Friday, March 9, 2018

Bodegas Emilio Moro Ribera Del Duero


Bodegas Emilio Moro 

Ribera Del Duero




Nacho Andrès, Export Director of Bodegas Emilio Moro, and Austin Lam, Key Account Manager at EMW (East Meets West Fine Wines - distributor in Hong Kong), paid us a visit today to introduce the wines of Emilio Moro, potentially for our company restaurant "Dynasty Garden", thanks to Jameson Chim, the Sommelier of the restaurant. 


Austin Lam, Jameson Chim, Nacho Andrès and Dominique Noël
at Dynasty Garden Restaurant Kowloon Bay Hong Kong ©ledomduvin 2018


It was a very pleasant surprise as I love the wines from Bodegas Emilio Moro, which I have been buying for the last 16 years. 

In fact, I first discovered the wines of Emilio Moro during my years in New York back in 2002 while I was working as a Wine Consultant and Wine Buyer at PJWine.com, one of the largest and most prominent wine and spirits retail stores in Manhattan at the time (and probably still now).   

The owner and my boss, Mr. Peter Yi, with whom I have worked very closely during 5 years (2002-2007), was one of the pioneer wine retailers in the Big Apple to believe in and heavily promote Spanish wines. He was a wine lover, a smart and cunning businessman, and above all a Spanish wines aficionado.    

Back in the days, in NYC, the selection of Spanish wines was good but not great as it was not diversified enough, mainly Rioja and Ribera del Duero were represented compared to all of the smaller and lesser known regions. Yet, in a few years, due to their good ratio value-for-money, Spanish wines were in demand and the trend evolved drastically to the point that Peter decided to create an annual event dedicated to Spanish Wines and Food, the "PJWine Spanish Festival". Once again, Peter was a pioneer in that field, as no other wine stores ever did that kind of event on such a scale before. It was a very successful event featuring none less than 150-200 of some of the best Spanish wines from both classic and up-and-coming regions all over Spain, selected from the portfolio of importers / distributors we were working with, such as (just to name a few) 



Besides teaching me a great deal about Spanish wines, Peter brought me along with him each year on a trip to France and Spain (with 1 or 2 more persons of the PJWine team). In fact, I was organizing his trips for him (making the appointments with the wineries, planning the days, mapping the roads to take and driving time, booking the hotels and restaurants along the way, as well as being his personal assistant and driver during the whole trip, even driving after each and every tastings and stop at the wineries, fortunately, I was spitting... it is important especially when you have a tasting with 300 wines to taste at 9am). 

Here is a picture I took back in the mid 2000s, during our PJWine annual trip to Spain. That day we were visiting Pesquera (Ribera del Duero). Alejandro Fernández and his daughter Lucía Fernández received us at the Bodegas, we visited the cellars, the vineyards and tasted the wines (which were amazing by the way). 

Peter Yi with Alejandro Fernandez of Pesquera Ribera del Duero
back in the mid 2000s during PJWine Annual trip to Spain
©ledomduvin 2005-2006 (I took that picture 😊)

At the end, Peter, who loves baby lamb, asked Alejandro where we could find a good restaurant nearby where they serve baby lamb chops (or "Chuletas de cordero lechal" in Spanish). Alejandro said "You're going nowhere. I make the best chuletas around, stay with us and I will prepare some for you". Alejandro is a man of character and authority to whom you don't say no to, so we obliged the man 😊.  

In fact, Peter and I were ecstatic, as Alejandro asked us to join him a bit later in the afternoon, not at his home nor at the estate, but in his hut in the vineyards ("Cabaña" or "Choza" in spanish) at the top the hill overlooking the Ribera del Duero vineyards and valley.     


Fireplace of Pesquera's hut in the vineyards (or "Choza" in spanish)
at the top the hill overlooking the Ribera del Duero vineyards and valley
©ledomduvin 2005-2006

Alejandro prepared for us the best "Chuletas de cordero lechal" we ever tasted accompanied with a magnum of Pesquera 1985 or 1988 (don't remember exactly), while enjoying the view of the Ribera del Duero from the top of the hill. An unforgettable moment.

