words to say!. This wine was well balanced and provided a long powerful after taste. Some says that Bordeaux are the most powerful wines. I tend not to agree all the times, but, here you did feel the uniqueness of Bordeaux roots terroir, that is able to deliver you "Rolls Royce" wine. A true tasting journey!. The kind of experience you fully appreciate as they are very rare.
Final word : thank you.

Beychevelle is among the 11 "grands crus classés" of Saint-Julien. So, among the tops wines of Bordeaux. 

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La Tonnelle de Villa Bel Air AOC Graves 2007
La Tonnelle de Villa Bel-Air, 2007
Origin : France
AOC : Graves
Vine : 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, 10% 
Cabernet Franc (could not find for "Les Tonnelles", so assuming it has the same blend as Villa Bel-Air
Wine grower : Jean-Michel Cazes
Type : Red
Vintage : 2007
What a very nice surprise! This is the 2nd wine of Villa Bel-Air. We are in Graves this time next to Pessac-Leognan that are among my favorite terroir (wines origin). I liked this wine cause it's a true expression of Graves. There are no fency or side tastes. The smell is very flavourous full of red and dark fruits. The taste is well rounded. I am drinking lot of wines from this sub-region of Bordeaux and for me this wine is a typical expression of Graves. You taste the smooth taste of the  rocks (graves) gently warmed by the Bordeaux sun. Graves constitute in fact the heart of this terroir. This is a very well balanced wine. The tanins are for me at their best, meaning that they perfecltly fit and contribute to the overall equilibrium of this wine. The length is reasonably enough long. I think it's a very good price/quality ratio given the fact that we are in Bordeaux and prices tend to skyrocket. Again, some might say that 2007 is not the best vintage of the 2000' but, I am again claiming that such vintages (like 2004, 2002) have to be considered.

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In my wine cellar : no, but if I find some bottles it will be!

N° 11, 12, 13, 14
Abstract from this post : "Wine tasting results - 08/20 (Brussels) - USA & Argentina red wines winners!"

Wines details: 

Country; Area; Appellation; Winery; Brand; Vintage; Grape(s); Ranking

Red : 1st exequo, Alto Arelo & POV (see below)
1st : Argentina; Mendoza; Pulenta Estate; Alto Agrelo; Malbec; 2007; Malbec; 4,5

Average price : 24€

1st : USA; California (Napa Valley); Robert Sinskey vineyards; POV; 2005; Bordeaux blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc; Merlot); 4,5
Average price : 27€

3rd : France; Languedoc (Costières de Nîmes); Château d'Or et de Gueules by Diane de Puymorin; La Bolida; 2006; Mourvèdre 3,5
Average price : 22€

4th : France; Bordeaux (Haut Medoc); Château Citran; Château Citran; 2005; Bordeaux blend : Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot; 3 
Average price : 21€

N°9 and 10
Abstract from this post : "Studying summer 2011 : lot's of wines testing ongoing..."

.Riesling Tradition, Alsace, 2009, riesling grape, from Mr.Stoeffler, indep. wine maker
I am not a bit fan of Alsace wines as even the dry white are often too sweet for me. But, this time it was a very pleasant surprise. The wine has a very nice acidity and a long lasting taste.Thank you Thomas.
Important :
2 wines of Mr. Stoeffler have recently been awarded best wines in the world (grapes based contest)!

Google maps :,7.470703&spn=10.316045,23.269043&sll=46.75984,1.738281&sspn=10.643544,23.269043&z=6

.Amphibolite, Muscadet (Loire Valley), Melon de Bourgogne grape, from Jo Landron, maker
Wine from the pope of Muscadet. Thought you knew all about Muscadet. Taste this wine, you'll be amazed by it's acidity and slight sparkling. Bio. By the way amphibolite is a type of rock that constitutes the soil on which the grape are being cultivated. Thank you Thomas. Time is too short but we spend very qualitative times with you, your familiies and friends. Good trip back to US.
Google maps:,+44115+Haute-Goulaine,+Loire-Atlantique,+Pays+de+la+Loire&hl=fr&ie=UTF8&ll=47.189712,-1.384277&spn=10.557841,23.269043&sll=46.75984,1.738281&sspn=10.643544,23.269043&geocode=FS8K0AIdqqvq_w&z=6

N°8 Château Cos d'Estournel
Origin : France
AOC : Saint Esthèphe
Vine : 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc
Wine grower : Michel Reybier
Type : Red

Vintage : 2006

Comments: First of all thank you very much Pierre-Emmanuel for inviting us to taste this wine. As you told me over the phone, this wine is terrific. From the perfect density of the color, to the beautiful nose and the taste, it's a holistic experience. This wine certainly deserves its ranking among the finest Bordeaux and certainly among the best wines in the world. I had the chance to taste such elite wines in the past but was sometimes disappointed as the experiences were not in line with their ranking. This time, it had been a great moment of pleasure. Even though it's a 2006 vintage and connoisseur would recommend such a wine to be drunk later on, the wine was perfectly balanced. I you follow my post you noticed that I drunk wines from different regions in the world, but, I do figure out a difference when comparing with other wines. As I explained above, from the smell to the taste, the high quality is maintained all the way which is not that common.   

In my wine cellar : in my dreams!

N°7 Château Pipeau
Origin : France
AOC : Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Vine : Cabernet Sauvignon (5%), Merlot (90%), Cabernet Franc (5%)
Wine grower : Mr Richard Mestreguilhem ou Mme Brigitte

Type : Red

Vintage : 2002

Comments : This wine is fabulous. The true expression of one of the top "appellations" or "terroir" of France : Saint Emilion. Some might say that 2002, as well as 2004 are not the best vintages ever (vs. 2000, 2005, 2009 especially for Bordeaux area), but I had a great time drinking this bottle. It's actually not the first time since I recently enjoyed various French wines from 2002 and 2004 that were as well very good. Thus, I would say that if you have such vintages in stock start to consider drinking them pretty soon as I think they are at their best in terms of maturity. Why I enjoyed drinking this wine? This is a very fine very well balanced wine. A lot of top red wines from Bordeaux area need to be stored couple of years before to be drunk. The bitterness of the residual tannins are a reason for that. Young red wines tend to have bitter tannins. After some years these tannins become softer. Since about 10 to 15 years, wine growers from Bordeaux area have developed new wine production processes allowing wines to be drunk younger (in average 5 years after bottling vs. 10 years before). This wine is 9 years old which gave enough time for the tannins to evolve and mature. The tannins were "melted" as we could have expected giving a texture in mouth that felt like a soft velvet. My cooking advice : the best match with this wine is for me a medium rare beef cooked in a hoven with half cooked veggies like french green beans. 

In my wine cellar : yes. 2 bottles (vintage 1985 and 2006)

N°6 :wine tasted & enjoyed in 2011
Clos Poggiale
Origin : Corsica (France). 
AOC : Vin de Corse. East Corsica shores (see map below in red).
Vine : Syrah, Nielluccio (San Giovese in Italy)
Wine grower : Skalli familly
Type : red
Vintage : 2006
Comments : First of all, I'd like to thank my sister and her husband as they offered me this wine. This wine has been served with a grilled duck accompagnied with grilled potatoes and mangos (cooked by my wife). It was the first time ever that I have had the opportunity to taste a wine from Corsica. It has been a very interesting experience in fact. The nose makes you think of the flagrances you can encounter during summer season when you are walking through Mediterranean scrub "maquis" in south east of France or, for sure in Corsica. Positive point is that this smell is not too overwhelming. The mouth only confirms this marvelous journey and memories of sunny days. The wine is very well balanced and not too much alcoolic (13%) allowing a nice acidity. The tanins are maybe a bit too much faded away. Maybe it could have even be better 1 or 2 years ago. Sometimes, wines from very sunny and dry regions are above average in alcool. These wines (usually around 14%) can be difficult to enjoy after 2 or 3 glasses. Thus, making it harder to identify the specific terroir that distinguish this wine from other wines blended with the same vine(s). It's a not a problem at all here. The match making was nice as well. Still, one could have perferred to open a wine from south west of France and even more precisely Cahors.

in english:

In my wine cellar : no

Origin : Belgium
AOC : Crindael
Vine : Pinot Blanc
Wine grower : ??
Type : dry white
Vintage : 2009
Comments : I could enjoyed this belgium wine during a Wine & Cheese diner with couple of friends. I did enjoy this wine as the nose is slightly fruity as well as the taste. I would say it's a fine wine as both smell and taste are well balanced and not excessive. So, definitely a Belgium wine I would recommend as Belgium wines are not that much known, this one being a nice expression of what passioned wine maker can do in Belgium which is not known for having the best weather condition on earth to grow wines.

In my wine cellar : no

Origin : Italy
AOC : Barbera d'Asti
Vine : Barbera
Wine grower : Coppo Canelli
Type : Red
Vintage : 2005
Comments : a blast! very well balanced. All you can ask from a true red wine. Goes very well with meat. By the way, believe me or not but we ate donkey during this lunch in the beautiful outskirts of Torino. Thank you Carlo & co for giving me this opportunity to enjoy such a nice moment with you!

In my wine cellar : no, tested in a typical Italian restaurant in the outskirts of Torino.

Credit : thank you as picture I took is not usable.

Domaine du Landreau Village
Origin : France
AOC : Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Vine : Melon de Bourgogne
Wine grower : Philippe Drouet
Type : dry white
Vintage : 2009
Comments : bio wine. Yes I know, 2 Muscadet tasted and enjoyed in a short while, but I had good feeling about this wine. I selected this wine as we were having fish dishes. Furthermore, this wine is a bio wine meaning that the whole process is being done in adequation with mother nature. I must say that I'd more or less banned Muscadet for some times as I have had too many bad experiences in the past. But, Mr. Drouet and Château de la Fessardière have done a lot to bring me back on Muscadet tracks. So once again a very nice match. Fruity nose, true expression of melon de bourgogne when in mouth and last but not least the flavor stayed quite long.

In my wine cellar : no, tested at Café Wiltcher's (Conrad Brussels)

Credit :

Soleil Couchant
Origin (原産国): Suisse スイス
AOC : Dôle blanche
Vine (葡萄品種): Pinot Noir and Gamay ピノ・ノア ガメイ
Wine grower (生産者): Christophe Laurent クリストフ ローレン
Type (タイプ): White with a very slight touch of red! ロゼでもなく、ちょっとした赤のタッチのある白。 とてもユニーク。
Vintage (ヴィンテージ): 2009
Tasted (テイスティング年月): March 2011
Comments (コメント): first time I've ever seen such a colour. A white wine with a slight red colour. The nose is terrific as well as the taste which is a bit buttery. A very nice wine I recommend it! 

In my wine cellar : no, tested at PE & Thyp place


Château de la Fessardière
Origin : France
AOC : Muscadet
Vine : Melon de Bretagne
Wine grower : Alexis Sauvion
Type : White wine
Vintage : 2009
Tasted : February 2011
Comments : An absolutely magnific muscadet. Did not know this wine before purchasing it. Bought based on the lecture of the back label. Reall bio wine. A terrific nose and taste. With drunk it with pan scallops. Wonderful mix.

In my wine cellar : yes, 10 bottles

1 comment:

  1. I want to taste this Belgian wine so bad... Bring a bottle in August please ;)
    Good blog my friend.