Sunday, May 22, 2022

LeDomduVin: The Unusual Suspect... Château Brane-Cantenac 2001



The Unusual Suspect...

Chateau Brane-Cantenac 2001



Intriguing post title, isn't it? Well, let me explain. 

Yesterday, I've opened 2 bottles of Château Brane-Cantenac 2001, for a private lunch. 





The weather was hot, heavy, and humid. And, because a Bordeaux red was requested for that lunch, (instead of a fresh and cold white or rosé, or even a light Burgundy red, surely more appropriate for lunch on such a hot day), I checked what I had in stock, and decided to go for something rather unusual, light and feminine, which led me to a "Margaux", in a lesser and "non-solar" vintage: 2001, which ended up being both satisfying and very surprising... 







At first, I was a bit reluctant to choose this wine, as Brane-Cantenac is an unassuming wine and a rather low-key estate, far from the "flamboyance" and "prestige" of some of its peers, (from the same rank or lower). We all know that this has nothing to do with the quality of its wine, yet, one must admit that Brane-Cantenac is not the first Chateau name that comes to mind when deciding to open a bottle of wine from Margaux (no offence to its owner Henri Lurton, who has been doing a good job since he took over his father Lucien Lurton, back in 1992). 

Moreover, despite major efforts and investments within the last 10-15 years, and despite its classification as "2nd growth" in the 1855 Classification, Brane-Cantenac is considered by some as an "underachiever" that has always kept a low profile and a reputation for producing clean and consistent, yet, rather light, if not thin, fresh, crisp, and agreeable wines, even if slightly dry, tannic, stern and even austere, "Classic Bordeaux Style" as the Bordelais like to say, more especially in lesser vintage.  







So, I can already hear you say that if I was reluctant to choose and serve this wine, why serve it? I could have chosen another one from the client's stock or bought something different from one of the selected local HK wine shops I buy from, occasionally, for this type of private lunch. Granted. However, due to time constraints, budget restrictions and a few other factors, I had to choose from another stock, where options were limited. 

And that said, although local HK suppliers and wine retailers have interesting portfolios, including vast arrays of wines from around the world to choose from, they don't always necessarily have the right Chateau/Domaine/Producer/Cru and/or vintage that I'm looking for and/or that will trigger my interest, and/or do not have enough bottles of it. 

Like everywhere else in the world, the best wines and best vintages often go quite quickly, bought mainly by the restaurants and private buyers (and even competitors who resell them later on). Consequently, it is not surprising to find a majority of the supplier's portfolios with mostly off or lesser vintages left to choose from, especially in the range of HKD 2,000 and less (around 240 Euros  /  255 USD)       



As the weather was hot, heavy, and humid, I was looking for something rather light and easy to pair with the menu's wide array of Western and Asian food dishes. Amongst the list I had to choose from, not only this Brane-Cantenac 2001 was the most suitable for the situation, (amongst the Bordeaux available at my immediate disposal), but it was also one of the few within the requested price range I could buy from. 

Basically, I did not have much of a choice in the given circumstances (a lesson learned the hard way, as we say, I will make sure it does not happen again). 

However, I was thinking that it would probably be ok. As, despite the fact that 2001 was a terrible vintage for Bordeaux in general, that produced hard, dry, green, even slightly under-ripe, tannic, and astringent wines, which were very tight and closed in their youth (for most Bordeaux regions), surprisingly enough, lots of these same Bordeaux 2001 have evolved really well and are drinking very pleasantly now. 

A rather "surprising" vintage I must say, which, in its youth, did not give any signs or indications that it will turn that way two decades later (in my opinion).         

With time, the hard tannins have mellowed down and become more integrated. Some of the rough edges have rounded down too, and the overall profile of most Bordeaux wines, from this specific vintage, seems also more balanced and harmonious than it was 5-10 years ago. 






Bordeaux will never cease to surprise me, as TIME is, more often than none, its saviour, as even lesser or bad vintages may end up being good if you have the patience to wait for them and let time do its magic. It does not necessarily work for most wines in the rest of the world, but, it seems that most of the Top Bordeaux wines have been blessed by the God of wine ("Dionysus", also spelt "Dionysos", also called "Bacchus" or (in Rome) "Liber Pater"), which conferred them with the ability to get "better" (*) with time, even if they were not that great to start with.         

(*) Not necessarily true for some of them, which were mediocre or bad, to begin with, and did not get better but worst with time. Yet, overall, it always seems that even in bad years, like a cat, Bordeaux always falls back on its feet and gets the best of it against all odds.   


I will stop here, as, once again, as I love sharing my views and opinions, I have deviated from the main original subject of this post, let's go back to the wine, shall we?  
 






I took the wine out of the wine fridge about 1 hour before decantation, to let it rest standing up and thus allow for the sediments to fall at the bottom of the bottle. Then I decanted the wine roughly about 1 hour and a half before serving, as I knew it will surely be tight and will need time to breathe. 

I did it even though a part of me was hesitating as lesser Bordeaux vintages may not always need decantation. However, I knew already, having opened Brane-Cantenac 2001, quite a few times in recent months and years, that it will need some aeration and needed decantation, at least to separate it from the sediments, quite present in this particular vintage (as you see on the picture above).    









2001 Chateau Brane-Cantenac Margaux Bordeaux France
Estimated Average Market Price HKD 910  (around 110 Euros / 116 USD)










🍷🍷🍷Work in progress... post to be finished soon🍷🍷🍷

Dom 







@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #vin #wine #vino #wein @chateau_branecantenac #chateaubranecantenac #branecantenac #margaux #bordeaux #france #wineblog #wineblogger #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LeDomduVin: Château Lafleur Pomerol 2008




Château Lafleur Pomerol 2008



I have selected this wine for a recent private dinner, as I love Pomerol and Château Lafleur, and wanted to taste the 2008 vintage, that I had not tasted for a long while. 

2008 in Bordeaux is a good vintage overall, but not a great one, due to several reasons and factors, including devastating severe frost in April, followed by nasty hailstorms later on, which significantly impacted the yields of the Merlot, more particularly in Saint-Emilion and Côtes de Castillon, accentuating the risk of rot. 

The summer ended up being damp and cool, with limited sun apparitions, up until mid-September and October, when, despite some occasional showers, the sun finally provided more clement weather, ideal for the maturation of the merlot grapes, with warm days and cool night. Although not good enough for the late-ripening Cabernets, which ended up being slightly green, tannic, and astringent, despite some producers harvesting well into October and even early November to obtain full maturity and optimal ripeness.

It is said that the stars of the 2008 vintage were mostly from Pomerol, where the crop was small due to frost and hail, yet, those with a significant, equal, or higher percentage of Merlot succeeded in producing some stunning wines. 

In his review from May 2011, Robert Parker (WA), despite rating it 94 (then, 96 in July 2017), described Chateau Lafleur 2008, as: "Certainly one of the most backward 2008s from Pomerol", which does not sound so good, and, thus, triggered my interest and the desire to taste it, as, for me, good year, bad year, Château Lafleur has always been in my Top 5 best Pomerol. 

#1 Petrus (obviously, as I loooooooove Petrus), but most importantly #2 VCC - Vieux Château Certan, which I fell in love with 25 years ago during a visit of the cellar tasting at the barrel with the master himself: Alexandre Thienpont, who bewitched me with his words, prose and extensive knowledge, skills, and passion, while being one of the shyest, most timid, reserved and unassuming winemaker I know. 

Can't wait to meet his son Guillaume one day, who is walking in his father's shoes with the same passion, dedication, rigor, and discipline, while adding his own footprint by further enhancing the technical parts of the winemaking, with the addition of a wine laboratory (within the estate), allowing both the father and the son to now reach deeper into the individual study of each parcel and how the constituents/components of the soil, subsoil of a parcel and its immediate environment, impact the intrinsic qualities (richness, complexity, texture, structure, acidity, tannins, etc...) and potential of the wine it produces.     

As for my Top #3, #4, and #5 wines from Pomerol, it is always a complicated choice process between Lepin, L'Eglise-Clinet, La Conseillante, L'Evangile, and Trotanoy... Yet, I also love Le Bon Pasteur, Gombaude-Guillot, Clinet, Gazin, Petit-Village, etc, etc... In fact, I just love Pomerol in general, which makes it very complicated for me to choose from. However, the 12 Chateaux cited, constitute the core of the wines I love from Pomerol.   


*****

Aparté: 

I first posted a short version of this post on FB and IG, and, in one of the comments, a person was asking me if I would rather buy 1 bottle of Petrus (for example) at roughly HKD 32,000 a bottle (around 3,885 Euros / 4,070 USD) or 5 cases (60 bottles) of  Olivier Techer's exquisite Gombaude-Guillot at roughly HKD 540 a bottle (around 65 Euros / 69 USD). I told him: "Gombaude-Guillot with no hesitations, for sure". Can you imagine the price difference? 60 times... That's literally insane! 

Moreover, even if I love and have profound respect for Petrus, which is one of my favorite wines in the world, (that I had the chance to buy, sell, prepare, taste, decant, and serve many, many times over my 30 years Sommelier career), I have never had the finance to buy even one bottle for myself, for my personal consumption, not even one. 

And, in any case, even if I had the money to do so, I think I will rather buy 1 or 2 mixed cases of much more affordable and quaffable wines, and use the rest of the money to do something else. Actually, if I had the money, I will be traveling, as it has been 3 years already since I last went back to my hometown of Bordeaux with the kids, and HKD 32K =  the budget for a go-return trip, Hong Kong > Bordeaux > Hong Kong, for 3-4 people, + the car rental in Bordeaux for 8-10 days, + a few lunches/dinners at small restaurants,  + a few bottles of wines. Definitely travel, to live great moments with my family and friends, and fill my head with timeless memories.         

*****

Sorry, I slightly deviated from the original subject of the post (as usual), let's go back to Chateau Lafleur 2008, shall we? 

Where was I? Ah yes, Robert Parker rating the wine 94 pts, while describing it as "the most backward of 2008's Pomerol". Strange how confusing Wine Critics can be sometimes, isn't it? (If interested I have written a post about this, which you can read here). The wine is supposedly the "most backward" of the appellation in that particular 2008 vintage but still received 94 pts. Does that mean all the other Pomerol received higher ratings? No, of course not, but it could easily be interpreted that way. 

Anyhow, Robert reviewed his score from 94 to 96pts, 6 years later, demonstrating that some wines really need some time before waking up from their close and restraint period, to open up and elaborately express their full potential.  And, that is definitely the case for Chateau Lafleur! 

As I mentioned in several other posts before (notably this one here), Château Lafleur is a moody wine to be drunk at the right time, which tends to open up in its youth for a few years, then can suddenly close down for a decade or two before reopening again to show its full potential. This means that if you miss the window when it opens up, you might often find Lafleur closed and restrained, while it is an absolutely amazing wine when the timing is right. 

Standing almost anonymously between Petrus and La Fleur-Petrus, Chateau Lafleur is a classic style of Pomerol wine, for connoisseurs who know when and where to drink it, and for amateurs who dare have the patience to understand it and wait for it to fully open to appreciate it. It is what I call a "cerebral wine"!    








2008 Chateau Lafleur Pomerol Bordeaux France
Estimated Average Market Price HKD 6,260 (around 760 Euros / 798 USD) 

Unsurprisingly, right after opening, the wine appeared a little closed, slightly restrained, rather shy on the nose, discreet but pleasant nonetheless. It needed to breathe after being enclosed for the past 13 years in the bottle. After decantation to give it a boost, it started to unveil subtle, fresh aromas of red berries and cherries mingling with darker fruits, licorice, forest floor, and flowers, as well as earthy notes of leather, truffle, smoke, and spice box. The palate was quite gentle and velvety, boasting both red and dark fruit flavors, (subordinated by enhanced versions of the aromas found on the nose), ample and generous, with a good concentration, yet without being too fat or too heavy, thanks to a good amount of acidity to balance the whole structure and texture, from beginning till the end of the persistent finish. The tannins, once very present and tight during its youth, have had the time to mellow down and seem better integrated now than a few years ago, adding some backbone and aging potential to this rather strict wine that took its time to reveal its charms.             


 
That's all folks! Until next time, be safe and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.   

Santé! Cheers!

Dom 

(aka Dominique Noel, aka LeDomduVin)





#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #chateaulafleur #pomerol #wine #vin #vino #wein #bordeaux #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Monday, May 16, 2022

LeDomduVin: Weekend wines



Weekend wines



Besides Clos des Lambrays 2005 and Château L'Evangile 2000, I also opened, prepared, decanted, and served these 3 bottles during the weekend. 





Domaines Leflaive Macon-Verzé 2016
Easy going and refreshing, with light yellow fruit aromas, white flowers, and buttery notes mingling with good acidity and mineral nuances. 






Château Margaux Margaux 1990
Not the best example, unfortunately. The cork was dry and discolored, and the bottom of the cork cracked and fell into the bottle. The nose seemed old and dusty, and the wine tasted rather off and unbalanced, despite a "reviving" attempt by decanting it to give it a boost (while I didn't want to decant it in the first place), the wine showed only little sign of life. Bad bottle. 






Château Latour Pauillac 2009
A young and powerful wine, with great aging potential, boasting lots of ripe dark berries and black fruits, chocolate, coffee, leather, graphite, earth, mineral and oaky aromas and flavors, great complexity, balance, structure and texture, and a long-lasting finish. Showed really well after 2 hours of decanting, but still too young to drink now in my opinion.  Another 5 to 10 years would be good to release its full potential. 







Santé! Cheers! 

Dom (aka LeDomduVin) 




#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom @domaineleflaive @chateaumargaux @_chateaulatour #wine #vin #vino #wein #tastingnotes #burgundy #bordeaux #maconverze #leflaive #margaux #latour #pauillac #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

LeDomduVin: Domaine des Lambrays "Clos des Lambrays" 2005




Domaine des Lambrays "Clos des Lambrays"

 Grand Cru 2005 Burgundy, France 



Besides decanting Château L'Evangile 2000, (for that private lunch, yesterday), I also opened and served another wine that I love, from Burgundy this time, Clos des Lambrays. 







Located at Morey-Saint-Denis, Domaine des Lambrays is a small estate consisting of a wall-enclosed vineyard, hence its name "Clos". The vineyard is about 8.8 hectares, of which 8.6 hectares belong to the Domaine. 

The other 0.2 hectare actually belongs to Domaine Taupenot-Merme, which explains why Domaine des Lambrays cannot put "Monopole" on the label. 

"Clos des Lambrays" was a "Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru" until 1981, when it was elevated to "Grand Cru" status, and a specific AOC was created for it. 

From my 30 years of experience buying, selling, opening, serving, and tasting their wines, I can say that I'm a huge fan of Clos des Lambrays. I love the consistency, complexity, richness as well as the silky-smooth texture and layered structure of their wines. 







And this 2005 was no exception, it was so good, it even exceeded my expectations. Let me describe it to you.  






2005 Domaine des Lambrays "Clos des Lambrays" Grand Cru Burgundy, France
Estimated Average Market Price HKD 4,310 (around 520 Euros / 550 USD) 

For most French wine regions, including Burgundy, 2005 was a superb "solar" vintage that produced warm, rich, complex, and concentrated wines. And this Clos des Lambrays 2005 is a stunning example of it. Attractive medium deep, yet concentrated dark ruby color in the glass. The nose is extremely open and aromatic, warm, and enticing, showing ripe, sunbathed dark cherries and berries (blackberry, blueberry), mingling with earthy (slightly scorched earth) and toasted aromas (cacao, coffee, oak), mixed with autumnal forest floor hints and mineral nuances. Beautifully structured and textured, defined and focused, rich, ample, full and smooth, generously coating the palate, while retaining freshness and elegance. Excellent balance between the ripeness of the fruit, the acidity, and the tannins, very good length, silky, integrated, harmonious, and suavely warm and comforting from the attack to the seamless finish. Wow! What a wine! Loooooved it. Highly recommended.  



That's all folks! Until next time, stay safe and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.  

Santé! Cheers! 

Dom (aka LeDomduvin) 




#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom @lambrays @domainedeslambrays #domainedeslambrais #closdeslambrays #moereysaintdenis #grandcru #burgundy  #bourgogne #france #wine #vin #vino #wein #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

LeDomduVin: Decanting Château L'Evangile 2000






Decanting Château L'Evangile 2000, 
Pomerol, Bordeaux, France 


by @ledomduvin

Yesterday, I opened, decanted, and served a bottle of Château L'Evangile 2000 at a private lunch. A video was made while I was decanting it. 

So, once again, I decided to explain a bit what I was doing and the different steps of the decanting process. 

It makes the video more interesting, informative, and educative in my opinion. Hope you'll enjoy it, and thank you for watching. 

And, a big thank you to Karen for making this video, much appreciated. 


Watch the video on YouTube at  https://youtu.be/OVMgBHYuNSE  or directly below. 











💥Work in progress.  Full tasting notes and other details coming soon... 💥

Santé! Cheers! 

Dom (aka LeDomduVin) 




#ledomduvin @LeDomduVin  #lesvideosadom #lesphotosadom #decanter #decantation #decanting #wine #vin #vino #wein @chateaulevangile #chateaulevangile #chateauevangile #pomerol #bordeaux #france #wineknowledge #wineeducation #education #sharingknowledge #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Ladies Wines




Ladies' wines


Last night, I had the pleasure to serve these beautiful wines to a table of Ladies, who enjoyed them very much (hence the title of this post) 😉😁👍🍷







Pretty proud of the little selection I made, as it went really well with the menu, and they were really pleased in the end. The only hiccup was the Chateau Haut-Brion 2016, which was way too young and tight, and only opened toward the end of the dinner, after nearly 3 hours of decanting. 

Fortunately for me, as, when I first served it, the host looked at me with those eyes saying out loud, yet without saying a word, how wrong it was of me to have chosen this particular wine in such a young vintage. And, if the wine did not open up at some point, the mood of the dinner and the host would have been seriously different. Phew...😅😅😅






2003 Dom Perignon Vintage Brut Rosé Champagne
Estimated retail price HKD 3,700  /  Euros 450  /  USD 472
At the opening, the nose was off-putting, sour and dusty, smelling almost like a sewer. It was weird. I pour myself a little bit to examine and taste it. Deep and intense pink salmon color, with ripe onion skin nuances. A few minutes later, the weird smell had vanished to give way to ripe strawberry and red berries aromas mingling with floral scents and limestone mineral hints. To my surprise the palate was much better than the nose, offering expressive flavors of red berries (raspberry, strawberry) and cherries, mixed with floral and mineral notes, nicely expanding from beginning to end, quite rich and substantial, yet with enough acidity to keep the focus and freshness in check. Well done.    

It was a nice surprise, I must say, as 2003 was a very warm, unprecedented hot vintage (I should say), characterized by a long summer heatwave that impacted most of the wine areas across France, resulting in some weird, unbalanced, and uncharacteristic wines in some regions, most notably Bordeaux (*). 

Consequently, I was happy to realize that there was still some acidity in this Dom Perignon 2003 Rosé to balance the ripeness of the fruit and bring some needed freshness/crispiness to keep the champagne focused and vibrant, thus preventing it from being dull and fat. A very interesting experience that taught me, once again, that time and wine are complexly intricated and indissociable and can make wonder together after a certain period of time, even in lesser vintages. 

This is the reason why I have always been very humble regarding my knowledge about wine, over my 30 years of career, as, you never know how surprisingly well a wine, that was originally or supposedly lesser or even mediocre, may evolve and become after many years in the bottle.      

    

(*): I have already expressed my opinion many times and wrote lengthly about Bordeaux 2003 vintage, in various posts on this blog, if interested you can read some of them here and here).     






2015 Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux Blanc
Estimated retail price HKD 1,180  /  Euros 145  /  USD 150
Pale yellow color with green nuances. Intriguing tropical nose boasting aromas of exotic fruits (pineapple, citrus, mango) and white flowers, with some oaky notes (from the barrel aging). The palate is quite generous, ample, overall well balanced, and still rather young and fresh for a 2015 white Bordeaux. A pleasant surprise here again. (...)






2018 Bachelet-Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Hameau du Blagny Bourgogne
Estimated retail price HKD 590  /  Euros 72  /  USD 75
Same as last week. A delightful and sophisticated wine, racy, classy, elegant, delicate, and charming, yet ample with that glycerine sensation coating the whole palate from the beginning to the seamless long-lasting finish. Displaying a lot of buttery, popcorn notes, mingling with apple and yellow stone fruits, yellow flowers, and mineral hints. Can't get enough of it. Looooooooooove it. (...)






2016 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Graves Bordeaux
Estimated retail price HKD 5,500  /  Euros 672  /  USD 700
It is a sacrilege to open a Haut-Brion so young. Nevertheless, it was interesting to check if it was really worth the 100pts it received by at least 5 wine critics including RP, JMQ, WE, JL, and AL. And... it is difficult to say. As the wine was so tight, it took more than 3 hours after decanting to reveal itself. (...)







🍷🍷🍷Work in progress, more complete tasting notes and other details coming soon....😅



Santé! Cheers!

Dom (aka LeDomduVin) 



#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #tastingnotes #winedescriptions #wine #vin #vino #wein #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob #champagne #bordeaux #burgundy


Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

LeDomduVin: Happy Birthday to me



Happy Birthday to me 😁👍🍺




I was supposed to be off, and enjoy today and tomorrow for myself. Unfortunately, too busy and had too many things to do, so, I had to come to work. 🙄🙄🙄🙄







After a hectic morning and prior to returning to the office, I decided to treat myself with one of the best and juiciest burgers I had in a long time, and a nice Japanese beer, at the coffee bar/roastery, on the ground floor of my office building: @thehuntcoffee. 







Loooooooooooved this burger. Highly recommended: well-seasoned beef patty, cherry tomatoes, salad, pickles, onion rings, bacon, and egg. It is called the "Hail to King Burger" and it was beyond my expectations. 😋😋😋😋 (and no, I didn't get paid, or get a discount to say that, I'm just a foodie, not an influencer 😉😁👍)







The beer was really good too. A white ale from Hitachino Nest ( @hitachinonesthk ): nice, light, fresh, crisp, easy-drinking, and not a bad pairing with the burger. Lovely. 







Too bad, I was on my own and had to go back to the office after that, yet, it was a very pleasant experience. Simple things are the best, a good burger and a beer, what else? 😁👍🍔🍺😋

Santé! Cheers! 

Dom



#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #beer #burger #birthday #birthdaylunch #thehuntcoffeeandroastery #hitachinonest #anniversaire


Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Monday, May 9, 2022

LeDomduVin: DRC La Tâche 2012



DRC La Tâche 2012




Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tache Grand Cru Burgundy France
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 57,150 / Euros 6,910 / USD 7,280

Attractive, bright, pale ruby color, with pinkish, reflects. Very incentive, fresh and aromatic nose offering juicy red cherries mingling with floral, mineral, and earthy notes, as well as white pepper and spices nuances. The palate is light, crisp, fresh, gentle, and delicate, almost fragile, yet, juicy, subtly complex and layered, beautifully balanced, harmonious,  structured, and extremely long-lasting. This 2012 DRC La Tâche is as delicate, gracious, elegant, and focus as a ballerina. Loooooooove it. 

La Tâche 2012 is still very young, but it is already drinking very well. Magnificent already at the opening, it was even better after 1 hour of opening in the bottle. Very nice acidity and a  structure that will allow it to age for a few more decades.

However, this 2012 is not necessarily the most complex, rich or the most opulent vintage of La Tâche I have tasted. This vintage is rather light and delicate, thus, it will be interesting to observe its evolution, over the next 5-10 years, to really know how it will further evolve and if it will resist time after 15-20 years. 

That said, throughout my 30 years career in the wine industry, I have tasted many old vintages DRC La Tâche and Romanée Conti, that were not the best nor the ones with the most potential, and still, for each of them, to my surprise, the wine still showed really well after a few decades, and, thus, proved its capacity of endurance and resilience to time.  

It has been proven that some wines, if kept in the most ideal conditions (constant temperature, appropriate humidity level, no exposure to direct lights, not stored with odorous items, no vibrations,  etc...), and not moved for years, can slowly age forever. DRC wines are amongst these wines. 






In the picture above and below, the color looks brownish, as if the wine was old, but in reality, this wine has a beautiful and very attractive pale ruby color with pink reflections. Unfortunately, I was not able to capture the true color, due to the yellow light of the room and the background light from the sky, and the filter used for the picture. Too bad I cannot show you the correct color of this wine.  





It had been a little while since I opened and tasted a DRC wine (never for my personal consumption, I don't have the wallet to afford it 🙃), prior to serving it to its owner. And, I was really pleased and excited to be able to do it recently. 






In my 30 years career as a Sommelier, working in restaurants, retailers and for big tycoons of the corporate world, I had (and still have) the chance and privilege to negotiate, buy, sell, manage, open, taste and serve, and occasionally drink, (when invited to), many bottles of all the DRC wines, some very old vintages too. 

And, I must admit that I have always approached these wines with the utmost respect and interest and a lot of admiration. Always humbled when opening a DRC. 

I'm glad to be lucky enough to continue to open and taste such legendary wines, only accessible to a minority of people fortunate enough to be able to buy them, for me to serve them. Thank you for that.





A little video was also made, while I was opening the bottle. So, I took the opportunity to explain a little about what I was doing, like if I was doing training for staff or students. Here is the link




Or watch it directly here, if you prefer:  





A special thank you to Karen for the video. 

Santé! Cheers! Take good care of yourself and your loved ones, and remember to drink responsibly. 

Dom (a.k.a. LeDomduVin)




#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #drc #DRC #domainedelaromaneeconti @domainedelaromaneeconti #latache #grandcru #monopole #burgundy #wine #vin #vino #wein #tastingnotes #wineknowledge #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob

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Thursday, May 5, 2022

LeDomduVin: Last night's wines





Last night's wines...



2014 Louis Roederer Brut Vintage Champagne France 
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 795  / Euros 95 / USD 100

Beautifully crafted and balanced, crisp, fresh, complex, and rich in a graceful way, refined, offering subtle floral, apple, citrus zest, and yellow stone fruits aromas and flavors, mingling with gentle and enticing toasted brioche notes and mineral nuances. Really satisfying. Looooooooooove it. Recommended to drink it at cellar temperature, 11-15°C. 


*****

Petite apparté: When it comes to serving a white or a champagne/sparkling wine super cold, the general rule of thumb is that you only do it when the wine is mediocre or bad, (and you have nothing else to serve instead), as serving it super cold will restraint, or even mask, its aromas and flavors, making it more subdued, and thus more palatable. As good wines, and more particularly very good wines do not need to be served super cold, cellar temperature is usually perfect and recommended for the wine or champagne to fully express its potential.       

*****


2018 Bachelet Monnot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Hameau du Blagny" Burgundy France
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 600  / Euros 72 / USD 76

One of my favorite white Burgundy producers of these last 5-6 years, I have always been very pleased with the consistent quality, balance, elegance, minerality, and overall precision of their wines. And, yesterday, once again, was no exception. What a delightful and sophisticated wine, racy, classy, elegant, delicate, and charming, yet layered and ample, with that glycerine sensation coating the whole palate from the beginning to the seamless long-lasting finish. Can't get enough of it. Looooooooooove it.



2016 Louis Latour Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru Burgundy France
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 3,250  / Euros 390 / USD 415

Unfortunately, the bottle didn't show well, it seemed slightly oxidized, showing signs that it had evolved, presenting a weird acidity, being overall unbalanced and not integrated. Definitely not up to Bâtard-Montrachet standard. Maybe a bad bottle, yet, strange as this wine was stored in a professional wine fridge since I bought it. Too bad, as I bought a few cases of this specific wine for various events at the end of last year, and remember the wine being much better 6-8 months ago. I will have to open another bottle soon to make sure it was just a singular incident and it does not concern/apply to the rest of the bottles I bought.   



2016 Bouchard Père et fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Burgundy France
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 1,560  / Euros 187 / USD 199

Interesting aromas combining orchard fruits, floral scents, earth, and beeswax, with buttery and mineral notes. The palate is quite fresh and harmonious, aromatic, fairly well balanced, and overall focused, yet, to my palate, it lacks a "je ne sais quoi" of presence and personality to make it better. Enjoyable, but not necessarily exciting, especially at this price.  


*****

Petite apparté: Once again, I'm not going to make any friends by saying that, but, (and although, I'm completely aware that they are 3 distinctive wines made by 3 very distinctive wine producers, with their own respective terroir, winemaking methods, techniques, taste, and even personality), comparing these 3 wines above, confirms, (once again), my belief that (except a few exceptions maybe), great wines are (more often) made by small, conscientious, diligent, attentive to details and passionate small producers, rather than by large producers (Maisons or Domaines) and/or Négociants.  And, what goes for these Burgundian wines is exactly the same for Bordeaux, ranking and price do NOT make the wine nor the quality of it. I rather drink a very good Burgundy or Bordeaux for around HKD 300-600, than drink a disappointing or even bad one at HKD 1,000 or more, and clearly regret it was not worth paying such a hefty price for it.       

*****



2001 Château Brane Cantenac Margaux Bordeaux France
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 990  / Euros 118 / USD 126

First of all, 2001 was a rather low to average, complicated vintage that produced thin, restrained, tannic, astringent, and often green, herbaceous wines in Bordeaux, in general. Me, personally, I consider it as a mediocre to bad vintage, depending on the wine, (even if the "Bordelais" will try to tell you otherwise). In their defense, I must admit that, for certain wines, the vintage 2001 has evolved and developed quite nicely, offering much better wines to drink now than within the last  2 decades, during which most 2001 Bordeaux wines were not showing really well, even rather poorly in some cases. Consequently, it will be difficult for me to tell you that this Brane Cantenac is a "great" wine. Because, no, it isn't. Yet, and don't get me wrong, it remains a pleasant, so-called "Classic" (*), Margaux from a difficult vintage that has evolved nicely, yet, which remains a bit thin and light and lacks complexity and depth for my palate.

(*) Bordeaux people like to say and refer to as "classic old-style" most Bordeaux from difficult vintages




2012 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Cru Classé des Graves Pessac-Léognan Bordeaux France
Estimated Average Market Price: HKD 1,975  / Euros 238 / USD 252

I have said it before and will say it again, Chateau Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion are in my top 10 best Bordeaux wines, the former being the number 1  on my list, as I looooove Haut-Brion. Coming from a vintage that was also not the most simple and far from being amongst the best of the 2010s, this La Mission Haut-Brion showed some potential and boasted a crisp, fresh nose with aromas of red and dark berries mingling with floral, earthy, and herbaceous notes. In short, this wine is still a bit young and is showing some edges that may need some time to round down a little. Yet, overall, it is a quite aromatic, structured, and layered wine, yet medium-bodied and rather light in sensations, despite a fairly long finish that has some interesting attributes (which helps to appreciate it more). Nice. Yet again not display the richness and complexity known to La Mission with better vintages.  


Cheers! Santé! 

Dom



#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #lastnightwines #wine #vin #vino #wein @louisroederer_ #louisroederer #bacheletmonnot @louislatour1797 #maisonlouislatour @bouchardpereetfils #bouchardpereetfils @chateau_branecantenac #chateaubranecantenac @chateaulamissionhautbrion #chateaulamissionhautbrion #champagne #burgundy #bordeaux


Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

LeDomduVin: Star Wines - May the 4th be with you always


Star Wines: May the 4th be with you always 


by @ledomduvin 2022

Each year, the joke is coming back, and each year, I make an illustration or a drawing related to "Star Wars" and "May the 4th be with you", with the wine protagonists of my "Star Wines" stories: Master Yoda, Obi-Wine, Master Winedu, Padawine and more. It's fun. Looooooooooove it. 😁👍🍷

Cheers! Santé! Star Wars forever, and may the force be with you, always!  

Dom



If interested, you can check the other Star Wars and May 4th related illustrations I did for my blog in previous posts, by clicking the links below: 







#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #starwars #starwines #yoda #obiwankenobi #obiwine #wine #vin #vino #wein #lescreationsadom #lesdessinsadom #lesillustrationsadom #leshistoiresadom #maythe4thbewithyou #maytheforcebewithyou

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Monday, May 2, 2022

LeDomduVin: un froid de canard...




Un froid de canard...



Confit de canard et Tartiflette ce soir, et ce ne sont pas des rumeurs 😁👍🍷

Le temps est tellement pourri ce week-end, ici à Hong Kong, qu'on aurait l'impression d'être encore en Hiver (en ce 1er Mai): gris, humide, pluvieux, triste, froid et venteux.... 

Voilà une bonne excuse pour faire un bon dernier plat d'hiver. 😁😋😋😋😋

Les rumeurs ne sont jamais bonnes, mais celles de L'Escarelle ne sont pas mauvaises du tout... et ne devrait pas être mauvais sur les cuisses de canard 😁👍🍷

L'Escarelle "Rumeurs" Méditerranée IGP 2020 

Cheers! Santé!

Dom 




#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #rose #rosé #wine #vin #vino #wein #pink #provence #vindeprovence #mediterranee @chateaudelescarelle #confitdecanard #tartiflette

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

LeDomduVin: Rumeurs





Rumeurs...


Les rumeurs ne sont jamais bonnes, mais celles de L'Escarelle ne sont pas mauvaises du tout... 😁👍🍷

L'Escarelle "Rumeurs" Méditerranée IGP 2020 

Le premier rosé de ma caisse de 6 achetée hier. 
Bien sympathique. 

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom



#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #rose #rosé #wine #vin #vino #wein #pink #provence #vindeprovence #mediterranee @chateaudelescarelle

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

LeDomduVin: Rosé mood...





Rosé mood...


It is spring, and yet, another weekend with crappy weather, here in Hong Kong: grey, sad, humid, windy... 

I needed some colors and warmth, so I decided to buy some Rosé wines to brighten the mood. 

The #rosealltheway case (by "Vines and Terroirs") has a nice selection of easy drinking and quaffable Rosés:

- Château d'Astros "Amour" Côtes de Provence AOP 2020

- L'Escarelle "Rumeurs" Méditerranée IGP 2020 

- "The Lunar Collection - Harvested at Moon"  by Château d'Astros Maures IGP 2020

- "Minuit Rosé" Vendanges Noctures by Château d'Astros Côtes de Provence AOP 2020

- Château des Marres "2S" par Gartich/Benet Côtes de Provence AOP 2020

- Le Cellier de l'Amitié "Les Cavistes" Méditerranée IGP 2020








And the "Brin de Lavande" is nice too, bringing a touch of Provence into the house. 

Thank you @valentinmaurel #charlessoulisseplou @vinesandterroirs and @winest.hk for combining your skills and experience: good quality wines, great prices, and fast delivery in less than 1 hour. Looooooooooove it. 

Cheers! Santé!

Dom 



#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #rose #rosé #wine #vin #vino #wein #pink #brightenthemood #needforcolors #lesphotosadom #vindeprovence #provence #méditerranée

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).

Labour day - Fête du travail






Bonne fête du 1er Mai!


"Un brin de muguet le 1er mai, 
un porte-bonheur pour celles et ceux que vous aimez." - Dom

Bonne fête du travail et du muguet, et n'oubliez pas dans donner à votre entourage (si vous en trouvez), c'est un petit porte-bonheur dont beaucoup auraient bien besoin en ce moment. 

Plein de bises et plein de bonnes choses. 

Dom







"Some lily of the valley on May 1st, a lucky charm for those you love." - Dom 

Happy Labor Day and Lily of the Valley Day, and don't forget to give some to those around you (if you find any), it's a little lucky charm that many would need right now. 

Lots of kisses and lots of good things.

Dom

(PS: post originally posted on my social media (i.e. IG, FB, etc...) on May 1st)  



#premiermai #mayfirst #ledomduvin @ledomduvin #muguet #laborday #lilyofthevalley #luckycharm #flowers #fetedutravail #lesmemesadom 

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2022 on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).