The famous "Chuletas de cordero lechal" on the embers ("La Brasa" in Spanish)
prepared by Alejandro 
Fernández of Pesquera
©ledomduvin 2005-2006


What a great souvenir..... but let's keep Pesquera aside for now (maybe in another post...) and let's go back to the original story and Bodegas Emilio Moro...  which is by the way neighboring Pesquera as you can on the map.


Google Map of Bodegas Emilio Moro courtesy of Google Map ©


So, where was I... ah, yes, the preparation of the Bordeaux then Spain trip...

Prior departure, I was even creating an entire book, each year, with all the details (presentation of the Chateaux and wineries that we will visit, wine maps, itinerary, and endless amount of pages with the names of the wines to be tasted + space for the tasting notes and comments (I still have these books at home). It was fun and eye-opening, memorable and even unforgettable sometimes. I miss these trips. (Peter Yi, if you read this post one day, thank you for these 5 years spent working at your side and more especially for the opportunity to come along in these trips). 

We were usually heading to Bordeaux in France for the "En Primeur" tasting (end of March, beginning of April) for about 6 or 7 days, with a very busy daily schedule, visiting about 8 to 10 Châteaux per day, plus Négociants tastings and lunches and dinners either at a Chateau or a restaurant with a producer or with a négociant. 2 days in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol area. 1 day in the Graves. 2 days in the Haut-Medoc. And usually, 1 or 2 more days with négociants. It was exhausting but thrilling at the same time, and really needed to have a clear idea of the quality of the vintage overall as well as per appellation and per producer. The "En Primeur" Bordeaux tasting is an enlightening experience that I highly recommend for those of you who never had the chance to do it.  

Then, once finished, usually drenched by the rain and tired of tasting Bordeaux wines (more especially that the En Primeur tasting week was notorious to be a rainy week with a crappy weather and disastrous road conditions as there are so many people going to Bordeaux during that week, that you usually end up in a long traffic jam at some point.... and most of the time under the rain...), we were heading south to Spain, hoping for a more clement weather and hopefully some sun. 

First stop was always San Sebastian, or more exactly Getaria, in the heart of Txakoli. Getaria is a beautiful little village located about 15 minutes driving from San Sebastian. It is a charming fisherman "Bourg" with three of my favorites place in the world: the Saiaz Hotel (quint with an extraordinary view on the bay of Getaria) and Kaia-Kaipe restaurant, specializing in grilled fish, especially the Turbo for two, which has one of the best wine lists for old vintage Rioja wines at bargain prices (but shh! it is a secret not to be revealed). The third one is a great restaurant, topping a cliff, with a beautiful, modern dining room overlooking the ocean, called Akelarre. The food is a fusion of Spanish and Basque cuisine with a "Nouvelle Cuisine" approach and price, yet it is definitely worth it, especially if you have a spare lunch on your agenda. There is a 4th place w were also going to, located in San Sebastian, which was probably my top favorite restaurant in San Sebastian at the time Arzak. Anyone should experience Arzak if going or staying in San Sebastian. 

These trips were a bliss not only in terms of wine but also food I must say. Beside his love for Spanish wines, Peter was also a food aficionado and loved eating great food, and I need to admit that I was very lucky to be there with him each year for 5 years. It was amazing to visit all of these wineries, meet the producers, taste all the wines, understand the vineyards by walking amongst the vines, realize the importance of the soils and subsoils as well as the environment, the vine's exposure and other influential factors, that are described in books but that one can only truly understand when seen with his or her own eyes. 

You can read as many books as you want on wines and vineyards, yet you will never get as much knowledge as when you take the time to go and walk in the vineyards listening to the "vigneron" who knows all their details by heart as it is the essence of his or her daily life, to the point that he or she nearly named each vine stock.   

So "en route" to Spain, Txakoli was only a pit stop on our path to Rioja, where like in Bordeaux our schedule was really busy, visiting 7-9 wineries a day with tasting, including lunch and/or dinner with producers and/or merchants. Although I'm French (French-American actually) and more precisely from Bordeaux and grandson of a winemaker in the Cote de Bourg, I see myself as a traitor to my own region of birth, as I love Rioja wines (and Burgundy, and Rhone, and Ribera del Duero, and so many other wine regions...). 

Generally, after a few exciting days in Rioja, visiting classic Bodegas such as Lopez de Heredia, Muga, La Rioja Alta, CVNE (Vina Real, Contino, Imperial), Roda, Vivanco Dinastia, Allende, Artadi, San Vicente, Contador, Marqués de Riscal, Marqués de Murrieta, Remírez de Ganuza, Ostatu, Baigorri, Ramón Bilbao, and a few more... we were heading southwest to Ribera del Duero, where it was also a fantastic experience each time we went there. And that's how I came to visit Bodegas Emilio Moro for the first time back in the early 2000s. 



Ribera del Duero Map courtesy of https://daily.sevenfifty.com
(with indications by LeDomduVin)


Ribera del Duero is an amazing place. It is a valley planted with vines on gentle slopes with good sun exposure along the banks of the Duero river. It is like a basin, where, much like in Napa Valley, the sun is strong and hot, and the earth is scorched every summer and the resulting wines are rich, layered, full, dense, generous and ripe with a lot of texture, structure and character. 


Ribera del Duero ©ledomduvin 2005-2006


It is a place of history guarded by the Peñafiel Castle nestled on a rocky hilltop overlooking the valley and its vineyards. 


Peñafiel Castle,
Peñafiel, Valladolid Province, Spain ©ledomduvin 2005-2006


Peñafiel Castle,
Peñafiel, Valladolid Province, Spain ©ledomduvin 2005-2006


Peñafiel Castle,
Peñafiel, Valladolid Province, Spain ©ledomduvin 2005-2006


If you go to Ribera del Duero and if you like baby lamb (like Peter and I), you should go to one of my favorite restaurants in the world, called "Asados Nazareno", which is without question absolutely THE place to go for "Lechado" (roast baby lamb),  located in the small village of Roa. They serve the most delicious roasted baby lamb I ever tried in my entire life. 

The place is like a cantina for the locals, known by all the producers and all epicureans, where you eat seating at table of 6-8 people (or more), in a large open space with mosaics on the back wall, wide windows and the warmth of the open fire in the brick ovens lodged in the back wall. 

Make sure that you call them 1 or 2 days in advance to book a table as it is nowadays even busier than back then in the early 2000s, and it could be difficult to get a table sometimes. And before I forgot, when you call, you will have to let them know how many plates of "Lechado" you will eat per person, as they only prepare for what has been ordered. 


Asados Nazareno -
Lechado cooking by the open fire in a brick oven lodged in the ornate wall with mosaics
©ledomduvin 2005-2006

Let me enlighten you, they usually start to cook for the lunch at around 5am, as the baby lamb is roasted very very slowly by the open fire in the brick oven for quite a few hours, therefore it is not like in most restaurants where food can be prepared in faster ways, they have to plan from the day before exactly how much they need. There, in Asados Nazareno, time is quintessential to cook the Lechado to perfection. You don't even need a knife, the meat is so tender and juicy that it melts on your tongue and in your palate like butter. Lechado is simply served with a little green salad with tomatoes on the side seasoned with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and trust me, it is one of the most delicious meal I had in my entire life, simple yet so flavorful and delicious... 


Asados Nazareno -
Slowly roasted Lechado simply served with a little green salad with tomatoes on the side
seasoned with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt
©ledomduvin 2005-2006

Asados Nazareno is definitely worth doing a little "detour" by Roa for the lunch when you are visiting Ribera del Duero.    

But once again, I let myself go by deviating from my original story due to my love food and wine, and the fact that one experience is always intertwine with another one (got it? intertwine... ok, never mind) and now I lost my train of thoughts.... 

Ah yes, Bodegas Emilio Moro....

Bodegas Emilio Moro is located at the top of a bend in the Duero River in the town of Pesquera del Duero, just to the Northwest of Peñafiel (right by Tinto Pesquera as you can see on the maps above).
The Moro family has been farming the same vineyards in the Ribera del Duero since 1932, the birth year of Emilio Moro (the patriarch) as well as the year in which the Finca Resalso vineyard was planted. For two generations, the grapes were sold on the bulk market. In 1988, current proprietor José Moro Espinosa invested the family’s entire savings into winery equipment and Bodegas Emilio Moro was born. The bodega joined the D.O. Ribera del Duero in 1989 and quickly established itself as one of the region’s leading producers of top quality wines. 
(Winery introduction courtesy of Michael Skurnik website here)

Nowadays the Bodegas is run by the two brothers Jose and Javier Moro.

Javier Moro (left) and Jose Moro (right) of Bodegas Emilio Moro
(© courtesy of www.weinhandelshaus.at)
Bodegas Emilio Moro has a beautiful websites full of useful information (here), so I will now go straight to what I was supposed to write about, when I started what was supposed to be a little post 😊, the wines!!! 


So, the tasting with Nacho Andrès, Export Manager of Bodegas Emilio Moro, consisted on the following wines:



Bodegas Emilio Moro Tasting Selection at Dynasty Garden restaurant
©LeDomduVin 2018-03-08


2016 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Finca Resalso" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018

2016 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Finca Resalso" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018

2016 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Finca Resalso" Ribera del Duero
Suggested Retail Price 6-8 Euros (60-90 HKD)
100% tempranillo macerated for 18 days on lees.

The 2016 Finca Resalso is a very friendly, juicy, fruity wine with blackberry and currant aromas mingled with subtle hints of oak, good acidity and solid tannins, yet fairly well integrated, making this quaffable wine very approachable and enjoyable as a daily wine to pair with all sorts of cuisine. It is a really good value for money, and I was pleasantly surprised of its accessibility despite its young age for a Ribera del Duero wine. I usually prefer to wait a few more years after bottling before drinking Ribera wines, as they usually need a bit of bottle ageing to settle down, but obviously not this one. Definitely a "cash cow" if used as a wine by the glass in restaurant. Interestingly enough, Finca Resalso is made out grapes from the eponymous vineyard first planted in 1932, yet, by contrast, the vines are only 5 to 15 years old. they must have uprooted the old vines for some reasons and replanted some until fairly recently. The youthness of the vines is nicely expressed into this playful and vibrant young wine profile and character.  
LeDomduVin (Tasted 08.03.2018)       


2015 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Emilio Moro" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018

The founder of the winery is proudly displayed on the label of "Emilio Moro", as it represents everything Emilio Moro is all about, character, personality and complexity.  Being produced out of grapes from 15 to 25 years old vines planted on soils representing the essence of three types of soil in the Ribera del Duero adds to the complexity and different nuances of this wine. 


2015 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Emilio Moro" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018

2015 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Emilio Moro" Ribera del Duero
Suggested Retail Price 14-16 Euros (135-155 HKD)
100% Tinto Fino grapes macerated with their skin for 15 days and aged in American and French oak barrels for 12 months, until bottling.

2015 is a great vintage for Ribera del Duero in general and it shows in this beautiful yet tight "Emilio Moro". Although the bottle had been opened for quite a few hours, the nose appeared a bit muted at first (to me) and took a few swirls in the glass to be more expressive and get more intensity. Fragile, subtil aromas of red and black berries with nuances of tobacco, leather, herbs, earth, spices intermingling with the toasted oak notes on the nose. Although boasting very enticing fruity, earthy, leathery and toasted flavors, the palate is still tight and youthful, yet nicely layered and complex, with a good balance overall between the acidity and the ripe fleshy tannins building a solid structure and texture with plenty of concentration to make it a great wine. Yet again, the tight grip of tannins and touch of alcohol in the back palate will demand a bit of time to round up and get better integrated. This medium to full bodied wine shows a lot of potential to evolve greatly and become one of the stellar of the appellation in this price range, yet it is still too young to drink now in my opinion and will definitely require quite a few more years of ageing in the bottle to be more harmonious and round up some of the edges. If serve now, some decanting time will definitely be needed for it to reveal itself on the bright side. Otherwise always a good value for money in my opinion. 
LeDomduVin (Tasted 08.03.2018)



2014 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Malleolus" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018


2014 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Malleolus" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018

2014 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Malleolus" Ribera del Duero
Suggested Retail Price 28.5-32 Euros (268-310 HKD)
100% Tinto Fino grapes. 18 days maceration on lees. The malolactic fermentation occurs in French oak barrels, after what it then aged for 18 months in Allier French oak barrels.

Wow, what a beautiful nose, extremely fragrant, complex and layered with tons of aromas, opulent and intense. I kept going back for it. In fact, I was enjoying the wine just by smelling it. Surely the range of 25-75 years old vines and the diversity of the soils have something to do with it. Aside from the classic scent of the Tinto Fino beautifully expressed in this wine, the nose also combines aromas of blackberry, ripe dark currant, chocolate, nuts, toasted oak, leather, balsamic, herbs, spices as well as mineral and floral hints. On the palate, the attack is fresh, generous, soft and supple, and gradually increases in intensity and power in the ample mid-palate, with layers of complex flavors leading to the refined, integrated and long lasting finish. Even minutes later, I was still chewing the ripe, mature yet very well integrated tannin (need some red meat with that). This wine boasts a combination of freshness, concentration, harmony, balance, texture, structure and length with plenty to offer for quite a few years to come. It is said that Malleolus is the quintessential expression of Emilio Moro style and terroir expression, and it definitely shows in this wine. And once again, a bargain compared to some of its peers from the same Appellation. Highly recommended. 
LeDomduVin (Tasted 08.03.2018)           



2010 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Malleolus de Valderramiro" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018


Elaborated from grapes harvested in the Valderramiro vineyard, which was planted in 1924, Malleolus de Valderramiro is the expression of the terroir that surrounds it. In the label we can see Emilio Moro during the pruning process in one of the oldest vineyards owned by the family.


2010 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Malleolus de Valderramiro" Ribera del Duero
©LeDomduVin 2018


2010 Bodegas Emilio Moro "Malleolus de Valderramiro" Ribera del Duero
Suggested Retail Price 83-113 Euros (810-1100 HKD)
100% Tinto Fino grapes. Malolactic fermentation in American oak barrels then aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.

There again a beautiful nose, not as fragrant or intense as the previous one, yet enticing with primary and secondary aromas/bouquet of dark ripe fruit, figues, tobacco, leather, roasted coffee, smoke, smoked earth, game, underbrush, forest floor, spice, liquorice and toasted oak notes. The palate is rich, quite intense and complex, ample and coating, yet elegant and refined at the same time with the same flavours as on the nose, yet more intensified. Long beautifully balanced, structured and textured finish with a good dose of integrated yet present tannins and persistent reminiscence of smoke, earth and mineral in the back end. Although it will still well be alive for another decade or two, the wine shows some interesting secondary aromas and flavors that give it a dash more of depth and complexity. It is the type of wine that I have no problem finishing the bottle on my own. The few sips during the tasting (and because it was the last wine) definitely called for a proper glass (glasses I meant...😊). Highly recommended. 
LeDomduVin (Tasted 08.03.2018)



Austin Lam, Jameson Chim, Nacho Andrès and Dominique Noël
at Dynasty Garden Restaurant Kowloon Bay Hong Kong 
©ledomduvin 2018



Voila, that is it for today..... Thank you again to Nacho Andrès for introducing the wines and to Austin Lam for visiting our Chinese restaurant Dynasty Garden and bringing such gems like these along with you. 


Santé, cheers, and stay tuned for post like this one soon.

Dominique Noël a.k.a LeDomduVin

#fincaresalso #emiliomoro#bodegasemiliomoro #malleolus#malleolusdevalderramiro #riberadelduero#spain #wine #vin #ledomduvin#lesphotosadom #dynastygardenrestaurant
@bodegasemiliomoro @ledomduvin



©LeDomduVin 2018

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 www.larvi.com - 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%)

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

Harvest
  • 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

Wines
  • 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.












Santé,

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 https://www.baidu.com/) . 

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, 

Santé,

Dominique Noël a.k.a. LeDomduVin




   

Thursday, January 4, 2018

COMMON COURTESY OF HONG KONG

COMMON COURTESY OF HONG KONG


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.... 

Cheers,

LeDomduVin