Château Latour-Martillac, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, Pessac-Léognan, 2009
The best ever wine from this estate (even better than their sensational 2005), this full-bodied wine offers notes of blueberry, black currant, asphalt and burning charcoal embers in a deep, layered and multi-dimensional style. It is impressively pure and well-built, with far greater concentration and length than I ever remember this wine having in the past. Forget it for 5 years and drink it over the following three decades.
Château Latour-Martillac is a Bordeaux wine from the Pessac-Léognan appellation, rated a Cru Classé (Classed Growth) in the 1953 Classification of Graves wine. The Château has been owned and managed by the Kressmann family since the late 19th century. The wines gold and black label dates back to 1929 and was designed specifically for a bottle served in 1936 for the coronation of George Vl.
Château Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estèphe 2014
– The nose is full of bright red fruit flavours and even a hint of warm orange peel, more of the same on the palate with hints of cedar and gunflint and rounded tannins.
– Fantastic aromas of blueberries, orange peel and flowers. Full-bodied, fruity — yet silky and focused with a beautiful center palate of fruit and ripe tannins. Remains fresh and gorgeous. Best ever. Drink in 2019 – 93 Wine Enthusiast
– Under the ownership of Jacky Lorenzetti, president of one of France’s top rugby clubs, this estate is now performing impressively. The wine is finely structured with dark tannins and tight acidity and a hint of minerality. It is Merlot dominated, although it is the 40% Cabernet Sauvignon that brings out the black-currant fruitiness. Drink from 2022. – 90 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
– The 2014 Lilian Ladouys 2014 has a crisp, masculine, tightly wound bouquet with blackberry, briary and cedar emerging with aeration. There is clearly prudent use of oak here, complementing rather than dominating the wine. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, a pleasant sous-Bois note underpinning the layers of cedary black fruit and a touch of spiciness on the finish. This comes highly recommended plus great value. Tasted February 2017. – 90 Wine Spectator
Château Meyney, Saint-Estephe, 2009
Ripe dark fruits, licorice, smoke, earth and spice aromas open to a medium/full bodied, soft, round, forward wine that can be enjoyed in its youth or aged, as there is enough stuffing for this wine to improve for at least a decade or more.
Château Meyney is a Cru Bourgeois estate located in St Estèphe. Owned by Domaines Cordier, it neighbours Château Montrose and has relatively small production of 30,000 cases per year.
Château Meyney, Saint-Estéphe, 2010
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark cherry red. Smells more pure-fruited than the 2009 and doesn’t have its dusty mineral character. Much more down the line Cabernet aroma of cassis and cedar but the fruit is intense so that there is also a touch of dark chocolate – in a thick, chewy texture as well as in the flavour. Firm and chewy and with real mass as well as structure and still finishes fresh thanks to the fruit clarity. This has some way to go but has fine St-Estèphe direction and firmness and the fruit to fill out the middle. Long and satisfying and attractively aromatic as well as powerful.
Château Meyney is a Cru Bourgeois estate located in St Estèphe. Owned by Domaines Cordier, it neighbours Château Montrose and has relatively small production of 30,000 cases per year.
Chateau Musar – ‘Gaston Hochar’, Beeka Valley, Lebanon 2000
In youth, Chateau Musar Reds are dense and richly-textured, with intense ‘baked fruit’ characters: plums, damsons, cranberries, cherries, figs and dates. Bordeaux grape Cabernet Sauvignon lends black fruit flavours; Rhône grapes Cinsault and Carignan contribute fragrance (violets; pepper) and supple spiciness. Either set of qualities might dominate a particular vintage, but the style is always emphatically Lebanese: enticingly aromatic, with persistent fruit flavours. Over decades the wines acquire tawny hues and mellow notes.
In 1930, at just 20 years old, Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar, inspired by Lebanon’s 6,000 year winemaking tradition and his travels in Bordeaux. His ‘wines with noblesse’ greatly impressed senior officers in the army following on from the French mandate of the 1920s. Major Ronald Barton, of Château Langoa-Barton, stationed in Lebanon during World War II became a great friend, strengthening the links between Chateau Musar and Bordeaux that remain to this day.
