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 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Memories of My Cigars days

Memories of My Cigars days...

Dominique Noël - Sommelier at CHE Restaurant, Cocktail Bar & Lounge
back in the late 1990s - London, UK (Courtesy of Cigar World Magazine)

I retrieved an old copy of Cigar World Magazine from 2001, with an article about London's Sommeliers and "what to drink with your cigar?" back from our London years at CHE Restaurant, Cocktail Bar & Cigar Lounge on St. James street (used to be on the ground floor and first floor of the Economist Building)

Cigar World Magazine cover 2001

A time when I remember smoking quite a few cigars every week... with the team: John DaveyFossard EricTim McLaughlin-GreenLudovic PeyrardStephane Gilet, and even Mark Pratt during the break in the afternoon at the bar of the small hotel/club next door.. (St. James ?).. 

CHE Restaurant, Cocktail Bar & Cigar Lounge Team (small part of it in fact)

And of course I also remember smoking with Georges Dos SantosYves SaubouaChristophe Brunet, during memorable dinners and parties... even with Christophe VuilleminStephane BuliardJorge Calisto, and a few others (and some already mentioned above) during our time at Monte's Club.. 😁 ... 

Cigar World Magazine 2001 - Article

Cigar World Magazine 2001 - Article

Cigar World Magazine 2001 - Article

It was great times

#CHE #ourlondonyears #greatmemories #greatpeople #cigars

Santé, Cheers, and stay tuned for more posts coming soon....

LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thank you to all my readers...


Fairly recently, I was already astonished to reach the milestone of 1,200 page views within 7 days, which was huge for a small blogger like me and I thanked you for it. 

Today, I was just checking something on my blog and was stopped immediately by looking at the number of page views.... at first, I refreshed the page to see if it was not a mistake... no, it was not.... 
I was speechless.... I could not believe the amount of page views within the last 7 days: 

17,517 (and climbing...)

WOW!?! It may appear rather small for the renown bloggers out there, yet for a small blogger like me only writing sporadically... THAT'S AMAZING!?!  And the only thing I can say is


You are the inspiration and motivation behind my writings.  

Santé, Cheers, Thank you again and stay tuned for more posts in the near future. 

LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017

I just received today this amazing book I bought online titled "Le Vignoble Girondin" by Germain Lafforgue, 1st edition from 1947, numbered 295 out of the 910 exemplaries published then. In superb condition I must say for a 1st edition of 1947.

I discovered this book while doing a few researches online for my post titled "Bordeaux is not only two banks and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same...."  (read it here) where I mentioned the unvaluable "Geologic Map of the Gironde Soils" contained in that book.

I cannot express or hide my joy and pleasure to now possess such a treasure, more especially for someone passionate about vineyard's soils, subsoils, topography and geology like me.

Here are a few pictures of this book (that all Bordeaux and other wine lovers should have on the shelve of their wine library) and more especially the Geologic Map just to give you "le vin a la bouche" (meaning to make your mouth watering with wine...  wine and vineyard knowledge that is 😉😊)

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Table des Matières

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Table des Illustrations and Héliogravures

There is even the original letter from the editor.... amazing

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Original Editor's Letter

And of course, the treasure inside, the cherry on the cake, there is the unfoldable map divided in 2 parts: The Gironde vineyards Map and Gironde Soils Geologic Map..... Love it.

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Vineyards Map of the Gironde Region

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Geologic Map of the Gironde Region

It is a great book of invaluable facts and data known at that time back in 1946-1947 about the wines, vineyards, soils, subsoils, geology and topography of the Gironde Region (Bordeaux), facts and data that are still relevant to this day for the most part. That's what makes that book invaluable in my opinion. I may be wrong but reading the knowledge of the old and wise is always a source of enlightenment to me. The old and wise were not always right, but if so why are we always going to the ancient methods and traditions (i.e. Organic and Biodynamic)?

A big Thank you to Denis, the person who sold it to me, the bookseller of a library called
"La Belle Page", located at Prades-Le-Lez (34730), a village situated north of Montpellier (Hérault), in the Languedoc-Roussillon in France. He packed the book the old way, in newspaper, which i appreciated very much as it reminds me of my grandfather and how he used to pack all sort of things back when I was a kid growing up surrounded by vineyards in the Côtes de Bourg

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Packed like the old days with newspaper

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Packed like the old days with newspaper

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Packed like the old days with newspaper

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Just unpacked - Nearly pristine condition

Voilà, hope you like it as much as I do and you know what's left for you to do if you are curious enough, go buy the book, it is definitely worth it if you can find it.


