Tuesday, January 31, 2023

LeDomduVin: Thank you!!! LeDomduVin is once again back in the Feedspot Top 100 Wine Blogs at #97

 





THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO YOU ALL 
FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT
MERCI !!!


LeDomduVin is once again back in the Feedspot Top 100 Wine Blogs at #97

And, it is because of you and I thank you very much for it, I'm very grateful and humbled at the same time. 🙏🙏🙏

Every end of January, I usually take a look at Feedspot's Top 100 Wine Blogs to see what is my rank among some of the best wine blogs on the planet, and, for example, back in 2020, I was ranked #85, (it was great, thank you for that too), #118 in 2021 (it should be the "Top 200" instead, as they have about 200+ wine blogs listed 😊) and #124 last year (2022).

Yet, this year, I'm back in the Top 100 at #97, that's amazing! And, I thank you again for it.

It may not mean much to you, but it means a lot to me as I have been dedicating a lot of time to it, since I started this blog, back in 2008 (15 years already).

Being back in the Top 100 motivates me to continue creating, writing, and posting more articles, photos, images, drawings, collages, visuals, and videos on my blog.

And, above all, I will gladly continue to share my passion and knowledge with you all (as well as my passion for writing, drawing, creating visuals, and taking pictures) via this blog.

Thank you for your help and support and kind words over the last 15 years, and thank you for putting LeDomduVin back in the Top 100 Wine Blogs. Much Appreciated.

Cheers! Santé!

Dom aka LeDomduVin (aka Dominique Noel)



NB: For those who may not know Feedspot's Top 100 Wine Blogs, it ranks (as per their words): "The best Wine blogs from thousands of blogs on the web and ranked by traffic, social media followers, domain authority & freshness."

You can find the Top 100 Wine Blogs at https://blog.feedspot.com/wine_blogs/

And, Thank you Feedspot too! 😊👍🍷


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #thankyou #wine #vin #vino #wein @feedspotdotcom @feedspotapp #feedspot #topwineblogs #top100wineblogs #wineblog #wineblogs #ninetyseven




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Monday, January 30, 2023

LeDomduVin: Comfort Food with Comfort Wine




Domaine de l'Oiselet Vacqueyras 

Vieilles Vignes Bio 2020



This weekend was cold in Hong Kong, with temperatures below 10°C at night (which is cold for HK). So, I mostly stayed inside, doing my things, like writing, drawing, making music, watching some Netflix series and a few movies, and eating some comfort food.

When people do nothing at home, many usually order pizzas, I prefer cooking. I am not a great cook, but in the last 16 years of cooking for my kids and me, I mastered a few recipes from my childhood, that my mum and/or my grandfather used to make and added my own twist to them.

And last night, I wanted something warm, cozy, and wintery, so I made myself some comforting winter food, one of my favorite dishes actually: slow-cooked chicken with garlic and “Fines Herbes” and “Gratin Dauphinois”. It was really good and definitely hit the spot.

In fact, I made enough for at least 2-3 people, even if I was alone, and finished it all. It was that good!!! Yet, nothing surprising as I love eating, more especially when it brings back great memories of my childhood in the countryside.

With it, I wanted to drink a rustic, ample, generous, bold, powerful wine with a nice balance between acidity and tannins, a good body and plenty of earthiness, something Terroir oriented, and I don’t know about you, but for me, that means a red wine from the Rhone Valley, Southern Rhone actually, where grape varieties like Grenache, Carignan, and Cinsault, when blended together, fully express themselves with such characteristics. 

As mentioned in previous posts, at work, I open some of the greatest bottles this world has to offer, yet at home, especially if I’m alone, I only drink inexpensive wine. 

So, I find myself a nice Vacqueyras (around 140 HKD / 16 Euros in HK, but about 10 Euros in France) to drink with my comfort food. It paired really well with it, which was really enjoyable and greatly satisfied the grandson of a paysan that I am. 

The best things in life are usually the simplest! 

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom 

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #vacqueyras #southernrhone #domainedeloiselet #rhone #redwine #france #comfortwine #comfortfood #homecooking 



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Friday, January 27, 2023

LeDomduVin: Theory of the decades for Bordeaux Vintages - Vintage Chart 1900 to 2020 (suite)

 







LeDomduVin: Theory of the decades for Bordeaux Vintages - Vintage Chart 1900 to 2020



Back in 2012, I wrote a long post on my blog, (read it here), about a "theory", originally initiated by my grandfather, a winemaker making "Cotes de Bourg" & "Cotes de Blaye" wines, who planted the idea in my mind.