Serge Hochar, Gaston’s eldest son trained as a civil engineer, then decided to study oenology and with the encouragement of his father became a student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux. Having declared to his father “I want to make the wine my way, I want it to be known world-wide – and I want you to quit!” he became Chateau Musar winemaker in 1959, Gaston senior having graciously given way. He then spent 18 years perfecting the formula for Chateau Musar’s Red and was chosen as Decanter Magazine’s first ‘Man of the Year’ in 1984 for his dedication to producing superb quality wines during Lebanon’s Civil War (1975-1990). Serge has two sons: Gaston and Marc. Both have studied engineering and worked in the banking sector. Gaston now manages the day-to-day running of the Chateau Musar winery, Marc its commercial aspects.
“My brother looks after the liquid, I look after the liquidity.” Like his brother Serge, Ronald Hochar was encouraged to participate at Musar from an early age: both grew up washing bottles and working at the winery before pursuing their separate paths within the business. Ronald would work 7am-5pm in Ghazir then work in the evenings at the Musar shop in Beirut. “We were paid 5 Lebanese pounds a day” says Ronald “I learned everything about selling from my father.” Having studied law, Ronald’s good-humoured contributions on the commercial and logistical fronts (against huge odds he kept Musar’s trucks running during the war) remain vital to the business. Ronald’s son Ralph works with the on-trade sector from Chateau Musar’s UK office and his daughter Elsa recently produced a documentary film about Chateau Musar.
Château Phélan Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, 2009
‘The best Phelan-Segur since the 1990, this is a rather dense, full-bodied, massive wine for a cru bourgeois. Sweet blackberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with crushed rock and a hint of subtle oak jump from the glass of this full-bodied, intense, yet attractive and alluring wine. There is significant depth and substance to this Phelan-Segur, which is a sleeper of the vintage that should last up to 15 or more years.’ – 90pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, March 2012.
Phélan-Ségur is a Cru Bourgeois property which was established by Irishman Bernard Phelan in in the early nineteenth century. The estate was bought by by Xavier Gardinier in 1985 and is now run by his sons, Thierry and Laurent.
Phélan-Ségur’s wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%) and Cabernet Franc (10%), matured in oak barriques (30% new) for 15 months. It can typically can age up to 15 years.
Château Rollan de By, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2009
Very fleshy, this delicious red shows plum, raspberry and blackberry pâté de fruit notes backed by spice cake, anise and toasty vanilla. The finish is long and polished. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Chateau Rollan de By
The property is owned by Jean Guyon and is a leading estate in the Medoc and of the Cru Bourgeois chateaux. The wine spends 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels and consistently offers good value.
Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc, 2009
‘This is a major sleeper of the vintage and the finest Senejac I have tasted. The team from Pontet Canet, who have done such a phenomenal job at that estate, were in charge of making this Senejac, and the result, not surprisingly, is a sensational wine that consumers need to buy by the case. Dense purple, with notes of creme de cassis, incense, licorice and forest floor, this wine is delicious and full-bodied, with sweet tannins, low acidity, copious fruit and exceptional concentration. Everything is in balance, and the wine is capable of lasting 10 or more years.’ – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Feb 2012.
Owned by Lorraine Cordier, whose family also own Château Talbot. One of the better known Crus Bourgeois of the Haut-Médoc and always offer very good value for money.
Château Sociando-Mallet, Jean Gautreau, Haut-Médoc 2014
– Château Sociando-Mallet produces full-bodied wines with a deep, dark colour. Their complex bouquet is usually dominated by black fruit aromas with a touch of minerality and well-integrated, elegant oak. Often somewhat “virile” when young, the wines gain in balance and complexity with age. They are fresh, straightforward, and have a wonderful length.
Château Sociando-Mallet has always been a wine with great ageing potential. A wine to be enjoyed even after 30 years in great vintages.
– The Wine Cellar insider 88-90
2014 Sociando Mallet – Firm, bright, crisp and fresh, with blackberry, tobacco, smoke and spicy cassis character, the wine is full bodied, tannic and should age well.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Villa Antinori, 2013
An intense ruby red in color, Villa Antinori 2013 shows aromas of red fruit well amalgamated with spicy and balsamic notes. The palate is ample and enveloping and features firm and supple tannins. The wine is very persistent and the aftertaste brings back the notes first felt on the nose.
