Monday, February 5, 2018

Château Clos de Boüard "Dame de Boüard" 2016

Château Clos de Boüard

Dame de Boüard

Château Clos de Boüard

Back in my London days, in the late 90s, I had the chance to meet and befriend some of the greatest Sommeliers of the London restaurant scene. Sommeliers who became personalities and key figures of the wine world over the last 20 years. One of them was Loïc Maillet.

After graduating from the Catering and Hospitality school of Paris (L'École Hôtelière de Paris), Loïc Maillet moved to London. It was the kind of serious Sommelier, passionate about wine and food, to the point of even winning the contest of UK Best Sommelier in 2003. His wine career evolved through the years to bring him to his current position of General Director of "La Vintage Company" a young and dynamic Bordeaux Négociant company.

Somewhere along his wine career path between France and UK, Loïc met his future wife, Coralie de Boüard, yes, the daughter of Château Angelus owner Hubert de Boüard de Laforest.

Coralie de Boüard
Photo courtesy of - Revue Vinicole Internationale

Coralie de Boüard is literally born into wine. Along with her sister and brother, Coralie grew up in Saint-Émilion at Château Angelus. From an early age, she followed her father in the cellar and the vineyards and started to walk into his footsteps developing a great interest for the vinification process, rapidly evolving into a passion for wine and winemaking.

During 10 years, she developed her skills and knowledge working alongside with her father at Château Angelus, taking care of communication, marketing and sales. Then in 2012, she took the reins of Château La Fleur de Boüard, a 33 hectares property located in the neighboring appellation of Lalande de Pomerol, that her father acquired in 1998.

Château La Fleur de Boüard became the "home" of Coralie and Loïc, and their children, and an ideal place for experiments, where she learned and deepened her knowledge and strengthened her skills, with the help of her brother Matthieu, as well as Philippe Nunes, Technical Director of Château La Fleur de Boüard, and the architect Arnaud Boulain, who also conceived the cellar at Château Angelus.
Playful and smiley, Coralie de Boüard is more especially an engaged, passionate, enthusiastic, and creative winemaker as well as a proud mum. Not easy being the daughter and growing in the shadow of such an illustrious winemaker and chateau owner like her father. People often judge you too hastily having grown with a silver spoon in your mouth and surely think that everything will be served to you on a silver tray.

However, Coralie's ambitions to have her own estate and make a name for herself were more important to prove herself to the world and not remain in the state of just being Hubert De Boüard's daughter. She wanted to change this image. She wanted to be recognized for her skills and passion, for her hard work and creativity. To put her own mark on the right bank's terroir and continue a family tradition of winemaking, as one of the up and coming ladies (estate owner and/or winemaker) fighting for their place and recognition in this mostly man's world of wine and winemaking.   

In 2013, while in Bordeaux for a few months, helping during the change of ownership and following transition period when the company I work for acquired Château Le Bon Pasteur (Pomerol) from Michel and Dany Rolland, I visited Coralie and Loïc at Château La Fleur de Boüard. They are very warm, generous and welcoming people, family oriented, and always happy to guide people through the visit of the estate and the cellar, which is by the way quite unique in the world, and of course, make you taste their wines.

Already at that time, a rumor came to my ears, that they wanted to expand or even eventually venture into a new project. Yet, they kept it very discreet, as it was just an emerging idea, but the process of looking for a new property was in their mind and began shortly after. There is definitely a huge gratification of going from just an idea to the concretization of this idea. Yet, it often requires patience, determination and dedication, going through frustration and disappointment, false hope and missed opportunities, while at the same time searching for the ideal place, the one that will satisfy your ambitions and see the realization of your dreams and/or desires.

Back in October 2016, I read the news via a "communiqué de presse" that the search was over and that, finally, Coralie (and Loïc) found what they were looking for.      

In September 2016, Coralie signed a new professional and familial project, by buying a property called "Tour Musset" to the "Castel Frères", located in the Montagne Saint-Emilion Appellation. A new project that she manages alongside with her husband Loïc. A place where she can express her true passion, live with her family, raise and watch her children grow in the vineyards and the cellar, the same way she did at their age.     

September 2016, right on time to manage her first harvest and supervise from beginning to end her own first vintage at her own property. What a bliss it must have been, to begin with, such a vintage like 2016. A vintage cool and wet during spring, somewhat ideal for flowering not to appear too early, then followed by a hot and dry weather during the summer lasting through the harvest period which produced wines with very good ripeness and intensity, yet balanced by great acidity, integrated tannins and lower alcohol than 2015. More particularly for vineyards planted on the limestone plateau with clay topsoils, which better regulate the water in the soils and subsoils in hot years. These have delivered exceptional wines. The ripeness of the fruit and the soft quality of the tannins make them generous, supple and juicy without compromising on the intensity.

It is said that even before signing in September 2016, Coralie started to get acquainted with the property and even worked with the previous owners during the vintage 2015, to get to know the vineyards and be well prepared for her own 2016 vintage. That shows you how determined, dedicated and focused she was. She wanted it and she got it. And now that it is hers, she will surely try to make the best out of it, and the result is already showing in this 2016 vintage.    

Château Clos de Boüard Map

Located in the hilly landscape of the "Montagne-Saint-Emilion" appellation, on the commune of Parsac, Château Clos de Boüard possesses 30 hectares of vines fragmented in several parcels, planted on gentle slopes with good exposure of clay and limestone soils, historically reputed as an exceptional terroir producing refined wines. 

Map of Saint-Emilion and satellites courtesy of Guide Hachette des Vins 

The vineyards of Château Clos de Boüard benefit from the quality of the soils, natural drainage, and sun exposure, and more importantly an environment providing a rich biodiversity and ecosystem as well as a strong presence of old vines, 35 years old in average.

As an indication of the quality of the terroir, Château Clos de Boüard counts amongst its neighbors, renown Châteaux such as Fombrauge, Rocheyron, Croix de Labrie, Valandraud and Troplong Mondot just to name a few. 

Investments to restructure the vineyards and facilities are underway in order to produce high quality wines with silky tannins, velvety texture, respectful of the fruit, full of elegance, delicacy and freshness, signature wines resulting of the family know-how and expertise.

Coralie and her team craft the wines along with her father as a consulting winemaker.  

The vineyards, divided into 3 major parcels, encompass about 30 hectares under production
  • 19.62 hectares of Merlot (66%) 
  • 7.34 hectares of Cabernet Franc (25%)
  • 2.59 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon (9%)

  • Strong presence of old vines up to 60-70 years old
  • 35 years old in average 

  • Manual Harvest
  • Parcel selection
  • First sorting/selection of the bunch of grapes at the foot of each vine 
  • Carefully put into small basket to avoid crushing the grapes and thus preserve the skin and berries from being damaged
  • Sorting table "Mistral" for better sorting of the berries  

The vinification 
  • Pre-fermentation Cold Maceration at 8-10 °C
  • Alcoholic Fermentation
  • Maceration 3 - 5 weeks
  • Malolactic Fermentation in Barrel
  • Integral vinification on parcel selection 

Barrel Ageing 
  • 18-24 Months 
  • 50% New Barrels

  • Château Clos de Boüard (Grand Vin - 1st wine)
  • Dame de Boüard (2nd Wine)
  • Musset de Boüard (3rd Wine)

Annual Production
  • Aiming to 150,000 bottles

So, despite the fact that I know Coralie and Loïc, the inspiration to write this post on my blog came after tasting their wines, because I think they deserve some attention.

Last October (2017), Loïc contacted me to ask me if we will be interested to buy some of their wines for the restaurants the company I work for owns in Hong Kong. I answered him that it would be a good addition to the wine list of the company's French restaurant "Le Pan Apicius", located in Kowloon Bay (Hong Kong); but that I could not make any promises as I'm not the wine buyer for the restaurants, and that purchasing is done by the Sommeliers of the Dining Division.

Loïc still sent me some samples of the 2nd wine of Château Clos de Boüard called "Dame de Boüard" 2016 vintage, as the first wine, produced in small quantity, was already allocated or reserved. I tasted them with the Sommeliers of the Restaurants.

Dame de Boüard 2016 Label

2016 Dame de Boüard Montagne Saint-Emilion Bordeaux France

Retail Price about 10-11 Euros (98-108 HKD)

A blend of about 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, Dame de Boüard, is a fantastic ratio value for money and a stunning 2nd wine. One might note with amusement the resemblance between Coralie's profile and the lady's profile portrayed on the label... (coincidence?)

