Wednesday, September 27, 2023

LeDomduVin: Message on the label - Emil Bauer





Message on the label - Emil Bauer



Great label, seen this summer, on the shelves of a brasserie/restaurant inside of Frankfort Airport while waiting for a flight connection to Bordeaux.

Too bad I did not taste the wine ( I saw it too late), but if the wine is as frank, direct, and persuasive as the label's message, it must be great. I totally agree and adhere to it.

Cheers! Santé!

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #vin #wine #vino #wein @bauerwein #bauerwein #emilbauer #germanwine #sauvignonblanc #messageonthelabel #greatlabel



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LeDomduVin: While on the yacht





Opened over the weekend 

while working on the yacht.



Krug Champagne Grande Cuvee 170eme Edition Brut NV

Krug Grande Cuvée is, in my opinion, the best high-end entry-level Champagne out there. Although each edition has its own character, personality, and taste, some being fresher, lighter, richer, dryer or more mineral, they are all superbly crafted Cuvées. I have been serving it as our Champagne of choice to welcome people on the yacht and select it occasionally for private and corporate events. The Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition blends 195 wines from 12 different years. The youngest is from 2014, and the oldest is from 1998. Its remarkable expression and elegance are the fruits of resting for seven years in Krug's cellars before disgorgement. Patience is a virtue in Champagne. This sophisticated champagne results from over 20 years of meticulous craftsmanship, and every sip is a delight for your taste buds. (I think I deserve some free bottles for advertising it with such passion 😊👍🥂)


Philippe Colin Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2019

Although I tried it not long ago, I did not remember it being so voluptuous, ample, generous, rich, buttery, almost sweet with yellow and exotic fruit nuances. It is virtually "New World" in a Burgundian way, thanks to good acidity and enough minerality to keep it balanced and vibrant. It is a lush, curvy, yet elegant, charming wine with much to give. Decanting it is a must. Loved it.


Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 2016

Now you all know that I'm biased when it comes to "Haut-Brion" and "La Mission Haut-Brion", as these two wines have been at the top of the list of my favourite wines for the past 30 years. Yet, this La Mission 2016 was absolutely stunning. Beyond its bright colour and enticing aromas, it combined freshness, juiciness, complexity, grace and elegance with character and sophistication while retaining some earthiness, great acidity and fine integrated tannins, providing both texture and structure from the attack to the long and lingering finish. I opened it about 1 hour and a half before serving. It was gorgeous!

Cheers! Santé!

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein #lesphotosadom #krug #philippecolin #lamissionhautbrion #champagne #burgundy #bordeaux #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife 



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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

LeDomduVin: Tonight's wines




Tonight’s wines 








Philipponnat “Clos des Goisses” Champagne Extra Brut 2012

Bone dry, mineral, zesty, fresh and crisp, generous and nicely expanding, with a lovely balance and a touch of salinity in the long, savoury finish. Pleasantly surprised. Loved it. 






Bernard-Bonin (BB pour les intimes) Meursault vieilles vignes 2019

Young, light, elegant, almost shy,  with a nice attack, good acidity, an ample and round mid-palate, yet vanishing a little on the finish. Well crafted and balanced, overall charming. And yet, I would have loved to get a bit more substance, texture and structure. A bit light and timid for my taste and palate. We double-decanted it to boost it, as it is such a young wine. It showed better after a few hours of opening. That said, I still liked it a lot, though. 





Anne Gros Echezeaux Grand Cru “Les Loachausses” 2019

Enticing nose of freshly crushed cherries and mineral, earthly aromas mingling with floral and peppery notes. A beautiful, complex wine in a light, elegant and refined way. Surely too young, it showed great potential to age for many years. Loooooved it. 







Once again, a lovely trio. 

A “clin d’œil” to Monsieur Olivier Halley (@ohalleyphoto), a fan and a follower of my page for the past 7 years (thank you, much appreciated 🙏😀👍🍷), whom I had the pleasure and the privilege to meet and chat with, for the first time, face to face, as he was one of the guests of tonight’s dinner. Thank you 🙏 





Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 25-year-old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

Strong and smooth simultaneously, sophisticated, elegant and layered without being heavy or harsh. Nice discovery.   