Clos Puy Arnaud, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon, 2009
– For one of the best wines Bordeaux can offer, look no further than this one! With an immense palate, highly concentrated notes of cassis, and firm, ripe tannins, this wine is the ideal vintage to show off class and elegance. You’ll love the hint of clove in the aftertaste, as well as the notes of blackberry, cedar, forest floor, and licorice. There’s even touch of incense in this opulent wine, which only tastes better the longer it is allowed to age.
This biodynamic Bordeaux with its intense fruit character is the perfect wine to go with venison.
– This stunning wine, with black/purple color, exhibits notes of blackberry, licorice, incense, forest floor and cedar along with a hint of toasty oak. The wine is opulent, even sumptuous in texture, has stunning purity and a provocative 45+ second finish. This is another over-achieving Castillon that should drink well for at least a decade or more.’ 92 points Robert Parker, Feb 2012
Cloudy Bay – Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2017
A wine full of fresh herbal aromas and layers of ripe guava and tropical fruit. Gooseberries and passionfruits on the medium-full body; the palate is succulent and crisp with a long flavoursome finish.
91 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“Classic gooseberry and pink grapefruit notes feature gentle herbal nuances on the nose. There’s ample weight and texture on the palate, with a burst of mouthwatering citrus on the finish.” — J.C. (7/1/2015)
90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough is intensely scented of gooseberries, elderflower and fresh lemon with hints of white asparagus and sage. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with vibrant vegetal and citrus notes held up by a lively acid backbone and good long finish.”
17/20 Jancis Robinson.
“Herbal and pungent, with a sort of saline, iodine character – reminds me a bit of some single match scotch, in fact. Wet hay too. This is certainly complex, and better than the 2013, for sure.”
Dezzani – Barolo “San Carlo”, 2012
From one of the great recent Barolo vintages, the taste is dry, full, austere, and velvety. The scents are of a violet, rose and spices. It has a garnet red colour.
Grapes: Nebbiolo – clones: Michet, Lampia and Rosé
Area: Langhe, Piedmont.
The manual harvest in early October is followed by vinification: forty-days of maceration at controlled temperature and the subsequent malolactic fermentation. The process is completed by a twenty-four months ageing in big oak barrels and a further twenty four months in bottle.
The colour is typically red garnet.
The aromas are complex and elegant, ranging from ripe red fruit and spices, until toasty and ‘tar’.
The flavour is gently tannic, austere, full and velvety.
This great bottle is ideal with important first courses, roasts, game and hard cheeses, but can also be a great sipping wine after dinner.
Serve at 20-22 °C.
Wine with a long ageing potential.
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or – Santenay 1er Cru “Les Gravieres”, 2008
91 Points Allen Meadows’ Burghound
“Outstanding, top value… there is good energy to the attractively textured middle weight flavors that offer good richness and volume as well as a somewhat softer mouth feel… I like the complexity and overall sense of balance here.”
88-89 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“From tank – on the eve of its bottling – the Pousse d’Or 2008 Santenay Les Gravieres smells of game, leather, and humus; offers dark berries and bitter chocolate on a polished, almost plush palate; and finishes with satisfying if not striking length. It should merit the better part of a decade of attention, though its gamey element may well become more pronounced and not prove every taster’s cup of Pinot.”
About Domaine de la Pousse d’Or
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or is a 40-acre estate in Volnay that traces its history to the 15th century. In old French the estate’s name meant “golden earth,” a testament to the reputation of its terroir. It was run for many years by the legendary Gerard Potel, whose wines were considered some of the best of Burgundy. Potel died in 1997 at age 61, and the estate was purchased by Patrick Landanger, who added vineyards and updated the facilities. Today the estate produces Grand Cru and Premier Cru, notably Volnays, a Pommard, a Santenay and Cortons. And it is still highly regarded by Burgundy collectors. Its wines often earn ratings of 95 pts and above.
