Thursday, 30 April 2009

Olivier Leflaive Tasting and Dinner...

On Tuesday night we had an Olivier Leflaive tasting and Masterclass dinner at the Groucho Club.

First a bit of background…..O.Leflaive was Started in 1984 by Olivier Leflaive, a negociant arm (well it’s totally a separate company) of the same family as Domaine Lefliave, Olivier Leflaive is a negociant who buys grapes as well as owning vineyards, the term negociant doesn’t really do them justice as they have far more influence on the wines than would normally be the case.

The venue was superb and the food (ham hock terrine followed by salmon) was very good and complimented the wines well. Meeting customers that I had not met before and their friends was great stuff.

The dinner wines were:

Puligny Montrachet Les Meix 2006 - Les Meix is exactly next to 1er Cru Les Pucelles, This wine is delicious now and over the next 2-3 years, fresh ness but with a lovely, soon to be honeyed, palate. Start drinking or keep.

Puligny Montrachet Les Meix 2002 - Toasty and full on the nose but with decent acidity to…delicious now with food. Drink over the next year.

Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot 2006 - Quite a few peoples wine of the night, good minerality but also a feminine finesse. A good comparison to the Les Meix. Start drinking or keep.

Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot 2000 (magnum) - Deep yellow/gold colour. At or past its peak depending on how you like your white Burgundy. Should have been drunk (if in bottle), drink soon if in magnum.

2007 wines

Chablis Les Deux Rives 2007 - Classic Chablis nose and still youthful palate good value. Now and over the next 18months.

Chablis Vaudesir Grand Cru 2007 - First time I’ve tasted Oliviers Vaudesir – refined, classical nose followed by a complex and stoney palate. No rush, 2-4 years will improve its complexity.

Montagny 1er Cru Bonneveaux 2007 - Delicious and for value one of the picks, good weigh but equaling acidity. Drink now and over next 2 years.

Rully La Chatalienne 2007 - Subtle nutty nose with nice lemony freshness. Drink now and over next 2 years.

St Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly 2007 - If ever I show just one wine from the range to someone this is it, a little of everything…..lightly toasty, lovely texture and good acidity. Give it one year then drink over the following two.

Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts 2007 - A little closed and possibly the least revealing….lovely texture and long finish but taut on the nose at this stage. Leave 2 years then drink over the next 4-5.

Meursault Clos de Cromin 2007 - Broader and showing the tell tale richness of Meursault. Will drink well before the Puligny above but still needs time. Keep a year then drink over the next 2-3.

A lovely, tiring evening…….

Tertre Roteboeuf & Roc de Cambes 2008

Tertre Roteboeuf (St.Emilion) & Roc de Cambes (Cotes de Bourg) are two staggeringly good estates under the ownership of Francois Mitjavile. Francois is not one of lifes conformists, he will do what he sees as is juts convenient that he's good at it!!

I've just (I can still taste it) tasted the 2008's and I have to say the wines are staggeringly good

RdC - Rich , full and delicious on the nose, the fruit is almost fruitcake like (5% Malbec in the blend). There is beautiful definition on the palate and the complexity is ever evolving. The fruit character on the palate is neither really red or black as it is both and more, great length.....Francois may well struggle to make a better Roc. Top tip....tasted blind against other wines well out side it's price range it does brilliantly.

TRB - Spicily delicious and magestically savoury but still with great fruit..not sure how he does it and have an elegant concentration as well. The oak (100% new but weathered three years and with fine grain) does show on the mid palate, the amoutn of fruit will eat this up in no time. Personally I would buy in magnum and keep aslong as I can....highlight of the week!!

At the end of the tasting we also looked at Le Carmes Haut Brion 2006, Les Carmes is a real favourite and the vineyard is in an amazing spot (see link and I love the wine. The 2006 was a little constrained by bottling and not at a glamourous stage but has such potential

Big Bobs scores are on the doors

Today was going to be busy either way as it's the end of the financial year for C&B but then Robert Parker released his notes on the Bordeaux 2008's (including some great scores for wine we represent - always helpful). The scores always have a big effect on the market but in a tricky market people use them more.......

I'll be tasting the Tertre Roteboeuf and Roc de Cambes 2008's in a minute and I still need to write up the Olivier Leflaive tasting and masterclass from tuesday a wine trader it has been a massive and memorable week for tasting.........

more to follow

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Moueix Tasting....2008, 2005 & 2004 + Dominus

Ets JP Moueix tasting - Home House, W1 – 24th April 2009 - Christian Moueix , Edouard Moueix and Clare Burke presented a series of wines (all below), majoring on the just about to be released 2008’s. My tasting notes are brief, purely due to the number of wines.........

PUY-BLANQUET 2008, St-Em GC – Rich and broad if a little rough round the edges, OK.

LA SERRE 2008, St-Em GC Classé – Saturated and full nose in a modern style, drink early for opulence.

MAGDELAINE 2008, St-Em1°GCu Classé – The most impressive I have ever tasted from this profoundly good Chateau, no modern flashiness here, very grown up with good but balanced structure.

BÉLAIR-MONANGE 2008, St-Em 1°GC Classé – Previously just called Belair. This is the first vintage under full Moueix control…a little sudued but similar to Magdelaine in a slightly less intense way…a chateau to follow.

L’HOSPITALET DE GAZIN 2008, Pomerol – Meaty and gemay on the nose with good concentration, grown up and well endowed…impressive.

BOURGNEUF 2008, Pomerol – Lush and more modern in style…an earlier drinker I think.

LA FLEUR-PÉTRUS 2008, Pomerol – Fresh nose, showing red fruits as well as black, a more savoury note on the palate, a classy beast in every way…good structure.

HOSANNA 2008, Pomerol – A poor bottle I think…others I spoke to were very complimentary, must re-taste.

CERTAN DE MAY 2008, Pomerol – Richly and opulent, a little more oak than La Fleur Petrus, decdent and richly textured…impressive.

TROTANOY 2008, Pomerol - My wine of the tasting….i gave it (3 ticks plus), Brooding and masculine with so many layers of black complex fruit and wonderfully savoury notes…this will need time….a potentially legendary wines I feel.


BERNADOTTE 2005, Haut-Médoc – Nice nose, palate a little lean…classical but not more.

CAMENSAC 2005, Haut-Médoc – Tarty on the nose but nose in a nice way, full and modern, good for its style.

TRONQUOY-LALANDE 2005, St-Estèphe – Rich, concentrated fruit and good balance..nice.

PUY-BLANQUET 2005, St-Em GC – a little simple and closed.

HAUT ROC BLANQUANT 2005, St-Em GC – Modern sweet and succulent.

LAROZE 2005, St-Em GC Classé – Fresh, lush nose, more savoury characteristics coming through on the palate…..impressive.

DE SALES 2005, Pomerol – A little tight and lean….classical but not very 2005ish.

MOULINET-LASSERRE 2005, Pomerol – Old school…slightly sweaty Pomerol…needs food!


BÉLAIR 2004, St-Em – Before the name change (see BÉLAIR-MONANGE 2008 above), elegant and deliciously refreshing….I love 2004.

PLINCE 2004, Pomerol – Honest style with a slight hole in the palate.

BOURGNEUF 2004, Pomerol – Good balance and a savoury complexity, nice wine for now onwards

LA CONSEILLANTE 2004, Pomerol – Delicious nose, real balance and poise, a nice lightness of touch…..elegant

DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU 2004, St-Julien – A reminder to buy 2004 when you see it at good prices, real classical “Cabernet” Claret…very good.

There was also a chance to taste the two wines from Dominus estate…..I had tasted them previously but this was a very welcome chance to have another go

NAPANOOK 2005 – Fresh and elegant red fruits. A slightly “bruised” fruit character on the palate.

DOMINUS 2005 – A big brother for the Napanook, more intensity and a touch of the black fruits to go with the red, poised but with a little flair too…more open than I remember.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Clos de Tart Dinner 26/3/09

A write-up below of a memorable event back in March.

Has the Tart Risen??......27 March 2009

Slightly cloudy head this morning, one of those “not hungover but can’t concentrate on anything for long” mornings……and the cause? Last night was our “Launch” of Clos de Tart as our newest exclusive agency and what an evening it was. The format was a tried and tested one, how many different ways are there of doing something that is best kept simple? Masterclass/Tutored tasting (in this order - Clos de Tart 2005, 2002, 2001, 2000, La Forge de Tart 2007 then Clos de Tart 2007) followed by Champagne (Delamotte B de B 1999) and Dinner (Meursault Sous le Dos d’Ane 2006, Dom Leflaive, Clos de Tart 1996, 1999 and 2003 then Hine Early Landed 1985). I’ve done a write up of the wines and my verdicts below, (note to self to have handwriting lessons!). The evening was for 70 people including some press and it kicked off with Adam introducing Sylvain Pitiot (the “man”) who spoke well and enthusiastically, he has a very relaxed style and a big smile, it is great to see producers talk passionately but also with joy and obvious happiness/satisfaction. The evening was so exciting because in many ways we were all new to the wines….selling and representing them is going to be a lot of fun judging by the wines last night.

C de T 2005 – Powerful, masculine and structured, it has everything, some 2005’s beg to be drunk even now but this says ”I’ll be a legend if you leave me alone for as long as you can!”

2002 – Seductive, rich and (quick cough) sexy…..begging to be drunk but with potential to improve and develop further.

2001 – A star of a wine and a great expression of the vintage, very different from the 2002, leaner (in a good way) and very classical.

2000 – Some development showing….delicious and the most forward…drinking now onwards

L F de T 2007 (Cask sample) – Stunning, fresh aromatic, red fruits…less power than the “main” wine but so elegant…a little gem!

C de T 2007 (Cask sample) – Shows all the black cherry and compote fruits you want, very ripe…lovely juice, slightly closed nose but that will be a touch of “bottle shock”

Delamotte 1999 Blanc de Blancs – Refreshing but with a classical richness, balanced…simply delicious and in champagne terms a bargain

Meursault Sous le Dos d’Ane 2006, Dom Leflaive – I love white burgundy and this is on its way to being a great one, has a core that is more Puligny than Meursault. Drinkable now and refreshing but best in at least 2 more years.

Clos de Tart 1996 – A good pong initially that drifted off to leave a middle aged wine that is on the way to the farmyard, delicious but probably best either drunk by now (if you like younger burgundy) or left 2 more years to become mature. Sylavins first vintage and very impressive

1999 – An instant success, the 1996 was academic and needed to be analysed but this 1999 is begging to be drunk and enjoyed…almost too good as it would be worth keeping too.

2003 – A freak of nature in everyway…served blind I wouldn’t know whether it was Burgundy or Rhone! Rich succulent, sweet, alcoholic. Amazing and worth seeking out

Hine Early Landed 1985 – far too easy to drink….enough said on that one….

A cracking night in great company!

Right, back to the spreadsheets…the wine business is, sadly, not all tastings, lunches and dinners, we have a year-end and budgets to set…oh the joys…..

Grand National meeting at Aintree next weekend to look forward to, who knows a few winners and I might be buying some Clos de Tart!!

Friday, 24 April 2009


Just off to the Moueix tasting...first go at some of the 2008's......will report back later