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bottle Dimensions

Bottle Dimensions

In order to design and order custom made Gift boxes and Shipping boxes for the company, my management ask me to provide them with bottle dimensions. 

As always, I first browsed around the Internet via google and found countless amount of websites talking about bottle's volumes/sizes and their respective names (and their respective ratio of 750ml contained per volume) like within the following table, but rare were the ones really specifically detailing bottle dimensions. 

Bottle Sizes and Names Chart compiled by LeDomduVin 2017

In fact, quite few websites are showing you pictures of different bottles with or without dimensions, but not detailed enough, and other websites are too technical and do not necessarily offer a listing of the dimensions like in my table below (easy to see at one glance rather than to have to browse around various pictures or web pages).     

So as usual, unsatisfied by my search results, I decided to take the measurements of the bottles that I had on hand at the office and established the following easy to read "Bottle Dimensions" table. 

I decided to post it on my blog as I think it that, maybe, it could be useful for some of you too. 

You see, I always go by the principle that if I was looking for something and could not find it on the Internet, then at least one person in the world must have the same issue as me and might be interested to find the kind of table I did. So here it is. 

Bottles Dimensions

Wine Bottle Parts © LeDomduVin 2017

In my "Bottle Dimensions" table below, you will notice a few things:
  • The measurements are mostly "ranges" due to bottle dimensions variations, as I could not create a table for each unique specific bottle (which could prove impossible as there are so many shapes and forms and sizes of wine bottles). Therefore, the variations ranges apply to the most common bottles found in the market. So called "standard" bottles.  
  • There is no measurement for the "shoulder" as, (like for the human body 😉), it is difficult to really define where the "Neck" stop and where the "Shoulder" begin... it is a grey area, so I leave it up to you to decide and be the judge of that....
  • Consequently the measurements of the bottle "Body" are approximate and may vary depending on your own judgment, yet it is roughly measured from the bottom "Shoulder" to the bottom of the bottle.    

Bottle Dimensions and Sizes measured by LeDomduVin © 2017

NB: I will continue to measure some of the bottle size missing and update that table as soon as possible (work still in progress) 

I took a few pictures this afternoon while measuring the bottles at the office and in one of our cellars to show you the bottle's shapes and sizes differences .

750 ml Bottles of various shapes 

DRC Romanee Conti 750ml

Paul Jaboulet Hermitage 750ml

Petrus 1961 750ml & Magnum and Gruaud Larose 5 liters & 6 Liters

Guigal Ex-Voto 750ml & Chapoutier ermitage Le Pavillon 3 Liters

Yquem 375ml and 5 Liters

Voila... Hope it will maybe help some you. 


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noel


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bordeaux is not only two banks and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same....

Bordeaux is not only two banks
and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same....

As a French, born in Bordeaux, and grandson of a winemaker from the Côtes de Bourg, as well as being a certified Sommelier opening, preparing, pouring and tasting Bordeaux wines for more than 25 years, I feel the need to put my fist on the table and remind people that Bordeaux is not only two banks and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same....

One can not reduce Bordeaux to only two banks and one can not say that all the Bordeaux have the same taste or taste alike, yet it is unfortunately the view of a majority of people in the world: Bordeaux is 2 banks only and both banks wines roughly taste the same…

Under that perspective, just imagine what a Bordeaux Wine Regions map could look like....

For a majority of people in the world Bordeaux is  2 banks only and both banks’ wines taste roughly the same…  Original Bordeaux Wine Regions Map courtesy of DUCLOT Revisited by LeDomduVin
For a majority of people in the world Bordeaux is 
2 banks only and both banks’ wines taste roughly the same… 
Original Bordeaux Wine Regions Map courtesy of DUCLOT
Revisited by LeDomduVin

This normally pristine Bordeaux Wine Regions Map produced for DUCLOT LA VINICOLE is of course a metaphor translating the concept of "Bordeaux is 2 Banks only"... a scary metaphor in my opinion... moreover being the vision of the majority of people in the world.