Right after opening, enticing ripe and earthy aromas already warmed up the room. In the glass, it boasted a dark, intense and deep color, almost thick. The nose was warm and perfumy with ripe dark and red fruit and berries, sweet spices, roasted coffee, and herbs, with slight oak and earthy nuances. In the mouth, the attack was juicy and ample, expanding nicely toward the textured mid-palate with dominant fruit flavors, hovering on your taste buds towards the youthful (and slightly tannic still IMO) finish. Although the tannins are well balanced with the fruit, they are not yet fully integrated and may deserve a bit of time to settle down a little. Yet, overall, the wine is really well textured and structured, has enough acidity to balance the ripe fruit and tannins, and has a lot to offer, especially at this price. Although youthful to my palate which is more used to tasting and drinking older vintages, it remains a very well-crafted wine.

If the 2nd wine is that good, I can only imagine how good the first wine must be...

In my opinion, it deserves a few years to round up some of the edges, but still, paired with the right food, it should satisfy even the connoisseur. Very promising...

Definitely, a winery to keep an eye on for the quality and potential of their wines.

Tasted 30.10.2017

Thank you Loïc for the samples and thank you Coralie for your wines.


Dominique Noël a.k.a. LeDomduVin

Info taken and translated from the "communiqué de presse" sent in September 2016.


Friday, January 5, 2018

People's Republic of China domestic trade industry standards "Norm on terminology of imported wines"

People's Republic of China domestic trade industry standards "Norm on terminology of imported wines" 

Back late September 2017, I wrote a post about "Bordeaux 1855 Classification Chateaux Names with Chinese Name Translations" (read it here), as I had difficulties to find the Chinese translations of some of the Bordeaux Chateaux names on western websites (English and/or French) and on the Internet in general (except of course on . 

In this previous article, I was providing you with a list of the Chateaux Names translated in Chinese characters, with 2 variants, as Chateaux names in Chinese may differ (written and pronounced) depending on the Chinese region (i.e. People in the Beijing / Tianjin area to the northeast of China might write and pronounce them a certain way, whereas the people in the Guangzhou / Shenzhen area might write and pronounce them totally differently). 

"People's Republic of China domestic trade industry standards - Norm on terminology for imported wines"

Today, I was given a very helpful document that seems to be more accurate and definitely more official, as it is a "People's Republic of China domestic trade industry standards" document used by Chinese Customs, which contains the norm on terminology for imported wines into China. The list in non-exhaustive as (of course) they couldn't cover all of the wine related words of the world, but it still contains valuable translations about pretty much every commonly used words related with wines.

Although this document is dated as of 2015, and therefore certain things may have changed slightly since then, I think that it still can be considered as a good Chinese Translations Lexicon of the most commonly used wine related words and terminology used in China. And I'm sure that it will come handy for those of you who might have the need to know the Chinese Translations of some of these words, more especially if you have to deal with Chinese Customs (Negociants, Shippers, Freight Forwarders, Suppliers, Distributors, Retailers, etc....) or simply if you express the desire to know how it is written in Chinese for you own knowledge.

Here is the table of contents as an indication of what you will be able to find inside this document.

Table of contents of
People's Republic of China domestic trade industry standards
"Norm on terminology of imported wines"

You can find the PDF version of the document entitled
中华人民共和国国内贸易行业标准 (People's Republic of China domestic trade industry standards) "Norm on terminology of imported wines"  by clicking HERE

Hope it will help some of you as much as it is helping me, 


Dominique Noël a.k.a. LeDomduVin


Thursday, January 4, 2018



After living in Hong Kong for nearly 7 years, I think that I have seen it all in terms of lack of manners, politeness, social skills and inadequate behaviors. I could write a whole book about it. Yet, instead I will just share with you a little drawing of my composition that resumes quite well the 4 most irritable things that are part of the culture and the traditions and thus people's everyday life in Hong Kong. And if you try to say something they will usually give you a startled look as an answer as for them it is perfectly natural and they do not see any problems doing it to your face. Common courtesy is not a thing in Hong Kong, and you better get used to it if you want to survive this concrete jungle.

Try to live with all the above (and much more).... everyday.... 



Friday, December 15, 2017

Early Christmas Lunch with the Team at Le Pan Apicius restaurant

Early Christmas Lunch with the Team

At Le Pan Apicius (Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong), the French restaurant of the company I work for, having an early Christmas lunch with my colleagues. The chef, Edward Voon, made a special menu for us, and the Wine Director / Sommelier, Lauri Vainio, served us some interesting wines:

Today's lunch wines ©LeDomduVin 2017

Château de Fieuzal 1994 Pessac-Léognan (Bordeaux, France)
Grape Varieties: 60% Sauvignon Blanc / 40% Semillon
Very good and very much alive, slightly oxidative, sherry-like nuances, yet still fresh with great acidity, gently evolving and opening up in the glass. A very nice surprise. I had the chance to taste it many times over the last 5 years, and every time I'm taken aback by how good it still is despite its age. Pale yellow gold color with bright reflects. The nose boasts yellow fruits with nutty, oxidative notes at first but opens up nicely with time to deliver more complexity and aromas. The palate is bright, clean, still vibrant with good acidity and focus, nicely structured and ample too, and exposes the yellow fruits and nuts of the nose with mineral nuances. The finish is rather rather long and smooth. What a surprisingly lovely wine!

Château de Fieuzal 1994 Pessac-Léognan ©LeDomduVin 2017

Vodopivec "Origine" 2011 Venezia Giulia IGT (Italy)
Grape Variety: Vitovska 100%
It smells like cider and has the orange-brownish color of a cider, yet it is not a cider, but the strong appley aromas may make you think differently about it. Slightly reduced on the nose, it feels indistinct and if blind tasted you will definitely have difficulties to pinpoint the grape variety and where it is from. Once you know the grape variety name, "Vitovska", you will even have a hard time to believe that you are still in Italy, as the grape name originates from the neighbouring country of Slovenia. Very interesting overall, but lack a bit of substance in the back palate, more especially compared to the previous wine. Esoteric and definitely not your everyday wine, it still boasts the freshness and vitality of the whites in general from this region of Venezia, and ended up to pair really nicely with the food. Definitely one of those mind-scratching wines.

Vodopivec "Origine" 2011 Venezia Giulia IGT

Vodopivec "Origine" 2011 Venezia Giulia IGT

Hervé Souhaut "Les Cessieux" Saint Joseph 2013 (Northern Rhône, France)
Grape Variety: Syrah 100%
Very enticing nose of tart cherry at first, turning into ripe dark red cherries, raspberries and even ripe blueberries, with light earthy, spicy and peppery notes. After a few minutes, floral and mineral notes became more apparent and mingled with the berries aromas. The palate is rather light and bright, almost Burgundian, and expands gently and nicely till the mid-palate. Unfortunately, I personally found that it "kind of" cut short in the mid-palate and thinned out in the finish. A lovely and enjoyable wine overall, with a lot to say of up front, yet, which lack a bit of structure and texture, more especially in the back palate and finish, as it vanishes leaving a slight trace of bitterness (probably due to unripe tannins). But still, a pleasant re-discovery, as I did not try Herve Souhaut wine for a while.

Hervé Souhaut "Les Cessieux" Saint Joseph 2013

Hervé Souhaut "Les Cessieux" Saint Joseph 2013

Hervé Souhaut "Les Cessieux" Saint Joseph 2013

Château Guiraud 2014 Sauternes (Bordeaux, France)
Grape variety: 65% Semillon / 85% Sauvignon Blanc
I don't know about you, but I love Sauternes. Of Course, I love Yquem as I have the chance to taste it regularly and more often than any other Sauternes. Yet, I need to admit that Chateau Guiraud has always been one of my favorite Sauternes and this 2014 is no exception to the rule. Fresh and clean, exuberant and perfumed nose mingling white flowers, honey, beeswax and honeysuckle with candied orange and yellow fruits. The palate is clean, fresh and light on its feet, balanced, tense and focus by a bright acidity and a lovely smooth and gentle texture. It expands with ample and generous fashion toward the finish without feeling too rich or too thick, on the contrary it is like a gracious ballerina hovering on your tongue. Love this wine.

Château Guiraud 2014 Sauternes

It was a nice early christmas lunch to say goodbye to one of our colleagues for his last day and the food was exquisite thanks to Chef Edward Voon (crossing fingers for you to get 1 or 2 Michelin Stars next year).

Here are some pictures of the lunch dishes:



Sunday, December 3, 2017

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne Brut Nature (dégorgé in 2016)
Market Prices 40 to 45 euros (370 to 415 HKD)

50% Pinot Noir 50% Chardonnay

Pale gold color with very fine bubbles. Beautiful enticing fruity nose with aromas of yellow fruit (peach, pear, apple) mingling with floral notes and mineral nuances. The palate is light, bright, crisp, a touch fruity but not sweet, or let's say the sweetness of the fruit rather than the sugar, beautifully balanced and structured, focus with a great acidity and a fairly long finish. A well crafted vibrant champagne. Highly recommended.
Funny capsule too with the "I love you" around the lipstick kiss mark. Lovely.

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne Capsule

Ruppert-Leroy "Fosse Grely" Champagne Capsule


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël