This small property (3.8ha) produces textbook Pomerol.
100% Merlot from 40 year old vines planted in iron rich, sandy soils.
The grapes are picked by hand making several passes through the vineyards only picking the bunches at peak ripeness. A further sorting of the fruit takes place at the winery followed by fermentation in small, temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats. The wine is then transferred to oak barrels for the malo-lactic fermentation followed by 14 months ageing.
Deep purple/red in appearance, the nose is full and rich with red and black fruit aromas. The palate is lush and rounded with layered black fuit flavours, a full, textured mouthfeel and gentle supporting tannins.
Jean-Pierre Latour has 10 hectares under vine in Meursault. Wonderfully sited vineyards, low yields, brilliant winemaking and no fining or filtration, make this one of the most exciting domaines in the village at present.
The Meursault Cuvée Charles Maxime (a blend of Les Vireuils, Les Corbins and Les Pelles) is plump, rich and generous, fermented and matured in barrel (around 1/3 new) for 15-16 months.
Bernard Bouvier has 17 hectares under vine in and around Gevrey and Marsannay.
He has recently moved to new state of the art cellars just north of Gevrey and the quality of his wines has improved even further.
Yields are extremely low and never exceed 30 hl/ha and no chemical sprays are used in the vineyards and everything is hand picked. Fermentation of the reds involves a long, cold maceration and a gentle extraction – what Bernard calls an infusion. About one third new barrels are used. They are bottled without fining or filtration and are fine, pure, concentrated and subtle.
He is currently undergoing organic conversion.
The site of the vineyard “La Justice” is, in theory, on the wrong (east) side of the RN74. However, the soil of small stoney scree, gives a wine of pure, elegant, fine minerality from 45-50 year old vines.
Deep ruby red in appearance with hints of purple – clear, bright and strong. The elegant nose is of ripe black fruit with floral hints of violet, and a delicate touch of spice. The palate is ripe, supple and full with lively fruit and gentle tannins. The finish is long and persistent with excellent balancing acidity – very elegant.
Jean-Marc is the fourth generation of this branch of the Pillot family to be in charge of this excellent, 10 hectare domaine. He took over the reins from his father Jean in 1991 and is assisted by his wife Nadine and sister Beatrice.
Jean-Marc’s number one priority is to respect the terroir he has inherited. The soil is ploughed all year long. Organic fertilisers are adapted to the needs of each vine and the specific nature of each plot. Sustainable methods are used to fight against fungal diseases with maximum respect for the vines and their environment. A true believer in the saying that “great wine is made in the vineyard”, Jean-Marc lavishes great care and attention on his vines: March pruning, green harvesting, and manual picking account for quality grapes that are absolutely essential for making great wine.
The harvest is done by hand. As soon as they are cut, the bunches are brought to the vat room and put whole into the pneumatic press. The juice goes from there to the underground cellar via gravity flow and is put into oak barrels, 30% of which are new. The wines age there under ideal conditions for 12 months after alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. Starting in 2005, Jean-Marc decided that the wines would benefit from longer ageing. They now spend 6 months in stainless steel vats before bottling for improved stabilisation and efficient natural clarification.
Rich ripe concentrated fruit (pear, apple, apricot and peach). Elegant and mineral. Good acidity and oak balance, peachy and toasty aromas, soft and creamy. Wonderfully long.
Yves Cuilleron took over the reins as the 4th generation vigneron of this top domaine in 1987. He is based in Chavanay, just south of Condrieu, and has built up a formidable reputation in recent years. He now owns and leases over 75 hectares, 8 of which are in Côte-Rôtie.
The steeply terraced nature of the vineyards is such that all work must be done manually. This is very labour intensive but reflects the Domaine’s policy of ensuring that the vines produce the finest fruit possible.
Careful control of the vines vegetative cycle is exercised to maintain quality; a “green” harvest takes place in August to provide the vines with maximum aeration and reduce the risk of disease. Great respect is paid to the soil balance – no insecticides are used and only organic fertilizer, applied sparingly, is used.
For decades, the estate has focused on traditional and simple winemaking. A manual harvest, a careful sorting of the grapes, an alcoholic fermentation made solely from natural yeasts and ageing in wood are the main ingredients of the Cuilleron method.
Yves Cuilleron‘s approach to winemaking is “Make it as simple as possible”. For his reds he ferments in open vats for 3 weeks with pigeage (punching down the “cap”) and regular pumping over followed by ageing in a mix of new and old wood for 18 months.
This wine is from 4 ha of vineyards facing South / South-East, located in the north of the appellation. “Madinière” comes from the name of the stream located at the bottom of the hill.
100% Syrah. Dark in the glass, the nose is full of spice and pepper with soft wood tannins in the background. The palate is round and fleshy with soft tannins and fresh acidity giving the wines length and elegance.
This long established Meursault domaine is run today by Vincent Boyer-Martenot, whose father, Yves, was renowned for his elegant, mineral driven wines. Vincent has followed in his illustrious footsteps and makes equally alluring wines.
Cuvée Fernand Boyer is named in honour of Vincent’s grandfather and is a wine that leads with finesse rather than power.
In the glass the wine is pale gold in colour with faint green hints. The nose is very expressive with fresh lifted notes of apricot, floral aromas and exotic fruits. The palate is rounded and layered with great length. Wood is held in the background.
The origins of this estate date back to the 17th century, but more recently, Bouscaut was acquired in 1979 by Lucien Lurton, a well known Bordeaux winemaker who already owned at least ten other prestigious châteaux throughout Bordeaux. Today the estate is run by Sophie Lurton, Lucien’s daughter and her husband Laurent Cogombles. Laurent is also the present president of the appellation Pessac-Léognan.
There are 47 hectares under vine. The barrel fermented white is a mix of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Sémillon, from 150 year old rootstock grown on clay and gravel soils.
The grapes were picked by hand and carefully sorted in the vineyard before arriving at the winery. Vinification was in oak barrels, 40% of which were new, with regular batonnage (stirring of the lees) to add depth and integration of the wood into the wine. The finished wine was then aged for 12 months in wood – 30% of which was new.
Light golden in colour with a fresh and intense nose with flinty mineral notes, fine oak, roasted nuts, grapefruit, peaches and citrus notes. The palate is fresh and vibrant with juicy fruit and fine balancing minerality in the long finish.
Although their first commercial vintage was only in 2002, this is now one of the finest and most sought after domaines in Chablis.
The Domaine comprises 6 hectares of Chablis Grand Cru and 5 hectares of Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon. These are wonderfully sited vineyards which for generations have been the personal property of the Moreau family.
The family now have no connection or contract with the large and respected négociant of the same name. Christian, a larger than life personality, and his highly qualified oenologue son Fabien are making spectacular hand-crafted Chablis. All of their grapes are hand picked from vines which average 40-70 years old.
The Grands Crus are predominantly vinified in stainless steel, but also see some barrel fermentation and maturation – but never more than 5% new oak. These are brilliant, bracing, classic, minerally Chablis. They are now certified as organic.
A very reliable Cru Bourgeois property, Château Caronne Ste. Gemme is located in the Haut-Médoc adjacent to St.Julien. Owned by Jean and Francois Nony, the property consists of 45 hectares of vineyards and produces over 20,000 cases a year.
Caronne Ste. Gemme 2012 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel before being transferred for maturation in oak barriques (20% of which are new, the rest being 2nd or 3rd fill) for 12 months.
A rich nose of red fruit, cedar and spices leads on to a palate that is full and rounded with soft tannins and flavours of red fruits, vanilla, a hint of smoke and subtle oak. A lovely claret from a splendid Bordeaux vintage.
**An Impériale – 6 litres, or the equivalent of 8 bottles – in an individual, branded wooden box.**
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