In reply to a comment on Facebook to a recent article from the newspaper "Le Monde" on the "Flying Winemaker" a.k.a. "the Wine Guru" Michel Rolland (which I posted earlier today on Facebook - read the article here) roughly saying:

"All Bordeaux have the same taste and even experts have difficulty in defining the right bank and the left bank as all Bordeaux wines taste alike."

I replied that it is quite exaggerating and exasperating to think or say such kind of things as Bordeaux is so much more complex and far more diversified than just "2 banks only and all wines taste alike", for the following reasons:

More than 9800 wine estates in Bordeaux

    • including 6 700 winegrowers 
    • including 3,775 declared or registered as private cellars "Châteaux" 
    • plus about 2,950 cooperators from 42 cooperative wineries 
    • producing more than 10,000 different wines 

Map of the Graves and Sauternes courtesy of

Right Bank Map courtesy of

Spread over 57 Appellations d'Origine Controlée (AOC)

Bordeaux Appellations Map courtesy of "Vins de Bordeaux"

Bordeaux Appellations (in Alphabetical order)

    • Barsac
    • Blaye
    • Bordeaux
    • Bordeaux Clairet
    • Bordeaux Côtes de Francs
    • Bordeaux Moelleux
    • Bordeaux Rosé
    • Bordeaux Supérieur
    • Bordeaux-Haut-Benauge
    • Cadillac
    • Canon Fronsac
    • Cérons
    • Côtes de Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire
    • Côtes de Bourg
    • Côtes de Castillon
    • Crémant de Bordeaux
    • Entre-Deux-Mers
    • Entre-Deux-Mers-Haut-Benauge
    • Fronsac
    • Graves
    • Graves de Vayres
    • Graves Supérieures
    • Haut-Médoc
    • Listrac-Médoc
    • Loupiac
    • Margaux
    • Médoc
    • Moulis-en-Médoc
    • Pauillac
    • Pessac-Léognan
    • Pomerol
    • Premières Côtes de Blaye
    • Premières Côtes de Bordeaux
    • Sainte-Croix-du-Mont
    • Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux
    • Saint-Emilion
    • Saint-Estèphe
    • Saint-Julien
    • Sauternes

Each appellation with its own particular "Terroir"  

    • Soils and Subsoils types (Geology)
    • Climate and Microclimate
    • Environment (river, lake, residential or industrial proximity)
    • Reliefs (Topography)
    • Fauna and Flora (Animals, Insects, Plants, Trees, etc..) 
"Carte Géologique du Vignoble Girondin"
from Germain Lafforgue book "Le Vignoble Girondin"
Edition Louis Larmat 1947

NB: this map is a very valuable proof of the diversity of the soils and subsoils of the vineyard of Bordeaux. I acquired the book and will soon this picture of the map by a better one, easier to read.

Carte des Sols Dominants de France - Map Courtesy of INRA

As you can see the predominant soils type of Bordeaux are

    • Left Bank: Gravelly, Clay, Sandy soils with Calcareous parts and patches
    • Right Bank: Calcareous, Clay, Gravelly soils with Sandy parts and patches
    • Entre-Deux-Mers: Clay, Gravelly soils with Sandy parts and patches

The diversity of Bordeaux soils and subsoils accounts greatly in the resulting wines too.

Le bassin sédimentaire aquitain (Image de J Fanet)

Providing each wine its own particularity and personality

    • Light
    • Fresh
    • Rich
    • Complex
    • Dry
    • Fruity
    • Ripe
    • Sweet
    • Young
    • Mature
    • Old
    • Short
    • Long
    • Tannic
    • Acidic
    • Balanced
    • Texture
    • Structure
    • Ready
    • Can Wait
    • Organic
    • Biodynamic
    • Lutte Raisonnée
    • Natural
    • Treated or not
    • Etc, etc, etc.... 

Crafted with various grape varieties 

of which the % differ on the blend depending on the appellation of production

    •  Red / Rosé
      • Cabernet Sauvignon 
      • Merlot 
      • Cabernet Franc 
      • Malbec
      • Petit Verdot
      • Carmenère
    • White - Dry / Sweet / Sparkling
      • Sauvignon Blanc
      • Semillon
      • Muscadelle
      • Sauvignon Gris

NB: Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Merlot Blanc can also be found in Bordeaux

Producing wines of all styles and colors 

Wines of all colors

Wines of all styles

And finally, atop the reasons already cited above (Appellations, Terroirs and Grape Varieties), the wines of Bordeaux also differ from one another (like any other wines in the world) due to the age of the vines, the weather, the quality of the vintage, the environment, the vinification techniques used, the ageing process (concrete vats, stainless steel vats, used oak or new oak barrels,etc..), the final blend, and so much more.. not to forget also the winemaker style, the desired wine to be produced, the effect of culture, traditions and the level of expertise on the perception of the wine intrinsic qualities and dimensions.