Santenay is the southernmost appellation in the Côte d’Or. The appellation includes the communes of Santenay and Remigny and it has 813 vineyard acres. Both red and white wines can be made within the Santenay appellation, though in practice about 85% of the wine produced here is red. Pinot Blanc may be used in white wines, though most white Santenays are 100% Chardonnay. Though there are no Grands Crus, Santenay boasts 12 Premiers Crus. Among the best Premiers Crus vineyards are Clos de Tavannes, La Comme, Les Gravières and Le Passe Temps. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “good Santenays share a robust, tannic, earthy character with a bouquet that suggests cherry and strawberry fruit intertwined with the smell of sautéed almonds.” Clive Coates has noted that the white wines of Santenay “should be crisp, medium-bodied and fruity, less racy but fuller than Saint-Aubins, perhaps with a touch of spice…”
Domaine de Mayat -Vieilli en Fut de Chene, Bergerac AC, 2015 (Magnum)
Made from 100% Merlot, deep garnet red wine with powerful aromas of black fruits. A round, velvet taste with a rich structure of tannins.
Enjoy with duck breast, leg of lamb or brie de Meaux.
Domaine M. Noellat et Fils – Chambolle-Musigny, 2005
Domaine Michel Noëllat & Fils
The Domaine Michel Noëllat & Fils is located in the heart of Vosne-Romanée. The Domaine extends over 25 hectares from Marsannay-la-Côte (Côte de Nuits) to Pommard (Côte de Beaune) and remains dedicated to traditional winemaking methods. It is currently managed by brothers Alain and Jean-Marc Noëllat. The Domaine produces 2 Grands Crus and 8 Premiers Crus as well as Village and Regional appellations.
Vines, harvest and vinification
The vines are on average 40 years old. Rigorous disbudding controls yields and harvest time is decided on by regularly checking the vineyards, periodic analysis and tasting the fruit.
The grapes are harvested manually, sorted and then taken to the winery in small crates to avoid crushing the fruit and causing premature oxidation. The stalks are removed completely from the fruit; the grapes are then put into open stainless steel vats where the temperature is thermo-regulated. Pressing is undertaken carefully using a pneumatic press.
The reds are steeped at a low temperature for 3 days then fermentation is undertaken in vats for about 2 weeks. The cap is punched 4 or 5 times during the vinification period. The wines are aged in French oak casks, with approximately 30% new casks for Village wines and 50% new casks for Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines. Bottling takes place after between 15 and 18 months of aging.
Dr. Loosen – Erdener Treppchen Spatlese, Mosel, Germany 2015
THE MOSEL REGION
Located in far western Germany, the Mosel valley’s steep, southfacing slopes create the perfect climate for Riesling, giving the vines ideal exposure to the sun. The cool climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly while retaining bright acidity.
ERDENER TREPPCHEN RIESLING SPÄTLESE
The Spätlese designation means that the grapes get an extra week or two of hang time, which helps them develop higher ripeness and deeper flavors. The Erdener Treppchen Spätlese is a fruit-driven Riesling that combines extraordinary concentration and length with bracing minerality.
THE 2015 VINTAGE
‘Under close to perfect conditions, we were able to harvest grapes with optimal must weights and acidity levels, producing wines in all quality levels. The vintage also gave us excellent yields, with a beautiful balance of ripeness and acidity. The wines are dense and concentrated, but with the delicate and graceful style of the Mosel.’
Dr. Loosen – Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese Gold Cap, Mosel, Germany 2009
ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN RIESLING AUSLESE
The weathered red volcanic and slate soils of the Ürziger Würzgarten (pronounced ERTSiger VERTS-garten) vineyard make it unique on the Mosel. It is an insanely steep site that yields wines with an exotic, spicy aroma and a mesmerizing earthiness. There is no other vineyard in the Mosel valley that produces wines so bursting with tropical fruit flavors.
Auslese [OWS-lay-zuh] means “selected from the harvest,” and is a luscious sweet wine made from very ripe clusters that are about 50 percent affected by botrytis. The resulting wine is dense, intensely flavored and rich on the palate, but balanced by Riesling’s naturally crisp acidity. The red volcanic soil of the Ürziger Würzgarten vineyard produces wines of a completely unique nature. The wines showcase the typically juicy and precocious fruit of the “spice garden,” with a rich mouth feel, zippy acidity and lingering finish.