This idea, or "theory", consists in believing that there could be a recurring "pattern" or "cycle" of the vintage's quality and conditions, for Bordeaux wines, which come back nearly every decade, in very similar ways, making the quality of the vintages almost predictable (despite the acceleration of recent climate changes since the mid-80s, more especially since 2000).

I know it is a far-fetched idea, "theory", and I should not generalize, or make any general assumptions, as each Bordeaux vintage is different and, therefore, inconsistent from one another, and, even more so when you take each appellation individually.

But, let's say, we take Bordeaux as a whole and generalize on the overall quality of each vintage, regardless of the appellations and left bank/right bank differences (topography, geography, climate, micro-climate, grape varieties, soils, sub-soils, etc...).

To do that, I studied different Bordeaux vintage charts from various reputable sources (Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Decanter, Wine Cellar Insider, etc...), and compiled them into an "easy-to-understand-at-a-glance" vintage chart.

As a visual is worth a thousand words, I first created this Vintage Chart back in 2019, as a supporting visual to the post I wrote back in 2012 (easier to understand the theory, see it here).

Today, I reviewed this chart a little (above), and the results speak for themselves: despite some rare exceptions, like 1947, 1961, 1964, and 1982, since the 40s, the vintages ending in 0, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are consistently coming back as "Best" or "Great to good", while the ones ending in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 are consistently “Good to fair" and/or "Fair to mediocre”. 

It is just a theory (for more details you can read my 2012 post on the subject, read it here).








Meanwhile, I have just pre-ordered Neal Martin's new book "The Complete Bordeaux Vintage Guide - 150 years from 1870 to 2020" (official release mid-April), which I highly suggest you buy to complete your "necessary wine books to have" and better comprehend the complex variations/factors that have influenced each Bordeaux vintage.

Cheers! Santé!

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #theoryofthedecades #theoryofthedecadesforbordeauxwines #bordeauxvintagechart #vintagechart #theory #wineknowledge #wineeducation #winetheory 




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Thursday, January 26, 2023

LeDomduVin: A Cabernet Franc Crave

 




A Cabernet Franc Crave


When asked what my favorite grape variety is, my heart balances between Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Cabernet Sauvignon, as I am from Bordeaux, and thus grew up with wines predominantly made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. And, no matter what I do, I always come back to Bordeaux wines. Back to my roots.

And, Pinot Noir, as, throughout my career as a Sommelier/Wine Buyer, I have learned how to also love and, with age, even prefer Pinot Noir. I slowly became a traitor to my region of Bordeaux, by drinking more Burgundy.

As someone told me recently, and I think this sentence perfectly resumes the situation and reflects the reality of the drinking habits of a lot of people I know:

«Les amateurs de bons vins naissent à Bordeaux et meurent en Bourgogne!»
(“Lovers of good wines are born in Bordeaux and die in Burgundy!”)

However, besides these two, another grape variety that also gives me true pleasure in drinking is Cabernet Franc. And, do not ask me why, as, if not done right, Cabernet Franc can be green, herbaceous, bitter, tannic, rugged, even rough and rustic, and rather unpleasant.

Yet, when done right, especially in the Loire Valley, where it is thriving, Cabernet Franc is delightful, and can easily withstand or even surpass some of its Bordeaux and Burgundy counterparts, in terms of taste, complexity, and more especially price, like this wine at around 8€ a bottle.

Driven by the sudden desire to drink a Cabernet Franc, on a budget, I just picked it up from the aisle of a local supermarket, to give it a try; more by curiosity than knowledge, as despite the famous names of Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur, Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire (the list would be too long to mention them all…), I must admit that my knowledge of Loire Valley is rather limited.

Domaine Bruneau “Grande Cuvée” Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes 2018, is an exquisite little wine, well crafted, light to medium-bodied, well balanced, fairly supple, boasting fresh, crisp acidity, deliciously perfumed, exhibiting aromas of raspberry and blackcurrant, with bramble notes. It paired well with the slices of Salchichon Iberico Bellota.

Cheers! Santé!

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #cabernetfranc #bourgueil #saintnicolasdebourgueil #loirevalley #domainebruneau #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #housewine #housewines #wineonabudget




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LeDomduVin: A great lineup (again)






A great lineup (again)



I love my job, for many reasons, yet, more especially as it gives me access to rare and unique wine gems (that I cannot afford and would not have access to otherwise).

I always feel very privileged and humble when I open such great wines, and luckily for me, in my 31 years career as a Sommelier/Wine Buyer, I have been working in great places (restaurants, clubs, casinos, hotels...) with wealthy patrons drinking great wines.

And, a few days ago, I had the chance to taste and serve some great wines (again), at a private party, for about 10 people, in our Japanese restaurant.

They gave me a budget per bottle and I made my selection, sourced them, and bought them for the night. It was only supposed to include Sake, Champagne, and a red Burgundy.







So, I decided to go with Juyondai, reputed for the high quality and excellent taste of their Sake, and chose JUYONDAI JUNMAI DAIGINJO TATSUNO OTOSHIGO 十四代純米大吟釀龍之落子. A bold and distinctive Sake, rich and generous, without being too heavy or too sweet, delivering a lot of peachy, melon, and lychee flavors with mineral nuances. Love it.


For the Champagne, in their price range, Krug 2008 seemed like the perfect choice and it did not disappoint, on the contrary, it exploded with richness and complexity, freshness and ampleness. Stunning.








For the red Burgundy, my initial and only choice was the Mongeard Mugneret Grands Echezeaux 2015. Yet, as some guests were asking for some red immediately, I knew that 2 bottles of Mongeard will not be enough.

So, I decided to open 2 bottles of Robert Groffier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru "Les Amoureuses" 2018 from my hidden stash, a beautifully crafted, youthful, friendly, juicy wine offering plenty of red fruits, great acidity, superb balance and freshness, and a zesty mouthfeel. Way too young, but still, what a treat! Loooooved it.

Then, I served the Mongeard, a much more mature, masculine, and cerebral wine, complex, layered, and rich. Beautiful.

As they were drinking more, I had to return to my stash and bring my secret weapon of late, Perrot Minot La Richemone 2018, another one of my favorite wines. Amazing! (see my previous post for the full description, here


A good Sommelier is always prepared!


Cheers! Santé! 

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #krug #robertgroffier #mongeardmugneret #perrotminnot #champagne #burgundy #france #frenchwines #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #winebuyer #greatlineup #greatwines




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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

LeDomduVin: Petite soirée entre amis



Petite soirée entre amis 

Lots of people tell me: “Wow, you always open such great bottles!”, most of the time thinking "he must be rich and have a great lifestyle". 

Well, for once and for all, I would like to remind these people, that no I’m not rich, I do have a rather common low middle-class lifestyle, which can be resumed to “metro-boulot-dodo”, and that I am just a Sommelier sourcing, buying, tasting and serving wine to wealthy patrons. 

95% of the bottles you see in my posts are bottles that I open when I am at work, not for my personal consumption. 

The good thing is that I get to source them, buy them, taste them and serve them, which is the reason why I love my job, as it give me access to such beautiful “ladies” (as I like to call them). 

The fact is that, like most Sommeliers I know, I open super expensive bottles at work, but I drink rather inexpensive, every day wines at home, as I cannot afford the expensive ones. 

For example, the other day, some friends came at home, and these are the wines we drank and enjoyed together. Nothing extraordinary, nor extravagant, just simple, affordable wines. Nice and easy. 😄👍🍷🍷🍷😋😋😋😋

A muscadet, from Domaine de la Bretonniere, to start as an aperitif, “pour se mettre en bouche” as we say in French. Nice, clean, fresh, easy going, great to whet your appetite. About 8€

Then, a Sancerre Henri Bourgeois “Les Baronnes” 2021, zesty, mineral, well balanced, quaffable. About 21€

Chateau Larroque Bordeaux Supérieur 2016 at about 15€

Relais de La Dominique Saint Émilion 2018 at about 23€

Et voilà, and we had a really good evening, enjoying these bottles over charcuterie and cheeses and pizzas. Nice and simple, enjoyable and convivial. Nothing fancy, just “une petite soirée entre amis”! 
😄👍🍷🍷🍷😋😋😋

Voilà, voilà…

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #everydaywines #petitesoiree #petitesoireeentreamis #simple #simplewines #simplelife #housewines @domainedelabretonniere @henribourgeois @chateaularroque @chateau_ladominique

Saturday, January 21, 2023

LeDomduVin: Happy Chinese New Year 2023 - Year of the Rabbit 😁👍🍷



Happy Chinese New Year 2023 
Year of the Rabbit 😁👍🍷

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái
Kung Hei Fat Choi 恭喜發財
Gong Hei Fat choy 恭喜发财
Xīnnián kuàilè 新年快樂

I wish you and your family and loved ones a happy, prosperous, healthy, and wealthy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit

May 2023 bring you what 2022 did not.

Cheers! Santé!

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #happynewyear #happychinesenewyear #chinesenewyear #wine #vin #vino #wine #lescreationsadom #lesimagesadom #lescollagesadom #rabbitlevercorkscrew #rabbitcorkscrew

Friday, January 20, 2023

LeDomduVin: Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “La Richemone” Vignes Centenaires Cuvée Ultra 2018




Domaine Perrot-Minot 
Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru 
“La Richemone” Vignes Centenaires 
Cuvée Ultra 2018



I have said it before and will say it again: Perrot-Minot is one of my top favorite Domaines in Burgundy. 