This list is nonexhaustive and so many other things could be added, yet that's a lot of reasons and diversities that explain quite obviously why it is impossible for all the Bordeaux Wines to taste the same!!!

Unfortunately, the public and many of the so-called "experts" and "critics" only know, recognize, reward and/or promote (at the most) the top of 500 to 600 Châteaux (history, ranking, awards, notoriety, marketing, etc. ..) and altogether reduce Bordeaux to two banks only, without taking into account the many differences (and other influential factors) of the of the wines produced in the 57 AOC of this beautiful region of Bordeaux

The comment cited above made on Facebook in response to "Le Monde" article is in my opinion the perfect example of the mass with a narrow, critical and reducing mind and spirit, and it is offensive in the eyes of all the other Bordeaux producers who are trying to change that image of "Bordeaux is 2 banks only and all wines taste alike".

Do you agree? Or do you also think that all Bordeaux are similar and that there are only two banks?


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël

Thursday, September 28, 2017

As efficient as a Robot.... Am I a real Person?

As efficient as a Robot... 

Am I a real person? 

asked by a computer ©LeDomduVin 2017

Beside being the Wine Quality Control Director for the company I work for, I'm also the Wine Market Analyst, meaning that I do all the Market Analysis prior all of the wine purchases.

Comparative Market Analysis (to make sure that we buy at fair prices) between the prices of
It is important to do a comparative Market Analysis between the prices of long established reliable websites (like those cited above), prior each purchase, to estimate the market trend and make sure that we buy at fair prices and from reliable sources. 

However, as I do these Market Analysis at the rate 3 or 4 Market Analysis per week, each including hundreds of lines/lots/wines (like I just finished one with 250 lines, and I'm just starting another one for a Sotheby's auction tomorrow that include 1530 lines/lots), it happens that some websites are asking me if "I'm a real person"... 😊 

And somehow I get quite a satisfaction to realize that I'm apparently as efficient as a Robot looking through all the websites cited above on daily basis to find and compare the prices of hundreds of wines in different vintages and different formats..... 

Today again, for the 3rd day in a row, Wine-Searcher asked me once again the question, and I found it quite funny, so I decided to share it with you in a post. 

Funny, more especially ironic coming from a software thinking that I'm looking through so much data on daily basis that I could even be a Robot... 😂😂😂  .... and asking me if I'm a "real" peron...

Ironic, isn't it? 


Wine Searcher - Are You a Real Person? - Screenshot 1 ©LeDomduVin 2017

Wine Searcher - Are You a Real Person? - Screenshot 2 ©LeDomduVin 2017

Wine Searcher - Are You a Real Person? - Screenshot 3 ©LeDomduVin 2017

Wine Searcher - Are You a Real Person? - Screenshot 4 ©LeDomduVin 2017

Sorry to disappoint but.... no, I'm not a Robot.. 😉 


Stay tuned for more posts, 

LeDomduVin a.k.a. Dominique Noël


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bordeaux 1855 Classification Chateaux Names with Chinese Translations

Bordeaux 1855 Classification 

Chateaux Names with Chinese Translations

I came to realize by browsing the Internet that, despite the list produced by "Christie's", revealed first and exclusively by "Decanter" on February 24th 2012 (read the article here), then officially unveiled shortly after during the "En Primeur" campaign, there is no other list including Bordeaux Chateaux names with Chinese translations in English written websites or French for that matter (as far as I could see).

 Christie's first-ever standardized Chinese translation of Bordeaux's classified growths
Picture courtesy of Christie's / Decenter

Yet, if you browse around through the Chinese websites, various listings of Bordeaux Chateaux names (and other notorious wineries from other regions) translated into Chinese are available online.

The problem is that, although the list produced by Christie's has been approved by most of the listed Classified Growths, Christie's list is "NOT" official Per Se..... and even nowadays, 5 years later, it still has not yet been fully embraced by all people of the trade in Asia (other Auction Houses, Wine Merchants, Brokers, Wholesalers, Importers, Distributors, etc...) as the official and/or "go-to" list for Chinese translated Chateaux names.