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein #lesselectionsadom @champagne_philipponnat #philipponnat @bernardbonin #bernardbonin @domaineannegros #annegros #champagne #burgundy @gordonandmacphail #gordonandmacphail #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #lifeinwine #ilovemyjob


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LeDomduVin: Autoportrait





Autoportrait with the last light of a beautiful sunset over Victoria Harbour 





When I look at these pictures (just taken by a colleague at the restaurant where I’m doing the service tonight), I realise that I am getting older. 





50 years old already. Time flies. 😁👍🍷





About to open this bottle of Calon Ségur 2016

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom (aka Ledomduvin aka Dominique Noël) 

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #wine #vin #vino #wein #autoportrait @chateaucalonsegur #calonsegur #bordeaux #redwine #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #winelife #ilovemyjob 


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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

LeDomduVin: "The Complete Bordeaux Vintage Guide" by Neal Martin





"The Complete Bordeaux Vintage Guide" 

by Neal Martin 




A few weeks ago, I proudly posted the new book I just acquired from Neal Martin: "The Complete Bordeaux Vintage Guide." And today, I am re-posting about this book because I had the chance this very morning to meet with Neal Martin (for the first time face-to-face) for a brief chat before going to work and to ask him to sign my copy. 






And he did. Thank you, Neal, much appreciated. 🙏😁👍🍷

We talked about various subjects, including the Hong Kong market, the consequences of COVID-19, the impact of China, and even the release of Rudy Kurniawan and the potential rise or return of counterfeited bottles in the market. Very interesting. 

As I had to leave to go to work and did not really want to bother him with that, I did not take any pictures. Yet, on the way to work, I kept saying to myself that I missed a good opportunity to take a picture with him and his book... 





Oh well, I hope we will meet again and I will ask him this time. Great guy! Very inspiring way of thinking. And I love how he approached the subject of Bordeaux through each vintage with useful information and the year's main event, music, and film. Brilliant! 

Thank you again, Neal, for your time this morning and for signing my copy of your book. 

Safe trip back to England, then France, and à bientôt! 

Cheese! Santé! 

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin @nealmartin123 #nealmartin 
#thecompletebordeauxvintageguide #book #winebook #wine #vin #vino #wein #winecritic #winewriter


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Friday, September 15, 2023

LeDomduVin: Comme un Vendredi





Comme un Vendredi 



Today's « mise en place » for lunch. 
« Ça, c'est du lourd !!! » as we say in French!


Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru « La Richemone » Vignes Centenaires 2018
A classic in my selection. I have opened several bottles these past ten months and absolutely love it. 


Domaine Ponsot « Clos de La Roche » Grand Cru Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2019
Another classic in my book. It is the one I opened for today’s private lunch, and damn, that is a gorgeous wine!!! A stunning beauty! 


Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2014 Premier Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 2014
From a lesser vintage (a “classic vintage”, as they say in Bordeaux), it was not my choice, but it ended up in the selection. I did not open it this time. And, anyway, it is still too young, and more time will do it good. However, if you want to open it, decant it for about 3 hours before serving it. It should soften the dry, firm, slightly green tannins still in the finish. 


Petrus Pomerol 1989
I did not open this one as it was given as a gift to one of the guests. However, I was lucky enough to have opened many bottles in the last 12 years (especially at my previous job for nine years). It is a stunning wine, and this bottle was in pristine condition with a high level. I inspected it carefully, and, for those of you who may wonder, it was a real one. It must have been reconditioned at the property in the past 15 to 20 years; otherwise, it is impossible. It is a rare sight, as there are not many left in the market (real ones, I mean, as many Petrus from the 80s were counterfeited, so there are probably quite a few fake ones still out there).

I love my job! 

Cheers! Santé

Dom


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #miseenplace #privatelunch @domaineperrotminot #domaineperrotminot #nuitsaintgeorges @domaineponsot #domaineponsot #closelaroche @chateaumoutonrothschild_ #moutonrothschild #pauillac #petrus #pomerol #grandvins #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob 



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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

LeDomduVin: The Magnum Size Benefits

 

LeDomduVin: The Magnum Size Benefits  by @ledomduvin 2023


The Magnum Size Benefits


by @ledomduvin 2023

Magnum bottles hold 1.5 litres of wine, twice the amount of a regular-sized bottle. And larger is better, right? 😉😄👍🍷

The magnum size offers several benefits, including a slower ageing process due to a smaller surface area of wine exposed to air, often resulting in a fresher, usually more refined, and complex taste than its regular bottle counterpart.

Additionally, magnums are often used for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other celebrations), making them an excellent choice for entertaining and gift-giving.

Aside from top wines (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, etc.), which are usually more expensive in larger formats, magnums, in some cases, may also offer better value for money than buying the same wine in multiple regular-sized bottles.

When buying high-end wines, especially Bordeaux "En Primeur", magnums represent a good investment (*). As they age slower, waiting longer to resell them is not an issue, and their value usually increases more over time than regular bottles or even larger formats, making them more sought-after by collectors and connoisseurs. (**)

Magnums also have the ideal size, neither too big nor too small. They are easier to serve and handle than much bigger formats requiring either another person to help, several decanters, or even decanting machines like VCANTER for 6 litres and above.

Magnums are easier to resell compared to larger formats which are mostly of interest to a niche group of wine collectors. That is the reason why most Chateaux and Domaines mostly bottle their wines in regular bottles (750ml) and magnums (1.5L) and only do larger formats for their own collection or special requests.  

Finally, the magnum's ideal format and visual appeal make for an eye-catching display in a wine collection or dinner table.

Back last April, while having lunch at the launch of Bollinger RD 2008 (hosted by @jebsenwinesandspirits), we had an interesting experience tasting it from regular bottles, magnums, and double magnums (or Jeroboam in Champagne), and the verdict was unanimous: it tasted the best in magnum!

Conclusion: Size does not always matter! The magnum size is perfect! And much larger is not always necessarily better. 😉😄👍🍷

Cheers! Santé!

Dom


(*) When buying Bordeaux "En Primeur", the Chateaux and/or Negociants usually ask the buyers their bottling preferences. Most Bordeaux Chateaux bottle their wines in regular-sized bottles (750ml) and magnum-sized bottles (1.5L), while they might also keep a small quantity of larger formats (3L, 4.5L and 6L) in their vintage library reserved for special occasions and special requests. Anything above 6L can only be made at the discretion of the Chateaux and is surely contractual to prevent buyers from changing their minds and retracting at the last minute.   

If you're buying Bordeaux "En Primeur" and want to purchase magnums or larger sizes, make sure you only select wines that increase in value over time, as an investment, in case of resell later on. 

For example, I recently bought quite a few 2022 Bordeaux "En Primeur" for the company I work for, and when asked about my bottling preferences, for this particular order (the table below), I selected the following ones (highlighted in brown) as I know by experience that their value always increases over time, more especially in magnum size. 

    



Chateau Palmer is a very good example of a wine that never devaluates. Its value always increases, to the point of sometimes reaching up to 1.5x to even 2x its original value.  






For example, as per the price analysis above (courtesy of www.wine-searcher.com), Chateau Palmer 2015 (great vintage by the way, highly recommended) had an average market price of 243 Euros in July 2016 and reached the average market price of 364 Euros in August 2023. That's a 49.79% jump in 7 years.   



(**) The magnum value usually increases more over time than regular bottles or even larger formats, making them more sought-after by collectors and connoisseurs. In some cases, the price of a magnum may be slightly lower than the price of two regular bottles. In other cases, usually for top high-end wines, at retailers and auctions, magnums often reach more than 2.5x (or even more than 3x sometimes) the value of a regular bottle. In contrast, a Double-Magnum or an Imperial rarely reach more than 5.5x and 7.5x, respectively. This means that the price for two magnums often exceeds that of a double magnum.

To prove this last point, let's take Chateau Palmer 2015 again. And as I'm in Hong Kong, I will only select the price for Hong Kong.   




As per the price analysis above (courtesy of www.wine-searcher.com), Chateau Palmer 2015 in magnum-size retails for about 712 Euros (in Hong Kong), which is about 9.2% more than the average market price of 2 regular bottles (326 x 2 = 652 Euros). 




While for the double magnum, as per the price analysis above (courtesy of www.wine-searcher.com), it is available in Hong Kong for about 1,270 Euros, which is about 
  • 2.61% less than the average market price for 4 regular bottles (326 x 4 = 1304 Euros) and about 
  • 10.81% less than the price for 2 magnums (712 x 2 = 1,424 Euros).  

This proves my point that magnum-size bottles are more sought-after for investment by collectors and connoisseurs, especially at auctions, as they are usually worth more than larger formats for an equivalent volume (the price for two magnums often exceeds that of a double magnum).      


Voila! I could continue with dozens more examples, but I will stop here. That's all, folks! Stay tuned for more sharing of wine passion and knowledge.  

Thank you for reading my post.  Stay safe, and take really good care of yourself and your loved ones.  

Dom   



@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lescreationsadom #lesdessinsadom #lesillustrationsadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #magnum #magnumsize #magnumsizebenefits #sizedoesnotalwaysmatter #largerisnotalwaysbetter #wineknowledge #wineeducation


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Monday, September 11, 2023

LeDomduVin: Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2002 - The capsule differences






Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2002 - The capsule differences



Laurie Vainio, a talented Sommelier and ex-colleague (as we worked for the same company a few years back), asked me about the capsule's differences between these 2 bottles of Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche 2002. 

He sent me these pictures, and as I did not have the answer (and could not find much online), I decided to call  Domaine Ponsot directly. 





They said that both capsules are real, and their difference is: 

The Red capsule corresponds to the first release back in 2004/2005 and other eventual releases before 2007. 

The Brown/Golden capsule corresponds to later releases after 2007, with:

- Prooftag label from 2007 to 2014 (see picture)

- Numeric label (aka e-label) after 2014 

I can not go into more detail to prevent counterfeiters from using them. 

However, I believe this answer from the Domaine is worth sharing among Sommeliers (like Lauri and me) and other wine professionals who may be unaware of this fact. 

And if you did not know, now you know. 😁👍🍷

NB: The change of capsule and label details coincide with Rudy Kurniawan's case, when, in 2008, he consigned about 84 bottles supposedly to be from Domaine Ponsot at auction, including 1929, which could not have existed as the Domaine only started bottling in 1934. Mr. Ponsot flew to New York to ensure that the counterfeited bottles of his family domaine’s Clos St Denis, listed in the Acker Merall & Condit auction, would not appear at the auction, and yet... Laurent Ponsot of Domaine Ponsot worked closely with the FBI, which led to the arrest of Rudy Kurniawan on March 8 2012. And the rest is history. It is said that despite efforts to retrieve them, a large number of Rudy's counterfeited bottles are still on the market. Watch the 2016 movie "Sour Grapes" if you do not know the story. It is quite fascinating how he succeeded in doing such a "Tour de force"!

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom

📷 Credit: Lauri Vainio

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin @domaineponsot #domaineponsot @finsomm #wine #vin #vino #wein #capsule #capsules #capsulesdifferences #differences #anticounterfeit #anticounterfeiting #wineeducation #wineknowledge #facts #winefacts




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LeDomduVin: Chateau de Reignac Grand Vin de Reignac 2015






Chateau de Reignac 
Grand Vin de Reignac 2015 



Opened a few weeks ago while on vacation in Bordeaux with the kids. I wanted to try it to see how it evolved since I bought it a few years earlier. 

It showed potential, yet I found it still too young to deliver it fully. But it was my mistake, as I opened it and poured it directly into the glass, while it would have definitely benefited from a good hour or two of decantation. Moreover, it was not properly stored at my father's house, where it suffered from light and temperature fluctuations. 

However, I still enjoyed it. 

The nose offered intense dark, fruity, and warm oaky aromas. Displaying dark cherry, plum, cassis and liquorice mingled with oaky, earthy, and spicy notes. The palate was quite intense, generous, rich, full, and balanced, with a nice silky texture. Offering plenty of dark fruits, earth, spice, oak, and mineral nuances expanding from the attack to the finish. Tannins were fine and integrated, yet still quite firm, bringing a backbone structure and ageing potential. The finish was quite long and persistent. 

I enjoyed it, yet I would advise giving it a few more years stored in proper condition. It will reward those who will have the patience to wait for it a little longer. 

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom 

NB: Thank you, Nicolas and the Vatelot Family, for your wines. 

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein @chateaudereignac #chateaudereignac @nicolas_lesaint @stephanievatelot #yvesandstephanievatelot #grandvin #bordeaux #bordeauxsuperieur #redwine #tasting #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob




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LeDomduVin: Dictador Rum x Richard Orlinski



Dictador Rum x Richard Orlinski 

at Dram Good Stuff HK


The Dictador x Orlinski 5 Decades project is a unique collaboration between the art and the spirits world. It involves a "Gorilla" decanter, which is a sculpture designed by Richard Orlinski, that contains aged rum from 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006 casks. These casks represent five decades of Richard Orlinski's life and work as a sculptor. This project marks a new beginning for Dictador, as they focus on their innovative positioning as “THE ARTHOUSE SPIRIT”.





Dictador has been producing premium Columbian rum for the past 100 years. It is considered a dynamic, modern and luxury lifestyle brand that embodies heritage and provenance while adapting and moving with the times. 

Dictador even embraces the future, as they have hired a human-lookalike AI-powered robot named Mika as the CEO of their global company. Mika is the first-ever human-like robot to hold such a high position, and she'll be the official face of Dictador. This move marks a significant shift towards incorporating advanced technology in the world of business. 





Even their label's marketing and branding are somewhat "avant-guardiste", yet a bit confusing (I must say), mingling elements of the periodic table (78 [Pt] = Platinium and 79 [Au] = Aurum = Gold) reminiscent of the "Platinium" and "Gold" of Tequila, with age indicators borrowed from Cognac (e.g. Pt = Platinium = XO). Why not? But... still a bit confusing (IMO). 





Dram Good Stuff HK is their official distributor in HK. They have the whole range of their rums, including some replicas of Orlinski's Gorilla decanters and statues in the 5 official colours: Platinium, Gold, Red, Blue and Black. 

Pay them a visit to learn more about Dictador and their rums. 

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom 

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #rum #spirits @the_dictador #dictadorrum #art  @richardorlinski #richardorlinski #rumtasting #artandspirits @dramgoodstuff




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Thursday, September 7, 2023

LeDomduVin: Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2020





Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr 

Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2020



The 2020 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett boasts subtle and delicate yet assertive, complex, elegant, timidly flinty aromas mingling with yellow and white fruits, apricot notes, and floral and stony mineral nuances. The palate is round, lush, and refined, with enough acidity to keep it vibrant and balance its light sweetness. It expands gently from the attack to the long, savoury, and mineral finish. Beautifully structured, delicately chiselled, exquisite, long and complex in a refined and elegant way. Outstanding. Loved it. 

I fell in love with @jjpruem in 2002 when I moved to New York. 

I worked as a floor salesman/wine consultant/wine buyer at one of Manhattan's most prominent wine & spirits stores (@pjwine), owned by wine lover and businessman extraordinaire Peter Yi. 

I worked there for 5 years, during which Peter and his team of talented wine connoisseurs/specialists (including @johnroesch2021, @babyboybleu, @harvestnotes, and a few more), taught me a great deal about Spanish and German wines (huge thanks, guys!).

I had tasted J.J. Prum a few times before, while being a Sommelier in London before coming to the U.S., but German wines were not necessarily my "forté". 

Yet, P.J. Wine's team and the various annual tastings of German wines from @skurnikwines portfolio took my tasting skills and knowledge to the next level, as I realized that German wines were more understood, valued and appreciated in the U.S. than in France or the U.K. where I previously worked as a Sommelier/Wine Buyer for various restaurants. In fact, they were a big deal here in the Big Apple at the time. 

J.J. Prum is one of the best producers of the Mosel region and Germany altogether. I have always been astounded by the outstanding quality of their wines, good years and bad years. And this Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett is no exception to the rule. Loved it. 

Cheers! Santé! 

Dom 

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #jjprum #wine #vin #vino #wein #germanwine #mosel #winetasting #tastingnotes #sommelier #sommelierlife #sommlife #ilovemyjob #riesling



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LeDomduVin: L’Ostal Rosé Syrah-Grenache Pays d’Oc Famille Cazes 2022




Drinking rosé above a sea of clouds…
… in the plane between Frankfurt and Bordeaux

L’Ostal Rosé Syrah-Grenache Pays d’Oc Famille Cazes 2022

Nice, friendly, inoffensive, and so easy to drink, perfect while in the air. 😀👍🍷😋😋😋😋

Cheers! Santé!

Dom

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesphotosadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #rose Famille JM Cazes #famillecazes #lostal #paysdoc #rosewine #summer Domaine de L'Ostal




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