I just loooooove their wines. And, I also love the way they revamped the look of their bottles, labels, and packaging. 

And this wine (opened for a private lunch today) definitely confirms it. 

My god, what a gorgeous wine!!! 




First, the package is a statement on its own: clean, clear, smart, and sophisticated. 

Secondly, both the thick, solid bottle and the bold, modern, yet elegantly designed labels (front and back) also convey a refined and cultivated image.

Even the long and qualitative cork is synonymous with attention to detail, passion, and precision. 

Yet, the best is in the bottle (as it always is) 😁👍🍷 

The second I popped the cork up, dark fruits, spices, and smoky and earthy fragrances were already perfuming the room. The palate opened with a fresh juicy, fruity attack, then smoothly expanded in the mid-palate with layers of red and dark fruit flavors mingling with earthy, smoky, terroir-driven notes and very integrated oak nuances. Extremely well-balanced, precise, elegant, and refined, with great acidity, yet ample, round, and delivering generously with a comforting boldness and confidence. The finish is long, lingering, and seamless. Gorgeous! A stunning wine from beginning to end. 

Looooooove it!







NB: Only 2531 bottles were produced, and I bought 7 of them. Make sure to source some for yourself asap. They won't last long.


Cheers! Santé! And... 

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI 恭喜發財
Happy Chinese New Year! to all of you and your families. 

Stay safe and take good care of yourself and your loved ones. 

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein @domaineperrotminot #domaineperrotminot #nuitssaintgeorges #premiercru #larichemone #cuveeultra #larichemonecuveeultra #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovethiswine #ilovemyjob 



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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

LeDomduVin: Sauternes by Château d'Yquem



Sauternes by Château d'Yquem



Have you ever seen this bottle before? 

Well, me neither, until tonight. It was given as a gift to someone who wanted me to verify its authenticity. 

As an ex-Wine Quality Control Director (for 9 years in my previous job), I accepted right away, both interested and bewildered by the sight of this strange-looking label. 

To be honest, “What is this? Is it made in China?” is the first thing that came to my mind. 

I had never seen such a bottle in my entire 31 years career in the wine industry. Moreover, it says "produced at Chateau d’Yquem". And, in all these years of buying, selling, tasting and serving both wines from Chateau d’Yquem, “Y” of Yquem and the eponymous Grand Vin of the Chateau, you will think that I would have come across this particular wine and label. But, no, never. 






What is this? A “Sauternes” made by Yquem? Is it a fake? Could it be a counterfeit? I had to look it up prior to sending an email to the Chateau to obtain some explanation. 

And, what I found out is very interesting (at least to me). 

It is not a fake, nor a counterfeit, actually. As Jeff Leve (@jeff_leve) wrote on his very helpful and insightful website "The Wine Cellar Insider": 

"While the estate strives to make vintages of Chateau d’Yquem every year, that is not always possible. Chateau d’Yquem ended up declassifying the entire harvest and did not make wine in the following vintages, 1910, 1915, 1930, 1951, 1952, 1964, 1972, 1974, 1992, and 2012.

So, what does Chateau d’Yquem do with the declassified wine? In the past, declassified grapes that were not used in the production of their dry, white wine “Y”, were sold off in bulk and used to produce a generic, Sauternes wine.

Today, declassified grapes are also used to produce a special blend of declassified d’Yquem that is only available to employees through internal sales at the property. The wine is not meant to be sold as a commercial product. The wine is classed as a generic AOC Sauternes wine.” - Jeff Leve (www.thewinecellarinsider.com)

Now we have the answer. Thank you, Jeff. 😊👍🍷

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom @yquem #yquem #sauternes #wine #vin #vino #wein #bordeaux #france




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Sunday, January 15, 2023

LeDomduVin: Smoking Champagne




Smoking Champagne 


I opened this bottle today to welcome some guests for the aperitif, and it was stunning.

Attractive golden color. Toasted brioche, stone fruits, and yellow fruit, with nutty and mineral nuances. Rich, layered, complex, long, and beautifully balanced with a refreshing acidity keeping it sharp and elegant, while generously coating the palate from the beginning to the lingering finish. Really satisfying and definitely calling for another glass. Loooove it.

For a Churchill, it was smoking!!!

NB: These were not my guests, of course, I wish, but no, I was working, yes, even on Sundays. And, btw. a friendly reminder for the people who continue to believe that all these beautiful ladies (that I open on nearly a daily basis) are mine and that I open them for my own personal consumption, well, sorry to say, but they are not. I’m just a Sommelier opening bottles for some wealthy people. The good thing is that, at least, I get to buy them, taste them and serve them.😁👍🍷

Santé! Cheers!

Dom


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