That is because, in Hong Kong for example, they have their own way to translate these names, as they primarily speak Cantonese (even if most also speak Mandarin/Putonghua). And in China, it is even worst, as they have various translations that also differ from Christie's list depending whether you are in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou or Shenzhen for example.

However, although Christie's list could have been taken as "THE" reference list and embraced for what it has been created for, meaning a way for everybody to speak the same language and write these names the same way, the reality in China is far more complex regarding how people agree to translate them.

In any case, it seems that in China in general (including Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Singapore) there is a consensus on at least 2 variants to translate these Chateaux names that are understood, recognized and used by most people in the trade. Variants that obviously and not surprisingly slightly differ from Christie's list.

Even my colleagues at work said that Christie's list is erroneous and that people in China may not necessarily fully understand or comprehend Christie's translations, and will write some of them quite differently.

No wonder why everybody's lost in translation if Bordeaux Chateaux names can be written in 3 different ways when translated into Chinese...  (sigh)

However, as I couldn't find a list including these 2 variants on English or French written websites, I decided to compile them into a list for the western world to have access to them (and to realise at the same time that Christie's list of translated Bordeaux Classified Growths is not entirely satisfactory or sufficient in the Chinese world).  

Here is my compilation of the "Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translations" (including the 2 variants) as accepted, understood and used in China and the Chinese speaking Asian market in general.

FYI: To those of you who might not trust this list of Chinese names coming from a French-American "Gweilo" like me ("Gweilo or Gwailou" or "鬼佬" in Chinese literally means "Foreign Devil" - a historically common insult, with slightly racist nuances depending on the context, still used to designate the white Europeans / Caucasians in Hong Kong and China) and in order to add credibility to this list, (and as I work for a Hong Kongese / Chinese company run the Chinese way and employing 98% of Chinese people... yes, I'm one of the only very few "Gweilos" working for that company), I asked several of my co-workers (both Chinese and Hong Kongese) to confirm the meaning and writing of all the names in my list. And they all agree that both variants can be understood, used and written within mainland China and Hong Kong and that Chinese mainlanders are referring to those 2 variants as being the correct ones compared to those of Christie's list... (so if the Chinese say so, who am I to say the opposite.. 😉)

NB: Owners of the Chateaux included in the list below, do not be offended or alarmed (as I know you can be quite susceptible when it comes to the order of the name of your Chateau within the "1855 Classification" list...), I just sorted the list by alphabetical order within each rank (1st Growth, 2nd Growth, etc..) to make it easier to read.

Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translations (compiled by LeDomduVin)

Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translation
sorted by alphabetical order - Compiled by LeDomduVin 2017

And as a picture will not help for you to be able to "Cut and Paste" these translated names for customs documents for example or other uses, I put this "Bordeaux 1855 Classification with Chinese Translation sorted by alphabetical order - Compiled by LeDomduVin 2017" list

I hope it will help some of you. You never know, this list might come handy at some point. I know that I was looking for one available online and could not find any despite Christie's list (which, as stated above, is not necessarily correct, accepted or even embraced by the trade... hence the reason for this post..) and I'm sure that I'm not the only one.... I hope to believe that the people working in the trade like the Chateaux themselves, but also the importers, distributors, merchants and more especially the people doing logistics, freights and shipping who usually have to deal with Chinese Customs will find it useful somewhat.

In fact, I think that by combining Christie's List and my compilation list, people will surely find a translated Chateaux name that they will be able to use depending on the context and the purpose.

And frankly, since the changing tastes of the burgeoning Chinese middle class and the surge of Chinese investing in and drinking more and more French wines since 2010, this list might definitely come handy.

In 2014, China surpassed France as the biggest consumer of red wine. And according to International Wine & Spirit Research, it will become the second biggest consumer of wine in the world by 2020, drinking 6.1bn litres, worth $21.7 bn, which is up 39.8% from 2016. (Source The Daily Telegraph / IWSR)

That's a lot of wine names to be translated into Chinese....


That's all folks for today!


And stay tuned for most posts...

and a big "THANK YOU" to all the readers, as your number has tremendously increased since I restarted writing on my blog a few months ago after nearly 5 years of quasi no posts or activities on this page. I really appreciate it and it inspires me to write more. Thank you.

LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël