Saturday, November 26, 2022

LeDomduVin: Magnums... Juyondai & Benjamin Leroux


Magnums

It might not work for everyone or everything, but, for wine, large formats are usually better.

As the wine usually tends to take longer to evolve the bigger the bottle is, the wine usually remains fresher and often tastier, in my opinion.

Although, it might not matter much for young vintages, it is particularly true for older vintages.

Last night, I was doing the service at our Japanese restaurant for a group of 10 people, and I had selected some magnums of Sake and Burgundy, as I think that Sake is mandatory, and Pinot Noir perfectly complement the delicate and refine yet flavorful flavors and tastes of the Japanese cuisine.



Juyondai Cho Tokusen Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Daiginjo 1800ml

Sake is a must in a Japanese restaurant, and without it, something would be terribly missing, and the whole experience would not be the same. So, I selected this Juyondai Cho Tokusen that I have been buying a lot lately, but this time in 1800ml bottle. Not only it is great with various dishes, but it makes for the perfect apéritif to wake up your taste buds and open your appetite. Rather light to medium bodied, well balanced, fruity and lightly sweet, with aromas of melon, lychee, peach and mineral nuances. Harmonious and soooo easy to drink. Love it.



Benjamin Leroux Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru 2018 1.5L
This came as a great surprise to me, the host and his guests. To me, because I bought it based on "instinct", not knowledge, as I had never tried this 2018 and therefore did not know what to expect. Yet, I like to challenge myself. To one particular guest, a wine connoisseur, who always wanted to try Benjamin Leroux but never really had the chance to do so before, and absolutely loved the wine. To the host, because this guest was important to him, and he was pleased with me for having selected this particular wine. Was it a combination of my skills, knowledge and experiences, or just luck? However, I am grateful it worked, as everyone was pleased with the food and the overall evening experience, enhanced by the quality of this beautifully crafted, soft, silky and delightful wine.

Dom

#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom @benjaminlerouxwines #benjaminlrouxwines #juyondai #wine #vin #vino #wein #sake #magnum #magnums #largebottle #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

Friday, November 25, 2022

LeDomduVin: Happy Thanksgiving to you all



Happy Thanksgiving to you all 


...and your family and friends and loved ones.

A special thank you to my kids, my parents, and all my family and friends, as well as all of you, who have been supporting me and my different projects over the years, at

@ledomduvin
@domelgabor
@domelgabor_photography
@domelgabor_music
@aworpyramide

Your presence, support, and comments as friends, followers, readers, and likers on my Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts, as well as on my various blogs, are the reasons why I continue writing, drawing, creating, making artsy visuals, collages, memes, taking pictures, making videos and even music tracks.

Thank you for your physical, psychological, emotional, and moral support on a daily basis. It means the world to me. You are all in your own way a source of inspiration and of motivation.

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones, be safe and keep your imagination and creativity ongoing.

Never let anyone distract you from what is important to you.

Dom

#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesdessinsadom #lescreationsadom #lescartoonadom #thanksgiving #saythankyou #thankyou #wine #vin #vino #wein #turkey #dinde #drawing #cartoon



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LeDomduVin: Receding hairline.... ....and Movember stache





Receding hairline...
....and Movember stache



Give it a few more years and the top will have completely disappeared, hence, I might let the beard grow...
😱😱😱😁👍🍷🍷🍷


#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #portrait #autoportrait #recedinghairline #movember #stache




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Thursday, November 24, 2022

LeDomduVin: Juyondai Cho Tokusen Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Daiginjo Sake




Juyondai Cho Tokusen Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Daiginjo Sake

十四代  純米大吟釀 超特撰 播州山田錦 生詰


If I have been posting more "Sake" lately, it is because the company I work for has recently opened a Luxurious Private Club, comprising several bars, private rooms, a cigar lounge, and a few restaurants, including one Japanese Restaurant, where I have been going to do the wine service at least once or twice a week, in the past few weeks.

The good thing is that atop buying wines for these dinners, I now also get to buy some Sake, which is great as I can learn more about them and train my palate by tasting lots of different ones.

Last Monday night, I poured this Sake from the famous and highly regarded brand "Juyondai". Although they produce quite a few of them, I love most of their Sake. That's how reliable this brand is. Highly recommended.

The "Cho Tokusen Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Daiginjo" is quite nice and strong, medium sweet, and very flavorful, with a slight sensation of alcohol in the back end.
It pairs well with stronger and more flavorful dishes.

For those of you who might be clueless about Sake, here is some information that may help, courtesy of https://theartofsake.com/products/juyondai-junmai-daiginjo-cho-tokusen

Grade: Junmai Daiginjo
Polishing Ratio: 35%
Rice Type: Yamadanishiki
Alcohol: 15%
Prefecture: Yamagata
Brewery: Takagi Shuzo

Junmai Daiginjo is the highest grade of sake: refined, sophisticated, elegant,
an usually the most flavorful of all Sake types.

Banshu is the old name of the Harima Region in Hyogo, which is known for making the best Yamadanishiki. It was recently awarded GI Status. Fruity and gorgeous aroma of melon, Juicy & Fruity without being cloying.

Cho Tokusen is a special selection chosen from fermenting tanks that are particularly vigorous and go through a unique pasteurization technique, which after that goes into storage for maturation.

Cheers! Santé!


Dom


#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #sake @juyondai #juyondai #juyondaisake #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob



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LeDomduVin: Red vibes


Red vibes


Not sure why this picture (which I took on Monday night) reminds me of both Christmas and Japan at the same time.

It is probably the red and white colors of the Lynch Bages label and the presence of this bottle of sake with letters reminding me of snow, and the red background, that have influenced my mind to associate it with the colors of Santa Claus, as well as those of the Japanese flag, maybe...

Maybe also because it is late November, Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Christmas will follow shortly after.

The older I get the quicker time seems to fly... Yet, time flies when you're having fun, they say, and I believe it to be true.

Time is just a notion, it is in your head. So, as long as the spirit and the mind remain young, curious, alert, enthusiastic, positive, and avid for more, enjoying the passing of time will never be a problem, nor a waste of time.

Time is both the witness of the perpetuation of traditions and the protagonist of progressive changes.

And, IWA 5 Sake is a great example of it, as Sake has been produced for roughly the past 1300 years, first for the Emperor, around 700 AC, then breweries mushroomed between the 14th and 16th centuries, and it became a thriving business between the 16 and 19th centuries. Slowed down during the 20th, and became fashionable over the last 15-20 years due to international interest in Japanese culture and traditions, as well as food and beverages.

And, Dom Perignon, long-time Cellar Master, now retired, Richard Geoffroy, jumped on the bandwagon, by spawning a true gem of a refined sake combining his interpretation of classic Japanese sake with the luxurious French savoir-faire and skills he acquired while making Champagne. The result is stunning.

For wine (and other alcoholic beverages...), (like for humans too), time is crucial for its development and "bonification".

Like this Chateau Lynch Bages 2000 has now reached the beautiful age of 22 years old, and is much better now than 10 years ago, yet still remains so young in the palate.

Make Time your ally!

Cheers! Santé!

Dom


#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #vin #wine #vino #wein #red #time #sake #chateaulynchbages @chateaulynchbages #iwasake @iwa.sake




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LeDomduVin: Mise en place for Chambertin lovers





Mis en place for Chambertin lovers



Of course, it would have been easier to go with some of the most respected producers of Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru, whom I love and have the privilege to buy and serve on a regular basis, like Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Fourrier, Domaine Trapet Père et Fils, Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier, etc...

I could have even thrown in some wines from some of my personal favorites, like Denis Mortet, Perrot-Minot, Dujac, Dugat-py, Claude Dugat, Remoissenet Pere et Fils, Denis Bachelet, Arnoux-Lachaux, Laurent Ponsot or even Pierre Girardin, and a few more.

But, I like to live my life dangerously and venture out, off the beaten track, explore new places, and try my luck on something new rather than be satisfied by what I already know.

And, these 3 Domaines are definitely worth (re)discovering:

Domaine Arlaud Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2016


Established after WWII, Domaine Arlaud does not need any presentation and is a stellar producer, better known for their Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, and Vosne-Romanee, yet, their Charmes-Chambertin is a delight not to be missed.


Domaine Henri Magnien Ruchottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2017


Established in 1987, Magnien was a fairly small and unknown producer until 2012, when his son Francois took over and brought the wines to new heights. It is now one of the rising stars of the appellation.


Olivier Bernstein Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2016


Olivier Bernstein is a fairly new producer/négociant, as he produced his first vintage in 2007, yet rapidly gained fame and respect for the quality of his Premiers & Grands Crus wines produced in tiny quantities. He is now considered one of the most accomplished rising stars covering several appellations.


Cheers! Santé!

Dom


#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #vin #wine #vino #wein #redwine #burgundy #gevreychambertin #charmeschambertin #ruchotteschambertin #mazischambertin @domainearlaud #domainearlaud @domainehenrimagnien #domainehenrimagnien @bernstein_olivier #olivierbernstein #misenplace #frenchwine





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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

LeDomduVin: Pauillac 2010 collision




Pauillac 2010 collision



I like horizontal tasting as they allow you to compare different wines from the same vintage and preferably the same appellation.

The other day, I put @pichonbaron 2010 against @chateau_pontetcanet 2010.

Chateau Pichon Baron 2010


Attractive ruby color, clear, medium concentration with bright reflects. Charming nose of dark and red fruits, blackberry, licorice, earth, purple flowers, roasted notes, and slight oaky nuances. The palate is soft, silky, focused, ample, complex, rich, and layered, in a very elegant and graceful way, balanced by great acidity, adding freshness and juiciness, with present tannins, yet, superbly integrated, bringing structure and backbone, to this beautifully crafted wine, gently expanding and coating the palate along the way to the lingering finish. Very juicy, palatable and so approachable right now. Definitely calling for another glass. Looooooved it.

Chateau Pontet Canet 2010


Over the last few months, I have bought this particular wine a few times, to be served during diverse dinners, to see how it will evolve, as Bordeaux 2010 vintage wines are drinking quite well lately, and I usually enjoy Pontet Canet. However, that night, compared to Pichon Baron, Pontet Canet appeared darker, earthier, less harmonious, more angular, and more austere too, less together somehow, with earthy tannins that may take time to tame down.

Don't get me wrong, I still liked it a lot, but not as much as Pichon Baron, as Pichon Baron seemed open, confident, radiant, and ready now (despite a strong potential to age for many years to come and get even better). Pontet Canet seemed closed, less ready, and somber, and presented angularities and youthfulness that may take a few more years prior to reaching a more harmonious and more integrated state.

In conclusion, I will say that it was an interesting experience showing how 2 wines from the same vintage and same appellation can be quite different, the former being in an opened phase and very enjoyable now, while the latter seems too young still and in a closed phase of its evolution.

Dom

#ledomduvin #lesphotosadom @ledomduvin #vin #wine #vino #wein #bordeaux #pauillac #tastingnotes #pichonbaron #pontetcanet



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Friday, November 18, 2022

LeDomduVin: Juyondai Sake





Juyondai Sake



Recently, I have been buying and serving a few sakes, more notably from "Juyondai", a well-known and estimated brand in the medium-to-high price range. I have previously posted a few pictures of the Juyondai Sakes that I have served, with brief descriptions, yet, I wanted to consolidate them into one post, to develop a little more on the subject of Sake (*) and this particular brand.  


Briefly, what is Sake? 

For those who are unacquainted with this beverage, Sake can be pretty hard to understand, as it is often categorized as a spirit, while it is not distilled and only contains about 13-17% of alcohol, so, it seems closer to wine, right? And yet, it goes through a brewing process like beer. So, what is it then? A spirit? A wine? A beer? 

Well... It is definitely not a beer. It may have the texture of certain spirits, and because it is usually served in a small ceramic glass, it might easily be mistaken for a clear spirit, such as Vodka, Gin, or Rhum. Yet, on the nose and palate, it smells and tastes more like wine.  

Sake is an alcoholic beverage brewed primarily from rice and water, similar to white wine in appearance, ranging from almost transparent to slightly yellow.  

"The term “sake” is often used in Japan to denote alcoholic beverages in general, including wine, beer and whisky. Sake itself is also called “Nihon-shu” or “sei-shu.” The element “shu” in these words is written with the same Chinese character as “sake” (酒). This character has the readings “sake,” “zake” or “shu.” “Nihon” means Japan, so “Nihon-shu” refers to the traditional alcoholic beverage of Japan. The “sei” in “sei-shu” means clear." - Courtesy of A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Sake

In terms of chemical composition, sake extract (consisting mostly of residual sugars) contains a comparatively high percentage of glucose and significant levels of nitrogenous components and amino acids, but little organic acid, compared to beer and white wine.  









In terms of taste, sake is rather mild with little acidity, bitterness, or astringency. It is often softer, silkier, and more delicate than beer and white wine. Therefore, the pleasant taste of Sake cannot be characterized as sweet, acidic, bitter, or astringent, the word "Umami" is used instead. 

Umami is often described as “savoriness” (sweet and salty at the same time, if you prefer). It is one of the 5 basic tastes (as shown in the picture above).  And, compared to white wine and beer, sake is richer in amino acids and peptides that produce "umami". 

Yet, most sake, in general, and more especially the type of sake known as Ginjo has wonderfully fruity aromas on both nose and palate, and therefore, taste. Consequently, in general, most people speak about the level or degree of sweetness when tasting sake, rather than Umami.   

Basically, Sake is made from Japanese rice and water, going through a specific brewing technology designed to produce both "umami" and fruity flavors from rice.



How is Sake made? 

As a visual is worth a thousand words (and is often clearer to understand), here is one to help you understand how Sake is made.


  





Juyondai Chotokusen Banshu Yamadanishiki Junmai Daiginjo 










Work in Progress... 👀







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Thursday, November 17, 2022

LeDomduVin: Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny "Terres Chaudes" Loire Valley 2018



Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur Champigny "Terres Chaudes" 

Loire Valley 2018



In truth, I'm a bit biased when it comes to Thierry Germain's wines, as I have been buying them for a long time (the last 2 decades, at least), and I have always loved them.

Cab Franc is not the usual crowd-pleaser, yet, I used this particular wine for 2 big events recently, and it was a real success, everyone loved it.

I wanted a different type of wine than the usual (and utterly boring) Merlot or Cab Sauv offered at parties and events. And, as I am a huge fan of Cabernet Franc, I thought I would dare.

The tricky part with Cabernet Franc-based wines is that they can be dry, tannic, astringent, earthy, austere, and even green (vegetable/leaf), especially if slightly unripe.

Yet, I knew that by selecting a wine from Thierry Germain / Domaine des Roches Neuves, I was not taking much risk, as they are always fruit-driven, balanced, and harmonious (and organic).

As expected, the wine did not disappoint and showed really well. Boasting aromas of ripe dark berries and cherries, plum, with earthy notes complemented by subtle oak and mineral nuances. The palate is lush, ripe, generous, and ample, without being heavy, balanced by the right amount of acidity and a solid grip of present yet integrated tannins, providing backbone and structure to this charming wine combining both intensity and depth.

To be honest, the juiciness, freshness, and complexity of this wine make it suitable to be enjoyed both alone or with food. I tasted it with a "cooked sous-vide" 48 hours US Prime Short Ribs, and it was to die for. Loved it.

After the tasting, I brought the rest of the bottle home to finish it with my dinner. I had a glass with some roasted chicken I prepared, delicious! And left some to be tasted the next day, as I felt it could use more opening. And, I was right, the next day, coming back home after work, I poured myself the last glass, and it was even better. Man, what a wine! Highly recommended. Moreover, it is a steal at this price!

Thank you, Thierry Germain!

Santé! Cheers!

Dom


#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #domainedesrochesneuves @domaine_des_roches_neuves #thierrygermain #loirevalley #cabernetfranc #saumurchampigny #tasting #tastingnotes



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LeDomduVin: Domaine Dujac Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Aux Combottes 2003



Domaine Dujac Gevrey-Chambertin
1er Cru Aux Combottes 2003



What an extremely pleasurable and satisfying wine! Amazing! And, it is a lot to say for a guy like me, as I am definitely not a fan of the 2003 vintage in Burgundy and even less in Bordeaux.

2003 was the first severe heat wave of the 21st century to hit Europe. It produced the hottest summer recorded in Europe since at least 1540.

France was hit especially hard. It began in June and lasted throughout mi-august, raising summer temperatures 20 to 30% higher than the seasonal average.

It was a weird vintage in many western European countries, as the producers facing such a heat wave for the first time did not know what to do.

As grapes reached their maturity much earlier than usual, some decided to harvest earlier to keep the acidity and prevent over-ripeness but also feared the weather may change to rain.

Others waited to take advantage of the full ripeness and concentration of the flavors, hoping it might rain in September to produce more juice.

And some did both, resulting in awkward, unbalanced, and inharmonious wines, displaying overly mature or often overripe, cooked fruit flavors lacking or with weird acidity and unintegrated green and earthy tannins.

Even wine critics and the press were fooled by this unprecedented vintage, rating the wines highly at first, "En Primeur", more specifically for Bordeaux, then lowering their scores 2 years later at release.

I will always remember 2003 as one of my worst "En Primeur" campaigns ever. So many people canceled their orders and it took months or even years to get rid of the unwanted stock.

However, this Dujac Gevrey-Chambertin Combottes is definitely an excellent example that some producers also managed to produce amazing wines in 2003, and how good producers know how to make good wine, good year, bad year. Showing extremely well now. Really approachable and enjoyable. Rich, ripe, lush, ample, smooth, generous, and layered, coating the palate with both ripe red and dark fruits. Great structure and texture, and enough acidity to keep it fresh. Very "suave" in my opinion. Highly recommended.   - Dom (11.11.2022)

Santé! Cheers!

Dom

PS: Kudos to Jeremy Seysses that I had the pleasure to meet many times during my London years 1997-2002

#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #domainedujac @drinkdujac #burgundy #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob #tasting #tastingnotes




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