Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A few more wines tasted at "Le Magasin" in Stanley (Hong Kong)

A few more organic and biodynamic wines tasted at "Le Magasin" in Stanley (Hong Kong)

2010 Chateau des Bachelards Moulin a Vent Beaujolais Burgundy France
Lot of Terroir and earthy, funky notes mingling with dark berries on the nose. Dark ripe cherry and more earth showed in the delineated, harmonious, fresh and very nice overall palate. Quite smooth with good acidity in the long finish. Classic Beaujolais from one of the benchmarks of the appellation, loved it.

2010 Didier Montchovet Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune
Here again, very earthy, funky and Terroir oriented. The palate offers bright flavors of red fruits and berries mingling with smoky nuances, enhanced by juicy acidity. A touch of green bitterness seem to appear in the mid-palate to fade and integrate with the other components of the wine toward the nice slightly rustic finish (a bit raw). Overall, a very interesting wine with earthy nuances, which gradually got much better and seemed more harmonious after about 10-15 minutes. No decanting needed, but it needs to breath a little to fully express itself.

2007 Didier Montchovet Beaune 1er Cru Vignes Franches
Like the previous one, earthiness dominated the overall profile, the palate is quite complex with great acidity, tannins and spices. Terroir oriented and a bit tight at first, but this is also due to the vintage, which was ok but not great in Burgundy.  It also needed air and a few minutes to deliver its full extend. The texture was somewhat chewier than the previous one, which was juicier and fresher. Not to sip on its own, and mainly due to the vintage this wine needs food. Much better after about 20 minutes.

2010 Clos I9 Bis Graves by Vincent Quirac Bordeaux France 

Clos 19 Bis is crafted by Vincent Quirac, who produce both Graves and Sauternes wines from small vineyards all under organic methods in the village of Pujols-sur-Ciron, about 6 km north of Sauternes. Harvested from 1.5 hectares of 40 year old vines planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this wine possesses all the classic nuances of the Graves soil and Terroir. The nose is fruity, earthy and smoky, quite typical of the Graves (which brings back a lot of memory as the wines from Graves are the ones that I started to taste, buy and sell at the beginning of my carreer 21 years ago, and I always get back to them with immense pleasure as they are usually very reliable and often good value for money). The palate is also fruity and earthy with that same smokiness inherent of the Graves soil. Lovely texture and structure overall, with present and young tannins toward the end but somehow well integrated. Vincent Quirac who was partly trained at Domaine Causse-Marines, one of my favorite Gaillac wineries, is definitely a producer to keep an eye on. This 2010 was only is 2nd vintages (I believe).  

Mouthes Le Bihan "Les Apprentis" Cotes de Duras Southwest of France

As the label could suggest it, Catherine et Jean-Mary Le Bihan are no apprentice at all. They craft their organic wines in the Cotes de Duras, a small appellation located around the eponymous village, about 100 km southwest of Bordeaux, in the northern point of the "Lot-et Garonne" department.

Cotes de Duras has too often been assimilated to Bordeaux in the past and thus suffered from being in its shadow;  which is completely understandable as the appellation location is immediately adjacent to the Bordeaux wine region, in the neighboring Gironde department, and can be seen as an extension of Bordeaux immediately to the east of the departmental border.

The similarity of these wines goes even further as the blend usually encompasses the same grapes, and this wine from Le Bihan is no exception to the rule: 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, from vines ranging between 10 and 60 year old planted on clay resting on calcareous limestone soil with presence of silex stones. Harvests are done by hand and grape bunches are carefully selected and sorted on the vines, then placed in small basket to avoid being crushed. The grapes are once again sorted and desteemed on table before going in the vat. They undergo a cold maceration before fermentation with no addition of yeasts or enzymes. Extraction is soft and long without any "remontage" (pump over) or "delestage", only a few manual "batonnage" (pushing down the cap) at the beginning of the fermentation. The resulting wine is then aged for 18 months in French oak barrel with no racking.

Unfortunately and strangely I did not write down the vintage, but it is fairly recent 2009 or 2010 maybe. However, the wine was great with a very expressive nose of black fruit and berries mingling with earthy notes and hints of cidder wood, menthol and gravely soil, somewhat similar to a Medoc. Quite explosive in the palate with lot of angles and edges, but not in an unbalanced or inharmonious way. On the contrary, with the Graves and the Hautes Cotes de Beaune (see wines above), it was my favorite of the bunch we tasted that day (for my wife too). Beautifully crafted overall with refreshing acidity that enhanced the fruit and earthiness. Loved it. Definitely not a wine to sip on his own, it deserves something to share it with, charcuterie, red meat and classic regional French recipes immediately come to mind, especially the ones from the southwest like Cassoulet de Canard de Castelnaudary, Saucisse Lentilles de Toulouse, Garbure comme en Béarn (reputed stew in Aquitaine and Midi Pyrénnées); and more locally Agneau aux pruneaux d'Agen.

Bon Appetit!


LeDom du Vin

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